• To engage and enthuse level one students with the study of biology.
• To support students in the transition into university study by developing their ownership and independence over learning.
• To promote the development of essential study skills and basic experimental and laboratory skills.
Main Learning Outcomes
• Be able to recognise, describe and evaluate the evidence for the mechanisms of life processes, and the interactions, structure and function of organisms.
• Recognise that our current understanding of biology is contested and provisional, set within a history of scientific exploration and experimentation, and a dynamic continuation of scientific advances.
• Demonstrate competence in investigating, understanding, recording and analysing information.
Five themes, which are critical to our understanding of biology – Developmental Biology, Microbiology and Disease, Evolution and Behaviour, Immune Systems and Environmental Physiology – will be explored. Each theme is structured to provide you with core knowledge, insight into how science is practiced, an introduction to current research topics, and skills that are useful for investigating, recording and analysing information.
The course will be delivered using a blended learning approach and can be taken by students who will be on campus in first semester, or those who may choose to stay at home.
Themes will consist of asynchronous lessons that, once they’ve been released, can be accessed by students at any time. These may be short presentations or lectures, interviews, discussions, activities and podcasts. Reading material related to the themes will be made available to students – these will mainly be chapters from books, which may be from textbooks, or highly-regarded popular science publications.
Each theme will also have synchronous ‘live’ sessions, which will relate to material covered in the asynchronous lessons. These will include practical sessions, during which students will develop valuable laboratory or analytical skills. There will also be Q and A sessions during which live discussions will take place.
Formative quizzes that do not carry marks, will allow students to test their knowledge and understanding - these will run throughout the course.
At the end of each two week theme, students will be required to take an online assessment, which will contribute towards their final mark.
Much of the work students undertake will be individual, but students will also work throughout the course on a group project, related to career opportunities in the life sciences. The completed project will be posted online, and if circumstances allow, there will be a live session in the Zoology building.