Module BNS-1002:
Organismal Diversity

Module Facts

Run by School of Natural Sciences

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Dr Joanna Smith

Overall aims and purpose

To present an overview of basic classification, form and function of the major groups of living organisms

Course content

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.

Assessment Criteria

threshold

D- to D+: Adequate factual knowledge about diversity of plants and animals with some basic knowledge about function of evolutionary adaptations seen in different groups. Some basic comprehension of reasons for comparative differences seen between taxa.

good

B- to B+: Good factual knowledge about diversity of plants and animals with demonstrable accurate knowledge about function of evolutionary adaptations seen in different groups and classification criteria. A student acheiving 2:1 grades in the module overall will have a good ability to compare taxa and show some reasoning when considering similarities and differences between these.

C- to C+

C- to C+: Reasonable factual knowledge about diversity of plants and animals with some knowledge about function of evolutionary adaptations seen in different groups and awareness of classification criteria. A student acheiving 2:2 grades in the module overall will have a reasonable ability to compare taxa.

excellent

A- to A+: Comprehensive factual knowledge about diversity of plants and animals with highly accurate knowledge about function of evolutionary adaptations seen in different groups and classification criteria. Excellent ability to compare taxa and show some reasoning when considering similarities and differences between these.

Learning outcomes

  1. Know the basic taxonomy of living organisms, from viruses, microbes, fungi, plants, to invertebrate and vertebrate animals.

  2. Understand the functional morphology of the above organisms.

  3. Understand basic physiological principles applicable to selected groups of organisms.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
COURSEWORK MCQ test A

Online test to consolidate topics taught on the module to this point. Will give practice in the MCQ format that students will get for the exam, and allow time on task revision.

5
COURSEWORK MCQ test B

Online test to consolidate topics taught on the module to this point. Will give practice in the MCQ format that students will get for the exam, and allow time on task revision.

5
COURSEWORK MCQ Test C

Online test to consolidate topics taught on the module to this point. Will give practice in the MCQ format that students will get for the exam, and allow time on task revision.

5
DEMONSTRATION/PRACTICE Practical Assessment

In class, you will examine and draw two different animal skulls, highlighting and labelling anatomically important features. The drawings must be completed by the end of the session and should be accompanied by a scale and legend. You will also make notes on the important features of the skull that give you clues as to their life history, fill in a proforma skulls profile for each and draw some conclusions about the animal based on these. Further guidance and practice will be available via introductory lectures, the preparatory lab and via resources available on Bb. The skulls profiles and drawings will be handed in at the end of the practical session you are timetabled for.

30
EXAM Exam

MCQs covering all aspects of the module. Further details will be available in revision session and in class. Practice questions will be available online.

50
COURSEWORK MCQ Test D

Online test to consolidate topics taught on the module to this point. Will give practice in the MCQ format that students will get for the exam, and allow time on task revision.

5

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Workshop

Workshops/support sessions will be timetabled to support lecture blocks throughout the Semester

5
 

Directed reflective and formative tasks in an online environment supported by tutors. These will be designed to encourage continued engagement, time on task and to promote practice of study skills after each subject block within the module

10
Lecture

Lectures may be one or two hours in duration - combinations of theory, phylogenetic relationships and illustrative case studies. Lectures will be given in subject blocks and optional drop-in summary and revision sessions will be timetabled to support learning in a responsive way

30
Private study

Guided independent study: Students will be supported in the virtual learning environment via provision of extra reading and watching/lecture notes/formative assessment and group feedback. Students will be expected to invest 2-3 hours of self-directed study for every hour of teaching contact

150
Laboratory

Students will examine a range of museum materials in a hands-on practical session, designed to increase observation and recording skills, encourage students to apply comparisons of important features of morphology to function. Students will complete biological drawings, and elements within practicals will be assessed.

5

Transferable skills

  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Safety-Consciousness - Having an awareness of your immediate environment, and confidence in adhering to health and safety regulations

Subject specific skills

  • Recognize and apply appropriate theories and concepts from a range of disciplines.
  • Consider issues from a range of interdisciplinary perspectives.
  • Apply subject knowledge to the understanding and addressing of problems.
  • Appreciation of the complexity and diversity of life processes through the study of organisms.
  • Undertake field and/or laboratory studies of living systems.
  • Undertake practical work to ensure competence in basic experimental skills.

Resources

Resource implications for students

None identified

Talis Reading list

http://readinglists.bangor.ac.uk/modules/bns-1002.html

Pre- and Co-requisite Modules

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: