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MA256 Introduction to Mathematical Biology

Lecturer: Emma Davis

Term(s): Term 3

Status for Mathematics students: List A

Commitment: 15 one hour lectures

Assessment: 100% 2 hour examination

Formal registration prerequisites: None

Assumed knowledge: Students should have a good knowledge of differential equations and stochastic modelling. The following modules will provide a good background to this module:

Useful background: A good understanding of mathematical models of biological systems will help students to follow the material in this course. The book listed below by Keeling and Rohani "Modelling Infectious Diseases in Humans and Animals" will provide an excellent background to solving differential equations of biological systems.

Synergies: The following year 2 modules will go well with this module:

Leads to: The following modules have this module listed as assumed knowledge or useful background:

Course content:

1. General introduction to the course

2. Introduction to Systems Biology

3. Introduction to Epidemiology

Introduction to Mathematical Biology and Systems Biology. Modelling techniques (based on core module material).


  • To develop simple models of biological phenomena from basic principles
  • To analyse simple models of biological phenomena using mathematics to deduce biologically significant results
  • To reproduce models and fundamental results for a range of biological systems
  • To have a basic understanding of the biology of the biological systems introduced

H. Van den Berg, Mathematical Models of Biological Systems, Oxford Biology, 2011
James D. Murray, Mathematical Biology: I. An Introduction. Springer 2007
Christopher Fall, Eric Marland, John Wagner, John Tyson, Computational Cell Biology, Springer 2002
L. Edelstein Keshet, Mathematical Models in Biology, SIAM Classics in Applied Mathematics 46, 2005
Keeling, M.J. and Rohani, P. Modeling Infectious Diseases in Humans and Animals, Princeton University Press, 2007
Anderson, R. and May, R. Infectious Diseases of Humans, Oxford University Press, 1992
Glendinning, P. Stability, Instability and Chaos, Cambridge Texts in Applied Mathematics, 1994

Additional Resources