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Mathematics and Statistics

An image to illustrate studying mathematics with The Open University

The Department of Mathematics and Statistics has an active research programme covering a wide range of topics in the mathematical sciences, with weekly seminars, and several workshops and conferences throughout the year. It is home to a number of research fellows, visiting researchers and full- and part-time research students. Research in the department centres on the following groups:

Some members of the department have research interests that span more than one of these topics.

The main period for PhD student recruitment in the department is between January and May (for study commencing in October), although opportunities occasionally arise at other times of the year. Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply for projects specified by potential supervisors, rather than propose their own. These projects and all other information about the annual recruitment process can be found on the department’s website.

Situated in the middle of the OU campus in Milton Keynes, the department provides a friendly and flexible working environment for all of its staff and students, and holds a Bronze Athena SWAN award. It particularly welcomes applications from women: the department ensures that every female PhD student is allocated a female member of staff as a point of contact, and organises networking events for female academic staff and PhD students.

Key facts

  • In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), 75 per cent of the outputs submitted by the OU to the mathematical sciences subpanel were assessed as world leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*)
  • Researchers include Whiteman Memorial Prize, Maxwell Medal and two Whitehead Prize winners
  • Opportunity to be part of national and international collaborations
  • Funded full-time studentships available
  • Office accommodation and facilities at Walton Hall campus (for full-time students)


Further information

If you have an enquiry specific to this research area please contact:

Research Director, Department of Mathematics and Statistics
+44 (0)1908 655552

For general enquiries please contact the Research Degrees Team via the link under 'Your Questions' on the right of the page.


Research publications by Open University staff are available through Open Research Online (ORO), the university's repository of research publications and other research outputs. ORO can be searched or browsed by staff name or subject.

The following list, generated from ORO, provides a flavour of the most recently published work in Mathematics and Statistics