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Biomaths?

Hi, I'm a year 12 student who's very interested in biomaths and am thinking of doing it in the future.

If there is anyone who does biomaths, pls could you give me a general idea of the subject area? What you can study, what your day-to-day life is like, how you became a biomathematician, etc.*

Thanks,*

Jacob
Original post by tastierspoon460
Hi, I'm a year 12 student who's very interested in biomaths and am thinking of doing it in the future.

If there is anyone who does biomaths, pls could you give me a general idea of the subject area? What you can study, what your day-to-day life is like, how you became a biomathematician, etc.*

Thanks,*

Jacob

hey i dont do biomed but have a look at UCAS and some universitys websites for biomed and have a look at the modules to see what it consists of. and if you can try visit some open days / or even watch online open days on youtube. good luck x
Hiya! I'm a third year maths student at uni of Nottingham. Although there isnt a direct biomaths degree here, in my maths degree there are some really interesting optional modules to take in 2nd and 3rd year including Mathematical Medicine and Biology, modelling and statistical inference. You can also choose to do a year in industry where you could gain experience in this field for a year! Would defo recommend having a further look here and let me know if you have any more questions: https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/ugstudy/course/Mathematics-BSc#yearsmodules
Original post by tastierspoon460
Hi, I'm a year 12 student who's very interested in biomaths and am thinking of doing it in the future.

If there is anyone who does biomaths, pls could you give me a general idea of the subject area? What you can study, what your day-to-day life is like, how you became a biomathematician, etc.*

Thanks,*

Jacob

I'm going to throw my research on the topic to the thread.
Note: I am not going into the field, but I have read up about it.

You are looking for a bioinformatics role. There are essentially a handful of routes that are directly linked to the profession: academia, biological research organisations, bioengineering and biotech companies, or NHS (typical for a lot of life science roles).

Bioinformatics would link biology with stats, computer science, and maths.

If you are purely looking for an undergrad degree in biology and maths, I only know of one university that does it: Exeter (it's called biological mathematics, which esspeically a maths degree with a biology context). Otherwise, you would need to improvise and do a natural science degree (roughly 20 universities in the UK, a lot fewer abroad) specialising in maths and biology (separate disciplines, not interlinked).
If bioinformatics is your thing, you will have a better chance of getting a master's degree in the subject before heading off to do a PhD. This is because bioinformatics is very much a very niche area (tiny). You can stop at master's level, but employers tend to prefer you to at least have a relevant PhD.
The bioinformatics masters' entry requirements is kind of all over the place depending on the degree; some will strictly ask for an undergrad in biological sciences, and others focus more on computer science and maths. From this, you can more or less infer that the degree is either more qualitative (biological) or quantiative (mathematical), but you can always contact the specific universities to check.
If you intend on becoming a bioinformatician, I would start with what sort of master's degree you want, and then pick the appropriate undergrad for it.

Because the specific master's and undergrads can vary widely, I cannot comment what you can study. You will need to check and research the contents of the individual modules involved. However for biological mathematics, you are likely to come across pure maths (because what maths degree doesn't have this), stats, and some decision maths (mechanics is not likely to be included for obvious reasons). For the full breadth of the topics available in bioinformatics, see the following: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bioinformatics

In terms of career, the following page should be useful if you want to work for the NHS: https://www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/explore-roles/healthcare-science/roles-healthcare-science/clinical-bioinformatics
The specialism branches out into genomics, health informatics, and physical sciences. There is no specific requirement for you to have a degree in bioinformatics or biological mathematics (e.g. you can get in with computer science, engineering, maths, biology degrees), but it might be helpful if you want to venture off into other roles and industries (for example math degrees tend to be appreciated in a number of fields, and the coding aspect can be useful in IT although you don't need a degree in order to go into tech).
The usual route is to get a relevant undergrad then apply for the STP program which will give you postgrad level training that should be roughly equivalent to a master's degree. STP programs are notoriously competitive, so a stelllar application and a lot of networking is required.

See the following for the general job profile of a bioinformatician: https://uk.indeed.com/career-advice/finding-a-job/bioinformatician-skills-and-qualifications

If your area of interest stems more into the use of mathematics in biological contexts (pun not intended), then you are very likely looking into research roles either in academia, some sort of think tank, some sort of NGO, or some sort of ecological organisation (more likely academia than anything else).

Personally, I would go for a maths degree then specialise in bioinformatics afterwards. However, I am biased because I like maths more than biology in most cases.

I don't know what the day to day responsibilities are like, so you're better off asking someone who is in the field.
Could be better to take one or the other as a degree and specialise later (to get broader knowledge and in case your interests change). Some unis in Scotland allow you to do a substantial number of modules from other subjects in the first two years which could give you a taster of both (and then you can switch to the 'other' degree)
Original post by tastierspoon460
Hi, I'm a year 12 student who's very interested in biomaths and am thinking of doing it in the future.

If there is anyone who does biomaths, pls could you give me a general idea of the subject area? What you can study, what your day-to-day life is like, how you became a biomathematician, etc.*

Thanks,*

Jacob

Hi, I'm a 3rd year Maths Student at Lancaster University. I don't think we have a specific biomaths degree here but currently in 3rd year you can take a module thats about Medical Statistics and I think in 4th year (if you decided to do an integrated masters) I think there's a couple of modules that might relate to that as well.

You also might want to check out our Natural Sciences degree if Biology and Maths are both interesting to you.

Link to the maths degree: https://www.lancaster.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/courses/mathematics-bsc-hons-g100/
Link to the natural sciences degree: https://www.lancaster.ac.uk/natural-sciences/

I hope this helps you,

Penelope (Lancaster University Mathematics Student Ambassador)

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