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MAS8815 : Mathematical Biology

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Graeme Sarson
  • Owning School: Mathematics, Statistics and Physics
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0
European Credit Transfer System


Mathematical Biology is an important application of mathematics to biology. Students are introduced to the concepts and techniques involved in developing mathematical models of biological systems. Students will learn how to analyse the resulting models and interpret their results in the context of the biological questions being asked. In particular, topics considered include population dynamics, delay effects, and inter-species interactions. Students will consider questions of stability in detail, both analytically and computationally.

Outline Of Syllabus

Continuous population models and their study via differential equations and delay differential equations (DDEs), including linear stability analysis. Discrete population models and their study via difference equations and delay difference equations, including linear stability analysis. Stochastic birth and death models, and moment generating functions. Predator-prey interactions and other inter-species interactions, and ecological networks. Computational applications.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture21:002:00Revision Lectures
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture201:0020:00Formal Lectures
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion151:0015:00Completion of in course assessments
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture51:005:00Problem Classes
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study581:0058:00Preparation time for lectures, background reading, coursework review
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
MAS3815Mathematical Biology
PHY3048Mathematical Biology
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The teaching methods are appropriate to allow students to develop a wide range of skills, from understanding basic concepts and facts to higher-order thinking. Lectures are used for the delivery of theory and explanation of methods, illustrated with examples, and for giving general feedback on marked work. Problem Classes are used to help develop the students’ abilities at applying the theory to solving problems.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1202A80N/A
Exam Pairings
Module Code Module Title Semester Comment
Mathematical Biology2N/A
Mathematical Biology2N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Prob solv exercises2M5Problem-solving exercise assignment.
Prob solv exercises2M5Problem-solving exercise assignment.
Prob solv exercises2M5Problem-solving exercise assignment.
Prob solv exercises2M5Problem-solving exercise assignment.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

A substantial formal unseen examination is appropriate for the assessment of the material in this module. The format of the examination will enable students to reliably demonstrate their own knowledge, understanding and application of learning outcomes. The assurance of academic integrity forms a necessary part of programme accreditation.

Examination problems may require a synthesis of concepts and strategies from different sections, while they may have more than one ways for solution. The examination time allows the students to test different strategies, work out examples and gather evidence for deciding on an effective strategy, while carefully articulating their ideas and explicitly citing the theory they are using.

The coursework assignments allow the students to develop their problem solving techniques, to practise the methods learnt in the module, to assess their progress and to receive feedback; these assessments have a secondary formative purpose as well as their primary summative purpose.

Reading Lists