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Maths in the first year

Changes to the Mathematics options in Part IA (First year) from 2017.

From 2017 entry, there will be some changes to the way that maths is taught to first year students who have not taken A Level maths. The entry requirements will remain unchanged. 

In previous years, students without A Level maths have taken Elementary Maths for Biologists. From 2017 entry, this option will no longer exist and will be replaced by a revised version of the Mathematical Biology course.  It is preferable for students to have at least two science/mathematics A Levels (or equivalent) and helpful to have a strong knowledge base across a wide range of science and mathematics subjects.

Students without A Level maths will take this option but will take a slightly separate stream during the last 3 weeks of the Michaelmas Term. They will also be required to complete 20-40 hours of self study covering the first 4 chapters of Mathematics for Biological Scientists by Aitkin, Broadhurst and Hladky. Additional materials and practice questions on this content are available here:

It will also be recommended that Colleges provide some additional supervisions in order to help to consolidate the self-study material. 

If you have any questions regarding this change, please send them to