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Research Degrees

The PhD degree is awarded upon successful completion of a thesis and an oral defence based on original research carried out over a period of between three and four years under the guidance of your supervisors. The first year is usually spent deepening your knowledge by attending courses and seminars and by reading books and papers. You will then start to explore open mathematical problems, developing key skills to carry out high-level research and communicate your results with a wide range of audiences.

The Department has 8 active research groups:

You can find more information about these different areas of the mathematical sciences on our Research Areas webpage.

You are encouraged to apply early. For more details on the application procedure, see the Apply for a PhD webpage.

We also welcome students studying elsewhere for higher degrees to spend a term or two in Durham. If you are interested in visiting Durham please contact us at to discuss this.