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Information for New Students

Congratulations and Welcome to Mathematical Sciences

Welcome to your MSc programme! Your time in Durham will be both challenging and rewarding. We encourage you to make the most of it, engaging with the material and discussing with your fellow students and the many academic members of staff that you will come across.

The MSc in Mathematical Sciences offers a variety of pathways in mathematics, including pure and applied mathematics, mathematical and theoretical physics, probability and statistics. Over the coming year you will take a variety of advanced modules, building on your current knowledge and introducing you to cutting-edge mathematics.

The MSc in Particles, Strings and Cosmology will bring you to the frontier of theoretical high-energy physics. You can look forward to an enjoyable year with exciting and demanding courses run by leading experts in the field, on topics ranging from quantum field theory to supersymmetry and string theory to Higgs and astroparticle physics.

You will also gain research experience while writing your dissertation over summer, for which you will explore a topic in depth, working closely with an academic member of staff.

We hope you enjoy your time in Durham!

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Your Checklists


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Before You Arrive

Before you arrive in Durham you will receive your CIS (Computing and Information Services) username and password. If you have not received this by the middle of September, please contact our Learning and Teaching team at or by phone on 0191 334 3050.

With these you will be able to access:

  • Blackboard Learn Ultra, which your course director and lecturers will use to communicate with you, and where you will find all the information about your modules.
  • Sharepoint, our internal pages for registered students only, where you can find information for our PGT students, as well as about the Department more generally.

We recommend that you look through the following before arriving in Durham:

  • The Mathematical Sciences Handbook, which contains information about the Department, our staff and key contacts, teaching and learning policies, assessment policies, progression regulations and student support.
  • Your course booklet and information on how to make the most of our online materials via Learn Ultra.

Once you have your CIS username and password you can:

  1. Enrol with the University,
  2. Register for your optional modules.

You can find detailed instructions explaining how to do this on the PGT Checklist for New Students. Note that the Department needs to approve your choice of optional modules before they are confirmed.

Descriptions of modules can be found in the Faculty Handbook, and more information about all the modules offered by the Department of Mathematical Sciences is provided on our module description pages.


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Once Term Begins

Lectures, tutorials and practicals

Week 1 of term starts on the first Monday of October. Lectures start right away, so make sure you are familiar with the timetable and room locations by this point. More information can be found on Sharepoint here.

Tutorials and practical classes begin (with some exceptions) in week 2. You will be allocated to specific tutorial groups at the start of term, so please be aware that these classes will not appear on your timetable until then.

Academic Advisors

We hope that one of the highlights of your time studying Maths in Durham will be interacting with the academic staff, who are hoping to share their passion for the subject with you.  

One particularly important person is your academic advisor, who will be the Course Director for your chosen course. You will meet your academic advisor in the first week of term.

Over the year, they will be able to help you with your module choices, provide academic guidance, and can often provide you with a reference towards the end of the course. You can find more information about what to expect from your academic advisor here.

Further questions?

We are all looking forward to meeting you in the Department of Mathematical Sciences in October. If you have any other questions, then please feel free to contact the Department and we will help you:

Once you arrive in Durham, you are also welcome to come and talk to us in person in the Maths Office, MCS 2093. We are located in the Mathematical and Computer Sciences building on the second floor. If you reach the second floor by the main stairs then go straight ahead and you'll see the sign for Mathematical Sciences Reception on your right.


Your first week in Durham – University Induction Planner

To help you keep track of where you need to be, and what you need to do during your first busy days at university, in your College and your Department, we have created a day-by-day University Induction Planner. This should help you to plan your schedule, so you don't miss anything - from being issued with your Campus Card or meeting the staff in your Department, to trying out for a sports team or joining a student society.
Induction Planner
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Student updates

Check out our student blogs to read more about life at Durham from our students. Don't forget to follow us on social media!


What to bring to University

Read our top recommendations to add to your packing list ready for your arrival at Durham.

Welcome to Durham – and stop worrying!

Moving to University can be a daunting prospect but there’s no need to worry, you’ll feel right at home here.
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Discover more

Find out more about your matriculation and induction, Durham University colleges, libraries and collections, the wider student experience, self-guided tours around Durham, and the Durham Students' Union. 

Our Colleges

Find out more about Durham University's college system.
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Libraries and Collections

Find out more about Durham University's Libraries and Collections.
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Wider Student Experience

Find out about Durham University's Student Enrichment Activities.

Self-Guided Tours

Discover Durham using our self-guided tours.
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Durham Students' Union

Find out more about the Durham Students' Union.
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Get in touch

Find out more about our undergraduate and postgraduate opportunities in the Department of Mathematical Sciences.

Department of Mathematical Sciences

Mathematical Sciences & Computer Science Building
Durham University
Upper Mountjoy Campus
Stockton Road
Durham University


Tel: +44 (0) 191 334 3050

Fax: +44 (0) 191 334 3051