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