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Last modified: 16 Aug 2021 13:54

Course Overview

Weekly field trips will provide opportunities to observe wildlife and develop an understanding of the adaptive value of animal behaviour.

Tasks involving the design of simple experiments to address cause and function of animal behaviour will develop skills in experimental design and hypothesis testing. 

Training in the use of a field notebook allows students to demonstrate competence in record keeping.

Written report and oral presentation on a field based experiment supports the develop of communication skills.

Short weekly lectures will reinforce concepts, outline expectations and provide a framework for the practical work in the field.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 3
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Dr Pierre Bize

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

  • Either Programme Level 3 or Programme Level 4
  • One of Biology (BI) or Ecology (EK) or Environmental Sciences (EV) or Forestry (FY) or Plant Science (PL) or Zoology (ZO)
  • 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?


One or more of these courses have a limited number of places. Priority access will be given to students for whom this course is compulsory. Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions for more details on this process.

Course Description

The overall aim of the course is to provide an understanding of the adaptive value of animal behaviour and how it can be analysed. Focusing on the fact that “Nature is on our doorstep”, the course is framed around day trips around Scotland to observe wildlife. Students will design simple experiments in the field on animals across a wide variety of taxa, ranging from large mammals and birds to invertebrates, to address cause and function of animal behaviour.

In light of Covid-19 this information is indicative and may be subject to change.

Contact Teaching Time

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

Teaching Breakdown

  • 1 Field Course during University weeks 32 - 35, 39
  • 2 Seminars during University weeks 32 - 35, 39

More Information about Week Numbers

In light of Covid-19 and the move to blended learning delivery the assessment information advertised for second half-session courses may be subject to change. All updates for second-half session courses will be actioned in advance of the second half-session teaching starting. Please check back regularly for updates.

Summative Assessments

Alternative Assessment

(i) Field notebook (1 x 30%)

(ii) Short group report: guided project (2x 20%)

(iii) Short individual report: unguided project (1x 30%)


Alternative Resit Arrangement

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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