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BIOLOGY

(Includes level 1 and 2 courses offered by Agriculture, Biomedical Sciences, Molecular and Cell Biology, Plant and Soil Science and Zoology)

> Level 1
BI 1005
ORGANISMAL BIOLOGY
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: Dr J Baird & Dr J McDonald

Pre-requisite(s): None

Co-requisite(s): None

Organismal biology explores the challenges of being alive. The course content comprises modules pertaining to the comparative study of life functions (reproduction, growth and development, nutrition, gas exchange, circulation, excretion, movement and communication) in a diverse range of plants, animals and microbes. The emphasis is on describing the similarities and differences amongst plants, animals and microbes pertaining to the integration and regulation of life functions that allow survival of individuals and species in a range of environments.

Twelve-week course infirst half-session. 3 one-hour lectures per week and 1 three-hour laboratory practical every second week (but only five practicals in total). Total contact hours: 36 lectures and five practicals; in total, 51 hours.

1st Attempt: 1 two-hour MCQ exam (60%) and in-course assessment (40%).

To pass this course, a pass must be achieved both the theory exam and the in-course assessment.

Resit: 1 two-hour MCQ exam in the same format as the main exam.

Formative Assessment and Feedback Information

Fourcompulsory online tests (one test every three weeks) will help students assess how well they are learning the course material. Student performance will be monitored.

Students will receive regular written feedback on each lab report before the start of thenext practical class. Students who are identified ashaving difficulty in correctly completing the formative online tests will be invited to meet members of the course team to identify difficulties and discuss solutions.

BI 1006
BIOLOGY FOR UNDERGRADUATES (BUGS)
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: Dr M Barker, Mrs C Dennis

Pre-requisite(s): None

Co-requisite(s): All studentsstudy BI 1005 and BI 1509.

Note(s): Compulsory course for all students with a degree intention in any programme coordinated by SBS.Only available to such students.

The course is designed to promote interest and understanding pertaining to topics in biology. This is done by encouraging good practice in learning and by developing competence in relevant skills pertaining to the study of biological science. Topics will be specific to the degree intention of individual students, althought the skills are mostly generic. Students will receive summative assessment on in-course work.

1 introductory session and subsequent tutorial sessions. Minimum 18 hour contact.

1st Attempt: In-course assessment (100%).

Resit: Submission / resubmissionof those component exercises which previously had not been submitted for marking or for which students have been awarded a fail mark, respectively.

Formative Assessment and Feedback Information

Students will have access to a range of formative online exercises that will enhance their competence in skills components of the course. Participation in these exercises will be monitored and students with apparent difficulty will be identified and invited to discuss solutions with members of the teaching staff.

Students will be offered formative assessment of draft copypertaining to in-course components before summative assessment is made of final copy.

Students will receive feedback (formal and informal) on formative exercises. They will also receive written feedback on each of their in-course components of summative assessment.

BI 1509
ECOLOGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: Professor Pete Smith & Mrs C Dennis

Pre-requisite(s): None

Co-requisite(s): None

The content includes topics in Ecology: (Biodiversity, Ecological Resources, Population Ecology, Community Ecology, Ecosystem Functioning) and topics in Environmental Science: (Ecosystems and Environment, The Atmosphere and the Oceans, Land Use and the Global Environment, Global Environmental Change - including Climate Change, GMOs, Acid Deposition, Ozone Depletion, Biodegradation of Crude Oils, - Waste Management and the Environment).

Twelve-week course in second half-session. Three 1-h lectures per week and one 3-h laboratory practical every second week (but only five practicals in total; some practicals are tutorial-based). Total contact hours: 36 lectures and five practicals; in total, 51 hours.

1st Attempt: 1 two-hour MCQ exam (60%) and in-course assessment (40%).

To pass this course, a pass must be achieved in both the theory exam and the in-course assessment.

Resit: 1 two-hour MCQ exam in the same format as the main exam.The resit paper may contain questions pertaining to both the practical and lecture components of the course.

Formative Assessment and Feedback Information

There is no formal formative assessment but students will be expected to engage in tutorial-type discussionswhich will allow them to assess their own understanding of the course content.

The main source of feedback will be regular written comment on practical reports. These comments will be made available to students in advance of the next practical class.

BI 19P3
PLANT ECOLOGY AND TAXONOMY FIELD COURSE
CREDIT POINTS 7.5

Course Co-ordinator: Dr L Page, Dr M Barker

Pre-requisite(s): None

Co-requisite(s): None

Note(s): Compulsory course for all students with a degree intention in Plant Biology, Plant and Soil Science andEcology. Strongly recommended for students of Forestry and Forest Scienceand open to students with other degree intentions (SBS). This course is only available to students from the School of Biological Sciences, with a preference to those students for whom it is compulsory for their degree.

Students will be instructed in the use of a flora for plant identification in coastal, woodland, moorland and montane habitats in the north of Scotland. They will be encouraged to consider how these habitats are shaped by environment and management practices. Small project studies of vegetation analysis are carried out.

Six days of field excursion with some lab-based components (residential at Bettyhill Field Centre).

1st Attempt: In-course assessment (50%) plant identification; written report on small project (50%).

Resit: Retake course.

Formative Assessment and Feedback Information

Continuous discourse amongst students and academic staff ensures enhanced skills in plant identification and an appreciation of ecological issues.

Verbal feedback is provided on all components of assessment during the field trip; feedback is provided on short project reports.

 

> Level 2
BI 2001
COMMUNITY ECOLOGY
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: Dr M Pinard, Dr C Trinder

Pre-requisite(s): BI 1005 or BI 1509

The content reflects important topics in ecology, demonstrated with examples from plant, soil and marine systems. It features the following themes:

  1. The nature and description of ecological communities - terrestrial and marine.

  2. Community dynamics (disturbance, succession, regeneration and species coexistence) - terrestrial and marine examples.

  3. Trophic interactions (food webs, herbivory, parasitism, predation etc).

  4. Symbioses as case studies of community interactions: biological nitrogen fixation, mycorrhizas, cellular endo-symbionts.

