• For Entry: September
  • Duration: 4 years
  • School: Science & Engineering
  • Study Abroad: Yes
  • Study Mode: Full Time

Mathematical Biology involves using mathematical techniques and computational tools to answer problems that arise in Biology. New and exciting challenges in the life sciences are now being met using mathematical modelling, which is having a direct impact on health, social and ecological aspects of modern life.

The BSc in Mathematical Biology is the only dedicated undergraduate mathematical biology degree offered in the UK. We also offer a four or five year MSci.

Our course offers a unique blend of modern mathematics applied to important biological processes. For example, mathematics can be used to understand how cells in a tumour grow.

The BSc (Hons) Mathematical Biology is a degree programme certified by the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications.

Research-led teaching

We believe that undergraduates are best served by studying in a division that is active in research to the highest level, and we are fortunate in having an excellent international reputation for our research work, with a dedicated Mathematical Biology Research Group. Our courses are taught by those who have great enthusiasm for their subject, a dedication to it, and an appreciation of the needs of students.

We are a relatively small division and operate with an excellent staff/student ratio. One advantage of this is that we can get to know each student personally, and so can offer a friendly and supportive learning experience. Staff are ready and willing to help at all levels, and in addition, our Student-Staff Committee meets regularly to discuss matters of importance to our students.

Computing facilities

Computing power is used extensively in modern mathematics. You will have access to well-equipped PC suites, and be able to use specialist Mathematics software packages.

Student society

You will be able to join DUMaS (Dundee University Maths Society), an active society open to all students studying Mathematics or Mathematical Biology.

The following are the minimum, up-to-date entry requirements.

Courses starting 2017
Qualification Level 1 Entry Advanced Entry to Level 2
SQA Higher/Advanced Higher BBBB (minimum) - AABB (typical) at Higher including mathematics at B plus either biology or physics at B, and chemistry at C AB at Advanced Higher including mathematics at A, plus AB at Higher in different subjects, including chemistry and biology at B (with at least one of them at Advanced Higher and the other at Higher)
GCE A-Level BCC (minimum) - BBB (typical) including A-Level mathematics at B, plus either A-Level biology or physics at B, and AS Level chemistry at C BBC - ABB at A-Level including A-Level mathematics at A, and chemistry and biology at B (with at least one of them at A-Level and the other at AS Level)
Irish Leaving Certificate (ILC) AABB at Higher Level including Higher Level mathematics plus either biology or physics at B, and chemistry at C Level 2 entry is not possible with this qualification
International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma 30 points at Higher Level grades 5, 5, 5 to include mathematics plus either biology or physics, and chemistry.
A combination of IB Certificate plus other qualifications, such as A-Levels, Advanced Placement Tests or the International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme (IBCP), will also be considered.
34 points at Higher Level grades 6, 6, 5 to include mathematics at grade 6, and chemistry and biology at grade 5
Graduate Entry
BTEC A relevant BTEC Extended Diploma with DDM A relevant HND with Merits in appropriate Science/Mathematics modules
A relevant BTEC Extended Diploma with DDD
SQA Higher National (HNC/HND) A relevant HNC with B in the Graded Unit including Mathematics for Engineering 1 A relevant HNC with A in the Graded Unit including Mathematics for Engineering 1 and 120 SCQF points
A relevant HND with BB in the Graded Units including Mathematics for Engineering 2
Scottish Baccalaureate Pass with BC at Advanced Higher in Mathematics and a Science/Engineering subject Distinction with AB at Advanced Higher in Mathematics and a Science/Engineering subject
SWAP Access Relevant science subjects with ABB grades including Mathematics and Physics Units at SCQF Level 6 Level 2 entry is not possible with this qualification
Advanced Diploma Grade B with ASL-A Levels at AB in Mathematics and a Science/Engineering subject Grade B with ASL-A Level at AA in Mathematics and a Science/Engineering subject
Welsh Baccalaureate Pass with A level at AB in Mathematics and a Science/Engineering subject Pass with A level at AA in Mathematics and a Science/Engineering subject
European Baccalaureate 70% overall with 7 in Mathematics 75% overall with 7.5 in Mathematics
Other Qualifications

 EU and International qualifications

English Language Requirement

For non EU students

IELTS Overall 6.0
Listening 5.5
Reading 5.5
Writing 6.0
Speaking 5.5

 Equivalent grades from other test providers


English Language Programmes

We offer Pre-Sessional and Foundation Programme(s) throughout the year. These are designed to prepare you for university study in the UK when you have not yet met the language requirements for direct entry onto a degree programme.

 Discover our English Language Programmes

How you will be taught

You will learn by traditional methods such as lectures, tutorials, and workshops as well as via computer assisted learning. From Level 2 onwards we teach the use of professional mathematical software packages in order to allow you to explore mathematics far beyond the limits of traditional teaching.  This also prepares you for the way in which Mathematicians work in finance, industry and research.

Our excellent staff student ratio allows for close contact between students and lecturers and provides a lively learning environment.  For example, we run "Maths Base'', a drop-in facility in the Division, which provides another source of help with your studies over and above what you can expect from your lectures and tutorials.

How you will be assessed

Assessment for most modules involves a final examination and takes into account varying amounts of continuous assessment, including assignments and class tests.

What you will study

MSci Honours Degree

An MSci honours degree normally takes five years, full time, you study levels 1-5, as described below.

