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PhD Structure

Upon successfully completing the MSc year (or equivalent training) and meeting all progression criteria, students progress to a three-year PhD to work on a project that they will have identified during the final stages of their MSc study and the first few weeks of their PhD study. It is a requirement of a MathSys PhD that a student has a named external partner for the duration of their PhD.

Each PhD project will address a real-world system. PhD research in MathSys will be linked by a common set of shared mathematical techniques. This will allow students working on PhD research from very different fields to learn from each other and share a similar mathematical philosophy. Common mathematical elements that a MathSys PhD should be expected to include are:

  • Model construction and analysis;
  • Dynamics of systems;
  • Extracting structure from data;
  • Networks;
  • Optimisation, control and robustness.

PhD projects will also benefit from the close interactions with external partners and collaborators of the Centre and, in some cases, may have an additional member of the supervisory team from one of the external partners. It is anticipated that external collaborators will have specific areas, problems, or projects that a PhD student can work on, and these will be advertised to students in due course. Broad areas of potential PhD topics include:

  • Human health and epidemics;
  • Systems engineering;
  • Financial risk and economics;
  • Crop/veterinary science;
  • Social behaviour and social science.

Transferable Skills

In line with university and EPSRC policy, the CDT puts considerable weight on students being equipped to apply research-based, organisational and presentation skills in a broad range of contexts. In the MSc year this is embedded within the modules and in a Team Building Development session usually held during Welcome Week (or 'week zero'). For the PhD years, there is a self-standing Postgraduate Certificate in Transferable Skills in Science. Completion of the PGCTSS is a requirement of the CDT, and PhD students are required to complete the full certificate before submission of their thesis. More information about this can be found here.