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Natural Sciences Tripos


Mathematics options in Part IA (the first year).

In recent years we have made some changes to the way that maths is taught to first year students who have not taken A Level maths. The entry requirements will remained unchanged. 

In previous years, students without A Level maths had taken Elementary Maths for Biologists. In 2017 that option was 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 please send them to