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Mathematics of Systems (MSc leading to PhD) (2021 Entry)

  • Course Code
  • P-G1PF
  • Course Type
  • Postgraduate Taught
  • Qualification
  • MSc leading to PhD
  • Duration
  • Full-time: 4 years
  • Location of Study
  • University of Warwick

The Mathematics of Systems programme takes the form of a 1+3 year MSc and PhD. The full-time MSc year is dedicated to developing a broad portfolio of mathematical techniques and partaking in small research problems with a strong emphasis on applied questions and practical approaches. The PhD years train you into an independent researcher developing and using new mathematics to solve real-world systems challenges under the guidance of two supervisors and in the context of real-world systems problems coming from our external partners or others, in health, industry and finance.

The MathSys 1+3 year programme trains students in the advanced quantitative skills and applied mathematical modelling critical to address today’s challenges in biomedicine and health sectors, modern industry and the digital economy. MathSys is a Centre for Doctoral Training funded by the EPSRC, with support from external partners and the University of Warwick. It is dedicated to tackling real-world problems that require developing novel mathematical methods for multi-scale, machine-learning and hybrid modelling.

MathSys is an inclusive CDT with a strong creative and collaborative ethos, and benefits from its own dedicated facilities. We will train you to think broadly and combine cutting-edge mathematical skills with the ability to understand and model real-world systems, analyse complex data sets, work well in multidisciplinary teams and be excellent communicators. Our core funding provides stipends and fees for 10 students per year (under UKRI funding restrictions) on a competitive basis, including one fully-funded international studentship.

Core Modules

  • Numerical Algorithms and Optimisation
  • Data Analysis and Machine Learning
  • Stochastic Modelling and Random Processes
  • Fundamentals of Mathematical Modelling
  • Research Study Group MSc Project
  • Individual Research MSc Project

Optional Modules

MSc students also choose two optional modules from the Warwick postgraduate provision. Previously these have included:

Mathematics and biophysics of cell dynamics; Medical statistics with advanced topics; Population dynamics: ecology and epidemiology; Computational methods for complex systems; Probabilistic and statistical inference; Statistical mechanics and its applications to complex systems; Machine learning; Natural language processing; Mathematical economics; Complexity in social science; Bayesian forecasting and intervention; Applied and numerical analysis of PDEs; Scientific computing; Multiscale modelling methods and applications; Continuum mechanics


A 1+3 year MSc and PhD.

The full-time MSc year is dedicated to developing a broad portfolio of mathematical techniques and investigating two research problems, with a strong emphasis on applied questions and practical approaches.


Terms 1 and 2 comprise taught modules assessed through exams and vivas, and optional modules are usually taken in Term 2. The student cohort then addresses 3-4 research problems motivated by external partners in groups of 4-5. After the Research Study Group project, each student pursues their own Individual Research Project supervised by a Warwick academic. Both research projects are evaluated by written and presented work.

Upon successfully completing the MSc year (or equivalent training), students may progress to a three-year PhD supervised by a Warwick academic and a representative of an external partner organisation. The CDT has a portfolio of available projects; however, the PhD project can also be determined by the student, with the proviso that it involves the application of mathematics to a real-world problem and that a suitable supervisor can be found.

Contact Hours

Contact hours will vary between 20+ per week for the taught component and 2+ per week for the Research Project components.

Class Sizes

The MathSys cohort is typically 15-20 for the MSc year.

Skills from this degree

  • Core and specialist mathematics for tackling real-world problems
  • Complex data analysis,
  • Machine learning
  • Computational techniques
  • A range of mathematical modelling methodologies
  • Presentation skills
  • Multidisciplinary teamwork
  • Research methods

Minimum requirements First Class Honours degree or very strong 2:i (or equivalent) in Mathematics, Physics, Statistics, Computer Science or other degree with high mathematical content

English language requirements Band A
IELTS overall score of 6.5, minimum component scores not below 6.0

International Students
We welcome applications from students with other internationally recognised qualifications. For more information please visit the international entry requirements page.

For up-to-date information concerning fees, funding and scholarships for Home, EU and Overseas students please visit Warwick's Fees and Funding webpage.

Additional Course Costs

There are no additional course costs for this course.

Graduates have pursued roles such as: actuaries; finance and investment analysts and advisers and university researchers.

Our department has a dedicated professionally qualified Senior Careers Consultant offering impartial advice and guidance together with workshops and events throughout the year. Previous examples of workshops and events include:

  • Maths Careers Fair
  • Careers in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence
  • Warwick careers fairs throughout the year
  • Mathematics at work – The practical application of Maths in the workplace
  • Placement and graduate opportunities at the Government Actuary’s Department

There are a number of different ways to visit the University of Warwick throughout the year. We host bespoke PG visits, where you can talk directly with your chosen department and explore our campus through a personalised tour. Some departments also host their own events and open days, where you can learn more about your department or course of study. To find out more about all of these opportunities, visit our Postgraduate Visits page.

The Mathematics website has further information on the application procedure and the dates of our open days (usually in December, January and March).