Modules for course C3L2 | BSC/ZC
BSC Zoology with Conservation

These were the modules for this course in the 2018–19 academic year.

You can also view the modules offered in the years: 2019–20.

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Year 1 Modules

Compulsory Modules

Semester 1

  • BNS-1002: Organismal Diversity (20)
    All major groups of living organisms will be reviewed, from viruses, bacteria, protists, fungi and higher plants to invertebrate and vertebrate animals. General taxonomy, body form, physiology and life history will be studied to give an appreciation of the multiple aspects of biodiversity.
  • DXX-1002: Env. Management & Conservation (20)
    Introduction to environmental management and conservation (why is it important, who does it and where does it occur). The concepts of landscape multipurpose land-use, interpretation and evaluation. Environmental ethics, conflicts and rights. Introduction to Marine conservation issues and to Agri-environment schemes. There will be a field trip to view examples of conflicts between conservation and other land uses. Methods to assess impacts on the environment (e.g. carbon footprints, environmental impact assessment). There will be a field trip to see how the impacts of large industrial projects are being managed and reduced. Economics and the environment: what’s the relationship? The economic problem and the importance of economics. How individual decisions add up to form social phenomena. Fundamentals of economic analysis. Markets, market failures and interventions. Institutions , incentives and interventions by governments. Growth and trade. Using economic analysis to understand the world and inform decisions. There will be a field trip to illustrate economic issues in the environment.
  • BSX-1028: Tutorials Year 1 (20) or
    BSC-1028: Tiwtorialau Blwyddyn 1 (20)
  • BSX-1030: Practical Skills 1 (20)

Semester 2

Year 2 Modules

Compulsory Modules

Semester 1

  • BNS-2002: Evolution & Genetics (20)
    Evolution by natural selection, heredity, genetic variation, the Hardy Weinberg model, gene flow, random genetic drift and selective processes, population differentiation, taxonomy and biodiversity, micro- and macro-evolutionary processes. Specific attention is paid to the design of field and experimental studies using a range of case studies to elucidate the drivers of evolutionary change.
  • DXX-2003: Principles of Conservation (20) Core
    • The need for nature conservation and the nature of conservation • Patterns of global biodiversity • Extinction crisis and habitat loss • Small population biology • Harvesting theory • Invasive species control •Strategies for Ex situ conservation • Species reintroductions • The need for habitat conservation • Island biogeography • Selecting sites for protection • Managing protected areas • Integrating social and economic factors in conservation • Responding to climate change and pollution
  • BSX-2021: BioScience Skills (20)
    The module will be delivered in four key components: 1. Public understanding of Science (critical thinking). Studies will undertake a range of exercises, including computer-based learning, where they will critically review scientific articles from a variety of sources (TV, media, scientific journals, blogs). Students will consider; errors in scientific literature; scientific methodology; experimental design; use and abuse of statistical results; erroneous and misleading presentation of results; the quality of different sources of information. Topics may include climate change, alternative medicine, creationism, health and disease. Students will also take part in group discussions, debates and write scientific blogs. 2. Scientific writing (literacy skills) Students will attend a 1-hour introductory lecture on scientific writing. A list of degree programme and subject-specific essay titles will be made available on Blackboard. Students will choose one essay title to complete. Computer assisted learning (CAL) - a comprehensive suite of supporting materials will be made available for students on the Blackboard site (e.g. tips on how to write essays, grammar and comprehension, referencing and example essays). 3. Problem-based learning (creative thinking) Delivered as 2 x 1-hour workshops (in groups of ca. 8) with a member of academic staff or trained postgraduate demonstrator and a 2-hour mini conference in which 5 groups will convene to provide a 10 minute oral presentation (with questions) on their project. Students will be provided with a real-life scenario (degree programme and subject-specific) ahead of the first workshop. Students will be asked to; consider interesting research questions; frame hypotheses; design appropriate tests for hypotheses; consider data collection and analysis; consider possible interpretations and future research avenues. These will be discussed in the workshops. 4. Planning for 3rd year project (practical/planning skills) Interaction between student and academic project supervisor in up to 3 x tutorial sessions. Tutorial sessions will identify the specific aim and objectives of the project and develop a project plan.

