MSc Computational Methods in Ecology and Evolution

Key information

Duration: 1 year full-time
Start date: October 2017
Campus: Silwood Park
ECTS: 90 credits

Course Director
Dr Samraat Pawar

Course Co-director
Dr. James Rosindell

Open to applications
View entry requirementsApply now

Overview

In this unique course we teach quantitative methods and biological concepts together, through application of the methods to cutting-edge biological research problems.

Over the past 10–20 years, biology has become increasingly quantitative, and mathematical sciences have in turn been increasingly influenced by biology.

It has been said that “mathematics is biology's next microscope, only better” (Cohen, Plos Biology, 2004) because mathematical, statistical, and computational sciences will continue to reveal unsuspected and entirely new worlds within biology, just as the microscope revealed previously unseen worlds following its invention.

It has also been said that “biology is mathematics' next physics, only better” (Cohen, Plos Biology) because biology will in turn continue to spur major new developments in computation, mathematics and statistics, just as physics has done in past centuries.

In this unique course we teach quantitative methods and biological concepts together, through application of the methods to cutting-edge biological research problems.

This course is suitable for:

  • Life scientists wishing to expand their quantitative skills in light of the increasingly quantitative nature of modern biology
  • Physical scientists (mathematicians, physicists, statisticians, computer scientists) with a strong interest in biology

The course serves as ideal preparation for either PhD studies or employment in fields of applied quantitative biology, such as resource management and conservation.

 

Structure

Modules shown are for the current academic year, and are subject to change depending on your year of entry.

This course provides the combination of biological and quantitative skills necessary for students to address modern and pressingly important questions in biological research, conservation, management, and other applications. The course is structured around cutting-edge questions such as:

  • How do ecology and evolution interact in the face of a changing climate?
  • How do we infer the mechanisms driving population dynamics from limited data?
  • How do we predict the likely effects of human disturbances such as climate change?

The focus is on current topics in modern quantitative biology, such as interactions between ecological and evolutionary dynamics, and the effects of climate change on ecological communities.

You will also have the chance to develop your knowledge in mathematical, statistical, and computing tools through their application to important research problems.

The course comprises a taught component, and a research project lasting about six months. The project can be supervised by staff members from Imperial College or a number of outside institutes with which we have collaborative links (including Kew Botanical Gardens, the Centre for the Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, and the Institute of Zoology).

Modules

Modules in the taught component of the course currently include:

  • GIS in application to global biodiversity conservation
  • The R programming language in application to population dynamics
  • Molecular ecology
  • Maximum likelihood in biology
  • Modelling complex communities

See the Department of Life Sciences' website for further course detail.

Tuition fees and funding

The level of tuition fees you pay is based on your fee status, which we assess based on UK government legislation.

For more information on the funding opportunities that are available, please visit our Fees and Funding website.

Tuition fees

Tuition fees (Home and EU students)

2017 entry
£9,600

Tuition fees (Islands and Overseas students)

2017 entry
£19,600

Postgraduate Master's loan

If you are a Home or EU student who meets certain criteria, you may be able to apply for a Postgraduate Master’s Loan of up to £10,000 from the UK government. The loan is not means-tested, and you can choose whether to put it towards your tuition fees or living costs.

Scholarships

We offer a range of scholarships for postgraduate students to support you through your studies. Try our scholarships search tool to see what you might be eligible for.

There are a number of external organisations also offer awards for Imperial students, find out more about non-Imperial scholarships.

Accommodation and living costs

Living costs, including accommodation, are not included in your tuition fees.

You can compare costs across our different accommodation options on our Accommodation website.

A rough guide to what you might expect to spend to live in reasonable comfort in London is available on our Fees and Funding website.

Admissions

We welcome students from all over the world and consider all applicants on an individual basis.

For advice on the requirements for the qualifications listed here please contact the Department (details at the bottom of this page).

We also accept a wide range of international qualifications. If the requirements for your qualifications are not listed here, please see our academic requirements by country page for guidance on which qualifications we accept.

Admissions

Minimum academic requirement

2.1 Honours degree in a biological, ecological, or other life sciences subject, or in a physical sciences subject.

A-level mathematics is also required.

International qualifications

The academic requirement above is for applicants who hold or who are working towards a UK qualification. 

We also accept a wide variety of international qualifications. For guidance see our Country Index though please note that the standards listed here are the minimum for entry to the College.

If you have any questions about admissions and the standard required for the qualification you hold or are currently studying then please contact the relevant admissions team.

English language requirement (all applicants)

All candidates must demonstrate a minimum level of English language proficiency for admission to the College.

For admission to this course, you must achieve the standard College requirement in the appropriate English language qualification. For details of the minimum grades required to achieve this requirement, please see the English language requirements for postgraduate applicants.

How to apply

All applicants must apply online.

You can usually apply for up to two courses, although your second choice will only be considered if your first-choice application is unsuccessful.

Most courses don't have a formal closing date, but popular courses close when they are full, so you should apply early to avoid disappointment. There may also be funding deadlines that apply to you.

You will need to upload documents with your applications, which may include transcripts and degree certificates.

Offer holders will need to pay a deposit to secure your place. This will be deducted from the balance of your tuition fees.

For full details on the online application process, or to start your application, please visit the How to Apply section of our website.

ATAS certificate

An ATAS certificate is not required for overseas students applying for this course.

Further information

Chemical flasks

Contact us

Enquiries
E: amanda.ellis@imperial.ac.uk

Imperial students

Applying for your visa

Visit the International Student Support website for information on applying for a visa.

Imperial students

Scholarships

Use our search tool to find scholarships from Imperial, plus non-Imperial scholarships.