The Mathematics course at Univ.


Univ has one of the strongest teams of mathematical tutors in the University. The tutors are all committed to research in mathematics as well as teaching, and their research and teaching interests span a wide range of areas within the mathematical sciences.


Professor Yee Wehye Teh is a the newly appointed Fellow in Statsitics. He is interested in computational statistics, machine learning and their applications.


Dr Peter Howell works on applications of mathematics to real-world problems, particularly ones of concern to industry. His interests extend right from complex variable methods in mechanics to tumour modelling and textile manufacture. He is responsible for teaching in applied mathematics and parts of analysis.


Dr Andrew Ker carries out research in computer science, and he is making contributions to steganography. He teaches statistics and some pure mathematics; he also teaches Computer Science students.


About the Course

In Oxford the teaching of Mathematics (and indeed most subjects) is shared between the University and the colleges. In the Mathematics course, all first-year material and most second-year material is compulsory, but subsequent years contain a wide variety of options. The material is introduced in university lectures, which all students must attend. However, detailed direction comes under our guidance within the College. We provide crucial supplementary teaching during the first two years in a mix of tutorials and classes, laying the foundations for more independent work in the third and fourth years, when most supplementary teaching is in university-wide classes. The teaching sessions in Univ are based on problem sheets, sometimes set by lecturers and sometimes set by us; the usefulness of the sessions depends on how carefully students prepare for them. The success of our teaching and our students’ endeavours can be judged partly from examination results: in recent years almost every student has been awarded a First or a II.1 in the annual examination.

For more information about the content of the lecture courses, please consult the Mathematical Institute website.


Mathematics Joint Schools at Univ

We admit students to study for all of the courses that come under the umbrella of the Mathematical Sciences. In addition to the degree course in Mathematics, and the course in Computer Science, there are joint degrees in Mathematics & Computer Science, Mathematics & Statistics, and Mathematics & Philosophy.



We admit between eight and twelve undergraduates each year for Mathematics and the courses listed above: normally at least six to read Mathematics, and between two and four for one of the Computer Science courses, reflecting our particular strength in Computer Science. We are prepared to consider very able and well motivated candidates who have taken only a single A-level in Mathematics if we believe that they will cope with a heavy workload in the first year: a considerable amount of additional preparation will be necessary before they begin the course. What we look for in all candidates is the mastery of certain core skills, an ability to think mathematically, enthusiasm for the subject, and energy and perseverance.


Deferred Entry

Applications for deferred entry are discouraged, unless the plans for the gap year have a substantial mathematical component.


Pre-term Mathematics Course for New Students

Univ was the first Oxford college to address the gap between mathematics at school and mathematics at university by instituting an annual introductory mathematics course in late September. This course has been found of great value by our students. For overseas students as well as students from nearer home it has also proved invaluable in aiding acclimatisation to the Oxford environment. The course lasts eight days, and tuition, accommodation and meals are provided free of charge.


College Prizes

Thanks to a major benefaction in 2005, the College has been able to establish generous annual prizes (named the Nathan Prizes, after a former Univ mathematics student), which are awarded for outstanding performances in university examination papers in mathematics.


The Univ Mathematical Community

Mathematics is a subject that requires individual reading and problem-solving. However, we encourage our pupils to form a cohesive group and to discuss problems with each other, since a great deal can be learned by explaining to others.


The bond between our pupils starts during the pre-term mathematics course, and then extends beyond studies: besides informal social events, there are formal events organised at least once a term by the Univ mathematical society, and a much-appreciated annual mathematicians’ dinner.


Further Information

For more information, please consult the websites of the Mathematical Institute and the Department of Statistics.

For more information about the joint degrees with Mathematics, see also the websites of the Computing Laboratory, and the Faculty of Philosophy.



Professor Jotun Hein (Bioinformatics)
Professor Bill Roscoe (Computer Science)

Professor Yee Whye Teh (Statistics)
Dr Peter Howell

Dr Andrew Ker (Computer Science)

Dr Nikolay Nikolov (Pure Mathematics)



Mr David Quick