The Curriculum


The AIMS Master’s in Mathematical Sciences is a ten month programme with two intakes each year (January and August). The curriculum runs over 3 semesters described below. There is an oral defense of the research project at the end of the academic year followed by a graduation ceremony.

Semester 1 Skills courses: These are designed to provide introductory and foundational material to the students, and are structured to achieve pre-defined outcomes, with little flexibility in their content. All courses are compulsory.

Semester 2 Review Courses: These are fundamentally different in that they include a wide range of topical issues and are more flexibly designed. Students are required to complete 2 out of the 3 available review courses in each time slot, a total of 12. The 3 choices in each time slot will be balanced with respect to focus on mathematics, physics and interdisciplinary topics such as computer science, mathematical biology, mathematical finance, and more. The ongoing communication skills and computing classes are compulsory:

Please click here to apply to teach a course at an AIMS centre.

Semester 3 Research Project phase: During the three-month long Research project students work on a research topic with a supervisor, usually from a South African university. Students are not expected to do original work to achieve a passing grade. However, the criterion for an outstanding research project is broadly that it could constitute the early part of a Research Master’s thesis. For example, it could be publishable in a journal, or form an outstanding introduction to the field that could be used by other students entering the area.During this phase targeted communication skills and computing classes may continue, at the lecturers’ discretion. The purpose of the research project is:

  • to give students the opportunity to work with an expert supervisor on a research project;
  • to go through the process of independently reviewing, understanding and explaining scientific or mathematical material;
  • to optionally do experiments — on a computer or otherwise — and report the results;
  • to write a scientific report.

Please click here to submit a research project topic.