Applications for admission in September 2018 are open

Prospective candidates are welcome to visit the MPE CDT on the MPE Wednesdays whene there will be an opportunity to:

  • Meet current MPE CDT staff  and students who will be able to advise on available studentships and MPE CDT Programme.
  • Participate in one of the MPE CDT flagship training activity (MPE Wednesdays).

If you wish to register for this activity, please contact us at

Who should apply?

Applications to our fully funded four year doctoral programme are being accepted for the next intake of students who will start in September 2018.  We would like to receive applications from those who have (or expect to receive) a first class degree in mathematics, statistics, physics or closely related subject (or equivalent from other countries, see relevant pages at  Imperial / Reading). No prior knowledge of environmental science is required.

The programme is normally intended for full-time study. However, we will consider sympathetically requests for flexible arrangements including part-time study when there are special circumstances, such as parental or other caring responsibilities, or a disability. Such arrangements will be discussed and agreed after an offer is made for a place on the course.


See funding page for details.

How to apply

Please email your application with attachments (PDF files) to . These should include:

  • Personal Statement. At most two pages describing:
    • Your mathematical interests
    • Aspects of the planet earth theme that particularly interest you
    • Aspects of the MPECDT programme that particularly interest you
    • Your motivation and thoughts on possible career plans
  • CV
  • Contact details of two academic referees
  • Scans of your academic transcript(s)
  • Tell us where you heard about MPE CDT
  • Tell us if you have a preference for being based at Imperial or Reading

We need to know:

  • Would you prefer one institution over the other, and if so in what order.
  • Whether there are any of the two options for which you do not wish to be considered.

This preference will not influence the decision on whether to invite you for interview and you can change this preference after your interview. The preference will also not affect your chances of being offered a place at your first choice institution.

Your CV should include the following information:

  • Nationality
  • Country of birth
  • Country of normal residence for the past 3 years (not including full time education)
  • Country of permanent residence
  • Dates, institutions and qualifications arising (with grades) from all of your higher and further education (since the age of 17)
  • For those currently studying for a degree, the names of the courses and results that they have achieved so far (percentages as well as grades) and their expected final grade
  • Any professional qualifications
  • Employment history
  • Permanent address
  • All correspondence details (address, email and phone numbers)
  • Statement of your fluency in English and (if available) scores of English language tests.

The total size of your application email should not exceed 2MB. This information will be forwarded to the Admissions Team. 

Please also email if you have any informal queries.

Next steps

Selected applicants will be invited for interview. Those who are successful at interview will be offered a place on the four year programme to be based at Reading or Imperial.

Please note decisions regarding international students will be made after this date.

Offers may have conditions attached (eg degree results, language requirements).

Students are offered a place to take the MRes at either Imperial or Reading, resulting in an award of a joint Masters degree.

Subject to sufficient progress on the MRes, student’s interests are matched with PhD supervisors and students will be re-registered as a PhD student at the same location as where their MRes studies were based.

The students enrolled will attend the Kick-off camp, September 2018 in Reading.

Some Useful Mathematics and Tools

We do not have any formal pre-requisites but familiarity with the material below will be helpful for the MRes modules. Support is provided during the programme to fill in any gaps that students might have.

  • Scientific programming (for example in Python)
  • Vector Calculus
  • Linear algebra
  • Fourier analysis
  • Linear PDEs, boundary and initial value problems
  • Axioms of probability, conditional probability, independence
  • Measurable functions and random variables
  • Functional analysis: definition and first properties of Banach and Hilbert spaces, with the fundamental example of Lp spaces