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Department of Mathematical Sciences

MSc Scholarships for Students from Africa

The Department of Mathematical Sciences, in partnership with Trevelyan College and with the support of the DDMSAF (Durham Department of Mathematical Sciences Alumni Fund), is offering a scholarship to a student from Africa who wishes to study for a Masters in Mathematical Sciences , a Masters in Particles, Strings and Cosmology or an MSc by Thesis. The scholarship covers full fees and accommodation for one year in Trevelyan College, and includes full catering during term time. Thanks in part to the generosity of alumni and private donors, we have secured funds for the academic year 2017-18.

Further particulars:

  • The scholarship is for a one-year taught course leading to the award of an MSc degree in Mathematical Sciences, an MSc degree in Particles, Strings and Cosmology or an MSc by Thesis in Mathematical Sciences.
  • Applicants should hold a relevant honours degree of sufficient standard from a country in Africa.
  • Applicants should not have previously studied at a university outside Africa.
  • Applicants will need to provide evidence of possessing a qualification in English language that meets the minimum requirement. Details can be found here.
  • Applications are particularly welcome from women and black and minority ethnic candidates, who are under-represented at Durham University.
  • For the taught MScs, the awardee is required to attend all taught components of the chosen course and complete all assignments prescribed, including a dissertation. The two taught MSc programmes start on the second of October 2017.

The closing date for applications is Monday May 1st 2017.

How to apply:

Applications should be submitted on-line through the Graduate School; see their application web pages for more details of the on-line application system. Please specify in the application form that you wish to be considered for the African students scholarship. If it is not possible for you to complete the on-line application form, please contact the Department:

Postgraduate Admissions Secretary,
Department of Mathematical Sciences,
Durham University,
Lower Mountjoy,
Stockton Road,
United Kingdom.
Tel: +44 (0)191 334 3050.
Fax: +44 (0)191 334 3051.

Your full academic transcripts and Curriculum Vitae should be included in your application. Reference letters should be sent to the Department's address, as given above, to arrive by the closing date (1/5/2017). Enquiries at

Success story from our first African MSc Scholar, Arnaud Andrianavalomahefa

I am Arnaud from the beautiful island of Madagascar. I am a currently a postgrad student at Durham University. I am pleased to tell you a few words about myself and share my experience in Durham with you.

I did my undergraduate studies in Nuclear Physics at the University of Antannanarivo in my country. After completion of an MSc degree, I received a scholarship to undertake a one year postgraduate programme in mathematical sciences at the African Institute of Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) in South Africa. This opportunity also provided me with a first-hand international experience, involving interaction with people from different cultures and backgrounds. AIMS is an intensive boot camp aiming to recruit and train some of the most promising African young scientists and giving them access to a high-standard educational training regardless of their financial means.

As a scientist, I am particularly interested in the early universe physics. During my year at AIMS, my work dealt with the peculiar nature of a long sought-after astonishing state of matter last seen in the universe microseconds after the big-bang, the so called quark-gluon plasma. Willing to further strengthen my background, I decided to embark on a postgraduate programme in theoretical physics. I applied for an MSc degree in Particles, String and Cosmology at the Centre for Particle Theory at Durham University. After a long stressful waiting period, it came to me as a total surprise that not only I had been accepted for the programme, but the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Durham was also willing to offer me the first MSc scholarship for students from Africa.

As a student from Africa, moving to the UK was an amazing experience. Two little things that I had to deal with are the British coins and the weather. But it goes without saying that these do not take anything away from the charm of the adventure. Durham is a lovely place to live and study. Concerning my everyday life, as part of my scholarship, I live in Trevelyan College with full catering during term time. I guess one other thing that I had to get used to is British food. It is also enjoyable to be part of one the oldest universities in the UK and to soak up its traditions. Living in College is a formidable experience with its vibrant atmosphere and dynamic social environment.

My MSc programme itself is incredibly challenging and well-crafted with various topics covering the full breadth of high-energy physics in both the mathematical and phenomenological aspects. I bet there are not many programmes as such in any other place. What I have gained here is by far beyond my foremost expectations. Amongst other subjects that were entirely new to me, I particularly liked the lectures on cosmology and astroparticle physics. These inspired me to tackle the Dark Matter problem. My current research project concerns the study of sterile neutrinos as dark particle candidates and of the different scenarios affecting their production in the early universe.

Studying in the UK was definitely something that I couldn’t have afforded without the generous support of the Department of Mathematical Sciences, their Alumni and Trevelyan College, and the AIMS family. This is why I am very grateful to all those people who put their trust in me. I would especially like to thank Prof. Patrick Dorey for his devoted engagement to build up a strong relationship between AIMS and Durham and to promote Mathematical Sciences in Africa.

After completion of my degree in September 2016, I intend to pursue a PhD programme and contribute on solving the puzzle of dark matter and dark energy. I believe that all I have learned in Durham can only be fully positive for my long term career goal and for what I can bring back to my country. Thus if I can make one more wish, I just hope that many other students will have the same opportunity as me.