University of Leeds Featured Masters Courses
Imperial College London Featured Masters Courses
University of Cambridge Featured Masters Courses
University of Warwick Featured Masters Courses
Durham University Featured Masters Courses

Course content

Register your interest now

The Modelling Biological Complexity MRes is designed for students whishing to develop the skills to apply mathematical, computational and physical science techniques to real biological problems. The programme provides a broad overview of cutting edge research at the interface of the life, mathematical and physical sciences.

About this degree

Foundation courses use innovative teaching methods for interdisciplinary research to provide essential background knowledge in computational, mathematical and physical techniques and a broad introduction to core biological concepts and systems. A range of interdisciplinary research-driven projects follow in which students gain experience of different research techniques and a range of areas of biological interest.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of four compulsory modules: foundation courses module, transferable skills module (20%), three mini projects (40%) and a research (summer) project (40%).

Core modules

  • Modelling Biological Complexity: Foundation Course covering machine learning, statistics and mathematical modelling applied to biomedical systems (non credit bearing)
  • Transferable and Generic Skills
  • Mini projects
  • Research (summer) Project

Optional modules

There are no optional modules for this programme.


All students undertake an independent research (summer) project, which culminates in a dissertation of up to 15,000 words, a short presentation and an oral examination.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, laboratory work, case presentations, seminars, tutorials and project work. Student performance is assessed by essays, mini projects, oral and poster presentations, a computer programming and biological database task, web development, the research project and an end-of-year viva.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.


Limited funding is available for this programme - applications from self-funding candidates are also welcome. 

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.


After passing the MRes, students may have the opportunity to progress onto a PhD at UCL.


CoMPLEX has built upon relationships with partners within academia and industry, to develop our existing CoMPLEX programme. so that it continues to be designed specifically to provide training that meets market needs. Graduates have excellent publication outputs, this, together with CoMPLEX's international reputation means that graduates are and will continue to be recognised when entering the job market. 70% of recent graduates have taken up positions in research centres in the UK and abroad. As small number have pursued careers in science policy analysis, cyber security, science teaching, statistical and mathematical consultancy, technology consultancy, or in management and the financial sector.

Why study this degree at UCL?

CoMPLEX is UCL's centre for interdisciplinary research in the life sciences. It brings together life and medical scientists with computer scientists, mathematicians, physicists and engineers to tackle the challenges arising from complexity in biology and medicine.

CoMPLEX collaborates with 250+ supervisors from 40 UCL Departments and maintains strong links with leading UK/International research institutions, charities and industrial partners e.g. AstraZeneca, British Heart Foundation, CRUK, Francis Crick Institute, GlaxoSmithKline, Microsoft Research and Renishaw. As a result CoMPLEX students have a vast range of projects to choose from and the opportunity to network with a plethora of scientific partners.

Peer-to-peer learning is a crucial part of the training, and students will take part in cohort activities, such as, mentoring events, a seminar series, outreach groups and an annual retreat.

Department: Centre for Computation, Mathematics and Physics in the Life Sciences and Experimental Biology


Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

Who can apply?

The programme is aimed at outstanding mathematics, engineering, computational, physics, life science and medical graduates who wish to gain the core skills needed for interdisciplinary research. The MRes can be taken as a stand-alone programme or can be taken as the first year of the four-year integrated MRes plus PhD programme.

Application deadlines

26 July 2019

For information on deadlines visit Those applying for scholarship funding should take note of application deadlines. Overseas applicants who wish to be considered for nomination for the Overseas Research Scholarship must apply within the first round.

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

Visit the Modelling Biological Complexity MRes page on the University College London website for more details!