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Complex Systems Modelling - from Biomedical & Natural to Economic & Social Sciences MSc

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The Complex Systems Modelling – from Biomedical & Natural to Economic & Social Sciences MSc course will teach you to apply mathematical techniques in the rapidly developing and exciting interdisciplinary field of complex systems and examine how they apply to a variety of areas including biomedicine, nature, economics and social sciences. This research-led course is suitable for graduates who wish to work in research and development in an academic or industrial environment.

The course is run by the Disordered Systems group, one of the research groups in the Department of Mathematics at KCL, in collaboration with the Financial Mathematics group and the Departments of Informatics and Physics.

Offer Holders: Do you hold an offer for entry in the 2020/21 academic year? Visit your offer holder hub for the latest updates.

Student perspective

Read Hui Eng's blog on why she chose to study Complex Systems Modelling. 

Key benefits

  • Located in the heart of London, giving unparalleled access to research facilities.
  • You will be studying innovative modules covering modern theories of complex systems modelling.
  • Research-led study course taught by staff who are recognised leaders in their field.

Key information

Application status Open

Duration One year FT, two years PT, September to September.

Study mode Full-time, Part-time

Credit value UK 180/ECTS 90

Course intake 10-15 FT, 5-10 PT.

Course leaders

Further details

Course contact for further information

Course contact form Postgraduate admissions

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Faculty of Natural & Mathematical Sciences

Department Department of Mathematics



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Course detail


The Complex Systems Modelling MSc is an innovative study course that explores the latest research in the rapidly developing and exciting interdisciplinary field of complex systems.

Modern societies rely on a broad range of infrastructures, institutions and technologies, and their complexities have grown dramatically in the recent past. Consequently, there is a rapidly expanding demand for expertise in complex systems modelling as a foundation for understanding, maintaining and further developing such systems.

The course offers you the choice to study either full or part-time. You must take a combination of required and optional modules totalling 180 credits to complete the course. If you are studying full-time, you will complete the course in one year, from September to September. If you are studying part-time, your course will take two years to complete. You will study the required modules and some optional modules in the first year, and a further selection of required and optional modules including the complex systems modelling project in your second year.

You will learn advanced mathematical tools which allow you to study complex systems as emerging in natural, biomedical, economic and social sciences. We also offer the opportunity to study an additional zero-credit module called Foundations for Complex Systems Modelling & Cross-disciplinary Approaches to Non- equilibrium Systems which is designed as a refresher module covering vital mathematics and physics skills.


We use lectures and group tutorials to deliver most of the modules on the course. You will also be expected to undertake a significant amount of independent study.

You are expected to spend approximately 10 hours work per credit for each module you attend in your degree, e.g. 150 hours work for a 15-credit module. These hours cover every aspect of the module: lectures, tutorials, independent study, coursework and preparation for examinations. For example, for one module you could typically expect:

3 hours lecture (some modules may have 2 hours)
1 hour tutorial
6 hours self-study and coursework (depending on your background, some modules may require more hours).

During your work on the MSc Project you will have regular meetings with your project supervisor, but you are expected to spend the majority of your time in self-study to complete the project work.


The primary method of assessment for this degree is written examination. You may also be assessed by essays, practical examination, oral presentation, reports, class tests and projects. The nature of assessment varies by module. Resit opportunities (for modules failed in May) are normally offered in August.


Year 1

Courses are divided into modules. You will normally take modules totalling 180 credits.

Required Modules

You are required to take:

  • Theory of Complex Networks (15 credits)
  • Research Methods & Advanced Topics in Complex Systems (15 credits)
  • Equilibrium Analysis of Complex Systems (15 credits)
  • MSc Complex Systems Modelling Project (60 credits)

Other supporting module:

  • If you have a few gaps in your background or need a refresher, we offer a non-examinable support course, Foundations for CSM, which runs for 6 weeks in term one. 
Optional Modules

In addition, you are required to take at least two of the following modules:

  • Dynamical Analysis of Complex Systems (15 credits)
  • Mathematical Biology (15 credits)
  • Elements of Statistical Learning (15 credits)
  • Mathematical Aspects of Statistical Mechanics (15 credits)

And at most 45 credits from a range of optional modules, which may typically include:

  • Bio- & Nanomaterials in the Virtual Lab (15 credits)
  • Mathematical Methods for Theoretical Physics (15 credits)
  • Probability Theory (15 credits)
  • Risk-Neutral Valuation (15 credits)
  • Financial Markets (15 credits)
  • Stochastic Analysis (15 credits)
  • Statistics in Finance (15 credits)
  • Numerical & Computational Methods in Finance (15 credits)
  • Interest Rates & Credit Risk (15 credits)
  • Recent Topics in Financial Mathematics (15 credits)
  • Financial Markets (15 credits)
  • Incomplete Markets (15 credits)
  • C++ for Financial Mathematics (15 credits)
  • Exotic Derivatives (15 credits)
  • Machine Learning (15 credits)
  • Econophysics (15 credits)
  • Optimisation in Finance and Data Analysis (15 credits)

You can also take up to two modules from other University of London institutions, such as UCL and QMUL, subject to the approval of the programme director.

King’s College London reviews the modules offered on a regular basis to provide up-to-date, innovative and relevant programmes of study. Therefore, modules offered may change. We suggest that you keep an eye on our website for updates.