  5. Biodiversity and ecosystem function.

  6. Community assembly and biogeography.

The content integrates in a critical manner these generic themes across different terrestrial and marine systems with the aim of developing a generic understanding of ecological processes. Topics typically include examples from each area, with a focus on similarities and differences between systems and an interrogative look at whether general rules apply in ecological systems within the context of environmental change, conservation and other contemporary relevant/associated themes that the students will expand on at later levels.

Twelve-week course in first-half session. 3 one-hour lectures per week plus 1 three-hour practical every second week (six practicals in total). Total contact hours: 36 lectures and six practicals (18) = 54 hours in total.

1st Attempt: 1 two-hour written exam (8 out of 15 short questions, 1 out of 6 essays; = 70%); continuous assessment (30%).

Resit: 1 two-hour written exam in the same format as 1st attempt.

Formative Assessment and Feedback Information

A formative in-course test will help students assess how well they are learning the course material. Student participation in these tests will be monitored and contribute to retention of the class certificate.

Students will receive regular written feedback on each practical report before the start of the next practical class. Students who are identified as having difficulty in correctly completing the formative on-line tests will be invited to meet members of the course team to identify difficulties and discuss solutions.

BI 2002
GENES AND EVOLUTION
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: Dr J Pettitt, Dr L Noble

Pre-requisite(s): SM 1501

Co-requisite(s): None.

The course explores the fundamental biological processes of genetics and evolution. Evolution is unified by the concept of continual change at the phenotypic level, underpinned by genetic changes of different kinds at the molecular level. The content of the course draws on material at all levels of complexity from the molecular, to the whole organism, to the population. There is a balance between molecular and organismal biology, and broader issues such as human population history.

Major topics:

  • The key genetic and evolutionary concepts

  • Evolution at the gene level

  • Evolution at the genome level

  • Evolution at the organism level

  • Evolution at the population level and the origin of species

  • Macroevolution (evolution of major organism groups)

3 one-hour lectures per week and 1 three-hour practical every 2 weeks.

1st Attempt: 1 two-hour written examination (75%) and in-course assessment (25%). Continuous assessment comprises: 3 laboratory reports, 2 MCQ tests (each 5%).

Resit: 1 two-hour written examination (75%) and in-course assessment (25%).

Formative Assessment and Feedback Information

PRS used by some lecturers.

Practical reports will be marked with written comments. Students are given general feedback on performance during PRS sessions. Students receive on-line feedback on completion of the MCQ tests.

BI 2011
BIOLOGICAL ENHANCED SKILLS TRAINING (BEST)
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: Dr M Barker

Pre-requisite(s): None.

Co-requisite(s): None.

Note(s): The course is only open to students with a degree intention in a programme coordinated by SBS. Not available to other students - except visiting exchange students with a relevant degree intention from home university.

The course will focus on a series of essential skills, associated with becoming an effective and successful biologist. These enhanced skills include scientific literacy (including writing and critiquing), presentation (including posters, graphical and oral communication) and data handling (including descriptive statistics, experimental design, parametric and non-parametric analysis). The emphasis throughout will be on: consolidating Level 1 (or existing) skills; developing independent study skills and preparing the way for Level 3 courses in SBS.

24 week course, running during alternate weeks during both first and second half sessions. Every week there will be a two-hour workshop (lab or PC). Total contact hours = 48 hours. Workshops will organised around a small number of groups, allowing students to focus on material related to their degree intentions.

1st Attempt: Continuous assessment, consisting of 24 (equally-weighted) exercises (100%).

Resit: Submission of any outstanding or failed pieces of coursework, or a two-hour examination. The examination will comprise 70 multiple-choice questions and one-short answer question, all based on the overall course content.

Formative Assessment and Feedback Information

Formative on-line tests will help students assess how well they are learning. Student participation in these tests will be monitored. Participation data will alert the course coordinators to any difficulties with individual students in either attainment or attendance.

Each student will receive individual feedback and a mark for each task. Feedback will be provided as written comments, audio feedback, or (for online exercises) automated feedback. Groups will also be given generic feedback.

Students who are identified as having difficulty in successfully completing the coursework assessment tasks will be invited to meet members of the course team to identify difficulties and discuss solutions.

A strong emphasis will be made throughout the course on informal verbal feedback during seminar and workshop sessions.

BI 2012
DIVERSITY OF LIFE - THEORY
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: Dr C Jones, Dr S Martin and Dr S Woodin

Pre-requisite(s): BI 1005 and BI 1509

Co-requisite(s): BI 2013

Note(s):

Over approximately 3.7 billion years, living organisms on the Earth have diversified and adapted to every possible environment. This course will introduce theoretical aspects pertaining to the evolutionary tree of life and examine the amazing diversity of life through time, focusing on major lineages of organisms from fungi, through plants to invertebrates and vertebrates.

24 weeks, three one-hour lectures per week

1st Attempt: 1 two-hour examination paper (100%) based mainly on lecture material, comprising multiple choice questions and short essay questions.

NB. Students gain exemption from course exam by passing three in-course tests.

Resit: 1 two-hour written examination (100%) in the same format as the main examination.

Formative Assessment and Feedback Information

Three formative tests will help students assess how well they are learning the course material. Students who successfully pass all three tests will be offered exemption from the class exam.

Students will receive a mark on the formative tests.

Students who are identified as having difficulty in correctly completing the formative tests will be invited to meet members of the course team to identify difficulties and discuss solutions.

