# Masters in maths at oxbridge??

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If i attend not so great uni for undergrad and get a 1st, will i still stand a chance at postgrad maths at oxbridge?

Last edited by d0nkey_dude; 1 year ago

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If i attempt a not so decent uni for undergrad and get a 1st, will i still stand a chance at postgrad maths at oxbridge?

**d0nkey_dude**)If i attempt a not so decent uni for undergrad and get a 1st, will i still stand a chance at postgrad maths at oxbridge?

Yes undergrad institution will have an impact but obviously grades will be more important but it will competitive regardless, just looked at the numbers. Oxford has a number of MSc maths courses and it appears about 1 in 6 students are made offers but it fluctuates depending which specific course you choose.

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If i attend not so great uni for undergrad and get a 1st, will i still stand a chance at postgrad maths at oxbridge?

**d0nkey_dude**)If i attend not so great uni for undergrad and get a 1st, will i still stand a chance at postgrad maths at oxbridge?

The modules you take for your undergrad have to sufficiently prepare you for whatever courses you want to take at masters. This can be made almost impossible [even if it doesn't make your application prohibitively uncompetitive it might mean you have to do a lot of catchup over the summer] if your university doesn't offer the modules you need, (say, in the case of "not so great unis" that focus on applied maths and you decided you wanted to specialise in pure maths), or if you don't select your modules well. (I have read this is a very, if not the most, common reason for rejection from Part III) It may alternatively mean you have to a masters at your home uni before you do a masters at Oxbridge. (which is not uncommon with maths for the reason of sufficient preparation)

Often Oxbridge expects marks way above the threshhold for a first for maths. If you dig up some threads on Part III, you'll find that it's not uncommon for an 80-85% average to be expected in the third year or overall.

Last edited by _gcx; 1 year ago

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What is not so decent? are we talking Bristol or like Hull.

Yes undergrad institution will have an impact but obviously grades will be more important but it will competitive regardless, just looked at the numbers. Oxford has a number of MSc maths courses and it appears about 1 in 6 students are made offers but it fluctuates depending which specific course you choose.

**mnot**)What is not so decent? are we talking Bristol or like Hull.

Yes undergrad institution will have an impact but obviously grades will be more important but it will competitive regardless, just looked at the numbers. Oxford has a number of MSc maths courses and it appears about 1 in 6 students are made offers but it fluctuates depending which specific course you choose.

(Original post by

You need to clarify not so great.

The modules you take for your undergrad have to sufficiently prepare you for whatever courses you want to take at masters. This can be made almost impossible [even if it doesn't make your application prohibitively uncompetitive it might mean you have to do a lot of catchup over the summer] if your university doesn't offer the modules you need, (say, in the case of "not so great unis" that focus on applied maths and you decided you wanted to specialise in pure maths), or if you don't select your modules well. (I have read this is a very, if not the most, common reason for rejection from Part III) It may alternatively mean you have to a masters at your home uni before you do a masters at Oxbridge. (which is not uncommon with maths for the reason of sufficient preparation)

Often Oxbridge expects marks way above the threshhold for a first for maths. If you dig up some threads on Part III, you'll find that it's not uncommon for an 80-85% average to be expected in the third year or overall.

**_gcx**)You need to clarify not so great.

The modules you take for your undergrad have to sufficiently prepare you for whatever courses you want to take at masters. This can be made almost impossible [even if it doesn't make your application prohibitively uncompetitive it might mean you have to do a lot of catchup over the summer] if your university doesn't offer the modules you need, (say, in the case of "not so great unis" that focus on applied maths and you decided you wanted to specialise in pure maths), or if you don't select your modules well. (I have read this is a very, if not the most, common reason for rejection from Part III) It may alternatively mean you have to a masters at your home uni before you do a masters at Oxbridge. (which is not uncommon with maths for the reason of sufficient preparation)

Often Oxbridge expects marks way above the threshhold for a first for maths. If you dig up some threads on Part III, you'll find that it's not uncommon for an 80-85% average to be expected in the third year or overall.

