Mathematical Biology I module (MA32009)

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Module code


About the module

The aim of this course is to introduce you to some biological phenomena and their formulation in terms of mathematical models, which lead to difference equations and ordinary differential equations, and to investigate the solutions of these equations. This module is mandatory for students taking the BSc or MMath in Mathematics or the BSc or MSci in Mathematical Biology, and may optionally be taken in combination with other modules by students on any of the other Mathematics combined degrees. If you have questions about this module or the possible combinations, please contact your Advisor of Studies.


Students taking this module must have achieved a pass mark in each of the modules MA21001 and MA22001, or equivalents, and must have taken modules MA31002 and either MA31007 or MA32002.

Indicative Content

  • Single Species Population dynamics

    Difference equations: graphical analysis, fixed points and linear stability analysis. First order systems of ordinary differential equations: logistic equation, steady states, linearisation, and stability. Harvesting and fisheries.

  • Interacting Species

    Systems of difference equations (host-parasitoid systems). Systems of ordinary differential equation (predator-prey and competition models).

  • Molecular Dynamics

    Biochemical kinetics: Michaelis-Menten kinetics. Metabolic pathways: activation and inhibition.

Delivery and Assessment

The module is delivered in the form of lectures and workshops/tutorials and assessed via an exam (80%) and coursework (20%).

Credit Rating

This module is a Scottish Higher Education Level 3 or SCQF level 9 module and is rated as 15 SCOTCAT credits or 7.5 ECTS credits.


This module is available on following courses: