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Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, Ph. D.

  • Application Deadline
  • 36 months
University rank #3 (WUR) Cambridge, United Kingdom
This is a three-year research programme culminating in submission and examination of a dissertation, or thesis, containing substantial original work. PhD students carry out their research under the guidance of a supervisor, and research projects are available from the wide range of subjects studied within the Department.
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Students must be well prepared before they can begin a PhD. Many students in DAMTP are admitted after taking the Cambridge Part III (MMath/MASt) course and others will have completed a comparable four-year undergraduate course. Some may already have carried out a small-scale research project. All of our students therefore begin their PhD work with a good grasp of advanced material, on which they can build as their research progresses.

Research Areas

Research in DAMTP can be divided into the following broad areas: Applied and Computational Analysis, Astrophysics, Geophysics, Fluid and Solid Mechanics, Mathematical Biology, Quantum Information, High Energy Physics, and General Relativity and Cosmology. The boundaries between such areas are not rigid, however, and many members of staff will contribute to more than one area (this is regarded as a key factor in the continuing success of DAMTP). There are active seminar programmes across all subject areas, attendance at which is an important part of PhD student training.

PhD Supervision

Each PhD student in DAMTP has a supervisor who is responsible for guiding their research and monitoring their progress. Each student is admitted to work within a particular subject area, and often with a specific supervisor. Some students will work in close collaboration with their supervisor, or as part of a larger research group, while others may work more independently (with their supervisor's approval). Collaborative projects may involve other researchers or groups outside Cambridge, in the UK or worldwide.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 36 months
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

Progress during the course

Students in DAMTP are not registered for a PhD in the first instance but are instead admitted on a probationary basis. All students are then assessed for registration before the end of their first year (normally after about 9 months of work). This task is carried out by two assessors who make a recommendation based on a short report submitted by the student, together with a record of their attendance at seminars or other related activities. A more detailed appraisal is then carried out during the student's 4th term, on the basis of a lengthier report and an interview.

Students are encouraged to give talks and seminars within the department, and to present their findings at conferences or meetings, once the time is right. Many students submit a prize essay at the beginning of their fifth term and the best essays each year meet the standards expected of publishable work. 

English Language Requirements

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120.

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Get a free IELTS practice test

Academic Requirements

You need the following GPA score:

Required score: First Class

Applicants for graduate programs must have the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA equivalent to First Class on the UK Honour scale. Admitted applicants typically have an undergraduate GPA of or better on the UK Honour scale. No exam grade should be lower than 4.5 (European grade scale) or D (American grade scale).

Your GPA (Grade Point Average) is calculated using the grades that you received in each course, and is determined by the points assigned to each grade (e.g. for the US grading scale from A-F).

General Requirements

  • Academic References
  • Transcripts
  • Research Proposal
  • Gates Cambridge References
  • Funding Letter
  • Evidence of Competence in English
  • GRE Scores
  • CV/Resumé
  • Written Work

Tuition Fee

  • International

    23361 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 23361 GBP per year and a duration of 36 months.
  • EU/EEA

    8337 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 8337 GBP per year and a duration of 36 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

Living costs for Cambridge

  • 846 - 1470 GBP/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Home students and European Union (EU) students who have completed three years of full-time higher education in the UK are normally fully supported (fees and maintenance) by Research Council awards during their three years of research. Other EU students are eligible for fees-only support by Research Councils. Additional support for EU and other overseas students is available in the form of scholarships awarded in open competition by the Cambridge Trusts (Cambridge Commonwealth, European and International Trust and the Gates Cambridge Trust). DAMTP is also a member of the Cambridge Doctoral Training Programmes in Biosciences, including Mathematical Biology (funded by BBSRC) and Earth System Science, including Geophysical Fluid Dynamics (funded by NERC).

Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.


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