Why choose Girton?

Although Girton is a relatively young college (celebrating only its 150th anniversary in 2019!), it has produced some impressive mathematicians. Dame Mary Cartwright was the longest-serving Mistress and an eminent mathematician, whose achievements included the foundations of chaos theory. Her portrait near the front of the dining hall is an inspiration for current students. She was one of a trio of distinguished Girton mathematicians whose lives spanned most of the twentieth century, the other two being Lady Jeffreys, well-known for “Methods of Mathematical Physics” which she wrote with her husband, and Olga Taussky-Todd, who went on to become the first female professor at Caltech.

Current Girton mathematicians form a close and supportive group. The size of the group (not too large, not too small) means that the students and Fellows get to know each other well, and the ethos is not of competitiveness but of each student reaching his or her potential. Students come from all backgrounds, all types of school and many different countries (from Eastern Europe to South-East Asia) and friendships are forged which last a lifetime (one group from the 1980s still go on holiday together!).

Every three years or so we have a maths careers evening, at which recent Girton graduates in many different types of jobs talk enthusiastically about their experiences. The current students find this particularly interesting and useful.

Undergraduate information

The Headquarters of Cambridge mathematics, the Centre for Mathematical Sciences, is a modern purpose-built complex, with a full range of facilities. From the third year on, lectures are held there, plus many supervisions at all levels. The Central Core houses the Maths Cafe – the room is usually buzzing with activity as the students drink coffee, discuss mathematics and work at the tables. It is a popular meeting place for students and staff alike. The Maths faculty is top-rated in the country and it is very exciting for the students to be part of an extremely talented group and to be taught by some of the world’s leading researchers. The Mathematical Sciences Library is an interesting circular building on the same site, and it is complemented by the Girton library which has an excellent selection of maths books, covering all undergraduate courses.

Graduate information

Girton usually has a large number of students arriving with degrees from elsewhere, to study Maths Part III for the MASt degree, or the MSc in Computational Biology. They are part of the large and lively graduate community in Girton, which has research seminars and dinners together, as well as other social events. There are also a number of Girtonians doing PhDs in mathematics, forming a truly international community, currently from Belarus, Bulgaria, Iran, Luxembourg, Portugal and the UK, working on topics ranging from group theory to fluid mechanics to high energy physics!

Research and postgraduate students are admitted to the University by the Board of Graduate Studies. They must therefore apply centrally and not to the College. However, they must be admitted to a College to be able to study at the University; there is space on the application form to allow students to choose which College they wish to join.

Career destinations

Gone are the days when the only career path for most Girton maths graduates was teaching in a school – some still do though, and love it. Other careers include university teaching, financial work in the City, accountancy, actuarial work, software development, starting and running web-based companies, environmental science, economics, medical statistics and mathematical biology. Maths graduates are rarely unemployed; many companies are eager to employ them, even in jobs that are not directly related to maths but where the logical thinking and problem-solving skills acquired by studying maths are invaluable.

Undergraduate admissions at a glance

No. of students admitted per year


Entry requirements (A-Level or equivalent)

A level Mathematics and A Level Further Mathematics are essential, A level Physics is useful.

Typical offer


Two grades 1 in STEP

For details of other examination systems please see our Offer Table

Interview arrangements

Two interviews (plus a third in Physics for Maths with Physics candidates), during which candidates are given a number of problems to attempt


Tutorial and Admissions Office
+44 (0)1223 338972
+44 (0)1223 766673

Fellows & Teaching Staff

Dr Ross Lawther

  • Director of Studies
  • Official Fellow