BI1EAB1-Animal Diversity

Module Provider: School of Biological Sciences
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites: Please note there are limited places available on this module
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Miss Meg Cathcart-James


Type of module:

Summary module description:


Through lectures and practical sessions and using real animal specimens from the Cole Museum of Zoology, this course will provide an introduction to the metazoa (multi-cellular animals). It provides a taxonomic foundation on which to lay future studies of invertebrate and vertebrate zoology in part 2 and will help students to appreciate the diversity of animals they will see on their field courses at the end of part 1. Students will develop basic zoological knowledge relating to classification of animal groups, including body plans, growth patterns and feeding and will go on to develop an overview of the animal tree of life. Students will start to build their zoological glossary which will be invaluable later on in the degree. The course will expose students to many animal groups that they will not have heard of, many of which are marine invertebrates. 

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the course, students will be expected to be able to:

1. Understand the correct method to classify organisms and write species names.

2. Describe the different geological eras post-life.

3. Be able to identify the "big nine" animal phyla.

4. Have an overview of animal diversity.

5. Have developed an overview of the metazoan tree of life.

6. Develop a basic understanding of animal body plans. 

Additional outcomes:

Outline content:

A series of lectures will be used to cover all the major animal phyla and details of animals in the phyla Chordata. These will tie in directly to modules in part 2 or 3. The idea is to give students a taste of the upcoming modules and hopefully to be able to put modules into the context of the wider subject. Lectures will be supported by the use of formative laboratory practicals, designed to support deeper learning. These will expose students to specimens of animals mentioned in the lectures and to see first-hand the features that are used to classify them. N.B. The module does not cover animal ecology and/or conservation.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

There will be two 50 minute lectures each week and one or two hour practical sessions the laboratory or museum (these may be replicated depending on student numbers). Students will acquire additional information from directed reading allied to the lecture material. Fortnightly online tests will be conducted (summative) to allow students to gauge their learning. Most practicals are formative, supporting deeper learning, but the practical in week 11 is summative.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 18
Practicals classes and workshops 22
Guided independent study 60
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Practical skills assessment 50
Class test administered by School 50

Summative assessment- Examinations:
No examination

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

40% Four online MCQ tests – each 20 questions based on practicals and lectures (10% each).

30% Written online assignment (short answers in a set paper) Week 10

30% In-class test Week 15 2 hours

Formative assessment methods:

All practicals are formative.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Assessment requirements for a pass:

    A mark of 40% overall

    Reassessment arrangements:
    By examination in August/September

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear: In compliance with the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) 1992 Act, while studying this module students will be expected to wear the following item/s: Lab coat/Safety glasses/Safety gloves. The Department/School can provide students with safety gloves for free but students should purchase a lab coat at a cost of £12 and safety glasses at a cost of £3. These can be used for multiple modules over the course of your degree. Students who choose not to purchase from the University must ensure that their PPE meets the latest British/European Safety Standards.


    Last updated: 3 October 2018


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