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Department of Mathematics

Two students with model of volcano

Schools, colleges and the public

Engaging our communities and educating the next generation of maths students is hugely important to our Department and the University.

Through various events and activities we hope to encourage more young people to follow an academic path centred on maths.

Activities for schools and colleges

As a Department with a notable history of success in maths, we run a series of events and competitions to show school students the fun side of the subject.

We want to fill young people with enthusiasm for mathematics. We wish to illustrate the beauty and satisfaction that can be found in the subject to motivate them to study Mathematics at A level, degree level and beyond.

We run a range of activities for secondary school pupils, designed to show the fun and stimulating aspects of mathematics. Below you can find upcoming events, puzzles to try at home and useful information for teachers.


MathsBombe is an online competition open to all students in Years 12 and 13 and below (England and Wales), S5 and S6 and below (Scotland) and Years 13 and 14 and below (Northern Ireland). It is, however, primarily aimed at pupils currently studying for their A-level exams.

Every fortnight a new chapter is released online consisting of two mathematical puzzles. The puzzles will be fun and quirky, and you'll need to think fast to solve them.

Find out more on the MathsBombe website.

mA*ths Online Programme

We are delighted to announce The University of Manchester as the northern partner for the mA*ths Online Programme for the 2023/24 academic year.

We have worked with colleagues at Imperial College, London to create 50 places for Y12 pupils from Greater Manchester to take part in The University of Manchester strand of this programme.

Selected pupils will visit the University of Manchester campus for masterclasses, receive study support from Undergraduates and Postgraduates, and take part in the mA*ths Online Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCS) designed to directly enhance their understanding of the A Level Maths curriculum.

This initiative runs in collaboration with Mathematics in Education and Industry (MEI) and Imperial College, London and is intended to support students with the academic ability to achieve A* / A at A’ Level reach their full academic potential in their Maths studies. The programme is targeted at pupils from communities underrepresented in Higher Education.

This programme is targeted at pupils from communities less well represented in Higher Education.

Find out more and apply

Taking Maths Further

We organise several one-day 'Taking Maths Further' events throughout the year, usually for a group of schools for (mainly) Year 10 students.

The day includes maths talks, puzzles, a careers talk and information on studying mathematics at university. There is no charge, and lunch is provided.

The Alan Turing Cryptography Competition

Mathematical Modelling Day

This event is aimed at year 12 students and held in June. Mathematics is used to solve real world problems from internet security to modelling the stock market.

Our Maths Modelling Day will give you a chance to do some modelling and problem solving with mathematicians. The day also includes information about the Extended Project Qualification.

A picture of Alan Turing on a coded background

The Advanced Maths Support Programme - Manchester

The Advanced Mathematics Support Programme is a government-funded initiative, managed by MEI. It aims to increase participation in Core Maths, AS/A level Mathematics and Further Mathematics, and improve the teaching of these level 3 maths qualifications.

The programme provides national support for teachers and students in state-funded schools and colleges in England. Additional support is offered in areas of low social mobility so that, whatever their gender, background or location, students can choose their best post-16 maths pathway and have access to high quality teaching.

Locally support for schools is coordinated by Abigail Bown based in the Department of Mathematics.

If you like breaking codes and solving ciphers then the Alan Turing Cryptography Competition could be for you.

The competition is aimed at secondary school children up to Year 11 (England and Wales), S4 (Scotland) and Year 12 (Northern Ireland). You don't need to be a computer whizz or a mathematical genius - you just need to keep your wits about you and be good at solving problems.

Find out more at the Cryptography Competition website.

Women in Maths Research Day

This event is for year 10 and 12 students and held in June.  From Ada Lovelace to Emmy Noether, women are the unsung heroes of mathematics.  Come along and find out about the fascinating work of our female mathematicians.

Activities for families and the public

We present and highlight the elegance and power of Mathematics to broader communities at a range of events, including local and national science fairs.