Semester 2

  • DXX-2009: Conservation Practice (20) Core
    Understanding conservation responses Community-conservation Efficacy of agri-environment schemes The role of international NGOs International agreements (CBD, Ramsar, EU Habitats and birds directive), To provide training in some of the skills used by professional conservationists Conservation monitoring (some theory eg type I and type I errors, the concept of power) and introduction to some UK based and international schemes. Study design and experimental design for conservation biology and ecology (stratification, precision and bias); Estimating population size (quadrats, mark and recapture, distance sampling, territory mapping); Measuring biodiversity across scales (diversity indices); Management planning and measurable indicators of conservation state including, including common standards monitoring and compliance monitoring.
  • BSX-2021: BioScience Skills
    The module will be delivered in four key components: 1. Public understanding of Science (critical thinking). Studies will undertake a range of exercises, including computer-based learning, where they will critically review scientific articles from a variety of sources (TV, media, scientific journals, blogs). Students will consider; errors in scientific literature; scientific methodology; experimental design; use and abuse of statistical results; erroneous and misleading presentation of results; the quality of different sources of information. Topics may include climate change, alternative medicine, creationism, health and disease. Students will also take part in group discussions, debates and write scientific blogs. 2. Scientific writing (literacy skills) Students will attend a 1-hour introductory lecture on scientific writing. A list of degree programme and subject-specific essay titles will be made available on Blackboard. Students will choose one essay title to complete. Computer assisted learning (CAL) - a comprehensive suite of supporting materials will be made available for students on the Blackboard site (e.g. tips on how to write essays, grammar and comprehension, referencing and example essays). 3. Problem-based learning (creative thinking) Delivered as 2 x 1-hour workshops (in groups of ca. 8) with a member of academic staff or trained postgraduate demonstrator and a 2-hour mini conference in which 5 groups will convene to provide a 10 minute oral presentation (with questions) on their project. Students will be provided with a real-life scenario (degree programme and subject-specific) ahead of the first workshop. Students will be asked to; consider interesting research questions; frame hypotheses; design appropriate tests for hypotheses; consider data collection and analysis; consider possible interpretations and future research avenues. These will be discussed in the workshops. 4. Planning for 3rd year project (practical/planning skills) Interaction between student and academic project supervisor in up to 3 x tutorial sessions. Tutorial sessions will identify the specific aim and objectives of the project and develop a project plan.

Optional Modules

40 credits from:

  • BSX-2017: Invertebrates (20) (Semester 2)
    Formative feedback Lectures: four sessions (4 x 1 hour) one each led by Braig, Malhotra, Malham and Wüster Practical reports: one session involving peer review and feedback led by Wüster and Braig
  • BSX-2018: Behavioural Ecology (20) (Semester 2)
    The module will cover key aspects of animal behaviour and will include: Theory on the development of animal behaviour, learning and cognition, social behaviour, economic decision making, sexual selection, mating systems, sexual conflict and parental care. A considerable emphasis will also be placed on practical observation of animal behaviour and how this can be used to frame and test hypotheses to enhance our understanding of the field.
  • BSX-2019: Principles of Life 2 (20) (Semester 1)
    The lectures build on the 1st year "Cellular and Molecular Biology" module. They discuss DNA, RNA, proteins (including enzymes), metabolism and valuable metabolites in more detail. Subjects covered are: DNA replication, stability and inheritance; transcription and translation; post-translational modification of proteins; genome organisation; techniques utilised for the study of DNA, RNA and proteins. Biochemical topics include structure/function relationships, enzyme mechanisms, bioenergetics, metabolism and valuable metabolic products. The applied molecular biology practicals are designed to give experience in applied molecular methodologies covering a range of key technologies (isolation of human DNA from cheek cells, restriction enzyme digestion of DNA, agarose gel electrophoresis, the polymerase chain reaction, and the use of PCR to identify introns). The applied biochemistry practicals consist of two 3 hour practicals on enzyme kinetics, and will include a replication of the Jacob-Monod experiment, time courses to demonstrate vo = f[E] and replication of the Michaelis-Menten experiment.
  • BSX-2022: Vertebrate Biology (20) (Semester 1)
    This module traces the origins of vertebrates and follows the subsequent major advances in the evolution of aquatic, terrestrial and aerial groups. Themes given particular emphasis include: evolution, diversity, feeding, respiration (aquatic and aerial), locomotion (aquatic, terrestrial and flight) and reproduction. This module should be of general interest to all animal biologists but with an emphasis on terrestrial groups. The module will include 5 practical classes, comprising 3 on animal diversity (herpetology, birds and mammals, based on the museum collection), 1 chicken dissection (looking at locomotor, reproductive and digestive adaptations) and 1 on fish diversity in form and function.
  • BSX-2025: Field Courses (20) (Semester 1 + 2)
    Prepare for field courses by background reading (generally including preparing, presenting and attending peer-group presentations under the supervision of staff). Carry out field excursions to habitats normally including both managed and unmanaged environments. Learn about flora, fauna and conservation issues by a variety of means, normally including personal observations, talks by BU and local staff, signage and local interpretative centres and leaflets. Observe and record animal behaviour and habitat by various means including photography, video, audio recording and sketching. Where permitted and directed by staff, collect material for preservation and identification, including living plant and animal specimens, remains (e.g. shells, seed pods, tracks), photographs etc. Carry out species identification using field guides and keys. In some cases, quantitative ecological or ethological sampling may be carried out and data analysed quantitatively. Following excursions, there will normally be a review session, sharing experiences and summarising observations. At the end of the fieldwork, an assignment will be set which will include data, observations or material collected from the field.
  • BSX-2028: Introduction to Herpetology (20) (Semester 2)
  • BSX-2030: Integrated Zoology (20) (Semester 2)
  • BSX-2018 is a pre-requsite for BNS-3004. BSX-2022 is a pre-requisite for BSX-3144.