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I’m talking about Universities like Aston, Coventry, Nottingham Trent, Manchester Met etc

**d0nkey_dude**)I’m talking about Universities like Aston, Coventry, Nottingham Trent, Manchester Met etc

*substantially*below that level. (including some of the weakest courses academically in the country, it looks like) These are the types of universities I mentioned - they have an overwhelming focus on applied maths and have a real danger of not being sufficient preparation.

If you don't want to go to Oxbridge for whatever reason - why not look at Warwick, Imperial, UCL, Bath, Bristol, etc.? (or universities like Lancaster, Birmingham, Nottingham and so on if these are out of your reach for the time being)

edit: I read that your earlier posts were more concerned with employability and going into teaching/finance rather than going into research. Part III is principally geared towards preparing people for research, (I forgot the exact statistics but the majority of graduates do a PhD afterwards) so this is also something you should consider.

Last edited by _gcx; 1 year ago

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(Original post by

Why are you considering these universities if you want to do a masters at Oxbridge? These are

If you don't want to go to Oxbridge for whatever reason - why not look at Warwick, Imperial, UCL, Bath, Bristol, etc.? (or universities like Lancaster, Birmingham, Nottingham and so on if these are out of your reach for the time being)

edit: I read that your earlier posts were more concerned with employability and going into teaching/finance rather than going into research. Part III is principally geared towards preparing people for research, (I forgot the exact statistics but the majority of graduates do a PhD afterwards) so this is also something you should consider.

**_gcx**)Why are you considering these universities if you want to do a masters at Oxbridge? These are

*substantially*below that level. (including some of the weakest courses academically in the country, it looks like) These are the types of universities I mentioned - they have an overwhelming focus on applied maths and have a real danger of not being sufficient preparation.If you don't want to go to Oxbridge for whatever reason - why not look at Warwick, Imperial, UCL, Bath, Bristol, etc.? (or universities like Lancaster, Birmingham, Nottingham and so on if these are out of your reach for the time being)

edit: I read that your earlier posts were more concerned with employability and going into teaching/finance rather than going into research. Part III is principally geared towards preparing people for research, (I forgot the exact statistics but the majority of graduates do a PhD afterwards) so this is also something you should consider.

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I feel like i wouldn’t be able to cope at a RG, i’m only predicted AAA(bio chem maths) and majority at RG’s will have FM and i don’t think i’m naturally capable enough to keep up!

**d0nkey_dude**)I feel like i wouldn’t be able to cope at a RG, i’m only predicted AAA(bio chem maths) and majority at RG’s will have FM and i don’t think i’m naturally capable enough to keep up!

Not thinking you can cope with an RG to doing a masters at Oxbridge is a fair jump. (RG isn't the be all and end all either - Lancaster for instance is not an RG and is better than many RGs for maths) Both Part III and OMMS would expect that your mathematical background is roughly equivalent to an undergrad degree at Cambridge and Oxford respectively. Part III is reputed to be one of the hardest taught maths courses going, too.

I'd recommend any maths applicants to read some bridging material (there are plenty of texts out there, an introductory text on say analysis would work too), just to ensure that a maths degree is for them, since the style is quite distinct from school maths particularly in terms of pure maths. (what you know as pure maths at A-level is actually closer to applied maths) The weaker (this sounds harsh, can't think of a better word) the university, the longer it will spend recapping school level maths before diving into undergraduate level work.

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AAA is sufficient for universities like Nottingham, Lancaster and Newcastle! People without A-level FM do manage on these degrees - otherwise they'd require FM.

Not thinking you can cope with an RG to doing a masters at Oxbridge is a fair jump. (RG isn't the be all and end all either - Lancaster for instance is not an RG and is better than many RGs for maths) Both Part III and OMMS would expect that your mathematical background is roughly equivalent to an undergrad degree at Cambridge and Oxford respectively. Part III is reputed to be one of the hardest taught maths courses going, too.

