Lincoln College


We're delighted that you're thinking about applying to read Maths at Lincoln. We hope that you will find the information you want on this page. If not, please feel free to e-mail the Admissions Office who will make sure that queries are passed to the appropriate tutor.

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Courses offered

BA/MMath in Mathematics (3 or 4 years)

BA/MMath in Mathematics and Statistics (3 or 4 years)

Lincoln’s total intake is typically 8 students (including 1 or 2 for Maths and Stats), which makes us a medium-to-large sized college for Mathematics.

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What makes Mathematics at Lincoln special?

Having four tutors in mathematics at Lincoln allows us to offer tutorials in pairs in all of the mathematics topics in the first two years, rather than larger classes, and hence to pay special attention to the progress of our students. 

Our students perform strongly in Finals. Over the last six years, 25 out of a total of 54 achieved a First in their BA examinations at the end of the third year. Our students have gone on to a range of excellent careers from teaching and academia (including postgraduate study at Oxford, Cambridge and in the United States) to highly paid jobs in finance (including JP Morgan, UBS, Merrill Lynch) and even GCHQ. 

Lincoln also has a reputation as a friendly college and the mathematicians are no exception! A real community spirit is present within the mathematicians in a given year group: many students choose to attend lectures and work together and benefit from the opportunity to learn different ways of looking at things whilst developing their own style.

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Typical workload

All lectures are held in the Mathematical Institute - the Andrew Wiles Building - 10 minutes' walk from Lincoln. In the first year, there are two lectures each morning (Monday-Friday).

As well as lectures, Lincoln students typically have 3-4 tutorials per week. Tutorials happen in pairs and involve discussing your solutions to problem sheets set by lecturers. You should expect to spend around six hours working on each problem sheet, though of course this will vary. You will find that, perhaps unlike  homework for school, you have to keep thinking about the problems on these sheets - sometimes going for a walk and coming back to it later helps! In any case, while the work is hard, the satisfaction that comes from persevering and solving these problems is very real and helps you develop a deep understanding of the material.  

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Admissions @ Lincoln

All those who apply to read Mathematics at Lincoln sit the Mathematics Admissions Test (MAT) in November at their school or college. Based on the result of the MAT and information on UCAS forms, candidates are shortlisted for interviews in Oxford.

Shortlisted candidates who named Lincoln as their first choice college will then have two 25-30 minute interviews with Lincoln’s tutors. The aim of this interview is to see how you think, rather than what you have already been taught. Our aim is to challenge you and assess whether you would benefit from the particular style of teaching at Oxford. You may find the Mathematical Institute's Interviews page helpful.

The standard A level offer is A*A*A with both A*s being in Mathematics and Further Mathematics. You can find details of the standard offer for other exam systems, or if you do not study Further Maths, here. While our offers are based exclusively on A level results (or their equivalent), we encourage all prospective students to do as much mathematics as they can and especially to study past STEP and AEA papers if possible.

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The tutors

Lincoln has four full-time tutors in Mathematics, two in each of Pure and Applied Mathematics. 

Pure Mathematics        

Dr Ursel Kiehne is a lecturer in Pure Mathematics. She focuses on the Algebra courses, as well as related subjects such as Number Theory. Dr Kiehne will  be retiring in 2018, after 32 years as a Lincoln tutor.  A new Fellow will join the Maths team in 2019. 
Dr Qian Wang teaches the Analysis courses for Lincoln’s students. Crudely put, this is how to do Calculus properly!

Applied Mathematics  

Prof. Dominic Vella teaches several courses in Applied Mathematics including Dynamics (similar to Mechanics at school) and the Calculus techniques courses.


Dr Matthew Moore teaches several applied first- and second-year Mathematics courses as well  tutoring the the first year Physics students in for their Mathematics papers.  


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Testimonial from a recent graduate: Alex Mitchell (now in Sales at J. P. Morgan)

I look back on my time at Lincoln with fond memories.  After attending the College Open Day I knew that Lincoln was the College that I wanted to apply to: it was small and friendly, had a good ratio of maths tutors to students, and, importantly, had a reputation for good food!  

Lincoln is also renowned for its tight-knit community; a College where you can form lasting friendships with people not only in your year group, but also in others.  This close community feel was also the case amongst my maths peers.  We would regularly meet and discuss, over a cup of tea, common issues we were facing on our weekly problem sheets, as well as organising termly maths curries.  This positive, collegiate environment to my mathematical undergraduate studies undoubtedly helped with my overall understanding of the course. 

The tutorial system at Oxford offers an almost unique experience - an opportunity to discuss problems and questions you have with leading experts in their field and usually just one other student.  Working in this setting not only helped reinforce the material I learnt in lectures, but also helped to develop my ability to analyse, articulate, and discuss complex ideas clearly and concisely –  skills that I find myself using daily in my career. All of my tutors were fantastic in offering me support throughout my time at Lincoln, both academically and pastorally, without which I wouldn't have been able to achieve all the things I did in my time at Lincoln.

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