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Course content

Climate change is recognised as having potentially huge impacts on the environment and on human society. This programme aims to provide an understanding of climate change causes, impacts, mitigation and adaptation measures from a life science perspective in conjunction with developing a wide variety of mathematical modelling skills that can be used to investigate the impacts of climate change.

The programme closely follows the structure of our Applied Mathematical Sciences MSc. Two of the mandatory courses will specifically focus on understanding the issues related to climate change and are taught by the School of Life Sciences.

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;
Climate Change: Causes and Impacts;
Climate Change: Mitigation and Adaptation Measures;
Dynamical Systems (recommended);
Stochastic Simulation (recommended)

Optional Courses

Optimization;
Mathematical Biology and Medicine;
Numerical Analysis of ODEs;
Applied Mathematics;
Statistical Methods;
Applied Linear Algebra;
Partial Differential Equations;
Numerical Analysis;
Geometry;
Bayesian Inference.

Typical project subjects

Population Cycles of Forest Insects;
Climate Change Impact;
The replacement of Red Squirrels by Grey Squirrels in the UK;
Vegetation Patterns in Semi-arid Environments;
Daisyworld: A Simple Land Surface Climate Model.

The final part of the MSc is an extended project in mathematical modelling the impacts of climate change on environmental systems, giving the opportunity to investigate a topic in some depth guided by leading research academics.

Visit the Applied Mathematical Sciences With Climate Change Impacts Modelling page on the Heriot-Watt University website for more details!

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