Studying mathematics will teach you to understand complex patterns and structures, and to develop the tools with which to analyse them. Whether these patterns relate to physical or biological phenomena or the structure of mathematics itself, the primary aim is to describe, categorise, and understand the processes involved.

Students will acquire the analytical techniques, clear logical thinking and deductive reasoning necessary to explore some of these fascinating areas of research.

At St Andrews, mathematics students can study a broad range of mathematics and statistics, or specialise in either pure or applied mathematics. If you want to specialise in statistics, see the statistics page.


Math students in class


Postgraduate taught

Postgraduate research

The School of Mathematics and Statistics offers PhD programmes in the following research areas: 

  • applied mathematics (mathematical biology, solar and magnetospheric theory, and vortex dynamics)
  • pure mathematics (algebra, combinatorics, and analysis)
  • statistics (statistical ecology, statistical inference, and statistical medicine and molecular biology)
  • history of mathematics.  

To apply, you should first identify and contact a potential supervisor you would like to work with in your intended research area. Find out how to contact a research supervisor.   

“The academics are great, and it is reassuring to know that they are there to help you with whatever you need. It is important to me that the maths that I do has the ability to be useful to the public and affect society for the better, therefore my interest is being piqued by the mathematics of medicine and mathematical modelling.”

- London, England


First in Scotland and second in the UK for mathematics

Guardian University Guide 2022

First in Scotland for mathematics

The Complete University Guide 2023

98% of research activity rated 3* or 4*

Most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021)