Accessibility statement

Mathematical Ecology & Epidemiology - MAT00080M

« Back to module search

  • Department: Mathematics
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Gustav Delius
  • Credit value: 10 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2021-22
    • See module specification for other years: 2022-23

Related modules

Pre-requisite modules

Co-requisite modules

  • None

Additional information

MSc students should have taken a first course in Dynamical Systems.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Spring Term 2021-22

Module aims

  • To introduce students to the enormous diversity and complexity of problems in ecology and epidemiology; to give mathematics students the opportunity to gain familiarity with the vocabulary of biology.
  • To provide an introduction to the modelling and analysis of solutions of problems in ecology and epidemiology, particularly those that can be addressed via dynamical systems techniques.
  • To explore strategies for tacking epidemics using knowledge gained from mathematical modelling.

Module learning outcomes

Subject content

The module aims to inspire students by introducing them to a range of problems of significant current interest. To this end, the module will address essential elements as below making use of topical examples.

  • Population dynamics of a single species in discrete and continuous time, with and without additional structure (such as age-structure and male-female interactions).
  • Limits to population growth and harvesting.
  • Interactions of two or more species (including predator-prey, competition and symbiosis).
  • Dynamics in space and time (including diffusion and directed motion).
  • Epidemics and travelling waves (including SIR models and vector-borne diseases).
  • Modelling strategies for tackling outbreaks.


Academic and graduate skills

  • Academic skills: by the end of the module, students should be able to evaluate ecological or epidemiological problems and construct appropriate models. Using these models, they should be able to apply appropriate mathematical tools and techniques to determine solution behaviour.
  • Graduate skills: through lectures, examples, classes, students should develop their ability to assimilate, process and engage with new material quickly and efficiently. Students should develop problem solving-skills and learn how to apply techniques to unseen problems. Students on this module will learn to work more independently and assimilate advanced material at a greater rate than those on the H-level variant.


Task Length % of module mark
Online Exam -less than 24hrs (Centrally scheduled)
Mathematical Ecology and Epidemiology
2 hours 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Online Exam -less than 24hrs (Centrally scheduled)
Mathematical Ecology and Epidemiology
2 hours 100

Module feedback

Current Department policy on feedback is available in the student handbook. Coursework and examinations will be marked and returned in accordance with this policy.

Indicative reading

  • J. D. Murray. Mathematical Biology I. An Introduction. Springer.
  • J. D. Murray. Mathematical Biology II. Spatial Models and Biomedical Applications. Springer.
  • W Gurney and R Nisbet, Ecological Dynamics, Oxford University Press (1998).

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.