BSc Honours Degree

An honours degree normally takes four years, full time, you study levels 1-4, as described below.

Advanced Entry Honours Degree

It is possible to study for the MSci or BSc honours degree in one year less if you have the required grades and subjects as listed in the Entry Requirements section. You study levels 2-4 for the BSc or 2-5 for the MSci. There are definite advantages to considering this route as the time needed to study is reduced by one year which enables you to start working and earning earlier.

Typical Degree Programme

Level 1

The Mathematics modules at Level 1 provide you with an introduction to university mathematics, following on from material that you will have studied at school. Two thirds of your time is spent studying Life Science modules to give you the Biological background required. Modules:

  • Mathematics 1A: Topics include Functions, Differential Calculus, Polynomials, Series, Trigonometry.
  • Mathematics 1B: Topics include Application of differentiation to curve sketching, Integral calculus, Vector and matrix geometry, Matrices and linear equations, Three-dimensional geometry, Complex numbers.
  • Life: Building the organism
  • Life: The underlying structures
  • Introduction to the Life Sciences: The Early Years
  • Introduction to the Life Sciences: Why go multicellular?
  • Laboratory and Research Skills 1-4

Level 2

At Level 2 students taking a degree fully within Mathematics take either 4 or 5 modules in Mathematics, with the remaining 1 or 2 modules being taken in a subject of their choice.  Joint degrees typically involve a 50-50 split between Mathematics and the other subject. Modules:

  • Mathematics 2A : Vectors and vectors spaces, inner products, matrices and linear equations, introductory differential equations, further differentiation and integration.
  • Mathematics 2B: Independence and bases, determinants, eigenvalues and eigenvectors, linear transformations, functions of several variables, multivariable calculus.
  • Discrete Mathematics: Sets and graphs, combinatorics, recurrence relations, difference equations, Markov chains, and game theory.
  • Computer Algebra and Dynamical Systems: This module provides an introduction to the computer algebra software Maple and then subsequently uses this software to explore some simple dynamical systems.
  • The Gene and the Cell
  • Biological Sciences
  • The Evolution of Modern Life

Levels 3 and 4

Third and fourth year modules are designed to cover both Mathematical and Biological topics related to Mathematical Biology. Mathematics topics will include:

  • Differential equations
  • Mathematical methods (Vector calculus; integrations over curves, surfaces, volumes; potentials)
  • Mathematical biology I
  • Mathematical biology II
  • Ordinary differential equations and their approximation
  • Partial differential equations and their approximation
  • Personal transferable skills
  • Personal project in mathematical biology

Two further maths modules can be chosen from the following topics:

  • Real analysis
  • Operational research
  • Fundamentals of scientific computing (using the software package Matlab)
  • Differential geometry
  • Mathematics of fluids and plasmas I (Fluid dynamics)
  • Complex analysis
  • Graph theory

You will also take six modules in Life Sciences:

  • Genetics
  • Gene regulation and expression
  • Bioinformatics
  • Practical project
  • Two advanced Biology modules

Level 5

This year is only followed by the MSci Honours students. Students undertake a year-long personal project as well as studying the following modules:

  • Dynamical systems
  • Computational modelling and programming
  • Mathematical oncology
  • Mathematical ecology & epidemiology
  • Mathematical physiology

plus one of

  • Statistics & stochastic processes
  • Inverse problems

Mathematics is central to the sciences, and to the development of a prosperous, modern society. The demand for people with mathematical qualifications is considerable, and a degree in mathematics is a highly marketable asset.

Mathematics graduates are consistently amongst those attracting the highest graduate salaries and can choose from an ever-widening range of careers in research, industry, science, engineering, commerce, finance and education.

Exciting new applications of mathematical biology are opening up yet more career options in the biotech industries. Here you could be involved in designing new anti-cancer drugs or new treatment regimes for patients with diabetes.

Even if you do not take your mathematics any further than university, employers know that mathematics graduates are intelligent, logical problem solvers. With this training behind you, the career options become almost limitless.

The fees you pay will depend on your fee status. Your fee status is determined by us using the information you provide on your application.

 Find out more about fee status

Fees for students starting 2017/18

Fee categoryFees for students starting 2017/18
Scottish and EU students £1,820 per year of study (for Sept 2016 entry). Fees for September 2017 will be confirmed by the Scottish Government in early 2017.
Rest of UK students BSc - £9,250 per year, for a maximum of 3 years, even if you are studying a four year degree. MSci - £9,250 per year, for a maximum of 4 years, even if you are studying a five year degree. See our scholarships for rest of UK applicants.
Overseas students (non-EU) £17,950 per year of study. See our scholarships for international applicants.

Scottish and EU students can apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have tuition fees paid by the Scottish Government.

Rest of the UK students can apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of the tuition fees, from the Student Loans Company.

Tuition fees for Overseas (non-EU) students are guaranteed for the length of your course. This means that the tuition fee you pay in your first year (shown above) is the same fee you will pay for each year of your course. We guarantee that this will not increase while you are studying with us. The only exceptions to this are our MBChB Medicine, BSc Medical Sciences and BDS Dentistry degrees which charge a different tuition for the clinical years.

  Degree UCAS Code KIS Data
Apply NowMathematical Biology BSc (Hons)CG11
Apply NowMathematical Biology MSciGC11