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Module

BIO3049 : Biological Modelling

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Stephen Rushton
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

To introduce students to the methodology of designing and implementing biological models for tactical and strategic research. Introduce students to programme design and developments.

Outline Of Syllabus

The timetable has two blocks of teaching activities: lectures and practicals in the computer laboratory.


The course will consist of three components:

i) Introduction to the theory behind biological modelling. This will comprise 5-6 hours of lectures where students are introduced to different approaches and different applications. The emphasis will be on when, where and how one models different systems. During the course of developing their own model, students will be assessed on defining the problem, scoping the problem, formulation of conceptual diagrams and mathematical formulation of the problem.

ii) Introduction to use of R as a programming language.

iii) Development, testing and application of a model tailored to the individual students interests. This element of the course involves computing, analysis and write up of reports. The majority of this work including the writing is undertaken under supervision. Students are trained to write their reports as an academic publication.

iv) Introduction to problem solving using a modelling approach. This aims to discuss how one would create a model and use it to solve a real ecological problem.

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials31:003:00Online lecture materials
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion148:0048:00Revision and completion for end of semester assessment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion121:0021:00Report preparation and completion
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials60:303:00Online lecture materials
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion11:001:00Canvas Quiz
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading115:0015:00Relevant reading for module topics throughout the semester
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1091:00109:00Post lecture reading, Blackboard, Recap
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Online lectures are used to explain the challenging conceptual framework which underpins different modelling approaches in ecology, backed up by references to the research literature.

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Computer assessment2M30Canvas quiz
Report2M50Report
Written exercise2M20Take home assessment / examination
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The report assesses practical modelling skills primarily; scoping the problem, and designing and implementing a solution. The key objective of the module is to provide translational skills. These are best achieved through practical approaches to problem solving as experienced in the project itself and the write up.

Students are not penalised if the model fails to solve the problem.

Study Abroad students may request to take their exam before the semester 1 exam period, in which case the format of the paper may differ from that shown in the MOF. Study Abroad students should contact the school to discuss this.

Reading Lists

Timetable