20 credits at level HE4
This module aims to provide students with an introduction to the diverse nature of the living world through a consideration of the system of classification of organisms, evolutionary theories, and aspects of ecology, animal behaviour, and population genetics. These disciplines form the basic currency of biology, and therefore it is vital that any biologist has a grasp of the range of different life forms and some knowledge of their similarities and differences and of their evolutionary relationships.
Classification systems - concepts, uses and pitfalls
The species concept - ways of defining species - ecological, genetic, behavioural, biological
The 5-Kindgom System of Classification. Characteristics of the five kingdoms. Alternative systems of classification
Evolutionary trends in body plans - Kingdom Animalia: body symmetry, cephalization, development of the coelom. Kingdom Plantae - The invasion of terrestrial habitats
Darwinian Evolutionary theory. The history of evolutionary thought. The evidence for classical Darwinian evolutionary theory. The creationist viewpoint
Natural and artificial selection. Case studies of natural selection. Darwin's finches, industrial melanism. Selective breeding and genetic manipulations
Fossils and the age of the Earth. Fossil evidence for evolution. Geological time scales. Formation of fossils-processes of erosion and deposition. Consideration of reasons for gaps in the fossil record
An Introduction to terminology and general principles
The different approaches to studying behaviour; perception; motor patterns; physiological aspects of behaviour; genes and learning.
An introduction; the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium.
A variety of methods will be employed including directed reading, informal lectures, demonstration practicals and group and class exercises. Class contact 12 x 3 hour sessions and one 3 hour revision session prior to the examination
Class contact (13 weeks x 3 hrs) = 39 hours
Private study = 120 hours
Assessment 3 hr exam = 3 hours
2 coursework @ 19 hrs each = 38 hours
Total: = 200 hours
when you have successfully completed this module you will:
to demonstrate that you have achieved the learning outcome you will:
|1.||Demonstrate understanding of the classification of organisms||
1a) Outline alternative systems of classification and describe the 5-Kingdom System.
b) Use the 5-Kingdom System to identify organisms to various levels within the taxonomic heirarchy
|2.||Demonstrate understanding of
theories of evolution and Creationism
a) Outline various theories of evolution and the Creationists' theory.
b) Describe the evolutionary relationships of the major groups of organisms.
|3.||Demonstrate understanding of
the basic principles of ecology, animal behaviour, and population genetics
|Describe and explain these basic principles.|
Your achievement of the learning outcomes for this module will be tested as follows:
|Description||Peer Assessed Poster||Examination||Essay|
There are no prerequisites for this module.
No restrictions apply.
Essential text: Campbell, N.A. & Reece, J.B (2001) Biology. 6th Ed. Benjamin Cummings
Barnes, R.S.K., et al. (2001) The Invertebrates: a new synthesis. (3rd Ed.) Blackwell
Bell, P.R. & Hemsley, A.R. (2000) Green Plants: their origin and diversity. (2nd Ed.) Cambridge University Press
Clarkson, E.N.K. (1998) Invertebrate Palaeontology and Evolution. (4th Ed.) Oxford: Blackwell Science
Cullen, J. & Davies, P.H. (1997) The Identification of Flowering Plant Families. (4th Ed) Cambridge University Press
Dawkins, R. (1988) The Blind Watchmaker. Harmondsworth: Penguin
Margulis, L. & Schwartz, K.V. (1998) Five Kingdoms: an illustrated guide to the phyla of life on earth. (3rd Ed.) New York: W. H. Freeman
Mauseth, J.D. (2003) Botany: an introduction to Plant Biology. (3rd Ed.) London: Jones & Bartlett
Patterson, C. (1999) Evolution. (2nd Ed.) London: Natural History Museum
Skelton, P.W. & Gilmour, I. (1993) Evolution: a biological and palaeontological approach. Addison Wesley/Open University
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