Entry requirements & how to apply

Complex System Modelling Entry Requirements
Minimum requirements   2:1

Bachelors degree with 2:1 honours degree in a suitable quantitative discipline, such as mathematics, physics, computer science, or engineering. A sound background in basic mathematics, in particular a familiarity with standard concepts of calculus, linear algebra, differential equations and elementary probability theory, will be assumed. In order to meet the academic entry requirements for this programme you should have a minimum 2:1 undergraduate degree with a final mark of at least 60% or above in the UK marking scheme. If you are still studying you should be achieving an average of at least 60% or above in the UK marking scheme.

A 2:2 honours degree (or international equivalent) may be acceptable depending on the candidate's academic background.

International requirements   Visit our admissions webpages to view our International entry requirements.
English Language requirements Band D Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.


Application procedure

Applications must be made online using King’s online application portal and a non-refundable application fee of £70 applies.

Your application will be assessed by the programme director. We do not interview applicants; you are welcome to call the department to arrange a visit.

We aim to process all completed applications with four-six weeks. During February, March, and April, applicants may take longer to process due to the volume we receive at this time.

Personal statement and supporting information

You will be asked to submit the following documents in order for your application to be considered:

Document checklist
Personal Statement  Yes

A personal statement is required. This can be entered directly into the online application form (maximum 4,000 characters) or uploaded as an attachment to the online application form (maximum 2 pages).

Previous Academic Study Yes A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing the subjects studied and marks obtained. If you have already completed your degree, copies of your official degree certificate will also be required. Applicants with academic documents issued in a language other than English, will need to submit both the original and official translation of their documents.
References Yes One academic reference is required. A professional reference will be accepted if you have completed your qualifications over five years ago. In some cases, we may request an additional reference from you.
Other Optional You may also wish to include a CV (Resume) or evidence of professional registration as part of your application

Application closing date

We recommend that you submit your application as soon as possible. Our first application deadline is the 31 March 2020. After this date, applications will remain open if places are available, but programmes will be closed as soon as they are full. For programmes with spaces remaining, no further applications will be accepted from non-EU (Overseas) nationals after 31July 2020 or from UK/EU nationals after 28 August 2020.

Please note you will not be eligible for an application fee refund if you apply after the first application deadline and places are filled before the final deadlines above and we are unable to process more offers.

Help and support

If you don't have a suitable qualification for direct entry to a UK university, or if English isn't your first language, our academic preparation courses can help you get ready for study in the UK.

Preparation courses

Fees and funding

  • Full time Home/EU fees: £9,990 per year (2020/21)
  • Full time overseas fees: £22,350 per year (2020/21)
  • Part time Home/EU fees: £4,995 per year (2020/21)
  • Part time overseas fees: £11,175 per year (2020/21)

Students starting their programme in 2020/21 who are eligible to pay EU fees will pay the same rate of tuition fees as UK students. This will apply for the duration of their programme, but may be subject to change by the UK Government for subsequent cohorts from 2021/22.

These tuition fees may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.


When you receive an offer for this course you will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit to secure your place. The deposit will be credited towards your total fee payment.

The UK/EU deposit is £500.

The INTERNATIONAL deposit is £2,000. 

  • If you receive an offer before 1 June 2020, payment is due by 30 June 2020.

  • If you receive an offer between 1 June 2020 and 30 June 2020, payment is due within one month of receiving the offer.

  • If you receive an offer between 1 July 2020 and 31 July 2020, payment is due within two weeks of receiving the offer.

  • If you receive an offer on or after 1 August 2020, payment is due within one week of receiving the offer.

  • If you receive an offer in late August, payment is due within 2 days of receiving the offer.

    If you are a current King’s student in receipt of the King's Living Bursary you are not required to pay a deposit to secure your place on the programme. Please note, this will not change the total fees payable for your chosen programme.

Additional costs/expenses

In addition to the costs above, you can also expect to pay for: 

  • Books if you choose to buy your own copies 
  • Clothing for optional course related events and competitions 
  • Library fees and fines 
  • Personal photocopies 
  • Printing course handouts 
  • Society membership fees 
  • Stationery 
  • Graduation costs
  • Travel costs for travel around London and between campuses 

Please visit our web pages on fees and funding for more information.

Financial help and support

Visit the fees and funding webpages to find out more about bursaries, scholarships, grants, tuition fees, living expenses, student loans and other financial help available at King's.

Career prospects

Career opportunities in complex systems modelling are vast and fast growing, spanning a huge range of industrial, public and governmental sectors, as well as academic posts within Complex Systems research groups. There are also regular career and networking events organised by the Department of Mathematics and the Careers & Employability Centre.

You can go on to work in areas including:

  • Management consulting firms
  • Biotechnology
  • Machine Learning & Data Science
  • Financial and re-insurance sectors
  • Smart cities & Urban policy
  • Energy and Environment
  • Science of Materials and Engineering
  • Software Development
  • Internet of Things
  • Cybersecurity & Defence
  • Entertainment & Serious Gaming 
  • Research 


Career destinations

Here are some examples of the types of organisations graduates can go onto to work for:

Management consulting firms and software development: 

  • PWC
  • KPMG
  • Roland Berger

Information Processing, Machine Learning, Data Science: 

  • Catapult
  • Cavendish maine
  • Lubrizol

Financial and re-insurance sectors:

  • Deutsche Bank
  • Financial Network Analytics
  • Bloomberg

Industrial sectors linked to Physics, Science Materials and Engineering: 

  • National Physical Laboratory
  • Rolls Royce
  • Unilever

Information Technology firms:

  • Hewlett-Packard Labs
  • IBM
  • Cisco

Entertainment and Serious Gaming companies:

  • Gameware
  • NaturalMotion
  • Sana Security

Research and further studies:

  • Alan Turing Institute
  • Microsoft Research Cambridge
  • The Francis Crick Institute


Next steps

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