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BI25Z5: FUNDAMENTALS IN MARINE BIOLOGY (2022-2023)

Last modified: 26 Oct 2022 15:40


Course Overview

This course introduces the biology of the open oceans, shelf seas, coastal waters, estuaries and shores. The focus is mainly on the diversity of lifeforms in different marine environments and the adaptations of these organisms to their living conditions, taking account of the physical and chemical characteristics of the environment. The course also aims to develop skills in marine biological research methods, data analysis, reading scientific articles, critical thinking, and scientific writing. The knowledge and skills developed through these activities provide a strong foundation for further study of the functioning of marine ecosystems and the impacts of humans on them.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 2
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
Co-ordinators
  • Dr Philip Smith

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

What other courses must be taken with this course?

None.

What courses cannot be taken with this course?

Are there a limited number of places available?

No

Course Description

Life evolved in the sea and the oceans cover approximately 70% of the Earth’s surface. The three-dimensional and multi-layered nature of the marine environment is alien to human beings, and until relatively recently most of it was inaccessible and largely unknown. Marine species often have strange and fascinating forms, reflecting the wide variety of evolutionary solutions to life in the sea. And of course, humans utilise a plethora of marine species for food, biochemicals, recreation and a variety of other uses. Some marine species can be harmful to humans or can interfere with human activities. Understanding the biology of the oceans is therefore important in terms of a wider understanding of life on Earth, as well as informing management of human activities that rely on or are affected by marine life.

The course aims to give you a sound understanding of the nature of life in the sea, including the open oceans, shelf seas, coastal waters, estuaries and shores. More specifically, the intended learning outcomes are that on successful completion of the course, you should be able to:

  • explain the major physical, chemical and biological processes that determine the environmental characteristics of major marine habitats
  • identify the main groups of organisms in different types of marine environment and describe key aspects of their morphology and natural history
  • give examples of a range of types of adaptation of marine organisms for life in different environments
  • measure, record and analyse basic biological data from samples and specimens in the laboratory
  • search and review the scientific literature on selected marine biological topics
  • produce marine biological essays and reports in standard scientific forms

Running over 12 weeks, the course comprises three lectures, seminars or tutorials per week, four or five fortnightly practical classes and associated coursework, covering a broad range of marine biological topics. Lectures are given by staff in the School of Biological Sciences with a wide range of marine biological research expertise.

Practical work will give you hands-on experience in investigating diversity and adaptations of marine organisms (including preserved, fresh and live specimens). There is a strong emphasis on developing your ability to collect quantitative biological data, to subject the data to statistical analysis, and to present and interpret the findings in a standard scientific format.

An essay, prepared over 5 weeks, gives you the opportunity to explore in depth a specific marine biological topic of your own choosing from a list, and will develop your capacity for searching and critically reviewing marine biological literature, and for scientific writing. There is a briefing to introduce the essay assignment and to give guidance on reviewing the marine biological literature and writing in a scientific style. In the final week of the course, there is a  revision session and exam briefing to help you prepare for the examination.

Associated Costs

DescriptionValue
Students should possess a Howie laboratory coat and safety glasses. Further details of requirements can be found on the course's MyAberdeen page. The cost listed here is approximate. GBP 23.00

Details for second half-session courses, including assessments, may be subject to change until 23 December 2022.

Contact Teaching Time

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

Teaching Breakdown

  • 1 Science Laboratory during University weeks 27, 29, 31, 35
  • 3 Lectures during University weeks 26 - 35, 39

More Information about Week Numbers


Details for second half-session courses, including assessments, may be subject to change until 23 December 2022.

Summative Assessments

Online assessment

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 25
Assessment Weeks Feedback Weeks

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Short written answers

Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
Sorry, we don't have this information available just now. Please check the course guide on MyAberdeen or with the Course Coordinator

Essay

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 20
Assessment Weeks Feedback Weeks

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1800 - 2200 word essay

Word Count
Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
Sorry, we don't have this information available just now. Please check the course guide on MyAberdeen or with the Course Coordinator

Practical online test

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 7
Assessment Weeks Feedback Weeks

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Practical online test worth 7.5%

Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
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Three lab reports

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 23
Assessment Weeks Feedback Weeks

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Three lab reports worth 22.5% (7.5% each)

Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
Sorry, we don't have this information available just now. Please check the course guide on MyAberdeen or with the Course Coordinator

Online MCQ

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 25
Assessment Weeks Feedback Weeks

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Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
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Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Resit Assessments

Re-submission of failed elements

Assessment Type Summative Weighting
Assessment Weeks Feedback Weeks

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Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
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Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
FactualRememberILO’s for this course are available in the course guide.

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