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Recommended mathematical background and qualifications

An A level or equivalent in Mathematics is highly recommended for this course, and experience shows that almost all students who have studied mathematics at the post-16 level are adequately prepared to perform well on the course. In particular, AS Level Mathematics, Scottish Highers, German Abitur, Advanced Placement (AP) Calculus and a number of other qualifications all provide sufficient background to follow the course, although in certain cases some independent study will be required, and help from supervisors.

For students entering having done the International Baccalaureate, Higher Level Mathematics is highly preferred, but students with Standard Level Mathematics will also have adequate preparation, perhaps again with some additional self-study and help from supervisors.

Students without one of these backgrounds will be asked by their College to self-study the first four chapters of ' Mathematics for Biological Scientists by Aitkin, Broadhurst and Hladky' by Aitkin, Broadhurst and Hladky before coming to Cambridge, as well as to have looked at the additional online resources at here. To access these materials before coming up to Cambridge, you will need to be granted access: please contact the Course Administrator to do this. In addition, some ‘Introduction to Basic Calculus’ lectures and problem sheets will be available online from the beginning of Michaelmas Term.

Any student who is concerned about their mathematical background should discuss this with their Director of Studies before or soon after arriving in Cambridge, and in some cases it is likely that their College will be able to make extra support available, such as extra supervisions.