Postgraduate study
Edinburgh: Extraordinary futures await.

Algebra PhD

Awards: PhD

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

Programme website: Algebra

Our research group has strong links with the Geometry and Topology group, as well as Mathematical Physics. You’ll find these invaluable as opportunities to discuss your work and expand your thinking.

The School of Mathematics is a vibrant community of more than 100 academic and related staff supervising over 100 PhD students.

Working within one of the largest mathematics groups in the UK, you’ll be completing your degree in an environment that hums with a busy graduate school life, and you’ll have the chance to make your mark in seminars, workshops, clubs and outings.

The Hodge Institute is the home of algebra, geometry, number theory and topology research groups in the School of Mathematics.

Our interests include:

  • non-commutative ring theory
  • non-commutative algebraic geometry
  • the geometry of algebraic numbers
  • Lie-theoretic representation theory
  • quantum algebra
  • category theory

While we offer a large community of researchers under one roof, we believe in encouraging you to gain as broad a perspective as possible. The best way to do this is to involve yourself in the international dialogue on your research area, through attending conferences and symposia, and visiting your peers in centres of research worldwide.

Throughout your studies, you’ll be given opportunities to travel to events and institutions that will allow you to gain this perspective and open up new areas of investigation.

You can find out more on the Maxwell Institute Graduate School site.

Mathematics has connections stretching across all the scientific disciplines and beyond. Our School is one of the country’s largest mathematics research communities in its own right, but you will also benefit from Edinburgh’s high-level collaborations, both regional and international.

Research students will have a primary and secondary supervisor and the opportunity to network with a large and varied peer group. You will be carrying out your research in the company of eminent figures and be exposed to a steady stream of distinguished researchers from all over the world.

Our status as one of the most prestigious schools in the UK for mathematics attracts highly respected staff. Many of our 100+ current academics are leaders in their fields and have been recognised with international awards.

Researchers are encouraged to travel and participate in conferences and seminars. You’ll also be in the right place in Edinburgh to meet distinguished researchers from all over the world who are attracted to conferences held at the School and the various collaborative centres based here.

You’ll find opportunities for networking that could have far-reaching effects on your career in mathematics.

You will enjoy excellent facilities, ranging from one of the world’s major supercomputing hubs to generous library provision for research at the leading level, including the new Noreen and Kenneth Murray Library at King’s Buildings.

Students have access to more than 1,400 computers in suites distributed across the University’s sites, many of which are open 24 hours a day. In addition, if you are a research student, you will have your own desk with desktop computer.

We provide all our mathematics postgraduates with access to software packages such as Maple, Matlab and Mathematica. Research students are allocated parallel computing time on ‘Eddie’ – the Edinburgh Compute and Data Facility. It is also possible to arrange use of the BlueGene/Q supercomputer facility if your research requires it.

For advice on applications, see

We particularly encourage women and other underrepresented groups in mathematics to apply, and work with groups such as the Piscopia Initiative to improve the representation and inclusion of women and minorities in mathematics.

These entry requirements are for the 2024/25 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2025/26 academic year will be published on 1 Oct 2024.

A UK first class honours degree, or its international equivalent, in an appropriate subject; or a UK 2:1 honours degree plus a UK masters degree, or their international equivalents; or relevant qualifications and experience.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

Regardless of your nationality or country of residence, you must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 with at least 6.0 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 92 with at least 20 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • C1 Advanced (CAE) / C2 Proficiency (CPE): total 176 with at least 169 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: total 62 with at least 59 in each component.

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, Trinity ISE or PTE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries (non-MESC).

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

Find out more about our language requirements:

Academic Technology Approval Scheme

If you are not an EU, EEA or Swiss national, you may need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme clearance certificate in order to study this programme.

Tuition fees

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
PhDAlgebra and Number Theory3 YearsFull-timeTuition fees
PhDAlgebra and Number Theory6 YearsPart-timeTuition fees

Featured funding

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK's governments.

The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on:

  • your programme
  • the duration of your studies
  • your residency status.

Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • School of Mathematics
  • James Clerk Maxwell Building
  • Peter Guthrie Tait Road
  • The King's Buildings Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH9 3FD
Programme start date Application deadline
9 September 2024 31 August 2024

We strongly recommend you submit your completed application as early as possible, particularly if you are also applying for funding or will require a visa. We may consider late applications if we have places available. All applications received by 22 January 2024 will receive full consideration for funding. Later applications will be considered until all positions are filled.

You must submit two references with your application.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • School of Mathematics
  • James Clerk Maxwell Building
  • Peter Guthrie Tait Road
  • The King's Buildings Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH9 3FD