BI 2013
DIVERSITY OF LIFE - PRACTICAL
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: Dr C Jones, Dr S Martin and Dr S Woodin

Pre-requisite(s): BI 1005 and BI 1509

Co-requisite(s): BI 2012

Over approximately 3.7 billion years, living organisms on the Earth have diversified and adapted to every possible environment. This course will introduce the clues used to reconstruct the evolutionary tree of life and examine the amazing diversity of life through time, focusing on major lineages of organisms from fungi, through plants to invertebrates.

Practicals will illustrate a wide range of organisms, address important biological principles and encourage development of basic scientific skills including experimental design, hypothesis testing and data analysis in the context of individual and group learning.

24 weeks - 1 three hour practical per fortnight.

1st Attempt: Practicals are assessed through reports produced for each class; nine practicals (70%) and a project (30%).

Resit: Resubmission of failed work.

Formative Assessment and Feedback Information

Tutorial/workshop sessions will provide opportunity for student-student and student-tutor interaction. Formative assessment will be provided during this interaction and during student-led discussions and tutor-led tutorials.

Students will receive regular written feedback on each practical report before the start of the next practical class.

BI 2014
DIVERSITY OF LIFE - SEMESTER 1
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: Dr C Jones, Dr S Martin and Dr S Woodin

Pre-requisite(s): BI 1005 or BI 1509

Note(s): Only open to visiting students and non-SBS students who are unable to take the full year course (BI 2012/BI 2013) due to timetable issues.

Over approximately 3.7 billion years, living organisms on the Earth have diversified and adapted to every possible environment. This course will introduce the clues used to reconstruct the evolutionary tree of life and examine the amazing diversity of life through time, focusing on major lineages of organisms from fungi, through plants to invertebrates and vertebrates.

Practicals will illustrate a wide range of organisms, address important biological principles and encourage the development of basic scientific skills including experimental design, hypothesis testing and data analysis in the context of individual and group learning.

12 weeks - 3 one-hour lectures per week and 1 three-hour practical per fortnight (54 hours total).

1st Attempt: In-class test based mainly on lecture material (60%) and continuous assessment of practical work (40%). Continuous assessment is based on 6 practical write-ups (40%).

Resit: 1 two-hour written exam (100%).

Formative Assessment and Feedback Information

Tutorial/workshop sessions will provide opportunity for student-student and student-tutor interaction. Formative assessment will be provided during this interaction and during student-led discussions and tutor-led tutorials.

Students will receive written feedback and a mark on the test.

Students will receive regular written feedback on each practical report before the start of the next practical class.

BI 20B2
PHYSIOLOGY OF HUMAN CELLS
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: Dr Gordon McEwan

Pre-requisite(s): SM 1001, SM 1501

Co-requisite(s): None

This course introduces human physiology - the understanding of body function. The central concept, essential to physiology, is homeostasis - the maintenance of a relatively constant internal environment in a constantly changing external environment. This course (along with its partner BI25B2) will consider how this is achieved at cell and whole body level. The focus in this course will be on the roles of the nervous and endocrine control systems. Specifically, it deals with: the physiology of the cell with special reference to nerve and muscle; cell-cell signalling; neuro-endocrine integration and some aspects of endocrinology; membrane potentials and action potentials in nerve cells; reflexes; central nervous system control of movement; the physiology and pharmacology of the autonomic nervous system; transduction of sensory information by receptors and processing of sensory information by the CNS; the composition and function of blood including its role in immunity.

3 one hour lectures per week and 1 three hour practical every 2 weeks.

1st Attempt: 1 two-hour MCQ examination (70%) and in-course assessment (30%). Continuous assessment comprises: 2 laboratory reports, mid-term MCQ exam.

Resit: 1 two-hour MCQ examination (70%) and previous continuous assessment (30%).

Formative Assessment and Feedback Information

PRS-based revision session allows students to practice for MCQ tests and receive feedback on their performance.

Practical reports will be marked with written comments.
Students will be given general feedback on performance during timetabled exam information sessions.
PRS MCQ assessment answers discussed during timetabled exam information sessions.

BI 20M3
MOLECULAR BIOLOGY OF THE GENE
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: Dr Alasdair MacKenzie

Pre-requisite(s): SM 1001, SM 1501

Co-requisite(s): None

The course is divided into 4 main modules as follows;
1. Nucleic Acids: this module will provide an overview of nucleic acid biochemistry with emphasis on the dynamic structure of DNA and the way in which it is replicated and packaged into chromosomes. The basic principles of modern recombinant DNA technologies will also be introduced.

2. Peptides and proteins: this module will provide a comprehensive introduction to protein biochemistry, building on the basic chemistry of amino acids and peptides. The properties of proteins will be described, using a number of specific examples. The final lectures in the module will consider the methods used to study proteins. These provide the information that underlies our current understanding of protein structure and function.

3. Gene regulation: one of the most important questions within modern biology centres on how one- dimensional information held within the DNA is turned into healthy living 3-dimensional organisms that are able to interact with their environments. This module will describe how this information is decoded by transcription and translation to form proteins and how organisms control these processes to ensure that the correct proteins are produced in the correct cells at the correct times and in the correct amounts.

4. Genetic disease: this module will explain how genomes can be compromised by mutation and chromosomal rearrangements leading to disorders such as Downs syndrome, cystic fibrosis, fragile-X syndrome and cancer.

4 modules. Each module has 9 lectures, 1 one hour tutorial and a 3 hour practical.

1st Attempt: 4 x 50 minute on-line QMP based assessments each worth 5% of mark (20%), 4 x 3 hour practical each worth 5% of mark (20%). 1 x 2 hour final exam in essay format (60%).

Resit: 1 x 2 hour final exam in essay format (60%) plus previous continuous assessment (40%).

Formative Assessment and Feedback Information

4 x 50 minute on-line QMP based assessments.

Students are given feedback on marked practical reports.
Practical marks and QMP test marks displayed on WebCT within a week. Answers to on-line tests provided after the test.

BI 2505
CONSERVATION BIOLOGY
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: Professor P Thompson, Dr C Trinder

Pre-requisite(s): BI 1005 or BI 1509

This course aims to provide a basic understanding of the principles of conservation biology, using a wide range of case studies from local Scottish habitats and species to those in more diverse systems. It provides an overview of the nature and value of, and threats to, biodiversity and details the problems faced by small populations of plants and animals. Whilst focusing upon scientific aspects of conservation biology, this inter-disciplinary course covers the legislative, ethical, economic and management frameworks in which practical conservation action is taken.

3 one-hour lectures/seminars per week, 1 three-hour practical per fortnight.

1st Attempt: 1 two-hour written examination (60%) and in-course assessment of practical reports and written work (40%).

Resit: A resit exam in the same format as the main exam. This may contain material from both the practical and lecture components of the course.

Formative Assessment and Feedback Information

Students will receive regular written feedback on each practical report and piece of written work.

BI 2508
PRINCIPLES OF ANIMAL PHYSIOLOGY
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: Dr C Selman

Pre-requisite(s): BI 1005

Co-requisite(s): None

The content reflects currently important topics in animal function and physiology. It features units related to both invertebrate and vertebrate physiological adaptations to the environment. The content builds on, and integrates in a critical manner, knowledge about animals from BI 1005 (Organismal Biology) and BI 1509 (Ecology and Environmental Science). Topics typically include areas such Sensory Systems, Excretion, Respiration & Circulation, Biological chemistry, Thermoregulation and Osmoregulation.

12 week course in second half-session. 3 one-hour lectures per week plus 1 three-hour practical every second week, from weeks 2-10 of the course. Total contact hours 36 lectures and five practicals - 51 hours in total.

1st Attempt: 1 two-hours written exam (60%); continuous assessment (40%).

Resit: 1 two-hour written exam in the same format as 1st attempt.

Formative Assessment and Feedback Information

One formative on-line test will help students assess how well they are learning the course material. Student participation in these tests will be monitored and contribute to retention of the class certificate.

Students will receive regular written feedback on each practical report before the start of the next practical class.

BI 2514
DIVERSITY OF LIFE - SEMESTER 2
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: Dr C Jones, Dr S Martin and Dr S Woodin

Pre-requisite(s): BI 1005 or BI 1509

Note(s): Only open to visiting students and non-SBS students who are unable to take the full year course (BI2012/BI2013) due to timetable issues.

Over approximately 3.7 billion years, living organisms on the Earth have diversified and adapted to every possible environment. This course will introduce the clues used to reconstruct the evolutionary tree of life and examine the amazing diversity of life through time, focusing on major lineages of organisms from fungi, through plants to invertebrates and vertebrates.

Practicals will illustrate a wide range of organisms, address important biological principles and encourage the development of basic scientific skills including experimental design, hypothesis testing and data analysis in the context of individual and group learning.

12 weeks - 3 one-hour lectures per week and 1 three-hour practical per fortnight (54 hours total).

1st Attempt: Two in-class tests (30% each) based mainly on lecture material, comprising multiple choice questions and short essay questions, and continuous assessment of practical work (40%). Continuous assessment is based on 3 practical write-ups (20%) and a project (20%).

Resit: 1 two-hour written exam (100%).

Formative Assessment and Feedback Information

Tutorial/workshop sessions will provide opportunity for student-student and student-tutor interaction. Formative assessment will be provided during this interaction and during student-led discussions and tutor-led tutorials.

Students will receive written feedback and a mark on the test.

Students will receive regular written feedback on each practical report before the start of the next practical class. Students who are identified as having difficulty in correctly completing the formative on-line tests will be invited to meet members of the course team to identify difficulties and discuss solutions.

BI 25B2
PHYSIOLOGY OF HUMAN ORGAN SYSTEMS
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: Dr Alison Jack and Dr Steve Tucker

Pre-requisite(s): SM 1001, SM 1501

Co-requisite(s): None

This course will explore the following questions: How do the major body organs and systems work both alone and in communication with one another? How do we adapt to changing circumstances, control breathing as required, adjust to our nutritional needs, spawn new generations?
The course will then go on to investigate the physiology behind the way in which the heart supplies even the furthest extremities with nutrition and oxygen and how gases are extracted from the air we breathe by our lungs. The kidney (fluid balance), the digestive system (nutrition) and the reproductive systems will also be explained in detail. The course provides an overview of what goes on inside your body, and what happens when it goes wrong.

3 one hour lectures per week and 1 one hour problem solving class every 2 weeks, one mid-term examination and 3 three hour practicals throughout the course.

1st Attempt: 1 two-hour MCQ examination (70%) and in-course assessment (30%). Continuous assessment comprises: 3 laboratory reports and the mid-term examination.

Resit: 1 two-hour MCQ examination (70%) and previous continuous assessment (30%).

Formative Assessment and Feedback Information

Problem-solving sessions follow each block of lecture material and allow interaction between students and teaching staff and application of knowledge covered in the lectures.

Practical reports will be marked with written comments and constructive feedback.

General feedback provided following mid-term assessment.

General feedback throughout problem-solving sessions, where staff will circulate and discuss lecture material with students.

BI 25M5
MICROBES, INFECTION AND IMMUNITY
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: Dr Frank Ward

Pre-requisite(s): SM 1001, SM 1501

Co-requisite(s): None

Bacteria, fungi, algae, protozoa and viruses occupy all niches of this planet, from the deepest oceans to the human body. Their success in such a wide variety of environments is dependent on their diversity and adaptability. This course is an introduction to the biology and ecology of micro-organisms. It stresses the importance of man's relationships with micro-organisms, from disease to biotechnology. The course also describes the interactions of the immune system with micro-organisms in disease, including a comprehensive review of immunology and how the immune system functions in combating infection.

