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Last modified: 05 Aug 2021 13:04

Course Overview

Fundamental concepts of animal behaviour are introduced through a series of lectures and practicals, essential knowledge for those interested in better understanding animal behaviour as well as potentially undertaking an animal behaviour Honours project.

During the practicals students are encouraged to reflect on the theoretical knowledge learned during the lectures and apply that in explaining the observed behaviour of animals.

Students will have the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of animal behaviour by producing an innovative multimedia presentation on the observed behaviour of a species of their choice.

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 Lesley Lancaster

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

  • Either Programme Level 3 or Programme Level 4
  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)
  • One of BSc Medical Science (Medical Humanities) (Studied) or BSc Medical Science (Studied) or BSc Physiology (Studied) or BSc Neuroscience with Psychology (Studied) or MSci Neuroscience with Psychology & in Pl't (Studied) or BSc Pharmacology (Studied) or BSc Sports & Exercise Science (Studied) or BSc Health Sciences (Studied) or BSc Health Sciences (Health Services Res) (Studied) or BSc Health Sciences (Health Promotion) (Studied) or BSc Health Sciences (Health & Nutrition) (Studied) or BSc Health Sciences (Health & Sport) (Studied) or BSc Biomedical Sciences (Physiology) (Studied) or BSc Biomedical Sciences (Pharmacology) (Studied) or BSc Biomedical Sciences (Anatomy) (Studied) or BSc Biomedical Sciences (Develop'l Biol) (Studied) or BSc Biomedical Sciences (Molecular Biol) (Studied) or BSc Immunology and Pharmacology (Studied) or BSc Biology (Studied) or BSc Conservation Biology (Studied) or BSc Plant Biology (Studied) or BSc Zoology (Studied) or BSc Animal Ecology (Studied) or BSc Marine Biology (Studied) or BSc Parasitology (Studied) or BSc Animal Behaviour (Studied) or BSc Genetics (Studied) or BSc Genetics (Immunology) (Studied) or BSc Microbiology (Studied) or BSc Molecular Microbiology (Studied) or BSc Immunology (Studied) or BSc Sports Studies (Exercise and Health) (Studied) or BSc Biochemistry (Studied) or BSc Biochemistry (Immunology) (Studied) or BSc Psychology (Studied) or International BSc Foundation Programme (Psychology) (Studied) or BSc Behavioural Biology (Studied) or BSc Psychology with Gaelic (Studied) or BSc Psychology with French (Studied) or BSc Psychology with German (Studied) or MSci Biological Sciences (Studied) or BSc Biological Sciences (Honours) (Studied) or International BSc Foundation Programme (Biological Sciences) (Studied) or BSc Human Embryology & Dev'l Biology (Studied) or BSc Molecular Biology (Studied) or BSc Plant and Soil Sciences (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 Biotechnology (Applied Molecular Bio) (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

Course Aims: To introduce the scientific investigation of paradigms in behavioural biology, specificially to understand the physiological and ecological basis of behaviour, to apply these bases to a variety of circumstances and environmental challenges that animals encounter, to synthesise behavioural evolution and maintenance into the natural and sexual selection paradigms of biology. Main Learning Outcomes: Upon completion of this course students will have... * Examined the function, causation, development and evolutionary history of an observed behaviour. * Communicated complex concepts in behavioural biology to a general audience. * Demonstrated understanding of the concepts underlying behavioural biology. Content: This course introduces the biological basis for animal behaviour, considering how behaviour contributes to survival, the proximate mechanisms of behaviours, behavioural development and evolution. The first part of the course covers regulations, controls and mechanisms; the second part covers developmental, learning and cognitive processes of acquiring behaviour; the third part of the course covers living with others (e.g., reproducing, social systems and communication). The fourth part of the course covers evolutionary aspects of behaviour, including selection processes, evolutionarily stable strategies, and extra-genetic inheritance.

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 Science Laboratory during University week28
  • 4 Seminars during University weeks 25, 27
  • 3 Seminars during University weeks 26, 28
  • 2 Seminars during University week29

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

(i) Presentation 25%
(ii) Report 25%
(iii) Data sheet: 10%
(iv) Final exam: 40% [open book questions, with 48 hours to complete during exam session, as in 2020]

Resit (for students taking course in Academic Year 2020/21):

Resit of any failed element

Resit (for students who tookl the Academic Year 2019/20 and C8 students):

Resit of any failed element

During normally scheduled resit exam period.

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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