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Postgraduate Admissions

Course closed:

Mathematics of Information (CDT) is no longer accepting new applications.


During their first year students will undertake the following:

Core modules involving teamwork projects in various areas of the Maths of Information. These are often associated with Part III (MMath/MASt) courses in areas of data science, going beyond the course content through supervised team projects. These are known as CMI Core Courses.

Two supplementary courses are chosen from the extensive menu of Part III (MMath/MASt) and postgraduate courses offered by the Faculty.

An initial research project with their prospective supervisor. This should amount to the equivalent of about three months' solid work (spread throughout the year, taking into account other components of the course).

An external research project is undertaken in the Lent term. The project is selected from a range of projects offered by partner organisations, either in industry or in another University department. A list of available projects will be made available in the Michaelmas term. This should amount to the equivalent of about one month's solid work.

One to one supervision

On admission to CMI, each student is assigned a first-year supervisor from the Faculty of Mathematics. The first-year supervisor will set their student's initial research project. They will also direct their studies, including advising on any course choices and will report to the University and to the CMI co-directors on progress. The supervisor may also recommend attendance at particular research seminars or study groups relevant to the student's project. While, in many cases, students will continue with their first-year supervisor for the PhD, it is equally acceptable to move to a new PhD supervisor, and indeed this is intended flexibility in CMI, allowing students to choose the area for their PhD thesis on the basis of their experience in the first year.

The University of Cambridge publishes an annual Code of Practice which sets out the University’s expectations regarding supervision.

Seminars & classes

The CMI hosts a CCIMI academic and industrial conference in Easter and Michaelmas term, which all first- and second-year CMI students are expected to attend. 


Part III (MMath/MASt) courses are predominantly either 16 or 24 hours of formal lectures and are usually held in either Michaelmas or Lent term.


Depending on the nature of the research dissertation, visits to work in other leading international research centres, or placements in industry, are encouraged during the final year of the PhD. CMI industry partners may include Cantab Capital Partners (Part of GAM Systematic), GSK, dstl, EADS, L3-TRL Technology, MathWorks, Microsoft, Schlumberger, Ultra Electronics and Waymont Consulting, Airbus, Cognizant, JP Morgan, Heilbronn Institute, UK Met Office, NPL, ONS, Thale, Liberty Global and Aviva.


Students can expect to receive an online feedback report each term.


Thesis / Dissertation

Assessment for the PhD is by thesis and oral examination. There is no standard format for the thesis in Mathematics (ie no prescribed word limit).  Candidates should discuss the format appropriate to their topic with their supervisor.

The Mathematics Degree Committee oversees the examinations process and is responsible for approving the
research title of the thesis, appointing examiners and scrutinising the reports of those examiners before making
a decision on the outcome.


The structured elements of the first year are assessed as follows:

  • CMI Core Courses are assessed by submission of a report and presentation by students to the first year cohort.
  • The two supplementary Part III courses are assessed by an oral examination.
  • The initial research project is assessed by a written report and oral presentation.
  • The external research project is assessed by a written report and oral presentation.

At the end of the first year (June), students will also undergo a review meeting with the CMI co-directors. The co-directors will consider reports from supervisors and co-ordinators of first-year structured elements, together with a short factual statement on training and research activities undertaken since admission (to be prepared by the student).

In the second year, students will undergo a further review of progress in June with a co-director and their supervisor. An updated statement on training activities, completed research papers, and work in progress will be considered as part of this review.

Key Information

4 years full-time

Doctor of Philosophy

Department of Pure Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics This course is advertised in multiple departments. Please see the Overview tab for more details.

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Dates and deadlines:

Applications open
Sept. 1, 2021
Application deadline
May 16, 2022
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2022

Some courses can close early. See the Deadlines page for guidance on when to apply.

Graduate Funding Competition
Jan. 6, 2022
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 13, 2021

These deadlines apply to applications for courses starting in Michaelmas 2022, Lent 2023 and Easter 2023.

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