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Last modified: 25 May 2018 11:16

Course Overview

Several themes explore how animals adapt to their environments within-life and during evolution, providing an overview of the integrated nature of physiology.

In groups, you will research how animals survive in extreme environments - presenting your findings as a scientific poster, developing skills in communication and team work.

The course has a practical where you will perform quantitative PCR - a keystone life sciences method for gene expression analysis.

All learning material is rooted in the research interests of teaching staff, meaning it is delivered effectively with enthusiasm.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 3
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Dr Daniel Macqueen

Qualification Prerequisites

  • Either Programme Level 3 or Programme Level 4

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

  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)
  • One of BI1012 Diversity of Life 1 (Passed) or BI1512 Diversity of Life 2 (Passed) or BI2002 Genes and Evolution (Passed) or BI2008 Diversity of Life (Passed) or BI2012 Diversity of Life - Theory (Passed) or BI2013 Diversity of Life - Practical (Passed) or BI2017 Genes and Evolution (Passed) or BI2508 Principles of Animal Physiology (Passed) or BI2510 Principles of Animal Physiology (Passed) or BI25B2 Physiology of Human Organ Systems (Passed) or BI25M1 Energy for Life (Passed) or BI25M6 Energy for Life (Passed) or BI25M7 Energy for Life (Passed) or BI25Z2 Ocean Biology (Passed) or BI25Z4 Ocean Biology (Passed)

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 builds on Principles of Animal Physiology (BI2510), where basic physiological mechanisms were covered, to encourage students to develop a deeper understanding of key topics in animal physiology linked to the environment. An emphasis is placed on learning from the primary scientific literature, including primary research articles and review papers. Classes include lectures and discussion groups that provide a strong theoretical grounding of the learning material. Students will explore the topics covered in detail through structured assessments, including both group and independent work.

Associated Costs


Further Information & Notes

This course runs in weeks 25-29, and is scheduled in Thread 1, so may have contact hours in any or all of these times:  Mondays, 9-13; Thursday, all day; Friday, 9-13.  If this is an optional course, there may also be contact hours on Wednesdays, 11-13.

Contact Teaching Time

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

Teaching Breakdown


More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

The course is 100% assessed by coursework consisting of:

1. 40% of the course grade for a 1,000 word essay/argument, based on an area proposed by each of the teaching staff (4 areas to choose from);

2. 30% of the course grade for a practical assessment (within-class exercise; full day in lab; 20 questions answered per student, along with achievement of practical work);

3. 30% of the course grade for group work (a poster on adaptation to the extreme environment)

Formative Assessment

A strong emphasis will be made throughout the course on informal verbal feedback.


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.

Course Learning Outcomes


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