I'd recommend any maths applicants to read some bridging material (there are plenty of texts out there, an introductory text on say analysis would work too), just to ensure that a maths degree is for them, since the style is quite distinct from school maths particularly in terms of pure maths. (what you know as pure maths at A-level is actually closer to applied maths) The weaker (this sounds harsh, can't think of a better word) the university, the longer it will spend recapping school level maths before diving into undergraduate level work.

**_gcx**)AAA is sufficient for universities like Nottingham, Lancaster and Newcastle! People without A-level FM do manage on these degrees - otherwise they'd require FM.

Not thinking you can cope with an RG to doing a masters at Oxbridge is a fair jump. (RG isn't the be all and end all either - Lancaster for instance is not an RG and is better than many RGs for maths) Both Part III and OMMS would expect that your mathematical background is roughly equivalent to an undergrad degree at Cambridge and Oxford respectively. Part III is reputed to be one of the hardest taught maths courses going, too.

I'd recommend any maths applicants to read some bridging material (there are plenty of texts out there, an introductory text on say analysis would work too), just to ensure that a maths degree is for them, since the style is quite distinct from school maths particularly in terms of pure maths. (what you know as pure maths at A-level is actually closer to applied maths) The weaker (this sounds harsh, can't think of a better word) the university, the longer it will spend recapping school level maths before diving into undergraduate level work.

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#9

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I don’t wanna move too far, the nearest RG is uni of birmingham but the course seems to have a heavy emphasis on applied maths too

**d0nkey_dude**)I don’t wanna move too far, the nearest RG is uni of birmingham but the course seems to have a heavy emphasis on applied maths too

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#10

**d0nkey_dude**)

I don’t wanna move too far, the nearest RG is uni of birmingham but the course seems to have a heavy emphasis on applied maths too

**d0nkey_dude**)

I’m talking about Universities like Aston, Coventry, Nottingham Trent, Manchester Met etc

**d0nkey_dude**)

I feel like i wouldn’t be able to cope at a RG, i’m only predicted AAA(bio chem maths) and majority at RG’s will have FM and i don’t think i’m naturally capable enough to keep up!

Your talking about wanting to get onto a course where 1 in 6 will be accepted & these applicants applying are super ambitious, therefore it will require a very strong track record both results wise & institution wise and if you want any chance of passing the masters, then you will have to be capable of completing a degree at a RG, not in a rude way but if you cant cope their, what makes you think you could handle an Oxbridge masters...

_{This post isnt intended to be rude, just hopefully provide some perspective...}

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If you get AAA & want an Oxbridge MSc then go to more traditionally "prestigious" uni, whilst its still possible to go from an ex-poly to Oxbridge, it will much harder then if you went to Manchester, Bristol, Leeds, or any other well regarded uni (and your uni results from there will need to impecable like 80-90% probably ,

Your talking about wanting to get onto a course where 1 in 6 will be accepted & these applicants applying are super ambitious, therefore it will require a very strong track record both results wise & institution wise and if you want any chance of passing the masters, then you will have to be capable of completing a degree at a RG, not in a rude way but if you cant cope their, what makes you think you could handle an Oxbridge masters...

**mnot**)If you get AAA & want an Oxbridge MSc then go to more traditionally "prestigious" uni, whilst its still possible to go from an ex-poly to Oxbridge, it will much harder then if you went to Manchester, Bristol, Leeds, or any other well regarded uni (and your uni results from there will need to impecable like 80-90% probably ,

**fyi only like 1-2% of students get above 79%**).Your talking about wanting to get onto a course where 1 in 6 will be accepted & these applicants applying are super ambitious, therefore it will require a very strong track record both results wise & institution wise and if you want any chance of passing the masters, then you will have to be capable of completing a degree at a RG, not in a rude way but if you cant cope their, what makes you think you could handle an Oxbridge masters...

