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Mathematical Medicine & Biology - MAT00088M

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  • Department: Mathematics
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. George Constable
  • Credit value: 10 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2021-22

Related modules

Prohibited combinations

  • None

Additional information

Undergraduate students must have taken all the prerequisite modules, and it's strongly recommended they also take Partial Differential Equations I – MAT00040H/MAT00053M. Please consult the lecturer before making this module choice without Partial Differential Equations I.

MSc students must take Mathematical Ecology and Epidemiology MAT00080M at the same time as this module (or have taken an equivalent module elsewhere) and must have taken a first course in dynamical systems.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Spring Term 2021-22

Module aims

To explore mathematical problems in the medical and biological sciences; 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 medicine and biology.

To develop mathematical techniques to address the above problems.

Module learning outcomes

Subject content

The module aims to introduce students to a diverse range of problems from the medical and biological sciences that are amenable to mathematical techniques.

  • Excitable dynamics in nerves: the FitzHugh–Nagumo model.
  • Morphogenesis; animal coat patterns; the Turing instability.
  • Population Genetics; evolution and neutral theory (deterministic and stochastic modelling)
  • Blood flow: pulse propagation in large arteries (linear wave theory).

Academic and graduate skills

  • Academic skills: by the end of the module, students should be able to critically compare all of the above theories, identifying relative strengths and weaknesses. They should be able to investigate simple improvements, developing independent learning skills to enable the exploration of scientific literature in this subject area.
  • 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.


Task Length % of module mark
Online Exam
Mathematical Medicine & Biology
2 hours 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Online Exam
Mathematical Medicine & Biology
2 hours 100

Module feedback

Current Department policy on feedback is available in the undergraduate 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.

J. Keyner and J. Sneyd. MathematicaI Physiology I. Cellular Physiology. Springer

J. Keyner and J. Sneyd. MathematicaI Physiology II. Systems Physiology. Springer

W. J. Ewens. Mathematical population genetics. Springer

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.