School of Mathematics, Statistics & Actuarial Science

PhD studies with SMSAS

The School offers PhDs in Actuarial Science, Pure, Applied and Financial Mathematics, and Statistics. Postgraduate scholarships and/or Graduate Teaching Assistantships can provide a fully funded place for outstanding candidates.

The SMSAS research environment

As a research student you will join a vibrant research community of over 100 postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers and academic staff. You will be given a personal desk and computer in one of the school's research offices in the newly opened Sibson building. You will be assigned a main supervisor, with whom you will work closely, and a second supervisor.

You will attend research seminars and will be expected to follow at least 100 lecture hours of postgraduate modules during the first two years of your PhD. Your choice of modules will be taken in consultation with your supervisor and will cover areas relevant to your PhD. As well as modules from the School's Master's programmes you might take courses specifically designed for PhD students and offered by the London Taught Courses Centre (LTCC).

Attendance at academic conferences is a key part of your development as a researcher. It will allow you to see the latest developments in your field and to disseminate your work to a wider audience, including world-leading researchers. The School offers generous travel support to all PhD students.

Graduate Teaching Assistantships

Students engaged as Graduate Teaching Assistants hold a unique position in the University in that they are both registered students in receipt of a scholarship award and employees of the University.

Teaching duties may include: marking, demonstrating, tutoring, outreach and, where appropriate, lecturing. The School expects that GTAs will do no more than six hours of teaching and teaching-related duties including preparation per week during term-time.

Full GTA terms and conditions

Entry requirements

Candidates must hold a good Honours degree (First or 2i) and a Master's degree (MSc, MMath, MSci) at merit or distinction in a relevant subject or equivalent. For best consideration, candidates should either have a Master's degree or expect to finish their Master's qualification before September 2018.

Applicants whose first language is not English must also meet the University's English language requirements.

Applicants for research programmes in Actuarial Science are advised to also double-check the requirements outlined on the CASRI PhD applications page.

How to apply

Applicants are advised to identify a potential supervisor before making a formal application so please familiarise yourself with their research interests using the Meet our researchers links (above, right). Their personal profiles offer more information and frequently a link to a personal website as well. Some supervisors also have specific projects available, see:

You are encouraged to contact the potential supervisor(s) to discuss potential areas for PhD supervision and to name the supervisor on your application form.

Candidates should use the University of Kent online application system.
Make sure that you include:

  • name(s) of proposed supervisor(s)
  • a clear indication of the research area in which you wish to work
  • copy of transcripts of all qualifications including expected or actual degree classifications
  • details of all professional qualifications obtained and any work experience
  • details of experience, if any, of research and teaching
  • academic references
  • how you plan to fund the PhD. If you wish to be considered for a studentship make sure you select 'School Research Scholarship' in the part of the form that asks 'How are you intending to fund your studies?'

Applicants for research programmes in Actuarial Science are advised to also double-check the requirements outlined on the CASRI PhD applications page.

Assessment criteria

All PhD scholarship applications are assessed according to these criteria:

  1. Evidence of the quality of the applicant based on qualifications, performance at undergraduate and postgraduate level, and any relevant professional experience.
  2. Evidence that the applicant is well prepared for doctoral study in their chosen research area based on previous research experience, background knowledge, and comments by referees on suitability for research.
  3. Evidence of the quality and feasibility of the proposed research project.
  4. Evidence that the applicant possesses the qualities required to support and contribute to the school's undergraduate taught programmes.

Shortlisted candidates will invited for interview and performance at interview as well as your online application will be used in deciding who is awarded the scholarships.

School of Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science (SMSAS), Sibson Building, Parkwood Road, Canterbury, CT2 7FS

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Last Updated: 14/02/2019