3 one-hour lectures per week; 1 three-hour practical class every two weeks.

1st Attempt: 1 two-hour extended matching question (EMQ) examination (70%) and in-course assessment (30%).

Continuous assessment comprises: 4 written practical reports (15% in total), 4 homework assignments (15% in total).

Resit: 1 two-hour EMQ examination (70%) and previous continuous assessment (30%).

Formative Assessment and Feedback Information

PRS questions during lectures and practice questions on WebCT.

EMQ Mock Exam

Practical reports will be marked with written comments.

Students will be given general feedback on performance during timetabled exam information sessions.

PRS MCQ assessment answers discussed during lectures.

Immediate feedback on practice questions available on WebCT.

BI 25M7
ENERGY FOR LIFE
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: Dr John Barrow & Dr Kath Shennan

Pre-requisite(s): SM 1501, CM 1015 or CM 1016

Co-requisite(s): None

"Now, a living organism is nothing but a wonderful machine endowed with the most marvellous properties and set going by means of the most complex and delicate mechanism." Claude Bernard, An Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine (1865).

For life to be "set going" and survive, the single unit of life (the cell) must utilise and manage energy. This is as true for a single cell as it is for a multi-cellular organism such as you. The course deals with the way cells manage their energy requirements by reference to the processes of carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism. Cellular processes that allow the complete breakdown of these food molecules to produce energy will be discussed with reference to glycolysis, the citric acid cycle, the breakdown of fatty acids, the terminal respiration system and oxidative phosphorylation. Mechanisms by which cellular molecules are built from simple precursors will also be explored via the processes of gluconeogenesis, glycogen synthesis, photosynthesis, the pentose phosphate pathway and amino acid metabolism. This collection of highly dynamic processes can only take place in a coordinated manner because of enzymes, which allow the processes to occur and also offer points of control, consequently enzyme function and catalysis will be discussed. The course will conclude by examining how the human body can control these processes to efficiently control its energy requirements and expenditure.

3 one hour lectures per week, 4 one and a half hour tutorials and 5 three hour practicals throughout the course.

1st Attempt: 1 two-hour essay/short answer examination (70%) and in-course assessment (30%). Continuous assessment comprises: 1 lab report (30%).

Resit: 1 two-hour essay/short examination (70%) and previous continuous assessment (30%).

Formative Assessment and Feedback Information

PRS-based revision sessions allow students to assess their understanding of the lecture material and receive feedback on their performance.

Practical reports will be marked with written comments. Students are given general feedback on performance during PRS revision sessions. Students receive on-line feedback on completion of the on-line tests.

BI 25P2
BIOLOGICAL TOPICS IN PLANT AND SOIL SCIENCE
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: Dr L Maderova, Dr A Price

Pre-requisite(s): BI 1005 or BI 1509.

The content reflects currently important topics in plant and soil research. It features six two-week blocks of teaching covering six topics, plus one summary week of course content. The content builds on and integrates in a critical manner knowledge about plants and soils from BI 1005 and BI 1509.

12 week course in the second-half session. 3 one-hour lectures per week (includes plenary, support lecture and group study/discussion) plus 1 three-hour practical every second week. Total contact hours 36 lectures (plenary, support, discussion) and six practicals 54 hours in total.

1st Attempt: 1 two-hour written exam (50%); continuous assessment (50%).

Resit: 1 two-hour written exam (50%); continuous assessment (50%).

Formative Assessment and Feedback Information

Two formative on-line tests will help students assess how well they are learning the course material. Student participation in these tests will be monitored and contribute to retention of the class certificate.

Students will receive regular written feedback on each practical report before the start of the next practical class. Students who are identified as having difficulty in correctly completing the formative on-line tests will be invited to meet members of the course team to identify difficulties and discuss solutions.

BI 25Z2
OCEAN BIOLOGY
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: Dr A Jamieson

Pre-requisite(s): BI 1005 or MR 1010

The course begins with an overview of oceanogrpahic processes as well as marine foodwebs and key marine species. A varity of global marine ecosystems are then discussed including sandy shores, rocky shores, deep sea hydrothermal vents, kelp beds and coral reefs. Lectures are given on current research on marine biology, with a specific focus on the impacts of man on the marine environment (e.g. climate change).

Three 1-hr lectures every week; one 3-hr laboratory every other week (six laboratory classes in total).

1st Attempt: One 2-hr examination (35% written; 35% MCQ); in-course assessment of laboratory work plus one essay (30%).

Resit: A resit examination in the same format as the main examination. This may contain material from both the practical and lecture components of the course.

Formative Assessment and Feedback Information

Essay feedback and revision sessions.

Extensive written feedback is given for every practical report handed in as well as for the essay. Further to this, there is an essay feedback session where generic comments are given to the class.

BI 29Z3
ZOOLOGY FIELD COURSE
CREDIT POINTS 7.5

Course Co-ordinator: Dr J Baird

Pre-requisite(s): BI 1005 & BI 1509

Co-requisite(s): None

Note(s): Available only to any student who has pre-requisites and a degree intention in a programme run by SBS.

Four separate courses make up the overall course and students choose one of these. All of them offer training and experience in relevant field skills, approapriate to the environment in which each course operates. Two are essentially marine, one covers terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems and one concentrates on the parasites which are associated with vertebrate animals. All include training in the identification of animals and the methods needed to assess their population densities. All also include group work, in which the students choose an area of study and carry out a semi-independent project, including the collection of data, appropriate analysis and then reporting to the other course members on their findings. In the course of the field work, students will be helped to appreciate the interaction between the organisms and their habitat and the general features of the environment are also studied.

