You will join a team of researchers investigating the teaching and learning of Mathematics in Higher Education.

The team has expertise in the use of technology for teaching and assessing mathematics and developing strategies for lecturers’ development. We welcome proposals on the transition from school to university mathematics and on the teaching, learning and  assessment of Mathematics at the university level, preferably through the use of  technology 

TRAining opportunities

Every student has access to subject specific learning opportunities, broader mathematical training, as well as a range of generic skills training.

Every student can access any of the mathematical & generic skills training activities offered by The Maxwell Institute Training Programme

This theme offers subject specific learning opportunities such as:

  • Students will be able to engage in Education courses offered by the Moray House School of Education and enhance the understanding of the pedagogies underpinning their research project.
  • We run regular research seminars on pedagogy and teaching in the mathematical sciences. 

Potential PhD Projects

Some examples of potential Mathematics Education PhD projects offered by supervisors in the University of Edinburgh.

  1. Learning mathematics with Lean
    The use of interactive theorem provers (ITPs) such as Lean ( is a new and exciting development in mathematics research: these systems are now used both to formalise existing theorems and aid the development of new ones. ITPs have also made their way into the teaching of mathematics, both at undergraduate and postgraduate level for some time now, but their pedagogical potential is still unknown. TEMSE offers exciting opportunities to research the affordances and drawbacks of using such systems in teaching first year mathematics, a topic at the cutting edge of technology-aided mathematics teaching. 
  2. Effective design of e-assessment feedback
    Expert teachers often seek to limit their feedback interventions to the minimum necessary, and engage students in conversations. In contrast, most e-assessment feedback is provided all at once, e.g. providing a full model solution for a mathematics problem. This suggests it may be possible to improve the way e-assessment supports students’ learning, by designing feedback to emulate a “process of scaffolding and fading, of moving from directed through indirect prompts to spontaneous use by the student” (Mason, 2000, p. 99). The project will involve surveying topics in undergraduate courses that may be amenable to this approach and developing prototypes of these different feedback approaches in an e-assessment system. Through cycles of design research, the novel approaches will be tested with small groups of students, and the results will inform plans for a larger trial.
  3. Designing an online  diagnostic test for algebra
    This project will undertake basic research with a view to developing an online diagnostic test for addressing algebraic misconceptions in undergraduate mathematics. Research will establish the students’ significant misconceptions in algebra, and further establish validity and reliability of the online diagnostic tests of algebra concepts. The online diagnostic test will be used with students, and further work will understand how students perceive the online diagnostic test of algebra and the effectiveness of the feedback in enhancing students’ achievement in algebra.

More information

To join the theme as a PhD student, apply for the PhD in Mathematics Education at the University of Edinburgh.
For more information about our research groups and activities, visit the Maxwell Institute Graduate School page.