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BI3505: BEHAVIOURAL BIOLOGY (2021-2022)

Last modified: 16 Aug 2021 13:44


Course Overview

Fundamental concepts of animal behaviour are introduced through a series of lectures and practicals, essential knowledge for those interested in better understanding animal behaviour as well as potentially undertaking an animal behaviour Honours project.

During the practicals students are encouraged to reflect on the theoretical knowledge learned during the lectures and apply that in explaining the observed behaviour of animals.

Students will have the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of animal behaviour by producing an innovative multimedia presentation on the observed behaviour of a species of their choice.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 3
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
Co-ordinators
  • Dr Lesley Lancaster

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

  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)
  • One of BSc Medical Science (Medical Humanities) or BSc Medical Science or BSc Physiology or BSc Neuroscience with Psychology or MSci Neuroscience with Psychology & in Pl't or BSc Pharmacology or BSc Sports & Exercise Science or BSc Health Sciences or BSc Health Sciences (Health Services Res) or BSc Health Sciences (Health Promotion) or BSc Health Sciences (Health & Nutrition) or BSc Health Sciences (Health & Sport) or BSc Biomedical Sciences (Physiology) or BSc Biomedical Sciences (Pharmacology) or BSc Biomedical Sciences (Anatomy) or BSc Biomedical Sciences (Develop'l Biol) or BSc Biomedical Sciences (Molecular Biol) or BSc Immunology and Pharmacology or BSc Biology or BSc Conservation Biology or BSc Plant Biology or BSc Zoology or BSc Animal Ecology or BSc Marine Biology or BSc Parasitology or Bachelor Of Science In Animal Behaviour And Welfare or BSc Animal Behaviour or BSc Genetics or BSc Genetics (Immunology) or BSc Microbiology or BSc Molecular Microbiology or BSc Immunology or BSc Sports Studies (Exercise and Health) or BSc Biochemistry or BSc Biochemistry (Immunology) or BSc Psychology or International BSc Foundation Programme (Psychology) or BSc Behavioural Biology or BSc Psychology with Gaelic or BSc Psychology with French or BSc Psychology with German or MSci Biological Sciences or BSc Biological Sciences (Honours) or International BSc Foundation Programme (Biological Sciences) or BSc Human Embryology & Dev'l Biology or BSc Molecular Biology or BSc Plant and Soil Sciences or Bachelor Of Science In Environmental And Forest Management or BSc Ecology or BSc Wildlife Management or BSc Forestry or BSc Forest Sciences or BSc Environmental Science or BSc Biotechnology (Applied Molecular Bio)
  • Either Programme Level 3 or Programme Level 4

What other courses must be taken with this course?

None.

What courses cannot be taken with this course?

None.

Are there a limited number of places available?

No

Course Description

Course Aims: To introduce the scientific investigation of paradigms in behavioural biology, specificially to understand the physiological and ecological basis of behaviour, to apply these bases to a variety of circumstances and environmental challenges that animals encounter, to synthesise behavioural evolution and maintenance into the natural and sexual selection paradigms of biology. Main Learning Outcomes: Upon completion of this course students will have... * Examined the function, causation, development and evolutionary history of an observed behaviour. * Communicated complex concepts in behavioural biology to a general audience. * Demonstrated understanding of the concepts underlying behavioural biology. Content: This course introduces the biological basis for animal behaviour, considering how behaviour contributes to survival, the proximate mechanisms of behaviours, behavioural development and evolution. The first part of the course covers regulations, controls and mechanisms; the second part covers developmental, learning and cognitive processes of acquiring behaviour; the third part of the course covers living with others (e.g., reproducing, social systems and communication). The fourth part of the course covers evolutionary aspects of behaviour, including selection processes, evolutionarily stable strategies, and extra-genetic inheritance.


In light of Covid-19 this information is indicative and may be subject to change.

Contact Teaching Time

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

Teaching Breakdown

  • 1 Science Laboratory during University week29
  • 3 Seminars during University weeks 26 - 28
  • 1 Seminar during University week29
  • 2 Seminars during University week30

More Information about Week Numbers


In light of Covid-19 and the move to blended learning delivery the assessment information advertised for second half-session courses may be subject to change. All updates for second-half session courses will be actioned in advance of the second half-session teaching starting. Please check back regularly for updates.

Summative Assessments

(i) Presentation 25%
(ii) Report 25%
(iii) Data sheet: 10%
(iv) Final exam: 40% [open book questions, with 48 hours to complete during exam session, as in 2020]

Resit (for students taking course in Academic Year 2020/21):

Resit of any failed element

Resit (for students who tookl the Academic Year 2019/20 and C8 students):

Resit of any failed element

During normally scheduled resit exam period.

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
FactualRememberILO’s for this course are available in the course guide.

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