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Mathematical Biology

BSc (Hons), MSci (Hons)

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.

Why study Mathematical Biology at Dundee?

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.

When you study here, you'll benefit from all the advantages of being a Mathematics undergraduate and will also be part of the world-renowned College of Life Sciences at Dundee.

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.

What's so good about Mathematical Biology at Dundee?

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.

"The best aspect of study at Dundee is the enthusiasm of lecturers. With a small department, communication between lecturers and students is very good."
Final year student comment from the National Student Survey 2010

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.

Degrees Offered

  • BSc Mathematical Biology
  • MSci Mathematical Biology

Related Courses at Dundee

Teaching & Assessment

The Mathematics degrees are taught by the Division of Mathematics.

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.

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 most of our honours degrees 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 cover calculus, algebra, geometry and trigonometry. They will 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.

  • Maths 1A
  • Maths 1B
  • Life: Building the organism
  • Life: The underlying structures
  • Laboratory and Research Skills 1-4
Level 2

Two Level 2 modules extend topics in calculus and linear algebra covered at Level 1. Another pair of Mathematics modules at Level 2 will give you an introduction to Statistics and Discrete Mathematics and Computer Algebra and Dynamical Systems.

The remaining modules are taken from Life Sciences.

  • Mathematics 2A
  • Mathematics 2B
  • Statistics and Discrete Mathematics
  • Computer Algebra and Dynamical Systems
  • The Gene and the Cell
  • Biological Sciences
  • The Evolution of Modern Life
Level 3 and 4

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

  • Mathematical Methods
  • Differential Equations
  • Mathematical Biology I
  • Mathematical Biology II
  • Ordinary Differential Equations and their Approximation
  • Partial Differential Equations
  • Personal Transferable Skills
  • Personal Project

Two further maths modules can be chosen from:

  • Analysis
  • Complex Analysis
  • Differential Geometry
  • Fundamentals of Scientific Computing
  • Graph Theory
  • Operational Research
  • Mathematics of Fluids and Plasmas I

You will also take four modules in Life Sciences:

  • Genome Science
  • Molecular and Cell Biology
  • Two advanced Biology modules

Level 5

This year is only followed by the MSci Honours students.

  • Mathematical Methods
  • Computational Modelling
  • Research Methodology
  • Communication Skills
  • Mathematical Oncology
  • Mathematical Ecology & Epidemiology
  • Mathematical Physiology
  • Mathematical Biology Project

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.

Careers

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.

Postgraduate Study

Some of our graduates choose to go on to further study. Here at Dundee we have research opportunities with our active Mathematical Biology Research Group and also offer a taught MSc in Mathematical Biology.

Entry Requirements

The following are the typical requirements, please note qualifications have to be obtained at the first sitting of examinations.

Please note that the entry requirements in our printed prospectus may be subject to change. The entry requirements listed below are up to date and should be referred to in case of any discrepancy.

Please note that the entry requirements in our printed prospectus may be subject to change. The entry requirements listed below are up to date and should be referred to in case of any discrepancy.

Courses starting September 2014

Level 1 entry

Qualification Minimum Grades Typical Grades
SQA Higher BBBB AABB
GCE A-Level BCC BBB
ILC Higher BBBB AABB
IB Diploma 32 points (including 6, 5, 5 at Higher Level)
Essential Subjects Mathematics at grade A (SQA Higher, ILC Higher or IB Higher Level), or Mathematics at grade B (GCE A-level)
A Science at SQA Higher, GCE A-Level, ILC Higher or IB Higher Level
Chemistry
at Standard Grade, Intermediate 2, GCSE, ILC Ordinary Level or IB Subsidiary Level
EU & International Visit our EU and International webpages for entry requirements tailored to your home country

Advanced Entry (to Level 2)

Qualification Minimum Grades Typical Grades
SQA Advanced Higher   AB (Advanced Higher) and AB (Higher) in different subjects
GCE A-Level BBC ABB
IB Diploma 34 points (including 6, 6, 5 at Higher Level)
Essential Subjects Mathematics at A at SQA Advanced Higher, GCE A-Level or IB Higher Level
Biology at SQA Advanced Higher, GCE A-Level or IB Higher Level
Chemistry
at Standard Grade, Intermediate 2, GCSE or IB Subsidiary Level

Other Qualifications

Qualification Grade
SQA

A relevant HNC with B in the Graded Unit including Mathematics for Engineering 1 (Level 1 entry)
A relevant HNC with A in the Graded Unit including Mathematics for Engineering 1 and 120 SCQF points (Level 2 entry)
A relevant HND with BB in the Graded Units including Mathematics Engineering 2 (Level 2 entry)

Scottish Baccalaureate Pass with BC at Advanced Higher in Mathematics and a Science/Engineering subject (Level 1 entry)
Distinction with AB (MEng) at Advanced Higher in Mathematics and a Science/Engineering subject (Level 2 entry)
SWAP Access Programme Relevant science subjects with ABB grades including Mathematics and Physics Units at SCQF Level 6 (Level 1 entry)
EDEXCEL