Year 3 Modules

Compulsory Modules

Semester 1

Semester 2

Optional Modules

60 credits from:

  • BNS-3003: Freshwater Ecosystems 2 (20) (Semester 1)
    Introduction to freshwater ecosystems. Habitat type: Plants & algae, physical & chemical characteristics, geomorphology/hydrology & structure of freshwater ecosystems. Classification of lakes, rivers & wetlands. Freshwater communities & relationships Human impacts on freshwaters & approaches to conservation & restoration. Fisheries ecology, life assessment and management & fisheries economics Ecosystem services and their management
  • BNS-3004: Advances in Behaviour (20) (Semester 1)
    Observing animal behaviour. Introduction to welfare of animals in captivity. 
 Application of animal behavior to conservation. The evolution of animal behaviour and its role in macroevolution. Links between animal behavior and other disciplines such as psychology and computer science.
  • BSX-3139: Molecular Ecology & Evolution (20) (Semester 1)
    In the past few decades, molecular genetics has become one of the fastest growing fields in the life sciences. The application of molecular methods has spread to virtually all fields of modern biology, including ecology, conservation, breeding and natural resource management, leading to the establishment of Molecular Ecology. With the expansion of the application of molecular tools, it has become crucial that all biologists have a basic understanding of genetics and molecular biology, and the application of molecular tools to the detection of kin, the identification of isolated populations, the ability of populations to adapt to environmental change, and conservation genetics. The course takes advantage of the considerable research activity and expertise in molecular ecology and evolution within the School of Biological Sciences at Bangor. The focus will be on how recent advances in primarily DNA-based tools can be used at the population and species level to explore the dynamics of biodiversity in a changing world, including a consideration of the range of molecular tools available, the analysis of population structure and adaptation in the wild, genomic approaches to the analysis of species and community diversity, aspects of behavioural ecology, conservation genetics and the management of exploited species. Although the course requires grounding in basic principles of genetics and evolutionary biology, the course aims to explain how molecular tools can assist in our understanding of whole-organism biology (e.g. behaviour, life history, dispersal), and the strategies that are available for conservation and management of taxa in the wild.
  • BSX-3144: Animal Survival Strategies (20) (Semester 2)
    The module will concentrate on the behavioural and physiological strategies shown by animals to either avoid or survive extreme environments. Consideration will be given to those organisms that are able to survive extremes of environmental temperature and dehydration stress as well as reductions in oxygen levels. The module will describe ways in which animals avoid the extremes of environmental variation by showing rhythmic behaviour patterns, either on a daily, annual, or lunar basis. Avoidance strategies, such as torpor, hibernation and migration will also be covered. Case studies will be used throughout and include both invertebrate and vertebrate examples from a diversity of habitats.
  • BSX-3150: Life in a Changing Climate (20) (Semester 2)
    The course will cover how climate change and aspects of zoology and biodiversity are connected and how they interact. Social implications of these factors will also be covered, along with potential ecosystem conservation and management practises needed to cope with a changing climate. Wetlands will be used as climate change case study.
  • BSX-3152: Life in Wetlands (20) (Semester 2)
    Wetland determination and delineation will be covered in detail, along with global wetland classifications. The wildlife of wetlands, with particular emphasis on animal species, will be a key part in many of the lectures and sessions. This area will also include specific zoological adaptations to cope with the stresses created by wetland conditions. Crucial wetland-biogeochemical cycles will be explained and the importance of wetlands, in terms of the ecosystem services they provide will be covered in-depth.
  • BSX-3153: Primatology (20) (Semester 1)
  • BSX-3154: Attack and Defence in Plants (20) (Semester 2)
  • BSX-3157: Ornithology (20) (Semester 1)
  • BSX-3159: Parasites & Pathogens (Yr3) (20) (Semester 1)
  • BSX-3161: Human Evolutionary Biology (20) (Semester 2)
  • Please select an even spread of modules across both semesters.