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Admissions FAQs

2nd March 2021: Please be aware that the CDT is in the process of interviewing and allocating our funded places for 2021 entry. Any applications made from this point forward are very unlikely to receive funding. Applications from self-funding students are still being accepted.

What is the application deadline?

Applications are accepted all year round, but applicants would generally have to apply and be accepted at least one month before the start date of the course. This is particularly true of applicants who would be applying for a student visa. Applications are dealt with in the order with which they are received, and so we encourage early applications.

What is the scholarship deadline?

We don’t have a scholarship deadline, and offer scholarships to eligible candidates when an offer on the course is made. We normally expect to have allocated all scholarships by late Spring for the course starting in September.

Is there a separate scholarship application?

No, all eligible applicants can be considered for a scholarship – please state that you would like to be considered on your application form.

What level of first degree do I need?

Offers of a scholarship are given to those with (or expecting) a First in their undergraduate degree, and occasionally to applicants with a high 2:1. Entry criteria for the course is a minimum of a 2:1 undergraduate degree or equivalent.

Do you interview?

Yes, either face-to-face or online. Interviews are fairly informal and are an opportunity for you to find out more about the programme as well as us finding out more about you, your level of maths, and your motivations and research interests.

Should I attend an Open Day?

We would recommend participating in one of our Open Days. MathSys Open Days are an ideal opportunity for you to see the Centre and speak with students and staff, as well as to hear one of our weekly Forums. You can register online to attend an Open Day. If you are unable to attend an Open Day we can arrange a visit to the department for you, which would normally be on a Wednesday. It is also possible to speak with our Admissions Tutors online. The Maths Department also holds Open Days which give an overview of the wider department, but we would recommend the MathSys Open Days for more detailed information and insight.

Where can I find further information?

Our website has full details of the course structure with links to each of the core and optional modules as well as information on projects and collaborations.

Is it possible to do the MSc without progressing to PhD?

Yes, the course is structured so that all students complete the Masters before progressing on to PhD (subject to meeting the progression criteria) and it is therefore possible to leave at this point in the programme. Selecting the MSc year only does not come up as an option on the application form, so please therefore apply for the 1+3 programme and state that you wish to apply for MSc only and we will transfer you to this study route. Please note that EPSRC studentships are not, however, available to students who do not wish to undertake the full 1+3 programme.

I already have a Masters – can I go directly to PhD?

If we assess your Masters degree as an equivalent to our own and you meet the other PhD selection criteria, it is possible to enrol directly on to our PhD programme. Note, however, that core CDT funding is not available for this entry route. Occasionally we have PhD projects funded by external partner organisations, and these are advertised on our website and on

A condition of my funding/visa is that I enrol on a PhD programme – is this possible?

Yes we have an integrated MathSys programme which allows work on PhD to start whilst taking relevant modules from the Masters programme. If you think this option would be appropriate for you, please discuss this with the CDT Administrator prior to making an application.

I plan to self-fund the Masters – is funding available for PhD studies?

We cannot guarantee that funding will be available, but there is always a small possibility that an EPSRC-funded student will choose not to progress to their PhD and as such their funding may become available for the PhD element of your programme. There is also the option of working with an external partner and receiving funding from them. Students have also been successful in applying for other scholarships or funding.

How many students are there on the course?

Our intake of scholarship-funded students is generally ten a year, and in the first and second intakes we had an additional five partially-funded and self-funded students. On average, the MSc cohort is around 15 students in size.

Do you have any international students on the programme?

Yes, we welcome international students and, in the first and second years of the programme, one third of our intake of students came from countries outside the UK. We have received students from Italy, Spain, Africa, Greece, Japan, Bulgaria, Russia, Costa Rica, Columbia, Syria, and China.

Is part-time study an option?

Due to the structure of the Masters programme it is not possible to offer this part-time. However, on progression to PhD, part-time study becomes an option.

What are the advantages of joining a Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT)?

The Complexity Science Doctoral Training Centre started in 2007 and we have developed significant experience in supporting CDT students over the years. In the Masters year, each cohort has the opportunity to work together and this provides an excellent basis for support that continues throughout the PhD years. CDT students shape the programme and the direction of the Centre, and are involved at many different stages in the making of decisions. We are fortunate to benefit from having our own CDT space within the Maths department, with its own Common Room, kitchen area, teaching room, and offices. There is, as a result, a strong community feeling. Each student is provided with a desk space for the duration of the programme. Additionally, EPSRC-funded students have an individual budget for conference travel and consumables, as well as a laptop for the duration of the programme. CDT funding allows us to fund weekly forum lunches and seminars, as well as a Summer School and an Annual Conference, open to all of our students.

How would I be involved with real-world challenges?

You will have the opportunity to meet and hear from our external partners during your induction week. They will set out some of the challenges they are facing. All Research Study Groups will work with an external partner on finding a solution/understanding to a real-world problem they face. In previous years, Jaguar Land Rover, Pirbright, University Hospital Birmingham, Legion, Thales UK, and Sciteb have been study group partners. For more details on these projects, please see here. All individual research projects also have a "real-world" element to them, and there will be an opportunity to work with an industry partner for these.

Is it possible to speak with a current student?

Yes, if you have questions which would be more appropriate to address to a current student, please forward these to us and we will pass them to one of our students to respond. Some students list their e-mail on their webpage and can therefore be contacted directly. Our Twitter feed (@warwickcomplex) also gives a flavour of Centre activities.

I have a question not addressed here – who can I ask?

Please contact the Centre Administrator in the first instance.

Contact the CDT Administrator