Undergraduate study - 2018 entry

BSc Mathematics and Biology

UCAS code: B64Z

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Mathematics

College: Science and Engineering

Study abroad

Introducing BSc Mathematics and Biology

In this programme, you will follow a custom-tailored selection of mathematics courses, reflecting the current drive towards quantification in biology. Concurrently, you will specialise in one of two biological areas (evolutionary or systems biology), which reflect an “organism-based” or a “cell-based” approach to biology, respectively.

Year 1

You will spend a third of your time on mathematics courses. You will build on your knowledge of pure mathematics in a formal way and be introduced to the ways of mathematical thinking required at university level.

Your remaining time will be spent on biology courses, such as Origin & Diversity of Life and Molecules, Genes & Cells. You will learn core laboratory skills and lay the foundation for specialist courses in later years, and study biological chemistry.

You will receive support from MathsBase, our popular walk-in help centre, and from our Student Learning Adviser.

Year 2

Two thirds of your time will be spent on mathematics. You will take compulsory courses in pure mathematics, extending your knowledge of calculus and analysis, and will be introduced to the abstract ideas of group theory.

You will also study probability and statistics, and learn about scientific computer programming and numerical computation methods. In your biology courses, you will begin to specialise into either evolutionary biology or systems biology.

From this year onwards you can use the Maths Hub, our student-run facility that is both a social centre and work space.

Year 3

You will take courses in mathematics that deepen your knowledge of the theoretical underpinnings of analysis and differential equations, as well as courses such as Stochastic Modelling and Numerical Partial Differential Equations which are highly relevant to biology.

You will continue to study courses in biology from your choice of either evolutionary biology or systems biology.

Year 4

You will continue your study of either evolutionary biology or systems biology.

You will also take mathematics courses that apply directly to biology and have the option to take further advanced courses such as Stochastic Differential Equations.

You will also complete a substantial project on a topic in mathematical biology.

Programme structure

Find out more about the compulsory and optional courses in this degree programme.

To give you an idea of what you will study on this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.

Programme structure (2017/18)

Our facilities

First-year classes typically take place in the University's Central Area. In subsequent years, teaching will take place within the School of Mathematics, located at the University's King's Buildings.

You will have access to the University's extensive libraries and computer facilities.

Study abroad

We offer opportunities to study abroad through University-wide exchange programmes. These are subject to the requirement that the host university can offer a suitable range of courses.

Guaranteed study abroad funding for students required to complete a year abroad

How will I learn?

You will be taught mainly through lectures, workshops and tutorials. In Year 1 you can work with other students in the MathsBase, with tutors on hand to answer questions, where there are also regular MathPALs study sessions led by higher-year students.

We encourage students to work together throughout their studies and to engage with lecturers and tutors outside of timetabled classes. Our Student Learning Adviser will offer advice on study skills throughout your programme.

How will I be assessed?

Most courses involve regular coursework as well as a final exam, while some will involve producing a group report or giving a presentation. Some will be entirely assessed by coursework.

Programme details

Find out more about this programme's aims, what you will learn, how you will be assessed and what skills and knowledge you will develop.

To give you an idea of what to expect from this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.

Programme details (2018/19)

Our graduates have a range of careers open to them. The logical, analytical and practical problem-solving skills you will develop are sought by employers.

Many recent graduates have been employed by large firms in the financial sector. Others have gone into fields including software engineering, logistics, education and civil service.

Typical offer

The typical offer is likely to be:

  • SQA Highers: AAAA.
  • A Levels: A*AA to include Mathematics at A*.
  • IB: 37 points with 666 at HL.

Minimum entry requirements

  • SQA Highers: AABB by the end of S5 or AABBB/AAAB from S4-S6, with a minimum of BBB achieved in one year of S4-S6, to include Mathematics (at grade A), Biology and Chemistry. Advanced Highers in Mathematics and Biology are strongly recommended, and also in Chemistry if possible.
  • A Levels: AAB in one sitting, to include Mathematics at Grade A, Biology and Chemistry.
  • IB: 32 points overall and award of IB Diploma with 655 at HL to include Mathematics at Grade 6, Biology and Chemistry.

Find out more about entry requirements

International students

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.

Entry requirements by country

You must provide evidence that your written and spoken English is at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies.

English language tests

If English is not your first language, you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your spoken and written English:

  • IELTS Academic module overall 6.5 with 5.5 in each component
  • TOEFL iBT 92 or above with 20 in each section
  • Cambridge English: Advanced or Proficiency overall 176 with 162 in each component
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic): Total 61 with at least 51 in each ""Communicative Skills"" section
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with a distinction in all four components

About English language requirements

SQA and GCSE

For SQA and GCSE students, unless a higher level is specified in the stated entry requirements, a pass is required in English at the following grades or higher:

  • SQA National 5 Grade C
  • SQA Standard Grade 3
  • SQA Intermediate 1 Grade A
  • SQA Intermediate 2 Grade C
  • GCSE Grade C or 4
  • IB Standard Level Grade 5

Key Information Sets (KIS) are part of a government initiative to enhance the information that higher education institutions provide about their degree programmes.

KIS are available for most undergraduate programmes and are intended to make it easier for you to find information about the programmes you are interested in studying. It is one of many sources of information available that will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.

You can also use this website to find more information on our programmes and the learning environment you will experience at the University of Edinburgh.

Please note that some programmes do not have data available and will not display a KIS.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for BSc Mathematics and Biology

Additional costs

You should expect to purchase necessary textbooks for some compulsory and optional components of your programme.

Funding

For more information on how much it will cost to study with us and the financial support available see our fees and funding information.

Fees and funding

More information

How to apply

School: Mathematics

College: Science and Engineering