• Postgraduate taught
  • MSc

Living Planet with Computational Methods in Ecology and Evolution

Bring cutting-edge quantitative methods and biological concepts together to solve research problems.

Bring quantitative methods and biological concepts together to examine cutting-edge biological research problems

Explore how biology is helping spur major new developments in computation, mathematics and statistics

Carry out a programme of original research and take the lead in developing a research question

Course key facts

  • Qualification

    • MSc

  • Duration

    1 year

  • Start date

    September 2024

  • Study mode


  • Fees

    • £15,150 Home

    • £30,600 Overseas

  • Delivered by

  • Location

    • Silwood Park

Minimum entry standard

  • 2:1 in a life sciences, mathematics, physical sciences, or engineering subject

View full entry requirements

Course overview

This course is for students who wish to be trained in cutting-edge quantitative techniques in Ecology and Evolution with applications to wide range of real-world problems. This includes ecosystem-based solutions for industrial bioprocessing and production, improving food production in agroecosystems, nature-based carbon capture, and biodiversity conservation.

Quantitative skills are a critical limiting factor in modern biology, including the fields of Ecology, Evolution, Behaviour and Conservation Biology. In this course students learn those skills in application to important biological problems at one of the world's leading institutions for quantitative biology.

Students leave with skills in data science, computing, statistics and machine learning/AI, mathematical modelling that give them a major edge in competing for jobs in NGos and industry as well PhDs.

This course is suitable for students coming any background in science and engineering including biology, mathematics, physics, chemistry, engineering, statistics and computer science who wish to expand their quantitative skills towards solving real-world problems in ecosystems and the environment.

Computational tools are biology's next microscope, only better – learn to use them now!

Along with coursework on cutting edge topics in quantitative ecology and evolution, you’ll will carry out an extended piece of independent research across over a five-month project, where you will apply your growing range of skills and advance your project management skills. 

MSc Living Planet programme

Our MSc Living Planet course will equip you to tackle the great environmental challenges facing the world, providing training on the transferrable research skills you’ll need to develop science-based understanding and interventions. All our MSc Living Planet streams are available in full-time or part-time modes. 

You may wish to consider if another stream is right for you according to your career aims and background: 

MRes Living Planet course

We also offer an MRes in Living Planet course with the following streams: 


This page is updated regularly to reflect the latest version of the curriculum. However, this information is subject to change.

Find out more about potential course changes.

Please note: it may not always be possible to take specific combinations of modules due to timetabling conflicts. For confirmation, please check with the relevant department.

You'll complete the following core modules:

  • Biological Computing Bootcamp
  • Statistics in R
  • Introduction to Ecological and Evolutionary Data Science in R and Python
  • HPC for Biological Computing
  • Mathematical Modelling in Ecology and Evolution
  • Advanced Data Science, including Machine learning and AI

A five-month project will provide you with an opportunity to carry out an extended piece of independent research.

This will enable you to take the lead in developing a research question and driving the work forward, and can incorporate external placements.

Your work will be assessed by a thesis, research presentation and a viva.

Teaching and assessment

Balance of teaching and learning


  • Lectures and practicals
  • Independent study
  • Individual research project

  • 20% Lectures and practicals
  • 30% Independent study
  • 50% Individual research project

Teaching and learning methods

  • Person at lectern giving speech
  • Primer document with introductory information
  • Seminars
  • Workshops
  • Computer-based work
  • Blackboard virtual learning environment
    Virtual learning environment
  • Recorded lectures available online
    Lecture recordings
  • Individual research project and dissertation
  • A person studying independently
    Independent study
  • Work placement opportunity

Balance of assessment


  • Examinations
  • Coursework
  • Research project

  • 25% Examinations
  • 25% Coursework
  • 50% Research project

Assessment methods

  • Person completing coursework
  • A person completing a written exam
  • Research project

Entry requirements

We consider all applicants on an individual basis, welcoming students from all over the world.

How to apply

Apply online

You can submit one application form per year of entry. You can choose up to two courses.

Tuition fees

Home fee

2024 entry


Overseas fee

2024 entry


How will studying at Imperial help my career?

Person in a bubble surrounded by 4 skills

Gain transferrable skills necessary for a competitive edge when applying for PhDs and jobs.

Chemistry research on computer screen

Taking part in research projects will enable you to make an informed decision about your PhD research.

Man standing under a sign pointing different directions

The training provided will leave you well placed to pursue a career in academic, government or non-governmental organisations engaged in research into biodiversity.

Terms and conditions

There are some important pieces of information you should be aware of when applying to Imperial. These include key information about your tuition fees, funding, visas, accommodation and more.

Read our terms and conditions

You can find further information about your course, including degree classifications, regulations, progression and awards in the programme specification for your course.

Programme specifications