_{This post isnt intended to be rude, just hopefully provide some perspective...}Also it should be emphasised that, based on what has been said by Cambridge online, in many cases the issue is not that the candidate is not bright/getting good results, it's that their modules do not show that they have the requisite knowledge to cope on the course. (Gowers said something to this effect)

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#12

(Original post by

If you get AAA & want an Oxbridge MSc then go to more traditionally "prestigious" uni, whilst its still possible to go from an ex-poly to Oxbridge, it will much harder then if you went to Manchester, Bristol, Leeds, or any other well regarded uni (and your uni results from there will need to impecable like 80-90% probably ,

Your talking about wanting to get onto a course where 1 in 6 will be accepted & these applicants applying are super ambitious, therefore it will require a very strong track record both results wise & institution wise and if you want any chance of passing the masters, then you will have to be capable of completing a degree at a RG, not in a rude way but if you cant cope their, what makes you think you could handle an Oxbridge masters...

**mnot**)If you get AAA & want an Oxbridge MSc then go to more traditionally "prestigious" uni, whilst its still possible to go from an ex-poly to Oxbridge, it will much harder then if you went to Manchester, Bristol, Leeds, or any other well regarded uni (and your uni results from there will need to impecable like 80-90% probably ,

*.***fyi only like 1-2% of students get above 79%)**Your talking about wanting to get onto a course where 1 in 6 will be accepted & these applicants applying are super ambitious, therefore it will require a very strong track record both results wise & institution wise and if you want any chance of passing the masters, then you will have to be capable of completing a degree at a RG, not in a rude way but if you cant cope their, what makes you think you could handle an Oxbridge masters...

_{This post isnt intended to be rude, just hopefully provide some perspective...}1sts are most common in maths and because of that it's not uncommon for people to aim for much higher than the threshold because of that. I've been told by tutors that I'd need 90%+ to be considered for a PhD. I'd naïvely say that's not a requirement in a lot of other subjects. With a masters there's more leeway, but it's lessened with maths because of the large number of people with firsts (the most firsts go to maths students iirc).

And for OP, I'm in my third year of maths, I did maths and further maths, got A*A* and there are people who did only AS further maths who have done better than me during university (a Russell group).

Remember, although at a much faster pace (cannot emphasise this enough), A level maths and further maths is essentially retaught in a slightly more rigourous fashion in the first year, along with a lot of new stuff. And as I've been told by one staff member at my uni, there is no correlation between A level grades and first year university assignment grades after about 3 months.

Also ask yourself why you'd want to continue at oxford or cambridge. I have suspicion that you actually want to get to a "higher ranked" institution. Don't base your choices on that.

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#13

(Original post by

x

**_gcx**)x

(Original post by

x

**NotNotBatman**)x

having spoken to quite a few Oxbridge math grads going the other way (ie doing an Oxbridge math BSc/MA then going to a RG for the MSc, they seem to think Oxbridge difficulty is considerably higher and hence I would think OP should understand coping with the BSc shouldn't be a problem if they also want to cope with an Oxbridge MSc.

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"I've been told by tutors that I'd need 90%+ to be considered for a PhD"

Id be surprised if this true

in other subjects you certainly do not need 90% for a PhD, I got a PhD with a mid-70s average, and i think this is pretty common mark for PhDs tbh, Id be surprised if any subject required a 90% average, although I could imagine students who have that being chased by Profs to do one if they get that can of average... I think having good academics is obviously important but there are also other important considerations for a PhD other than your average mark.

Last edited by mnot; 1 year ago

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#14

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Ok 1-2% is a bit too far, (i have a STEM, non-math degree) and I found whilst plenty of students get 1st and the vast majority get 2.1s, actually gaining a mark in the 80s/90s is a very rare occurrence, maybe in maths its more common then engineering but I think the sentiments still there, if OP wants to go Oxbridge for an MSc there best just going to as well regarded an undergrad course they can (and if they want to be able to cope on the masters, then they should be able to cope with BSc at a "normal RG").

having spoken to quite a few Oxbridge math grads going the other way (ie doing an Oxbridge math BSc/MA then going to a RG for the MSc, they seem to think Oxbridge difficulty is considerably higher and hence I would think OP should understand coping with the BSc shouldn't be a problem if they also want to cope with an Oxbridge MSc.

