This course is discontinued

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

Mathematical models are becoming an indispensable tool in studying biological and physiological processes. The purpose of this course is to give students with a background in biology and medicine an introduction to the most important mathematical aspects used in models in the life sciences. Also, students with a more mathematical background will gain a basic understanding of the biological side of these models. Throughout the course the students will encounter several mathematical models for complicated biological and physiological processes, examples of which are: natural selection, genetic drift, cell growth, epidemology, demography and population dynamics. The course will give students in mathematics knowledge of models used in biology and medicine, and students in biology knowledge of basic mathematical methods used to study these models.

Learning outcome

The course will give an elementary introduction to several biological and physiological processes, and to the construction of mathematical models describing these. Special emphasis will be given to the underlying assumptions of the models and to how observed results are related to model predictions. Basic mathematical tools such as dynamical systems and stochastic processes will be covered. Students will be able to determine properties of models, such as various forms of stability and long term behaviour. Numerical methods will also be used, for instance to study the how model predictions depend on various parameters.


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

In addition to fulfilling the Higher Education Entrance Qualification, applicants have to meet the following special admission requirements:

  • Mathematics R1 (or Mathematics S1 and S2) + R2

And in addition one of these:

  • Physics (1+2)
  • Chemistry (1+2)
  • Biology (1+2)
  • Information technology (1+2)
  • Geosciences (1+2)
  • Technology and theories of research (1+2)

The special admission requirements may also be covered by equivalent studies from Norwegian upper secondary school or by other equivalent studies (in Norwegian).

Recommended previous knowledge

The course is suited for students in biology/medicine as well as students with a more mathematical background.

A good foundation for this course is any of these combinations:

Biology students should take the course in the sixth semester along with BIO2120 – Evolutionary Biology (discontinued).

Overlapping courses

For information about the potential partial overlap with other courses, contact the Department.


4 hours of lectures/exercises per week. In addition the students will work on their own during the week.


One mandatory assignment needs to be passed within given deadlines to be allowed to take the final exam. Final mark based on written examination at the end of the semester.

Rules for mandatory assignments at the Department of Mathematics.

Examination support material

All handwritten and printed aids in addition to approved calculator.
Information about approved calculators (Norwegian only)

Language of examination

Subjects taught in English will only offer the exam paper in English.

You may write your examination paper in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

This subject offers new examination in the beginning of the subsequent term for candidates who withdraw during an ordinary examination or fail an ordinary examination. Deferred examinations for students who due to illness or other valid reason of absence were unable to sit for their final exams will be arranged at the same time. (These valid reasons has to be documented within given deadlines.)

For general information about new and deferred examination, see
MN-facultys webpage about deferred and new examinations

More information about examination at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences can be found here

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course






Every spring

The course will be given for the last time Spring 2014.


Every spring

Teaching language


The course is given in English. If no exchange students have asked for the course in English within the first lecture, it may be given in Norwegian.