The courses are all residential and last for six working days. They include a mixture of practical demonstration in the field and laboratory, opportunities to practice the skills learnt, some informal lectures and tutorials to explain topics such as methods of analysis and semi-independent project work.

1st Attempt: Assessment is based on the presentation of a short written account of the course work, and/or a seminar presentation, as well as assessment of performance during the course work.

Resit: No resit is available for field courses.

Formative Assessment and Feedback Information

There is no formal formative assessment, but staff constantly interact with the students and so make the students aware of their performance on a continual basis.

There is frequent feedback during the course and also specific feedback provided on the report/presentation.

 

> Level 3
BI 3008
WORK EXPERIENCE
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: Mrs C Dennis

Pre-requisite(s): Available only to students in programme year 3 of the BSc Wildlife Management degree programme.

Co-requisite(s): None

This course requires that students undertake a period of work experience of 6 weeks at approved establishments.

The experience may be gained at any time prior to entering fourth year. There are no scheduled, formal teaching sessions; however students are expected to maintain regular contact with the course coordinator throughout the placement.

1st Attempt: Report, 4000 words (100%). A report on a four-week period of such work must be submitted by the end of third year.

Resit: Resubmission of report, 4000 words (100%).

Formative Assessment and Feedback Information

Informal feedback will be provided to the student throughout the work experience through interactions with the supervisor and colleagues at the work placement.

Informal feedback on the structure and content of the report will be provided to the student by the course coordinator prior to submission, either orally or in a written form.

Written feedback will be provided on the report when it is marked.

BI 3010
STATISTICAL ANALYSIS OF BIOLOGICAL DATA
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: Mrs C Dennis, Dr A Douglas

Pre-requisite(s): Available to students at year 3 in any of the programmes in the School of Biological Sciences and visiting students with relevant degree intention at home university.

Co-requisite(s): None

Review of basics of data exploration and analysis using linear modelling; introduction to multivariate approaches to data analysis; depending on the option taken - fundamentals of using geographic information systems; scientific writing skills; bioinformatics and their application; statistical computing.

3 one hour lectures and 1 two hour practical/tutorial per week.

Course runs for six weeks (weeks 12-17, thread 2).

1st Attempt: One 2-hour written exam (25%) and continuous assessment (75%). Written exam will be a two-hour short answer test and continuous assessment will be based on reports produced during practical sessions.

Resit: One 2-hour written exam (100%).

Formative Assessment and Feedback Information

Tutorial/workshop sessions will provide opportunity for student-student and student-tutor interaction. Exercises completed during the practical sessions are supported by material that can be used for self-assessment and staff will provide informal verbal feedback during practical sessions.

Students will receive written feedback on their practical reports.

BI 3503
SUSTAINABLE RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: Dr M Pinard

Pre-requisite(s): None

Co-requisite(s): None

The course begins with a focus on biological productivity and then extends to social, economic, and environmental components of sustainability to examine their interdependence. The course will use examples and case studies taken from a variety of systems, including agricultural systems, agroforestry systems, planted and natural forests (managed for timber and non timber forest products, such as bushmeat), and fresh-water and marine systems. Concepts that are covered in the course include the following: productivity, yield controls, predictive modelling, auditing and measuring sustainability, trade-offs, managing risk and uncertainty, role of science and innovation, ecological footprints, public engagement and evidence based policy.

3 sessions per week, mixture of lectures and tutorials, average of 6 hours contact per week. Course runs over six weeks, (weeks 30-35, thread 1).

1st Attempt: 1 three hour exam (30%); continuous assessment (70%).

Resit: 1 three hour exam (100%).

Formative Assessment and Feedback Information

A strong emphasis will be made throughout the course on informal verbal feedback during seminar and workshop sessions.

Each student will receive individual feedback and a mark for each task. Feedback will be provided as written comments. Groups will also be given generic feedback.

BI 3801
PLANT-ANIMAL INTERACTIONS
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: Dr D Burslem, Dr R Van der Wal

Pre-requisite(s): BI 2001 or BI 2505 or BI 2012 and BI 2013

Co-requisite(s): None

This course explores the diversity and ecology of interactions of plants with both mammals and insects and discusses the underlying evolutionary processes involved. The course examines different ways plants and animals interact and outlines the benefits the participating organisms receive from this interaction. Topics covered are: coevolution; pollination and seed dispersal by animals; herbivory and animal responses to plant defensive chemicals; mammalian and insect herbivores; plant-nematode and plant-mollusc interactions; and applied aspects of plant-animal interactions including biological control. Recent advances in the subject are emphasised.

This is a six week course that runs during weeks 36-44 (thread I).

There are 24 hours of lectures, 1 three-hour workshop and 1 three-hour seminar. Total contact hours approximately 30.

1st Attempt: 1 two-hour examination (67%) and in-course assessment (33%) which comprises a 2,000 word essay and 2 reports.

Resit: A two-hour written examination (100%).

Formative Assessment and Feedback Information

A strong emphasis will be made throughout the course on informal verbal feedback during seminar and workshop sessions.

Each student will receive individual feedback and a mark for each task. Feedback will be provided as written comments. Groups will also be given generic feedback.

BI 3804
ANIMALS IN CAPTIVITY
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: Mrs C Dennis

Pre-requisite(s): This course is available only to students in programme year 3 and above.

Co-requisite(s): None

This course relates the physiology, development and nutrition of domestic, companion and exhibition animals to animal husbandry and care. It describes how this knowledge can be used to improve the management and welfare of these animals in production and recreational environments. The course is structured so that emphasis is placed on animals in terms of their numbers in captivity: farm animals (billions), companion animals (millions), captive exotics (thousands) and others.

Six hours of lectures/workshops per week; course runs over six weeks (thread 2, weeks 36-44).

1st Attempt: 1 two hour written examination (70%) and in-course assessment (30%). In course assessment made up of a seminar (20%) and an essay (10%).

