F11MS Modelling and Simulation in Life Sciences

Prof Jonathan Sherratt

Course co-ordinator(s): Prof Jonathan Sherratt (Edinburgh).


The aims of this course are to develop techniques of computational and differential equation modelling in biology, ecology
and medicine. This will be done by a mixture of lectures on basic methodology, computer labs, case studies, and groupbased modelling exercises. We will introduce a number of modelling approaches that are widely used in applications to the
life sciences, including reaction-diffusion equations, age-structured models, multi-scale modelling, and integral
representations of dispersal. The course will teach practical implementation of these modelling approaches in the context of
computer simulations, which will be illustrated by prototype applications from biology, ecology and medicine. These
methodologies will form the basis for a series of group-based modelling case studies.


This course will teach methods for developing mathematical models of problems in biology, ecology and medicine. A wide range of modelling approaches will be described, and will be illustrated using case studies. An important part of the course is reading and discussion of recent research papers, and reviews of these papers will form part of the coursework mark. The remainder of the coursework will involve a group project in which one or more models will be developed for a particular problem in the life sciences.

Detailed Information

Course Description: Link to Official Course Descriptor.

Pre-requisites: none.

Location: Edinburgh.

Semester: 1.

Assessment Methods: Due to covid, assessment methods for Academic Year 2021/22 may vary from those noted on the official course descriptor. Please see:
- Maths (F1) Course Weightings 2021/22
- Computer Science (F2) Course Weightings 2021/22
- AMS (F7) Course Weightings 2021/22

SCQF Level: 11.

Credits: 15.