We admit six students each year in total to study Mathematics, Mathematics & Philosophy, and Mathematics & Statistics.
As a single subject, Mathematics may be pursued either as a three-year course, leading to the BA degree, or as a four-year course, leading to the MMath. At admission time, you do not need to specify which course you propose to take, and in fact this decision does not need to be made until the third year of undergraduate studies. It is important to realise that the three-year course is not a "second best": the BA degree in Maths remains a highly regarded qualification. It is aimed at those students who require sound analytic and numerate training with a view to future employment or research, not
necessarily involving the most advanced mathematical techniques. The four-year course is intended for those who hope to pursue a career which will involve such techniques, as well as those who (like their tutors!) gain satisfaction from the study of advanced mathematics for its own sake.
The Mathematical tutors are Professor Eamonn Gaffney, Professor Konstantin Ardakov and Dr Matthias Winkel. Professor Gaffney works on the application of mathematical modelling techniques to a variety of biomedical and biological areas. Professor Ardakov uses ideas from algebraic geometry and the theory of D-modules to better understand the structure of various classes of algebras of number-theoretic origin. Dr Winkel works on probability and related areas in analysis, combinatorics and statistics, developing and analysing random models with motivations in areas such as genetics and finance.
Mathematics and Philosophy:
This joint course is sometimes described as "tripartite", the third subject being Logic, a natural bridge between Mathematics and Philosophy. It is a three- or four-year course, with a structure similar to that of the four year Mathematics course. The first year is devoted to compulsory papers in Pure Mathematics, Logic and Philosophy, after which an ever-widening range of options in all three areas of study becomes available
Mathematics and Statistics:
Statistics is one of the most important applications of mathematical techniques and many maths graduates use statistics in their subsequent careers. To cater to those students who may wish to concentrate on statistics during their time at university, Oxford offers this joint course. It shares the entire first year with Mathematics and transfers between the two programmes are possible. Thus, if you are not sure whether you wish to apply for Maths or Maths & Stats, it does not matter which one you put on the UCAS form.
Mathematical undergraduates develop to a high level their ability to think with precision and to analyse problems quickly and logically, dealing where necessary with the appropriate abstract concepts. These highly sought after and transferable skills are valued by a wide range of employers (in finance, accountancy, management consultancy, for example) and in most cases are more important than knowledge of any specific area of mathematics. Many graduates, however, do find their way in to more obviously "mathematical" careers, in statistics, mathematical modelling or computing. Graduates in Mathematics and Philosophy are highly regarded by employers as they combine outstanding numeracy with an ability to express precise ideas in fluent English.