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Doing a PhD in Mathematics

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by fudgesweets, Dec 13, 2008.

  1. fudgesweets

    fudgesweets New commenter


    Anyone done a mathematical PhD. I was wondering is there a database like UCAS where you can search courses for PhD programmes. Is it possible to teach part-time and study for a PhD or can you distance learning. Any websites with such info???
  2. maths126

    maths126 New commenter

    Just come up with a journal-published proof of Riemann's Hypothesis or Goldbach's Conjecture in your free time and you'll nail it...
    Failing that, get in touch with the Open University. Part-time PhD doesn't sound like a quick journey though, especially since it can take 3-5 years studying full time!

  3. I did a Ph.D. pure maths quite some time ago and really enjoyed it!
    At the time there was no UCAS like application process and you had to apply direct.
    When departments have funded studentships they sometimes advertise in THES.
    A good start might be to contact some maths departments close to where you live for some advice.
    If you do embark on a Ph.D. make sure you get an accessible supervisor who you get on with.
    Ideally they should point you in the direction of some interesting problems to work on.
    When I did my PhD there were several mature students who were working whilst studying.
    Good Luck!

  4. blue117

    blue117 New commenter

    Maths or Education or Maths Education?
  5. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    You could try http://www.findaphd.com/
    If you know what field you're interested in, then talking to people in that field would be a good idea.
    Have you already done some form of taught postgrad degree?
  6. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

    I haven't done it, but have certainly considered doing so. However at the end of the day you really need to ask yourself why you want to do it. Is it just to get the letters after your name? Because, for most jobs it probably won't give you that much of an advantage - especially if you are an old bast@rd like me. I do maths for fun, but in the end I decided I could do without 3+ years of poverty and focusing on a very narrow area of maths - I've got more than enough on by bookshelves to keep me occupied (and challenged!) for years. These are just the kind of thoughts I have when I consider doing a Ph.D.

    On the matter of part-time or distance learning. Yes, it can be done, but I gather it's extremely hard when you also have to manage a full-time job. And even with the distance learning you will still need regular contact with a supervisor, and some face to face meetings.
  7. It seems to be usual to do one but it really depends on the kind of PhD you want to do.
    If you do need a masters you need to make sure you've done the right one!
    For example if you want to do a researched based PhD in maths education you will need the specific relevant masters module in research...... If you haven't done it you may have to do it as a stand alone module.
    There are two ways of doing a research based PhD - one is you apply for a vacancy in a team which has a role for a PhD student and the other is you know what you want to do yourself and you network and work with teams to develop proposals and apply for funding. Then there are taught doctorates which are different.
    Really - you both need to think hard about what it is you would like to do. Then find out what the specific entry requirements are for that.
    Gool luck.

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