Skip to Content

BI1012: DIVERSITY OF LIFE 1 (2018-2019)

Last modified: 22 May 2019 17:07

Course Overview

A walk through the evolutionary tree of life, examining the amazing diversity of major groups of organisms from plants through fungi to invertebrates. 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 diversity of plants and invertebrates. 

You will be assessed by a combination of short online pre-lab tests to help you prepare for practicals, laboratory reports, on which you will get detailed feedback to help you develop your skills, and an exam.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 1
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Dr Sarah Woodin
  • Dr Catherine Jones

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

  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)
  • Either Programme Level 1 or Programme Level 2

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 plants, through fungi to invertebrates.

Practicals will illustrate a wide range of organisms, address important biological principles and encourage the development of basic scientific skills including observation, interpretation and recording of biological material and construction of keys.

Associated Costs

Course practicals require the use of a lab coat which can be purchased locally for £15

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

Six practical hand-ins (40%, of which 8% is for the pre-lab tests) plus exam (60%). Exam will be MCQ and short answer.


Similar to first attempt, with continuous assessment marks and /or exam mark carried forward and an opportunity to complete either appropriate alternative pieces of coursework or a resit exam, or both, depending on what was failed in the first attempt.

Formative Assessment

Students have an opportunity to engage in discussions with other students, staff and demonstrators during practical classes which allows them to assess and clarify their own understanding of the course content and appraise their own practical performance.


Students will receive regular written feedback on each practical report before the start of the next practical class. Students will have opportunity to discuss their work with staff and demonstrators during practical classes.

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.