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Last modified: 22 May 2019 17:07

Course Overview

By exploring how animals adapt to their environments within-life and during evolution, you gain an overview of the integrated nature of physiology, from molecules to whole organism. Learning is rooted in staff’s research interests. You explore diverse aspects of physiological adaptation through individual and group work. In groups, you research animal adaptations to extreme environments- present a scientific poster, developing skills in communication and team work. In an assessed practical you perform quantitative PCR, a keystone life sciences method for gene expression analysis. You develop skills in concise scientific writing through essays developed around reading primary research papers.

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 Alan Bowman

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 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 two short essays (20% course grade per essay), with a selection of topics covering each of the teaching staff’s classes and reading lists.

2. 30% of the course grade for a practical assessment (within-class exercise; full day in lab including practical work);

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

Formative Assessment

The structure of coursework (short essays) provides an opportunity for students to improve their essay writing skills. Emphasis will be made throughout the course on informal verbal feedback.


Each student will receive individual feedback and a mark for each piece of assessed work. Feedback will be provided as written comments. Groups will be given feedback for the poster exercise.

Course Learning Outcomes


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