Mathematics and Statistics (MPhil / PhD)

An MPhil/PhD is an advanced postgraduate research degree that requires original research and the submission of a substantial dissertation of 60,000 to 100,000 words. At Birkbeck, you are initially registered on an MPhil and you upgrade to a PhD after satisfactory progress in the first year or two. You need to find a suitable academic supervisor at Birkbeck, who can offer the requisite expertise to guide and support you through your research. Find out more about undertaking a research degree at Birkbeck.

Our MPhil/PhD degree in Mathematics and Statistics aims to train you to conduct research of a high academic standard and to make original contributions to the subject.

The programme involves coursework (where suitable) and research training, but its major component is the preparation of a substantial research thesis. The thesis should demonstrate a sound understanding of the main issues in the area and add to existing knowledge.

Research interests in mathematics and statistics include: mathematical finance, in particular the analysis of risk and numerical computation; mathematical physics and partial differential equations; approximation theory and numerical analysis; probability and stochastic processes, pure and applied; applied statistics and multivariate analysis; covariance modelling for repeated measures and longitudinal data; medical statistics; combinatorics, algebra and designs.


  • Entry Requirements

    Entry requirements

    First- or upper second-class honours degree in a relevant subject. In many instances, an MSc will be preferable.

    Applicants should submit a research proposal which is in line with the research interests of the Department.

    International entry requirements

    If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.

    If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses, foundation programmes and language support services to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.

    Visit the International section of our website to find out more about our English language entry requirements and relevant requirements by country.

    Visa requirements

    If you are not from the European Economic Area (EEA) and/or Switzerland and you are coming to study in the UK, you may need to apply for a visa.

    The visa you apply for varies according to the length of your course:

    • Courses of more than six months’ duration.
    • Courses of less than six months’ duration.
    • Pre-sessional English language courses.

    International students who require a Tier 4 visa should apply for our three-year evening study BA/BSc/LLB degrees, as these are classified as full-time study and qualify for student visa status. If you are living in the UK on a Tier 4 visa, you will not be eligible to enrol as a student on Birkbeck’s part-time evening study degrees.

    For full information, read our visa information for international students page.

  • Fees


    Part-time home/EU students: £2260 pa
    Full-time home/EU students: £4260 pa
    Part-time international students: £6225 pa
    Full-time international students: £12325 pa

    Students are charged a tuition fee in each year of their programme. Tuition fees for students continuing on their programme in following years may be subject to annual inflationary increases. For more information, please see the College Fees Policy.

    Fees and finance

    From 2018-19, PhD students resident in England can apply for government loans of up to £25,000 to cover the cost of tuition fees, maintenance and other study-related costs.

    Flexible finance: pay your fees in monthly instalments at no extra cost. Enrol early to spread your costs and reduce your monthly payments.

    Fees discounts: If you are a member of a union that is recognised by the Trades Union Congress (TUC), you may apply for a 10% discount off your tuition fees.

    The School of Business, Economics and Informatics attracts funding for studentships that ensure researchers of the highest standard can pursue their research with us. We offer a limited number of fully funded research opportunities.

  • Our Research Culture

    Our Research Culture

    As a research student in the Department of Economics, Mathematics and Statistics, you will have access to a wide range of study resources, including the University of London seminar programme in probability and statistics, excellent library facilities close by in Bloomsbury and the taught courses and project component of our MSc Applied Statistics programmes.

    To ensure that we have an appropriate supervisor for your area of research, you should contact the course team to discuss it before submitting your application.

    Recent research topics include:

    • Non-associative algebras and normal ideals
    • Canonical auto and cross correlations of multivariate time series
    • Dimension and measure defined by infinite Bernoulli convolutions
    • Some Markov decision models for pest control
    • Aspects of estimation in linear and non-linear time series models
    • Inventory renewal time series and their ARMA equivalents
    • Some statistical aspects of the estimation of fire losses
    • The use of tensor algebras in population genetics.

    Extensive computing facilities include PCs and UNIX platforms and generic courses and workshops are offered by the College.

    Read more about our vibrant research culture.

  • How to apply

    How to apply

    You apply directly to Birkbeck for this course.

    Admission and registration

    Applications are considered throughout the year. A brief research proposal should be submitted with the application form. For suitably qualified candidates, the admissions tutor will circulate this to potential supervisors. If the proposed topic falls within the Department's area of interest, the candidate's referees will be contacted and he or she may be invited for interview. The final decision on admittance is taken by a Department group consisting of, as a minimum, the chairman, the postgraduate admissions tutor and the prospective supervisor.

    Students must register for an MPhil in the first instance but may subsequently transfer to a PhD without loss of time if progress is satisfactory. The MPhil degree is a research degree examined by thesis and it must be either a record of original work or an ordered and critical exposition of existing knowledge. The thesis submitted for the PhD degree must form a distinct contribution to the knowledge of the subject; it must afford evidence of originality, shown either by the discovery of new facts or by the exercise of independent critical power.

    Overseas students (who have not been resident in the UK for at least three years immediately prior to the start of their course) are not eligible for part-time registration, and should have secured sufficient funding before pursuing an application.

    Application deadlines and interviews

    You will need to submit a research proposal with your application.

    You can apply at any time during the year. Entry months for the programme are October, January and April of each year.

    If you wish to apply for funding, you will need to apply by certain deadlines. Consult the websites of relevant bodies for details.

  • Finding a supervisor

    Finding a supervisor

    A critical factor when applying for postgraduate study in mathematics and statistics is the correlation between the applicant’s intellectual and research interests and those of one or more potential supervisors within the Department.

    Find out more about the research interests of our academic staff: