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Biology and Mathematics BSc (Full time) 2018 start

  • Overview

    Our biology and mathematics course is truly interdisciplinary. Advances in biological science have stimulated the development of new mathematics, leading to new ways of understanding our place in the universe. On this course, you’ll study topics at the cutting edge of biological discovery whilst exploring major branches of mathematics. Students on this course come to appreciate the coherence and logical structure of mathematics and its applicability in biological sciences.

    This course allows you to study biology modules that reflect the complexity of the subject area, encompassing everything from molecules to populations of organisms. In mathematics, you’ll study key topics – from calculus and algebra, to probability and statistics. Your time will be divided roughly equally between modules from biology and mathematics. Your biology modules are taught by the Faculty of Biological Sciences, one of the leading life sciences faculties in the UK.

    Enhancing your degree

    This course offers you the opportunity to spend a year working in industry or studying at a university abroad, both of which provide valuable experience and help your personal development. Both of these schemes add an additional year to your course, taking the total course length to 4 years.

    Our industrial placement scheme gives you the opportunity to gain work experience in an industry relevant to your degree and interests. Our students often describe this industrial experience as an invaluable part of their degree and one which stands them in good stead for their future careers.

    The study abroad year enables you to gain insight into the study of biology and mathematics at one of our partner universities overseas. Many students have found this to be extremely worthwhile in helping broaden their horizons in terms of learning about a new culture and improving their foreign language skills.

    In 2015, the School of Mathematics went through a major refurbishment to provide our students with a variety of new study environments. The School now offers social areas, group study areas, a library and a seminar room, where you can interact with other students, as well as a Research Visitors Centre and a Mathematics Active Learning Lab.

  • Course content

    This course enables you to study topics at the cutting edge of biological discovery alongside a range of pure and applied mathematics modules.

    In your first year, your studies in biology may include cell biology, genetics, biodiversity, applied biology or agriculture. In mathematics, you’ll be given a firm grounding in core topics such as calculus and mathematical analysis, differential equations and linear algebra. In addition, you can study one additional topic from human biology, practical biology, immunology or computational mathematics, or alternatively take an elective module.

    In year 2, your mathematics modules will include vectors, statistics, and linear and nonlinear differential equations. In biology, you’ll study the biology of plant life, evolution of organisms, and genetics. Optional module topics at this stage include bioinformatics, environmental statistics, fluid dynamics, animal behaviour, and human population.

    In year 3, you’ll undertake a research project in biology or mathematics. You’ll also study mathematical biology and take a combination of optional modules from a range of pure and applied mathematics topics and a variety of biological modules, on subjects including zoology, evolution, and food security.

    Course structure

    These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

    Year 1

    Compulsory modules

    • Introduction to Cell Biology: from Molecules to Cells and Tissues 10 credits
    • Living Planet 20 credits
    • Introduction to Genetics 10 credits
    • Calculus and Mathematical Analysis 10 credits
    • Numbers and Vectors 10 credits
    • Introductory Linear Algebra 10 credits
    • Modelling with Differential Equations 10 credits
    • Probability and Statistics I 10 credits
    • Probability and Statistics II 10 credits

    Optional modules

    • Multicellular Systems 10 credits
    • Tutorials (Joint Honours) 5 credits
    • Applied Biology and Agriculture 10 credits
    • Practical Genetics 10 credits
    • Practical Applied Biology 10 credits
    • Introduction to Pharmacology 10 credits
    • Financial Mathematics 1 15 credits
    • Introduction to Microbiology 10 credits
    • Introduction to Immunology 10 credits

    Year 2

    Compulsory modules

    • How Plants Work 10 credits
    • Organismal Evolution 10 credits
    • Vector Calculus 15 credits
    • Linear Differential Equations and Transforms 15 credits
    • Nonlinear Differential Equations 10 credits

    Optional modules

    • Parasitology 10 credits
    • Population and Community Ecology 20 credits
    • Human Populations 10 credits
    • Introduction to Bioinformatics 10 credits
    • Animal Behaviour 10 credits
    • Animal Developmental Biology 10 credits
    • Animal Physiology: from Ants to Whales 10 credits
    • Human Genetics 10 credits
    • Fluid Dynamics 1 10 credits
    • Statistical Methods 10 credits
    • Statistical Modelling 10 credits
    • Environmental Statistics 10 credits
    • Introduction to Markov Processes 10 credits
    • Survival Analysis 10 credits
    • Mathematics into Schools 10 credits
    • Maths at Work 10 credits
    • Computational Mathematics 10 credits
    • Medical Immunology 10 credits

    Year 3

    Compulsory modules

    • Mathematical Biology 15 credits

    Optional modules

    • Research Project 20 credits
    • Applied Genetics 20 credits
    • Social Insect Biology 10 credits
    • Advanced Topics in Ecology 20 credits
    • Advanced Topics in Behaviour: from sex to death 20 credits
    • Advanced Topics in Human Genetics 20 credits
    • Plant Growth, Resources and Food Security 20 credits
    • Epigenetics 20 credits
    • Advanced Topics in Evolution 20 credits
    • Evolution and Population Genetics 10 credits
    • Advanced Topics in Conservation Science 20 credits
    • Animal Developmental Biology 10 credits
    • Plant Developmental Biology 10 credits
    • Comparative Genomics 10 credits
    • Biology Integrated Research Projects 40 credits
    • Mathematics Education 10 credits
    • Introduction to Clinical Trials 15 credits
    • Real Analysis 15 credits
    • Mathematical Logic 1 10 credits
    • Geometry of Curves and Surfaces 10 credits
    • Discrete Mathematics 10 credits
    • Discrete Mathematics with Computation 15 credits
    • Special Relativity 10 credits
    • Numerical Analysis 10 credits
    • Numerical Analysis with Computation 15 credits
    • Fluid Dynamics 1 10 credits
    • Calculus of Variations 10 credits
    • Statistical Methods 10 credits
    • Statistical Modelling 10 credits
    • Environmental Statistics 10 credits
    • Introduction to Markov Processes 10 credits
    • Survival Analysis 10 credits
    • Computational Mathematics 10 credits
    • Project in Mathematics 20 credits
    • History of Mathematics 15 credits
    • Differential Geometry 15 credits
    • Combinatorics 15 credits
    • Hamiltonian Systems 15 credits
    • Mathematical Methods 15 credits
    • Linear and Non-Linear Waves 15 credits
    • Hydrodynamic Stability 15 credits
    • Quantum Mechanics 15 credits
    • Dynamical Systems 15 credits
    • Nonlinear Dynamics 15 credits
    • Analytic Solutions of Partial Differential Equations 15 credits
    • Introduction to Entropy in the Physical World 15 credits
    • Geophysical Fluid Dynamics 15 credits
    • Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics 15 credits
    • Discrete Systems and Integrability 15 credits
    • Cosmology 10 credits
    • Evolutionary Modelling 15 credits
    • Fluid Dynamics 2 15 credits
    • Linear Regression and Robustness 15 credits
    • Statistical Theory 15 credits
    • Stochastic Financial Modelling 15 credits
    • Multivariate Analysis 10 credits
    • Time Series 10 credits
    • Bayesian Statistics 10 credits
    • Generalised Linear Models 10 credits
    • Introduction to Statistics and DNA 10 credits

    For more information on typical modules, read Biology and Mathematics BSc in the course catalogue

    Broadening your academic horizons

    At Leeds we want you to benefit from the depth and breadth of the University's expertise, to prepare you for success in an ever-changing and challenging world. This course gives you the opportunity to broaden your learning by studying discovery modules. Find out more on the Broadening webpages.

    Learning and teaching

    You’ll be taught through lectures, tutorials, workshops and practical classes. You’ll enjoy extensive tutorial support and have freedom in your workload and options.


    You’re assessed through a range of methods, including formal exams and in-course assessment.

  • Entry requirements, fees and applying

    Entry requirements

    A-level: AAB including biology and A in Mathematics

    We don't accept general studies or critical thinking but may take account of these at the confirmation stage.

    Applicants taking a Science A-level (in England) will be required to achieve a pass in the practical element in addition to the standard A-level grade requirement.

    GCSE: You must also have GCSE english at grade C or above (or equivalent).

    • Access to HE Diploma

      Normally only accepted in combination with grade A in A Level Mathematics or equivalent.

    • BTEC

      BTEC qualifications in relevant disciplines are considered in combination with other qualifications, including grade A in A-level mathematics, or equivalent

    • Cambridge Pre-U

      D3/M1/M1 or D2/M1/M2, including Biology, and where the first grade quoted is in Mathematics.

    • International Baccalaureate

      35 points overall with 16 at Higher Level including 6 in Higher Level Mathematics and 5 in Higher Level Biology

    • Irish Highers (Leaving Certificate)

      H1 in Mathematics, H2 grades in three other subjects including Biology, and H3 grades in two further subjects in your Irish Leaving Certificate.

    • Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

      Suitable combinations of Scottish Higher and Advanced Highers are acceptable. A typical offer is AAABB including Biology and grade A in Advanced Higher Mathematics.

    • Other Qualifications

      We also welcome applications from students on the Northern Consortium UK International Foundation Year programme, the University of Leeds International Foundation Year, and other foundation years with a high mathematical content. Read more on the School Foundation year programmes page.

    Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the School’s Undergraduate Admissions Team.

    Alternative entry

    We’re committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.

    Access to Leeds is an alternative admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.

    Find out more about Access to Leeds and alternative admissions.


    We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications.

    Foundation year

    If you have the ability to study for a degree but don’t have the qualifications to enter directly to level one, you might consider studying a foundation year. We have formal links with the following foundation year programmes:

    - University of Leeds International Foundation Year (IFY)

    - Northern Consortium of UK Universities (NCUK)

    - Study Group Leeds International Study Centre (LISC)

    If you are applying from an alternative foundation year provider, please contact our admissions team to find out if your qualification is suitable for entry to our courses.

