Support and Guidance – original

There are lots of ways to find information and support whilst you are part of SAMBa and you will be supported throughout your PhD from the moment you accept an offer with us.

We can provide support and guidance from the point at which you apply to SAMBa and there are various sources of information and support throughout your PhD.

When you apply

The management team will provide guidance throughout the application and interview process and will respond to your queries. On the interview day itself, you will meet a range of current students and you will also have the opportunity to meet with academics in the Department.

Before you start

From the moment you accept your offer from SAMBa you will become part of the student cohort. Before starting on the programme itself, you will be invited to a selection of SAMBa events and activities and will be assigned a co-factor and first year supervisor to help you settle into the department.


Co-factors are current SAMBa students who have a mentoring role and will be there to support you and to give you advice during your time in SAMBa. You will be assigned a student co-factor ready for your first year, and you'll be expected to act as a co-factor to incoming students in your second year. It is hoped that the co-factor relationship will last throughout the SAMBa experience and beyond. Students also mentor each other informally through ITTs and other SAMBa activities.


First-year supervisors are your academic supervisor during your MRes year. They don't necessarily become your PhD supervisor. They will work closely with the SAMBa management team to help you with unit choices, support you in choosing your thesis project and supervisors, provide guidance on what is expected of you, and generally monitor how you are finding the SAMBa course.

Summer activities

Prior to joining SAMBa, you will be invited to upcoming events such as the SAMBa welcome. This event is for the incoming cohort, and will be held at the beginning of the summer. This will be a chance for you to see the management team again, meet your first year supervisor and co-factors, see a bit more of the University and city, and meet the rest of the SAMBa cohort.

Reading list

You will work with your assigned first year supervisor and co-factor to develop a tailored reading programme. You'll be expected to complete the reading list before starting the SAMBa programme in order to have the best chance to hit the ground running.


During induction week, SAMBa students will be part of the standard University induction as well as having SAMBa-specific social and academic events. This will include talks given by students who started a year earlier.

During your studies

You will be supported throughout your time with SAMBa.

Supervisory Team

During your first year you will be exposed to potential supervisors and you are encouraged to engage widely with opportunities to develop your research interests. Your supervisory team may include people from the Department of Mathematical Sciences, other departments across the University and external organisations/partners. Your supervisory team will provide day-to-day support for your studies. The aim of the supervisory arrangement is to ensure that you have regular access to a breadth of experience, both in your research discipline and in terms of general training and support. As a doctoral student, you are expected to actively engage with supervision in order to get the most out of the research support offered to you.

Director of Studies

Outside of the SAMBa management team, there is a Director of Studies assigned to each part of the programme (MRes Phase and PhD Phase). They are available to help and guide students and supervisors through all aspects of the postgraduate experience.

Management team

The SAMBa management team are available for you to talk to, informally or formally, about all aspects of the programme and your time in SAMBa.

Department of Mathematical Sciences

SAMBa is based in the Department of Mathematical Sciences which has a friendly and supportive student environment and is committed to delivering an inclusive culture that values the diversity of its staff and students.

There are around 80 academic staff and more than 100 postdocs and PhD students in the Department, as well as professional services staff in the Department and SAMBa offices. This is an enormous source of support and information at the hands of students joining.

Social activities

There are weekly student-organised social activities throughout the year as well as larger ad-hoc activities. There are active football and cricket teams, an LGBTQ+ network and a PhD women’s group.


There are a number of Departmental seminars that students are invited to attend. There are also student seminars, including the Postgraduate Seminar Series (PSS). PSS is a weekly seminar that provides a friendly environment for students to share the mathematics they find interesting with their fellow postgraduates. This could be related to their research but certainly doesn’t have to be.


The Bathematicians is a group of mathematicians from the University of Bath, including both undergraduate and postgraduate students. They are focused on communicating how helpful and awesome mathematics can be to the public, whether that be by visiting students in schools or presenting at Science Festivals. This is something that as a PhD student would give added value to your CV at the end of your studies.


The Bath Student Chapter of SIAM and IMA is affiliated with both the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) and the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA) and includes students from across the University of Bath who are interested in mathematics or scientific computing and their real-world applications. It is a group of postgraduate students organising events to share ideas, foster interdisciplinary research, and explore career opportunities. Anyone enrolled as a student at the University of Bath is eligible for free membership of the student chapter. Students with an interest in mathematics and its applications from across the university are encouraged to join.

Women in Maths

The Department is a supporter of the London Mathematical Society Good Practice Scheme. Funds are available to cover expenses of staff and postgraduate students wishing to attend Women in Mathematics events or other related activities. The Department has a Women in Maths network which provides a welcoming environment for maths students who identify as female or non-binary, and to encourage interactions between mathematicians.


MASH is the institutional mathematics resources centre which can offer help with maths and stats problems for all students at the University of Bath. You can go to them for help, or as a PhD student you can also be involved in working for them.

Maths Jam

Maths Jam is a monthly opportunity for like-minded self-confessed maths enthusiasts to get together in a pub and share stuff they like. Puzzles, games, problems, or just anything they think is cool or interesting.

High-performance computing

SAMBa students have access to the University’s high-performance computing service.

University support services

Doctoral College

The Doctoral College oversees all PhD study at the University and plays a key role in developing policy and strategy relevant to doctoral study. They run frequent events to bring PhD researchers from across campus together and provide a programme of skills training. The Doctoral College also ensures that you meet key milestones during your research project and processes requests for suspensions or extensions.

Student Support

Student Support provides students with support and guidance, including counselling and mental health, disability support, money management and international student advice.