Skip to Content

BI2514: DIVERSITY OF LIFE - SEMESTER 2 (2014-2015)

Last modified: 28 Jun 2018 10:27

Course Overview

  • A walk through the evolutionary tree of life, examining the amazing diversity of advanced invertebrates and vertebrates.
  • Learn about how each group of organisms arose, their characteristics, and how they achieved success.
  • Practical activities provide hands on experience of materials demonstrating the features of fish, birds and mammals. 
  • Improve your research skills through investigating the diversity of invertebrates or birds in a field based group project, sampling in local habitats.
  • You will be assessed by a combination of laboratory reports, on which you will get detailed feedback to help you develop your skills, and a test on lecture material.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 2
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Dr Sarah Woodin
  • Dr Catherine Jones
  • Dr Sally Martin

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?


What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?


Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

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.

Further Information & Notes

Only for non-SBS students and students completing only one semester at Aberdeen: all full year SBS students should register for BI2012 and BI2013. 

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Summative Assessments

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

Project workshop sessions will provide opportunity for student-student and student-tutor interaction and feedback.


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.

Course Learning Outcomes


Compatibility Mode

We have detected that you are have compatibility mode enabled or are using an old version of Internet Explorer. You either need to switch off compatibility mode for this site or upgrade your browser.