Resit: 1 two-hour written examination.

Formative Assessment and Feedback Information

A strong emphasis will be made throughout the course on informal verbal feedback during seminar and workshop sessions.

Each student will receive individual feedback and a mark for each task. Feedback will be provided as written comments. Groups will also be given generic feedback.

BI 39Z3
SUB-TROPICAL MARINE AND FRESHWATER HABITATS
CREDIT POINTS 7.5

Course Co-ordinator: Dr C T Marshall

Pre-requisite(s): ZO 3304

Co-requisite(s): None

The course will be delivered at the Florida State University Coastal and Marine Laboratory, St Teresa, Florida (http://www.marinelab.fsu.edu/). The coast of northwest Florida is considered one of six biodiversity hotspots in the United States. Florida State University Coastal & Marine Laboratory (FSUCML) has easy access to a mosaic of habitats ranging from oyster reefs to seagrass meadows, with boat access to nearshore sponge reefs and offshore drowned patch reefs. Facilities at the laboratory include a fleet of boats, residences, classrooms, and laboratories.

Trips to nearby field sites will be run on the first five days. These trips will study some or all following habitats: seagrass meadow, wetlands, sandy shore or muddy/silty shore, estuary, salt marsh and dunes. Each field trip will be followed by an associated group-based activity which compares structure and functioning of the sub-tropical environment with a temperate environment local to Aberdeen. This comparison will also include an analysis of issues related to environmental sustainability and habitat use.

The course is scheduled in the first week of the Easter vacation and will be held at the Florida State University Coastal and Marine Laboratory, St Teresa, Florida (http://www.marinelab.fsu.edu/). Staff from the Laboratory will assist with teaching and practical work.

Trips to nearby field sites will be run on the first five days. These trips will study some or all following habitats: seagrass meadow, wetlands, sandy shore or muddy/silty shore, estuary, salt marsh and dunes. Each field trip will be followed by an associated group-based activity which compares structure and functioning of the sub-tropical environment with a temperate environment local to Aberdeen. This comparison will also include an analysis of issues related to environmental sustainability and habitat use.

Total 72 face-to-face teaching hours.

1st Attempt: Course assessment will be based on two elements: a field note book (50%) and project work (50%). The field note book will be kept by individual students throughout the course to record data and relevant information. Project work will focus on one issue of particular interest, and students will work in pairs. On the final day of the course students will present oral presentations summarising their project work.

Resit: Resubmission of notebook (50%) and submission of a written project report (50%).

Formative Assessment and Feedback Information

Formative assessment will be provided during interactions between staff and students on field trips and during group activities throughout.

Each student will receive individual feedback and a mark for each task. Feedback will be provided as written comments. Groups will also be given generic feedback.

 

> Level 4

PLEASE NOTE: Resit: (for Honours students only): Candidates achieving a CAS mark of 6-8 may be awarded compensatory level 1 credit. Candidates achieving a CAS mark of less than 6 will be required to submit themselves for re-assessment and should contact the Course Co-ordinator for further details.

BI 4009
SPECIAL TOPIC ESSAY 1
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: Dr C Trinder

Pre-requisite(s): Acceptance for Honours in a Degree Programme administered by the School of Biological Sciences and permission of the Head of School.

The course will consist of individually tailored, directed study on topics of relevance to the appropriate degree programme and leading to the presentation of a seminar and preparation of a dissertation. Students will have a tutor who will act in an advisor role.

12 hours staff contact time in whole course.

1st Attempt: Dissertation (80%) and seminar (20%).

BI 4015
GRANT PROPOSAL
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: Dr J Baird and Dr S Martin

Pre-requisite(s): Must be enrolled for MSci Biological Sciences.

Note(s): As part of their requirement to fulfil honours year, MSci Biological Science students will write the grant proposal in place of constructing a web site and producing an Honours review essay.

Students will receive a lecture outlining the requirements of a successful grant proposal, after which they will have one-to-one coaching and advice from a member of academic staff.

Tutorial, workshop and project supervision.

1st Attempt: One short grant proposal assessed on quality of proposal and not upon successful gain of funding.

BI 4016
SBS HONOURS PROJECT (SEMESTER 1)
CREDIT POINTS 45

Course Co-ordinator: Dr A Bowman, Dr T Marshall

Pre-requisite(s): Acceptance onto an Honours programme administered by the School of Biological Sciences.

An independent research project is supervised by a member of staff. The project is carried out over 12 weeks during the first half-session. This is an independent piece of work although meetings with supervisors are expected to be held regularly during the project development, implementation and write-up. The candidate is required to submit a written thesis and deliver a short oral presentation on the results of the work.

1st Attempt: Written thesis 12,000 words and oral presentation (100%).

Resit: Resubmission of thesis (12,000 words) (100%).

Formative Assessment and Feedback Information

Students will get informal feedback from project supervisor during meetings and through feedback on project proposals. In addition, students will get written feedback on a draft of their project prior to submission.

Students receive verbal feedback from their supervisor(s) that summarizes strengths and weaknesses after the projects are marked.

BI 4017
SBS HONOURS ESSAY (SEMESTER 1)
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: Dr J Smith

Pre-requisite(s): Only available to students in programme year 4 studying an Honours degree administered by School of Biological Sciences.

Note(s): This course cannot be taken in a graduating curriculum with BI 4517.

An independent review essay chosen from a list made available by staff and which will change from year to year. A member of staff will provide guidance.

No formal teaching; students are expected to meet individually with the member of staff supervising their essay at least twice during the research and write-up period.

1st Attempt: Written essay 5000 words (100%).

Formative Assessment and Feedback Information

Students will get informal feedback from essay supervisor during meetings and through feedback on essay outline.

Students will receive written feedback on their essays.

