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Course content

he contribution of mathematical and computational modelling to the understanding of biological systems has rapidly grown in recent years. This discipline encompasses a wide range of life science areas, including ecology (e.g. population dynamics), epidemiology (e.g. spread of diseases), medicine (e.g. modelling cancer growth and treatment) and developmental biology.

This programme aims to equip students with the necessary technical skills to develop, analyse and interpret models applied to biological systems. Course work is supported by an extended and supervised project in life science modelling.

Students will take a total of 8 courses, 4 in each of the 1st and 2nd Semesters followed by a 3-month Project in the summer. A typical distribution for this programme is as follows:

Core courses

Modelling and Tools;
Mathematical Ecology;
Dynamical Systems;
Mathematical Biology and Medicine.

Optional Courses

Optimization;
Numerical Analysis of ODEs;
Applied Mathematics;
Statistical Methods;
Stochastic Simulation;
Partial Differential Equations;
Numerical Analysis;
Geometry;
Climate Change: Causes and Impacts;
Biologically Inspired Computation;
Climate Change: Mitigation and Adaptation Measures.

Typical project subjects

Population Cycles of Forest Insects;
Modelling Invasive Tumour Growth;
The replacement of Red Squirrels by Grey Squirrels in the UK;
Wiring of Nervous System;
Vegetation Patterning in Semi-arid Environments;
Daisyworld: A Simple Land Surface Climate Model.

Visit the Applied Mathematical Sciences with Biological and Ecological Modelling page on the Heriot-Watt University website for more details!

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