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Last modified: 28 Jun 2018 10:27

Course Overview

This course teaches participants how to construct, implement and analyse their own models. The course introduces simulation techniques and programming in either R or C++. Additionally, it introduces a new software platform, RangeShifter, developed by researchers at Aberdeen. RangeShifter allows easier development of simulation studies in spatial ecology and conservation. Developers of the software are involved in teaching the course. A major component of the course is a mini project, during which you will work in small teams to develop your own models.

Course Details

Study Type Postgraduate Level 5
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 7.5 credits (3.75 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Dr Justin Travis

Qualification Prerequisites


What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Either Any Postgraduate Programme (Studied) or MSci Biological Sciences

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?


Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

The course aims to teach students how to construct and implement their own models. The course introduces simulation techniques and/or programming using a modelling platform, RangeShifter ( ), developed at Aberdeen and also using R. The main learning outcomes are: - Increased ability for abstraction - Ability to develop a model - Ability to critically evaluate a model and the results that it produces - Programming skills - Development of oral presentation skills. Development of group working skills. The course will comprise three practical sessions per week, where the students will be guided through the various steps involved in designing, implementing and analysing a model. The final session of the third week will provide the students with the opportunity to present their findings to the rest of the group.

Associated Costs


Further Information & Notes

Importantly, by taking this course you will also develop valuable skills in critically appraising the models developed by others.

In light of Covid-19 this information is indicative and may be subject to change.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown


More Information about Week Numbers

In light of Covid-19 and the move to blended learning delivery the assessment information advertised for second half-session courses may be subject to change. All updates for second-half session courses will be actioned in advance of the second half-session teaching starting. Please check back regularly for updates.

Summative Assessments

Continuous assessment: including through group demonstration of the jointly developed model (70%); review of a modelling paper (2000 words; 30%).

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.


Ongoing feedback on progress throughout the course, during the practical exercises.

Course Learning Outcomes


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