Mathematical Medicine and Biology MSc


Fact file

Qualification name:Mathematical Medicine and Biology
Duration:1 year full-time
Entry requirements:2:2 (lower second class honours degree or international equivalent) in mathematics or a closely related subject with substantial mathematical content.
IELTS:6.0 (no less than 5.5 in any element)
Start date:September
Campus:University Park Campus

Course Overview

The MSc Mathematical Medicine and Biology will provide you with skills suitable for a research career in the exciting and growing field of mathematical medicine and biology. 

You will be trained in advanced mathematical techniques including partial differential equations and stochastic processes. Moreover, a broad variety of biological and medical applications, ranging from subcellular processes such as gene regulation to organ-level dynamics will be covered.

The taught training programme will be followed by a substantial individual project leading to a dissertation. 

Throughout the course, the exceptional strength of the Centre for Mathematical Medicine and Biology will facilitate your hands-on experience of interdisciplinary biomedical research.

Key facts

  • This course is informed by the work being carried out in the Centre for Mathematical Medicine and Biology.
  • The School of Mathematical Sciences is one of the largest and strongest mathematics departments in the UK, with over 50 full-time academic staff.
  • In the latest independent research assessment the Research Excellence Framework (REF), the school ranked eighth in the UK in terms of research power across the three subject areas within the School of Mathematical Sciences (pure mathematics, applied mathematics, statistics and operational research).

International Student Satisfaction Survey

Second place ranking

The University of Nottingham has been ranked amongst the top universities in the UK for international student experience.

Nottingham enters the league table at number two in the International Student Satisfaction Awards 2014 and is one of only five UK universities to receive a rating of ‘outstanding’. The rankings are compiled by StudyPortals, an independent study choice platform covering more than 1400 universities in 40 European countries.

Course Details

The MSc Mathematical Medicine and Biology is designed for students with a degree in mathematics (or a related subject with a substantial mathematical content). In terms of specific maths topics, ideally students would have covered calculus, linear algebra and differential equations.

In addition, some experience of dynamical systems and numerical analysis is needed prior to arrival. Students do not need any background in biology, just enthusiasm and a willingness to learn about it - quite a bit of biological terminology will be introduced as necessary throughout the course.

The course is offered on a full-time basis over one year and comprises 180 credits, split across 120 credits worth of core modules and a 60-credit research project.

Our full list of modules can be viewed below. Please note that all module details are subject to change.


Compulsory Course Modules

  • Applied Nonlinear Dynamics
  • Computational and Systems Biology
  • Mathematical Medicine and Biology
  • Mathematical Medicine and Biology Dissertation
  • Practical Biomedical Modelling
  • Topics in Biomedical Mathematics

Modules are mainly delivered through lectures and example and /or problem classes for smaller groups. You will typically be assessed by an examination at the end of the semester in which a given module is taught. 

Over the summer period towards the end of the course, you will undertake a maths research project. This research will be of some depth and will form the basis of your dissertation; it will be carried out under the supervision of a member of academic staff.

This project will develop your ability to engage in independent learning, and will prepare you for postgraduate research or careers in industry.

Prerequisite information

Specific prerequisites and recommended books, where appropriate, are listed below for all the taught modules on the course. 


Semester 1: 

Computational and Systems Biology (20)

Students should be familiar with the use of differential equations in biology, and techniques such as phase planes and linear stability analysis.

Mathematical Medicine and Biology (20) 

Students should be familiar with main mathematical concepts and techniques of modelling with differential equations. They should be able to use linearisation and phase plane techniques to analyse systems of ordinary differential equations; and to solve the partial differential equation for heat transfer/diffusion in one space dimension. 

Books to meet the prerequisites:
  • S. Strogatz. Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos, Addison-Wesley. Q172 STR (chapters 1–7)
  • D. W. Jordan and P. Smith. Nonlinear Ordinary Differential Equations 4th Ed., Oxford. QA372 JOR (chapters 1 and 2)
  • E. Zauderer. Partial Differential Equations of Applied Mathematics, 3rd Ed., Wiley-Interscience. QA377 ZAU (chapters 1–3)
  • E. Kreyszig. Advanced Engineering Mathematics, 9th Ed., Wiley. TA330 KRE (chapter 

Semester 2: 

Topics in Biomedical Mathematics (20) 


Students should be familiar with the use of differential equations in biology and medicine, and maths techniques such as phase planes, linear stability analysis, and the analysis of travelling waves and pattern formation in partial differential equation models. These are usually met by attending the Mathematical Medicine and Biology module in semester one.

Applied Nonlinear Dynamics (20)

Students should be familiar with the dynamical systems analysis of first and second order systems, bifurcation theory, and perturbation theory.


Full year: 

Practical Biomedical Modelling (40) 

Level of knowledge and understanding sufficient to qualify students for entry to the MSc Mathematical Medicine and Biology. 

Books to meet the prerequisites:

not applicable  


UK/EU Students

Tuition Fees

Current information on the course tuition fees can be found on the University finance pages.

Postgraduate Loans 

The government have announced new postgraduate loans of up to £10,000 for students studying a taught or research masters course commencing in September 2016/17.

These loans will be a contribution towards the costs associated with completing a postgraduate masters course and can be used towards tuition fees or living costs as you decide. The loan is non means tested and will be paid directly to you, the student, rather than the University.

If you are a home student or have UK residential status you will be eligible for a government loan and in some cases EU students may also be eligible.

Full information can be found at the postgraduate loans page on the student services website. 

Graduate School

The Graduate School website at The University of Nottingham provides more information on internal and external sources of postgraduate funding.

International Students

Tuition Fees

Current information on the course tuition fees can be found on the University finance pages.

International and EU students

The University of Nottingham offers a range of masters scholarships for international and EU students from a wide variety of countries and areas of study.

Applicants must receive an offer of study before applying for our scholarships. Applications for 2016 entry scholarships will open in late 2015. Please note the closing dates of any scholarships you are interested in and make sure you submit your masters course application in good time so that you have the opportunity to apply for them.

The International Office also provides information and advice for international and EU students on financing your degree, living costs, external sources of funding and working during your studies.

Find out more on our scholarships, fees and finance webpages for international applicants.


The MSc Mathematical Medicine and Biology will provide you with skills suitable for a career in the pharmaceutical industry or within the health care industry and also prepares you for a research career in the exciting and growing field of mathematical medicine and biology.

Further career information can be found on the School of Mathematical Sciences website.

Average starting salary and career progression

In 2014, 86.7% of postgraduates in the School of Mathematical Sciences who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £25,000 with the highest being £27,000.*

* Known destinations of full-time home and EU postgraduates, 2013/14.

Career Prospects and Employability

The acquisition of a masters degree demonstrates a high level of knowledge in a specific field. Whether you are using it to enhance your employability, as preparation for further academic research or as a means of vocational training, you may benefit from careers advice as to how you can use your new found skills to their full potential. Our Careers  and  Employability Service will help you do this, working with you to explore your options and inviting you to attend recruitment events where you can meet potential employers, as well as suggesting further development opportunities, such as relevant work experience placements and skills workshops.  

Make an enquiry


Dr Ruediger Thul
School of Mathematical Sciences
The University of Nottingham
University Park
t:   +44 (0)115 846 7913
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