A relevant BTEC Extended Diploma with DDM (Level 1 entry)
A relevant HND with Merits in appropriate Science/Mathematics modules (Level 2 entry)
A relevant BTEC Extended Diploma with DDD (Level 2 entry)

Advanced Diploma Grade B with ASL-A Levels at AB in Mathematics and a Science/Engineering subject (Level 1 entry)
Grade B with ASL-A Level at AA in Mathematics and a Science/Engineering subject (Level 2 entry)
Welsh Baccalaureate Pass with A level at AB in Mathematics and a Science/Engineering subject (Level 1 entry)
Pass with A level at AA in Mathematics and a Science/Engineering subject (Level 2 entry)
European Baccalaureate

70% overall with 7 in Mathematics and a Science (Level 1 entry)
75% overall with 7.5 in Mathematics and Biology (Level 2 entry)

Applicants with alternative overseas qualifications should visit the relevant country page on our International website.

Courses starting September 2015

Level 1 entry

Qualification Minimum Grades Typical Grades
SQA Higher BBBB AABB
GCE A-Level BCC BBB
ILC Higher BBBB AABB
IB Diploma 30 points (including 5, 5, 5 at Higher Level)
Essential Subjects Mathematics at grade B (SQA Higher, GCE A-level, ILC Higher or IB Higher Level)
A Science at SQA Higher, GCE A-Level, ILC Higher or IB Higher Level
Chemistry
at Standard Grade, National 5, Intermediate 2, GCSE, ILC Ordinary Level or IB Subsidiary Level
EU & International Visit our EU and International webpages for entry requirements tailored to your home country

Advanced Entry (to Level 2)

Qualification Minimum Grades Typical Grades
SQA Advanced Higher   AB (Advanced Higher) and AB (Higher) in different subjects
GCE A-Level BBC ABB
IB Diploma 34 points (including 6, 6, 5 at Higher Level)
Essential Subjects Mathematics at A at SQA Advanced Higher, GCE A-Level or IB Higher Level
Biology at SQA Advanced Higher, GCE A-Level or IB Higher Level
Chemistry
at Standard Grade, National 5, Intermediate 2, GCSE or IB Subsidiary Level
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English Language Pre-Sessional Programmes

We offer Pre-Sessional programmes and Foundation Programme(s) which are designed to prepare you for university study, the 24 week and 10 week programmes provide additional English Language tuition for students who do not meet our minimum English Language requirements by up to 1.0 IELTS and 0.5 IELTS respectively. Successful completion of these programmes guarantees progression to various degrees at the University of Dundee as long as you hold a relevant offer. The 30 week (one Academic Year) Foundation Programme(s) allow applicants who have not met our typical academic entry requirements, and require additional English Language support by up to 1.0 to 1.5 IELTS, to gain the necessary qualifications to enter the University of Dundee degree programmes in the following year.

Fees and Funding

There have been many changes to the arrangements for funding students entering higher education in recent years, yet a degree from the University of Dundee, with its high rate of employment success, remains a cost-effective option.

The fees you pay will, in most cases, depend on your current country of residence.

The fee shown is annual, and may be subject to an increase each year.

Fee category Fees for students starting September 2014
Scottish students £1,820 per year of study.
You can apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have your tuition fees paid by the Scottish government.
Students from the rest of the UK £9,000 per year, for a maximum of 3 years, even if you are studying a four year degree.
You can apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of the tuition fees, from the Student Loan Company.
EU students £1,820 per year of study.
You can apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have your tuition fees paid by the Scottish government.
Overseas students (non-EU) £12,750 per year of study.

Scholarships & Bursaries

Fee category Scholarships & Bursaries applicable
Scottish students
Students from the rest of the UK
EU students
Overseas students (non-EU)

Living Costs

  • Dundee is ranked as one of the most affordable places for students to live in the UK, and the cost of living is around 15% cheaper than the UK average.
  • Increasing numbers of students are successfully undertaking part-time work to supplement their income. You can get advice from our Careers Service, both about job opportunities and how to find a suitable study/work/life balance. EU and international students are also allowed to work up to 20 hours per week.
  • As a student in Scotland, you have free access to the National Health Service. Visits to doctors and hospitals, as well as prescriptions, sight tests and dental checkups, are available free of charge.

Your Application

All applications must be made through UCAS

UCAS Codes

Institution Code: D65

Degree UCAS Codes KIS data
BSc Mathematical Biology
CG11
View KIS data for this course
MSci Mathematical Biology
GC11
 

UCAS Application Process


International Applicants

We have information specifically for international applicants on our International website:

Any questions?

If you have any further questions about the application process, please contact:

Home / EU applicants

Undergraduate Admissions
Admissions & Student Recruitment
University of Dundee
Nethergate
Dundee
DD1 4HN
Scotland

Telephone: 01382 384370/ 388074/ 388585 (from the UK)
Telephone: +44 1382 384370/ 388074/ 388585 (from outside the UK)

Contact Us

International applicants

International Office
Admissions & Student Recruitment
University of Dundee
Nethergate
Dundee
DD1 4HN
Scotland

Telephone: 01382 388 111 (from the UK)
Telephone: +44 1382 388 111 (from outside the UK)

Contact Us