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Course Structure

Guide to SysMIC course structure

SysMIC will be delivered by adapting the ‘short course’ approach developed by The Open University. This model has proved very efficient for student audiences of the size of envisaged for SysMIC.

SysMIC will be composed of three modules as stipulated by the BBSRC’s 2010 eLSA call. It is envisaged that each of modules 1 and 2 will be sub-divided into about 10 discrete work packages each to be completed over two weeks and requiring between 6 and 10 hours work. Biological systems and topics studied will range across the entire BBSRC scale of interest - from molecular to ecological - and mathematics will encompass discrete and continuous techniques alongside some computational and statistical work. At all times the emphasis will be on systems and systems analysis rather than traditional mathematical biology.

SysMIC course delivery

The course will be delivered through the web using a custom built Moodle virtual leaning environment and will comprise reading and hands-on mathematical and computing work. Students will be supported with videos, moderated discussion groups and access to a cohort of on-line experts. Distance/e-Learning study will be supplemented by a series of intensive study events. This will include weekend study schools in London and Edinburgh and one-day problem solving classes held at a wide range of centres around the UK.

It is hoped that the first module of SysMIC will “go live” at the beginning of November 2012. An anticipated delivery schedule is shown below. Each class cohort will consist of roughly 140 “students”.

Modules 1 and 2 will consist largely of taught material with some mini-project work (about 20-30%). Module 3 will be entirely project work-based. Module 1 will provide a ‘toolbox’ of techniques drawn from applied mathematics, computing and statistics that will form a basis for the student’s later work. In module 2 students will expand their mathematical and computational skills and in module 3 they will attempt systems and integrative biological modeling of increasing sophistication. We envisage that assessment will be mostly ongoing throughout the course, with students expected to submit solutions to (

Page last modified on 19 jul 11 16:18


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