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Faculty of Mathematics


The MPhil in Computational Biology course is aimed at introducing students in the biological, mathematical and physical sciences to quantitative aspects of modern biology and medicine, including bioinformatics.  The course has been developed by the Cambridge Computational Biology Institute and is run by the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics.

Recent technological developments in biological science, and in particular in molecular biology, have led to a massive increase in the amount of data available in biology and medicine. The volume of DNA and protein sequence data alone is enormous, and is increasing exponentially. Sequence data are just the beginning of the information explosion in the life sciences. New floods of data will emerge from many areas: microarrays designed to study spatial and temporal patterns of gene expression, experiments to understand how proteins, DNA and RNA interact with each other, from genomic technology applied to cancer, from studies of molecular variation in natural populations, and from studies that show how these variants relate to phenotype.

With the arrival of extensive data has come the realization that the life sciences must become more quantitative. As a result, the interface between mathematical and physical scientists on the one hand and life scientists on the other is one of the most active areas in science. The M.Phil. course arose out of discussions with researchers in Statistics, Applied Mathematics, Genetics, Zoology, Engineering, Physics, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Human Evolutionary Studies, as well as groups in the Clinical School including Oncology and the Diabetes and Inflammation Laboratory. In addition, it has support from the the European Bioinformatics Institute and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Hinxton.

Information for prospective students


If you have specific queries about the MPhil in Computational Biology course which are not covered in the information provided online please email us at or sign-up to attend our annual Open Day.