    International Foundation Year Programme

    International students who do not meet the academic requirements for undergraduate study may be able to study the University of Leeds International Foundation Year. This gives you the opportunity to study on campus, be taught by University of Leeds academics and progress onto a wide range of Leeds undergraduate courses. Find out more about International Foundation Year programmes.

    English language requirements

    IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in any component.. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

    International students who do not meet the English language requirements for the programme may be able to study an English for Academic Purposes pre-sessional course with a progression route to the degree programme. For information and entry requirements, read Pre-sessional programmes.

    How to apply

    Apply to this course through UCAS. The institution code for the University of Leeds is L23. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.

    International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK/EU students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

    Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

    Admissions policy

    Faculty of Mathematics and Physical Sciences Undergraduate Admissions Policy


    UK/EU: See fees section below

    International: £19,500 (per year)

    For UK and non-UK EU full-time students starting in 2018, the fee for 2018/19 will be £9,250. 

    The fee for undergraduate students starting in 2019 will be confirmed in September 2018.

    The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation, and as permitted by law. For example, the increase of 2.8% in 2017/18 was based on the government’s forecast for the RPI-X measure of inflation.

    The UK government has confirmed that non-UK EU students in 2018-19 will have home fee status and be eligible for UK government student loans. The UK government has not confirmed the situation for future years, so keep checking our website for updates.

    If you take a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.

    Read more about paying fees and charges.

    Additional cost information

    There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs

    Financial support

    If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.

  • Career opportunities

    Career destinations in both biology and mathematics are wide-ranging. Leeds graduates are extremely well placed for employment after their degree, with the University being the 5th most targeted in the UK by graduate recruiters, according to High Fliers’ The Graduate Market in 2017 report.

    The numerical, analytical and problem solving skills you will develop, as well as your specialist subject knowledge and your ability to think logically, are highly valued across sectors, including the pharmaceutical industry, conservation, environmental consultancy, healthcare, education, computing and finance.

    Careers support

    Throughout your degree we will make sure that you have the support and opportunity to develop the skills and experience you’ll need to make the most of your career choices.

    Our industrial placement scheme allows you to gain valuable work experience that can help you stand out from the crowd. You could also secure a part-time job that you can feature on your CV through the students’ union's Joblink.

    Our study abroad scheme allows you to experience another culture and develop life skills, which many employers value. The students’ union also provides volunteering opportunities which can help you in your personal development.

    We teach problem-solving and high level thinking at all stages of your degree. We also provide modules that are specifically designed to boost your employability. The second year module “maths at work” engages you in group-based project. At the start of the module, you’ll undertake a skills audit, then prepare a CV, research a company for a mock interview, and participate in an interview workshop. Depending on the nature of your specific project, you may produce a report for a client or deliver a piece of software or webpage. Throughout the module, you’ll develop team work, communication, and presentation skills.

    If you’re considering a career in teaching, you can gain experience of working in a local school or college through our “mathematics into schools” module. You’ll prepare teaching materials, deliver mathematics activities through lessons or a club, and organise a mathematics-based project that shows students how exciting the subject can be.

    We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

    Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.

    The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.

  • Study abroad and work placements

    Study abroad

    On this course you have the opportunity to apply to spend time abroad, usually as an extra academic year. The University has partnerships with more than 400 universities worldwide and popular destinations for our students include Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa and Latin America. 

    Find out more at the Study Abroad website.

    Spending a year living and studying in another country is a unique experience. Unlike the passing tourist, you have the chance to totally immerse yourself in another culture. You will gain unforgettable experiences and memories that you will draw upon in your working and personal life for years to come. In addition to this, the proven ability to live and work in an international context is an asset that many employers actively seek.

    On this course, your year abroad adds an additional year to your studies. During your year abroad, you will study biology and mathematics at your host institution.

    Students who spend a year in Europe through the ERASMUS programme also receive a maintenance grant for their year away and pay a reduced tuition fee for the year abroad.

    Work placements

    Practical work experience can help you decide on your career and improve your employability. On this course you have the option to apply to take a placement year module with organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors in the UK, or overseas.

    Find out more about work experience on the Careers website.

    Read more about some of the companies our students completed their industrial placement with.

    The industrial placement (“Year in Industry”) scheme provides you with the opportunity to experience salaried work before you graduate. Employers actively seek graduates who already have work experience and it can make all the difference in interviews.

    On this course, your industrial placement adds an additional year to your studies.

    An industrial placement will boost your self-confidence, not only in your chosen subject area, but in the marketplace generally. You will be able to choose from a range of biology and mathematics-related organisations in which to work. In previous years, students have worked at many prestigious companies.

    During your industrial placement you will have an industrial supervisor from within the company, plus an academic supervisor who will keep in touch throughout your placement.

    If you are not sure right now whether or not an industrial placement is right for you, don't worry - you will not have to start applying for placements until the beginning of your second year.

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