Course length: 3 years (BA) or 4 years (MMath integrated Master's)
At Hertford we have a long and proud history of teaching Mathematics, stretching back over 300 years – the first course on Newtonian Physics at any English university was given here in around 1700 by mathematician John Keill and the college library has a unique collection of mathematical books from this period. Our commitment to teaching, research and innovation in Mathematics continues today.
As a student at Hertford, you will join our vibrant academic community of students and tutors. Our Tutor in Applied Mathematics, Professor Fernando Alday, conducts research at the leading edge of mathematical physics, using String Theory to try to understand the fundamental structure of the universe. Professor Alan Lauder, Tutor in Pure Mathematics, works in Number Theory, constructing integer solutions to special types of equations. Alongside our tutors and lecturers, Hertford’s student mathematical society hosts regular social events, bringing our inspiring academic community together.
Teaching and learning
Mathematics is a challenging but intellectually-stimulating degree, which covers a broad range of topics across this fascinating subject. During your first two years you will study a wide variety of pure and applied subjects, both in university-wide lectures and small-group tutorials led by Hertford’s tutors and lecturers. You will discuss the written work you’ve prepared in your tutorials, working alongside our expert teachers in pairs or groups of three. You’ll sit exams at the end of your first year in order to proceed to second year and beyond.
In your third and fourth years there are a great range of study options to choose from, reflecting the breadth of expertise across the University’s Mathematical Institute. We will arrange for you to be taught by experts in your field – regardless of which college they belong to – meaning that in your final two years tutorials are replaced by classes based at the Mathematical Institute.
Your eventual degree classification will be determined by exams sat at the end of your second and third years. You can also choose to write a dissertation in place of some exams if you wish. If you choose to continue with the integrated MMath Master’s degree, you will receive a separate classification for your fourth year.
Our graduates have a great record of developing interesting and rewarding careers after studying Mathematics at Hertford. You can build great transferable skills during your degree, in data handling, in reasoning and in critical thinking. You could go on to work in finance – former students have secured careers at investment banks or have trained as actuaries – or in many other sectors. Many of our graduates go into teacher training or continue with further study, in areas as varied as pure and applied Mathematics, Chemistry and Medicine.
Making an application
We expect you to have studied Mathematics at A Level and Further Mathematics is also very useful, although it is not a formal requirement to have studied it. We are looking for your drive and desire to explore and understand the subject.
If you decide to apply, you will have to sit an admissions test called the MAT – you can find more information and past papers online. Dr James Munro from Oxford’s Mathematical Institute runs a livestream on the MAT every Thursday from 3-5pm. We will use your MAT score and your UCAS form to decide who to invite for interview. At Hertford, you will normally have two interviews with our tutors. We will normally ask you to try and solve, with our help, some mathematical problems as we want to see how you might benefit from learning in our tutorial system. We know that this might be daunting, so will do our best to be friendly and make your experience as enjoyable as possible.
You will also be interviewed at another college – this is not an indication of success or failure, but a means to ensure that everyone gets a fair chance of being made an offer, regardless of which college they apply to.