BI 4301
ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: Dr G I Paton, Dr L Maderova

Pre-requisite(s): BI 1005 and either BI 25P2 or BI 2001.

This course covers the effects, monitoring and control of pollution in terrestrial, atmospheric and freshwater ecosystems. Topics include (i) legislation associated with the assessment and identification of pollutants, terrestrial contamination and waste, and the interaction of these pollutants with plants, soils and ground waters; (ii) freshwater and marine pollution, particularly the impact of organic pollutants and monitoring methods including the use of biotic indices; (iii) biological effects of atmospheric pollution, field assessment of damage, ecological approaches to pollution control, and national and international control legislation.

Thread I: 6 weeks - 3 lectures per week and one whole day practical activity.

To pass this course, a pass must be achieved in BOTH the theory exam and the in-course assessment.

1st Attempt: 1 two-hour examination (67%) and in-course assessment (33%).

BI 4504
CURRENT ISSUES IN BIOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: Professor D Robinson

Pre-requisite(s): Available to students in programme year 4.

Approaches to research in the biological and environmental sciences that are of contemporary importance will be introduced. These will form the basis for structured discussions and debates and the preparation of a research proposal.

6 week course, Thread II 6 two-hour classes plus tutorials as required.

1st Attempt: In-course assessment (100%).

BI 4505
CONSERVATION IN PRACTICE
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: Professor S Redpath

Pre-requisite(s): None.

Co-requisite(s): None.

This course explores a range of current conservation issues in marine, terrestrial and freshwater systems. Our focus is on the development of conservation practice in Scotland, but the course highlights the role that international legislation and agreements have in shaping national conservation priorities. Case studies, site visits and group presentations are key components of the course.

Thread II. 2-3 two-hour lectures per week. 2 full-day field trips.

1st Attempt: 1 two-hour written examination (50%) and course assessment (50%) consisting of one group poster, and individual written assignments.

BI 4509
SPECIAL TOPIC ESSAY 2
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: Dr J McDonald

Pre-requisite(s): Acceptance for Honours in a Degree Programme administered by the School of Biological Sciences and permission of the Head of School.

The course will consist of individually tailored, directed study on topics of relevance to the appropriate degree programme and leading to the presentation of a seminar and preparation of a dissertation. Students will have a tutor who will act in an advisor role. There are no face to face lectures.

12 hours staff contact time in whole course.

1st Attempt: Dissertation (80%) and seminar (20%).

BI 4517
SBS HONOURS ESSAY (SEMESTER 2)
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: Dr J Smith

Pre-requisite(s): Only available to students in programme year 4 studying an Honours degree administered by the School of Biological Sciences.

Note(s): This course cannot be taken in a graduating curriculum with BI 4017.

An independent review essay chosen from a list made available by Biological Sciences and which will change from year to year. A member of staff will provide guidance.

No formal teaching; students are expected to meet individually with the member of staff supervising their essay at least twice during the research and write-up period.

1st Attempt:Written essay 5000 words (100%).

Formative Assessment and Feedback Information

Students will get informal feedback from essay supervisor during meetings and through feedback on essay outline.

Students will receive written feedback on their essays.

BI 4802
TOPICS IN CONSERVATION BIOLOGY
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: Professor S Redpath, Dr C Trinder

Pre-requisite(s): BI 4024. Available only to candidates for Honours in Conservation Biology, Ecology, Wildlife Management, Environmental Science, Forestry, Plant Biology, Plant and Soil Science or with permission of course coordinator.

Students will be introduced to topics which are currently important within Conservation Biology (such as the advisability of re-introducing beavers to Britain; or the most effective ways of selecting tropical forest fragments as reserves). Each topic will be introduced and students will then have to research it, produce a written account of it, and then contribute to a tutorial or seminar. There will be an element of student choice in the topics covered.

Thread I: 6 weeks - 4 two-hour discussions.

1st Attempt: In-course assessment (100%). Four in-term essays.

BI 4803
ECOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL MODELLING
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: Dr J Smith

Pre-requisite(s): Only available to students in programme year 3 and above.

The course aims to develop confidence, competence and ability in modelling Ecological and Environmental topics starting with a discussion of background issues required for modelling. Skills in modelling at the regional, field and sub-field scale are developed through a combination of sequential lectures, computer classes and tutorials on carbon and nitrogen in the environment and in plant communities. A strong focus on the purpose of modelling is introduced through examples and discussion of how models are used to direct public policy and advice (global climate change, nitrate pollution and crop management).

Thread ll: 6 week course - 7 one-hour lectures, 3 three-hour computer classes and 3 one-hour tutorials.

1st Attempt: In-course assessment (100%).

 

> Level 5
BI 5001
CURRENT CONCEPTS IN BIOSCIENCES: THEORY, RESOURCES AND RESEARCH
CREDIT POINTS 120

Course Co-ordinator: Dr J Baird and Dr S Martin

Pre-requisite(s): Level 4 students must normally attain an overall CAS of 16 as judged from the collated Level 4 spreadsheet to proceed to MSci Level 5.

Note(s): MSci students will follow current Level 1, 2 and 3 programmes and a slightly modified Level 4.

The content will be a series of workshops and tutorials; the first six weeks of the first semester will be core subjects, the second six weeks will be discipline specific. Each workshop and tutorial will be followed up by oral presentations ie. weeks 12-23: 1 three-hour workshop on Monday 10-1 and 1 three-hour tutorial on Tuesday 10-1. Then 1 three-hour presentation and discussion session on Friday 10-1. The second semester will consist solely of an extended research project.

Tutorial, workshop and project supervision.

1st Attempt: Continuous assessment (35%); based on two 5,000 word literature reviews (2 x 10%), one 3,000 word essay (10%) and a 15 minute oral presentation of the essay (5%).

Dissertation (65%); written document (40%), seminar (15%) and employer's report (10%).

Resit: No resit.