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"I've been told by tutors that I'd need 90%+ to be considered for a PhD"

Id be surprised if this true

in other subjects you certainly do not need 90% for a PhD, I got a PhD with a mid-70s average, and i think this is pretty common mark for PhDs tbh, Id be surprised if any subject required a 90% average, although I could imagine students who have that being chased by Profs to do one if they get that can of average... I think having good academics is obviously important but there are also other important considerations for a PhD other than your average mark.

**mnot**)Ok 1-2% is a bit too far, (i have a STEM, non-math degree) and I found whilst plenty of students get 1st and the vast majority get 2.1s, actually gaining a mark in the 80s/90s is a very rare occurrence, maybe in maths its more common then engineering but I think the sentiments still there, if OP wants to go Oxbridge for an MSc there best just going to as well regarded an undergrad course they can (and if they want to be able to cope on the masters, then they should be able to cope with BSc at a "normal RG").

having spoken to quite a few Oxbridge math grads going the other way (ie doing an Oxbridge math BSc/MA then going to a RG for the MSc, they seem to think Oxbridge difficulty is considerably higher and hence I would think OP should understand coping with the BSc shouldn't be a problem if they also want to cope with an Oxbridge MSc.

----

"I've been told by tutors that I'd need 90%+ to be considered for a PhD"

Id be surprised if this true

in other subjects you certainly do not need 90% for a PhD, I got a PhD with a mid-70s average, and i think this is pretty common mark for PhDs tbh, Id be surprised if any subject required a 90% average, although I could imagine students who have that being chased by Profs to do one if they get that can of average... I think having good academics is obviously important but there are also other important considerations for a PhD other than your average mark.

Given the few number of phDs per institution and the number of firsts in maths (over 30%) I don't think it's too exaggerated, although maybe slightly.

Also, I'm not sure how much this info translates to a masters (I thought that oxford and Cambridge didn't do individual masters programmes and just had part I -III in undergraduate), but I agree that OP should be able to handle a maths degree at a 'normal' RG beforehand.

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#15

(Original post by

I

Also, I'm not sure how much this info translates to a masters (I thought that oxford and Cambridge didn't do individual masters programmes and just had part I -III in undergraduate), but I agree that OP should be able to handle a maths degree at a 'normal' RG beforehand.

**NotNotBatman**)I

Also, I'm not sure how much this info translates to a masters (I thought that oxford and Cambridge didn't do individual masters programmes and just had part I -III in undergraduate), but I agree that OP should be able to handle a maths degree at a 'normal' RG beforehand.

But browsing their websites it looks like Oxford have a couple options:

-maths

-maths & theoretical physics

-maths & computational finance

https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/grad...ciences?wssl=1

I suspect tho Oxford grads school largely focuses on the DPhil students and the MSc is probably something they could put together by bolting on modules from various CDT schemes and undergrad finals etc.

I suppose its a route Oxford can also direct potential DPhil candidates into to see what their like before offering them funding for another 4 years. I know other research unis have started to request some students do masters at their uni before they move onto a PhD (even if they already hold a masters).

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#16

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**mnot**)**Yes my reaction was the same, that Oxbridge likely didn't offer 1 year maths MSc's.***the*taught masters course in maths top candidates go for)

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#17

(Original post by

Oxford didn't offer a standalone taught MSc for maths until a year or two ago, so that's probably why you haven't heard of it. It seems Cambridge opened up Part III maths to external candidates quite a while ago, though I can't find a date for that. (Part III maths is almost

**_gcx**)Oxford didn't offer a standalone taught MSc for maths until a year or two ago, so that's probably why you haven't heard of it. It seems Cambridge opened up Part III maths to external candidates quite a while ago, though I can't find a date for that. (Part III maths is almost

*the*taught masters course in maths top candidates go for)MMSC - mathematical modelling and scientific computing

MCF - mathematical and computational finance

MF - mathematical finance (part-time)

MFoCS - mathematics and foundations of computer science (run jointly with CS)

MSc in mathematical and theoretical physics (run jointly with physics)

MSc in statistical science (run by Stats)

but you're right that the undergraduate fourth year has been possible as a standalone is just in the midst of its second year.

Last edited by RichE; 1 year ago

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