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The University of Southampton

MANG6122 Simulation

Module Overview

This module provides a practical introduction to the theories and techniques of simulation. The approach taken is very broad and covers different forms of simulation, including discrete event simulation, system dynamics and agent-based modelling. The module focuses on practical applications of simulations in a variety of contexts, and students will gain expertise in simulation software.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • the basic statistical techniques (e.g. sampling from distributions, replications, and variance reduction) underlying the methodology of simulation;
  • the principles and uses of agent-based simulations;
  • the principles and uses of system dynamics;
  • the principles and uses of discrete event simulation;
  • how to experiment with simulation models to meet management objectives.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • apply quantitative and qualitative modelling approaches;
  • frame a problem and conceptualise it in a way that it can be approached using modelling.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • demonstrate your numeracy to future employers;
  • apply problem-solving;
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • create and run simulations models using modelling software.


• Discrete event simulation and use of modelling software • System Dynamics and use of software • Agent-based simulation • Statistical aspects of simulation: • Random numbers, sampling from distributions, confidence intervals and number of repetitions • Validation, verification and experimentation • Choosing distributions • Queuing systems, events, activities and queues, activity diagrams • Simulation software and the needs of users: graphics and interactivity • The future of simulation: new research directions

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include: Lectures, computer workshops, private study Learning activities include: Practical class exercises and games, problem solving, hands-on computer modelling

Independent Study126
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Marrtin Kunc (ed.) (2017). System Dynamics: Soft and Hard Operational Research. 

Stewart Robinson (2004). The Practice of Model Development and Use. 

John Sterman (2000). Business Dynamics, System Thinking and Modelling for a Complex World. 

Michael Pidd (2006). Computer Simulation in Management Science. 

Akira Namatame and Shu-Heng Chen (2016). Agent-Based Modelling and Network Dynamics. 





MethodPercentage contribution
Group project 30%
Individual Coursework 70%


MethodPercentage contribution
Individual Coursework 70%
Report 30%


MethodPercentage contribution
Individual Coursework 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:


Recommended texts for this module may be available in limited supply in the University Library and students may wish to purchase the mandatory/additional reading text as appropriate.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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