Skip to Content


Last modified: 25 May 2018 11:16

Course Overview

This course will give you the opportunity to explore, for example, why some individuals behave differently from others within the same species, and how insights on behaviours can improve the implementation of conservation plans.

Academics working at the cutting edge of behavioural research will report on the state-of-art in their field.

Directed learnings will encourage further exploration of core topics through discussion of research papers and construction of computer-based models to illustrate concepts.

A continuous assessment where you will produce a grant proposal for research into behavioural ecology will introduce you to the process of research planning.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 4
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Dr Pierre Bize

Qualification Prerequisites

  • Programme Level 4

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

  • One of BSc Biology (Studied) or BSc Conservation Biology (Studied) or BSc Plant Biology (Studied) or BSc Zoology (Studied) or BSc Animal Ecology (Studied) or Non-Graduating Student in Zoology Erasmus (Studied) or BSc Marine Biology (Studied) or BSc Parasitology (Studied) or BSc Animal Behaviour (Studied) or BSc Behavioural Biology (Studied) or MSci Biological Sciences (Studied) or BSc Biological Sciences (Honours) (Studied) or BSc Plant and Soil Sciences (Studied) or BSc Biology - Education (Primary) (Studied) or Bachelor Of Science In Environmental And Forest Management (Studied) or BSc Ecology (Studied) or BSc Wildlife Management (Studied) or BSc Forestry (Studied) or BSc Forest Sciences (Studied) or BSc Environmental Science (Studied) or BSc Environmental Science (Physical Sci) (Studied) or BSc Biology - Education (Secondary) (Studied)
  • One of BI2001 Community Ecology (Passed) or BI2016 Community Ecology (Passed) or BI2019 Community Ecology (Passed) or BI2020 Ecology (Passed) or ZO3010 Animal Evolution and Biodiversity (Passed) or ZO3011 Animal Evolution and Biodiversity (Passed) or ZO3303 Animal Population Ecology (Passed) or ZO3304 Marine Ecology and Ecosystems (Passed) or ZO3305 Animal Population Ecology (Passed) or ZO3306 Marine Ecology and Ecosystems (Passed) or ZO3307 Animal Population Ecology (Passed) or ZO3507 Animal Behaviour (Passed) or ZO3508 Marine Ecology and Ecosystems (Passed) or ZO3510 Animal Behaviour (Passed)
  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)

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

Topics covered include, investigating personality traits, optimality and game theory, ecological and evolutionary aspects of mate choice, or animal cooperation. Lectures will be supplemented by case studies in key topics, student-centred learning, discussion groups and debates based on current journal articles. Practical components of the course are (i) the use of computer-based modelling to gain a better understanding of theoretical concepts in behavioural ecology; and (ii) group writing of a grant proposal to develop your critical thinking on the use of behavioural ecology for conservation purposes

Associated Costs


Further Information & Notes

Only available to students in level 4 Zoology, Biology and other Biological Sciences degrees. Pre-requisite should be strictly adhered to.

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

1st Attempt: 100% coursework to include

1. A single short essay relevant to a directed study topic (25%),

2. A grant proposal (individual assignment (40%),

3. An oral presentation (group assignment 20%)

4. And a participation grade (15%) (based on individual engagement in class activities, both the modelling exercises and the weekly directed study discussions)

Resit: Similar to 1st Attempt, with continuous assessment mark(s) and/or exam mark carried forward with an opportunity to resit either or both, depending on what was failed in the first attempt

Formative Assessment

A strong emphasis will be made throughout the course on informal verbal feedback during practical and presentation sessions.


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. Students who are identified as having difficulty in successfully completing the coursework assessment tasks 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.