Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Mathematics & Computing for Biologists
Academic Year
Semester 2 (Taught over 2 semesters)
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 1 x 1 hour lecture per week (22 hours) - across semester 1 & 2
Other 3 x 2 hour workshops (6 hours) - across semester 1 & 2


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Word processing assignment.  20%
Semester Assessment Spreadsheet assignment 1.  20%
Semester Assessment Spreadsheet assignment 2.  20%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   Mathematics question paper.  40%
Supplementary Assessment Practical exam. Word processing and spreadsheets.  Students must take elements of assessment equivalent to those that led to failure of the module.  60%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   Mathematics exam.  Students must take elements of assessment equivalent to those that led to failure of the module.  40%

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to:

  • apply a range of basic mathematical techniques to deal with biological data
  • use a word processor, spreadsheet and the internet for e-mail and searching for information.

Brief description

Through a series of practical sessions and exercises the basics of current application of information technology will be introduced, concentrating on Word processing and spreadsheets. Familiarity with using e-mail and the World Wide Web will also be ensured. The storage of data in files, file management, network uses and printing will be taught. Familiarity will be ensured with the use of a word-processing package where basic text handling and formatting operations willbe taught. Teaching the use of spreadsheet packages will be integrated, whereever possible, with the matheatical elements of the module in examples where real biological data will be handled. The concepts of workbooks and worksheets, inputting text and numbers, formatting cells and using functions as well as creating graphics will be dealt with.

The following mathematical concepts will be set in a background of handling biological data: basic numeracy; types of numbers; significant figures; scientific notation; units - conversion from one level to another (including standard SI units); logarithms, converting from number to log and back again; exponents; tables and graphs; concepts of dilution series; percentages and roportions; basic algebra; basic statistics; mode, median, mean, variance, standard deviation, frequency distribution; normal curves in biological applications.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number See 1 above
Communication Attendance at lectures, presentation of course work and written examinations will provide opportunities to develop written and listening skills.
Improving own Learning and Performance Attendance at lectures, workshops and tutorials, working to deadlines for coursework and workshops, and preparation for examinations will require the development of self management strategies and personal action plans.
Information Technology Learning to use word processing and spreadsheet packages.
Problem solving Solving of mathematical problems of a biological nature


This module is at CQFW Level 3