Our PhD Mathematical Biology uses novel mathematical and computational techniques to solve problems in the biological, ecological and environmental sciences. At Essex, we have supervised projects in the areas of animal movement and behaviour, population dynamics, plankton ecology, fisheries and natural resource management, and bioinformatics techniques. You are invited to contact our department to discuss other potential research areas in this field.
Holders of a such a PhD are ideally placed to continue a scientific research career as there is currently a shortage of mathematical expertise in biological, ecological and environmental research.
Our staff are strongly committed to research and teaching. They have published several well-regarded text books and are world leaders in their individual specialisms, with their papers appearing in learned journals such as; American Naturalist, Ecology, Journal of Mathematical Biology, Journal of Theoretical Biology, and Methods in Ecology and Evolution.
Our Department of Mathematical Sciences is genuinely innovative and student-focused. Our research groups are working on a broad range of collaborative areas tackling real-world issues. Here are a few examples:
We offer an MSD and MPhil in this subject, and part-time research study is available. You can also start this course in either October, January or April.
The Department of Mathematical Sciences has an international reputation in all areas of Mathematical Sciences including; statistics, operational research, applied mathematics, pure mathematics, and actuarial science.
We encourage PhD students to meet with their supervisor regularly. While undertaking your research within Mathematical Sciences, joint supervision across other Essex departments and schools is possible. Joint supervision allows you to have a supervisor based in our Department and another in a relevant Department or School (such as Life Sciences, or Computer Science and Electronic Engineering).
At the end of your PhD you may be publishing your research in academic journals. Our PhD students have had papers accepted and published in journals such as: Ecology, Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical, Mathematical Modelling of Natural Phenomena, and The North American Journal of Economics and Finance.
The Department of Mathematical Sciences is based in the University’s state-of-the-art STEM Centre. Research students have a dedicated work space and PCs, with access to software such as MATLAB, Gap, SageMath, Python and R.
All University of Essex research students have access to our innovative and unique scheme, Proficio. Postgraduate research students are automatically enrolled on Proficio, which provides a variety of training courses, and a fund of up to £2,500 per student for conference attendance and relevant external training courses.
Our department is part of MAGIC, a consortium of 22 UK universities which share PhD-level Mathematics courses, giving you access to a wide array of specialist training opportunities.
Many of our former PhD students have gone on to work as academics in prominent institutions across the world, such as the University of Cambridge, University of Nottingham and many other international universities. Some have also remained at the University of Essex, working as postdoctoral research fellows, research impact officers, or lecturers.
Other graduates have joined organisations like the Met Office, the Ministry of Defence, and companies based in the City of London. There is a high demand for those with a numerate background in all sectors of the economy, so our graduates are sought after in the UK and abroad.
You will need a good honours degree and a Masters degree in a relevant subject. A well-developed research proposal is also essential.
You may be required to attend an interview/Skype interview for acceptance, and acceptance is subject to research expertise in the department.
We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.
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A research degree gives you the chance to investigate an area or topic in real depth, and develop transferable research skills. During your time in the Department you have opportunities to attend conferences, publish papers, and give talks at departmental research seminars. You may also attend some university modules, and will meet with your supervisor typically on a weekly basis.
Within our Department, our PhD students are usually encouraged to take our taught module, Research Methods, in the first year of study, so you are well equipped with the necessary skills to undertake effective research. You may also attend some other modules on an informal basis.
All our students wishing to study for a PhD enrol on a combined MPhil/PhD pathway. In your second year of study, depending on progress, a decision is made by our Department on whether to proceed with either an MPhil or a PhD.
Our full-time research students have a supervisory board to review their progress every six months (or annually if studying part-time). Typically, the board involves your supervisor and one other academic. The recommendations of this are considered by our Departmental Research Students’ Progress Board, which will make decisions on your registration status.
If you progress well, you should be confirmed as a PhD student in the first term of your second year of study.
We understand that deciding where and what to study is a very important decision for you. We’ll make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities as described on our website. However, if we need to make material changes, for example due to significant disruption, or in response to COVID-19, we’ll let our applicants and students know as soon as possible.
Components are the blocks of study that make up your course. A component may have a set module which you must study, or a number of modules from which you can choose.
Each component has a status and carries a certain number of credits towards your qualification.
|Status||What this means|
||You must take the set module for this component and you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
|Core with Options
||You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component but you must pass. No failure can be permitted.|
||You must take the set module for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.|
|Compulsory with Options
||You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
||You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.|
The modules that are available for you to choose for each component will depend on several factors, including which modules you have chosen for other components, which modules you have completed in previous years of your course, and which term the module is taught in.
Modules are the individual units of study for your course. Each module has its own set of learning outcomes and assessment criteria and also carries a certain number of credits.
In most cases you will study one module per component, but in some cases you may need to study more than one module. For example, a 30-credit component may comprise of either one 30-credit module, or two 15-credit modules, depending on the options available.
Modules may be taught at different times of the year and by a different department or school to the one your course is primarily based in. You can find this information from the module code. For example, the module code HR100-4-FY means:
The department or school the module will be taught by.
In this example, the module would be taught by the Department of History.
|The module number.||
The UK academic level of the module.
A standard undergraduate course will comprise of level 4, 5 and 6 modules - increasing as you progress through the course.
A standard postgraduate taught course will comprise of level 7 modules.
A postgraduate research degree is a level 8 qualification.
The term the module will be taught in.
A PhD (taking at least three years) typically involves wide reading round the subject area in your first year, then gradually developing original results over your second and third years, before writing them up in a coherent fashion. The resulting thesis is expected to make a significant contribution to knowledge.
Your PhD is awarded after your successful defence of your thesis in an oral examination (viva), in which you are interviewed about your research by two examiners, at least one of whom is from outside Essex.
We encourage you to make a preliminary enquiry directly to a potential supervisor or the Graduate Administrator within your chosen Department or School. We encourage the consideration of a brief research proposal prior to the submission of a full application.
We aim to respond to applications within four weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.
For information on our deadline to apply for this course, please see our ‘how to apply’ information.
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Set within the 200-acre award-winning beautiful parkland - Wivenhoe Park and located two miles from the historic city centre of Colchester – England's oldest recorded development. Our Colchester Campus is also easily reached from London and Stansted Airport in under one hour.
Whether you are planning to visit us at one of our Open Days, or coming to an Applicant day. Our campus conveniently located and easy to reach by car, train or bus.
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Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.
We hold open days for all our applicants throughout the year. Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex, and give you the chance to:
If the dates of our organised events aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.
At Essex we pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive student community. We offer a wide range of support to individuals and groups of student members who may have specific requirements, interests or responsibilities.
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