Artificial Life (819G5)

15 credits, Level 7 (Masters)

Autumn teaching

This module provides you with an introduction to the new field of artificial life. The module has a dual focus: first in bringing computing ideas from biology to AI that are useful in synthesising hardware and software-lifeline artefacts, and secondly using computational tools for testing ideas in biology.

Topics that you will study include: cellular automata and random Boolean networks; models of growth and development; introduction to evolutionary algorithms; dynamical system approaches to cognition; coevolution; fitness landscapes; and information theory and life.


63%: Lecture
11%: Practical (Laboratory)
26%: Seminar


100%: Coursework (Project)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 35 hours of contact time and about 115 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

This module is running in the academic year 2021/22. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. However, we are constantly looking to improve and enhance our courses. There may be changes to modules in response to student demand or feedback, changes to staff expertise or updates to our curriculum. We may also need to make changes in response to COVID-19. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.