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Last modified: 31 May 2022 13:25

Course Overview

This course emphasises how evolution has shaped the patterns of biodiversity we see around us, and how we can use molecular genetic tools to gain a better understanding of what biodiversity means and how we can measure it.
In lectures you are guided through the theory of evolution, complementing your other biological sciences courses and helping you make sense of the diversity in the living world.
In practical sessions, you gain insight into the processes of evolution and some tools used to study biodiversity.
Through a poster presentation you gain specialised knowledge and experience communicating complex ideas and synthesizing information.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 3
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Professor S.B. Piertney

Qualification Prerequisites

  • Either Programme Level 3 or Programme Level 4

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

The course looks at how evolutionary processes shape the spatial and temporal patterns of animal biodiversity, and some of the molecular tools that are available to provide new insight into characterising and managing biodiversity. Key components of the course include – microevolution, molecular markers, conservation genetics, speciation, phylogenetics, co-evolution, genomics and transcriptomics, epigenetics and the development of evolutionary theory and thinking.
Through the course you will develop a breadth of knowledge and understanding around evolution and biodiversity as well as a set of transferable and generic skills including capacity for independent, conceptual and creative thinking and an ability to communicate effectively for different purposes and in different contexts.

Details, including assessment, may be subject to change until 31 July 2022 for 1st half-session courses and 23 December 2022 for 2nd half-session courses.

Contact Teaching Time

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

Teaching Breakdown

  • 1 Computer Practical during University weeks 9, 11
  • 4 Lectures during University weeks 8, 12
  • 2 Lectures during University weeks 9 - 11
  • 1 Workshop during University week10

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessment, may be subject to change until 31 July 2022 for 1st half-session courses and 23 December 2022 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

2x Computer Practical (20% each) (40% in total)

Timed Report (30%)

Poster Presentation (30%)



Students will repeat whichever elements of the assessment were failed or not completed at first sitting; the marks for elements already passed will be carried forwards.


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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