Overview of MPLS Division
The MPLS Division is home to the non-medical sciences at Oxford.
The 10 academic departments in MPLS span the full spectrum of the mathematical, computational, physical, engineering and life sciences, and undertake both fundamental research and cutting-edge applied work. Research in MPLS tackles major societal and technological challenges – whether developing new energy solutions or improved cancer treatments, understanding climate change processes, or helping to preserve biodiversity, and is increasingly focused on key interdisciplinary issues. We collaborate closely with colleagues in Oxford across the medical sciences, social sciences and humanities, and with other universities, research organisations and industrial partners across the globe in pursuit of innovative research geared to address critical and fundamental scientific questions.
The disciplines within the MPLS Division appear at the highest levels in world rankings, with Oxford’s mathematical, physical and life sciences research regularly identified as one of the most significant recipients of grant funding in Europe.
MPLS is proud to be the home of some of the most creative and innovative scientific thinkers and leaders working in academe. Our senior researchers have been awarded some of the most significant scientific honours, including the most recent award of a Nobel Prize for Physics 2020 to Sir Roger Penrose. Within MPLS we are as focused on the next generation as we are on those who have gone before, having a strong tradition of attracting and nurturing the very best early career researchers who regularly secure prestigious fellowships and faculty positions.
MPLS continues in its work to support diversity in its staffing, seeing that it will bring benefits to everyone. All academic departments in the Division hold Athena Swan Awards (The Athena Swan Charter encourages and recognises commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine employment in higher education and research.)
We have around 7,000 full and part-time students (including approximately 3,500 graduate students) and play a major role in training the next generation of leading scientists. Oxford's international reputation for excellence in teaching is reflected in its position at the top of the major league tables and subject assessments. MPLS academics educate students of high academic merit and potential from all over the world. Through a mixture of lectures, practical work and the distinctive college tutorial system, students develop their ability to solve major mathematical, scientific and engineering problems.
MPLS is dedicated to bringing the wonder and potential of science to the attention of audiences far beyond the world of academia. We have a strong commitment to supporting public engagement in science through initiatives including the Oxford Sparks portal and Science Together programme. These are complemented by a large variety of outreach activities; these are crucial activities given so many societal and technological issues demand an understanding of the science that underpins them. We also bring the potential of our scientific efforts forward for practical and beneficial application to the real world and our desire, aided by the work of Oxford University Innovation and Oxford Science Enterprises, is to link our best scientific minds with industry and public policy makers.