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MSc in Advanced Mathematical Biology

For scholarships for home, EU and international students,  please see the relevant section below.

- An interdisciplinary masters course covering the breadth of mathematical applications in biology


Are you a biologically inclined mathematician or physicist, or a biologist with an keen interest in modelling and analysis? Do you want to know how to model fish population dynamics and harvests, to decipher the mathematics of viruses, or understand of the swimming behaviour of microrganisms? The new MSc in Advanced Mathematical Biology aims to provide answers to all of these questions, and more.


The MSc will provide insight into processes over a wide range of scales; from highly symmetric capsids (the cases that surround viruses) to the interactions of entire communities in oceans. Advanced statistical methods, systems biology and biological fluid dynamics will be covered, and there will be emphasis on applications to policy and industry throughout. This programme aspires to fill the language gap between technical mathematical concepts and real world applications in the biological and life sciences. Students will gain a comprehensive grounding in cutting edge theory coupled to training in the subtleties of application.


Biological concepts and mechanisms will be discussed during bespoke sessions in “Issues in modern biology,” and developed during interdisciplinary group projects. There will also be a range of challenging elective modules.

The MSc in Advanced Mathematical Biology is an intensive one year taught programme that will prepare students either for a career in industry in the quantitative life sciences or for further academic research in Mathematical Biology.

  • The taught modules are at the University of York, a member of the prestigious Russell Group and located in one of Europe’s finest cities.

  • There is a large range of scientific or industrial research placements.


Taught modules currently include

Bayesian Statistics; Biological Fluid Dynamics; Ecological Modelling; Numerical Techniques for Modelling Biological Systems; Applications of Group Theory in Virology; Biological and Soft Matter; Conservation Ecology & Biodiversity; Modelling with MATLAB; Issues in Modern Biology; PDEs; Stochastic Processes; Group Project


An important part of the programme is a summer work-based placement. At the end of the spring term, students will select a placement from a list of academic and industrial institutions across the sector. Students will spend a period of three months working closely with their chosen institution with a placement supervisor. Students will write a dissertation towards the end of the placement, and will be assessed by their academic supervisor who will also consult with the placement supervisor.

Term Dates

Details of University of York Term Dates can be found by following this link.

Incoming students should note that the Autumn Term starts on Monday 28 September 2015.

Information about registration and orientation activities will be circulated to all students holding an unconditional offer prior to the start of the course.


Autumn term

Spring term

Issues in Modern Biology MAT00057M (10, core)

Modelling with MATLAB MAT00060M (10, core)

Essential Mathematical Biology MAT00055M (10, core)

Biological and Soft Matter** MAT00070M (10)

Stochastic Processes* MAT00018M (10)

Ecological Modelling** MAT00010M (10)

Bayesian Statistics* MAT00003H (10)

Survival Analysis** MAT00039M (10)

Partial Differential Equations* MAT00053M (10)

Biological Fluid Dynamics** MAT00054M (10)

Applications of Group Theory to Virology* MAT00066M (10)

Numerical Techniques for Modelling Biological Systems** MAT00071M (10)

Evolutionary Ecology* BIO00014H (10)

Conservation Ecology & Biodiversity** BIO00010H (10)

Group Project in AMB MAT00056M (20 core)

Summer term/vacation: Scientific or industrial research placement (12 weeks; 60 core)

* choose 3 from 5 ** choose 4 from 6



  1. The programme satisfies the constraint that students may choose at most two H-level module options from the Autumn term, and at most three overall.

  2. Summer term weeks 1 to 6: examinations in week 1; results released in week 3; reassessment in week 6; preparatory reading for placements in weeks 2 to 5.  Placement begins summer term week 7, for 12 weeks.



Applications and Enquiries

You can apply for this course using our online application system.  If you've not already done so, please read the application guidance first so that you understand the various steps in the application process.

Enquiries should be directed to: Postgraduate Administrator, Department of Mathematics, University of York, York YO10 5DD, United Kingdom, tel: +44-(0)1904-323097, email:

Candidates are expected to have a good honours undergraduate degree in either a mathematics-based subject and a lively interest in applying mathematical techniques to biology or a biological-based subject with a significant quantitative bias.

The application process is now OPEN.


MSc in Advanced Mathematical Biology
Director: Prof Martin A. Bees
Deputy Director: Dr A. Jamie Wood
Placement Coordinator: Dr Jon W. Pitchford

Department of Mathematics
University of York
York YO10 5DD




Edited 27 Feb 2016 - 12:39 by jjfs500

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