MA324      Half Unit
Mathematical Modelling and Simulation

This information is for the 2022/23 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Aled Williams


This course is available on the BSc in Accounting and Finance, BSc in Data Science, BSc in Econometrics and Mathematical Economics, BSc in Economics, BSc in Management, BSc in Mathematics and Economics, BSc in Mathematics with Economics and BSc in Mathematics, Statistics and Business. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit and to General Course students.

General Course Students should check with the course convenor if they satisfy the prerequisites.

This course cannot be taken with MA334 Dissertation in Mathematics.


Students should have knowledge of: (1) linear programming, including duality, to the level of Operations Research Techniques (MA213) or Optimisation Theory (MA208); and (2) probability theory to the level of Quantitative Methods (Statistics) (ST107), in particular elementary distribution theory and the Poisson Process.

Course content

The course covers some of the most prominent tools in modelling and simulation. Both deterministic and stochastic models are covered. These include mathematical optimisation, the application of sophisticated mathematical methods to make optimal decisions, and simulation, the playing-out of real-life scenarios in a (computer-based) modelling environment.

Topics may include: formulation of management problems using linear/nonlinear and network models (these could include binary, integer, convex and stochastic programming models) as well as solving these problems and analysing the solutions; generating random variables using Monte Carlo simulation; discrete event simulation; variance reduction techniques; Markov Chain Monte Carlo methods.

The course will teach students to use modelling and simulation computer packages.


20 hours of lectures, 10 hours of classes and 5 hours of computer workshops in the LT.

Formative coursework

Formative assessment will be in the form of weekly homework. Some of the homework will have questions that are similar in nature to what is expected for the assessed project.

Indicative reading

Detailed lecture slides will be provided. The reading will be a combination of lecture slides and chapters from the following list of books.


- W L Winston, Operations Research: Applications and Algorithms, Brooks/Cole (4th ed., 1998)

- D Bertsimas and J N Tsitsiklis, Introduction to Linear Optimization, Athena Scientific (3rd ed., 1997)

- George B. Dantzig and Mukund N. Thapa, Linear Programming 2: Theory and extensions, Springer (2003)


- S Ross, Simulation, Academic Press (5th ed., 2012)

- Joseph K. Blitzstein, Jessica Hwang, Introduction to Probability, Chapman and Hall/CRC Press (2014)


Project (100%) in the ST.

The deliverable is a report of 15-20 pages, along with a copy of any computer code used.

Key facts

Department: Mathematics

Total students 2021/22: Unavailable

Average class size 2021/22: Unavailable

Capped 2021/22: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Commercial awareness
  • Specialist skills