BI1EG1-Plant Diversity, Structure and Utilisation

Module Provider: School of Biological Sciences
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Prof Julie Hawkins


Type of module:

Summary module description:

Students will discover the diversity of photosynthetic organisms, including green plants and land plants, and will become familiar with the major lineages of green plants. They will gain an appreciation and understanding of the diversity of vegetative and reproductive structures of flowering plants, their ecological and evolutionary significance and how plant domestication has changed these structures. They will gain a more sophisticated understanding of some issues relating to the exploitation of plants, such as issues relating to the ethics of palm oil production and plant breeding technologies.

Assessable learning outcomes:
Ability to identify the vegetative and reproductive parts of flowering plants, particularly those of crop plants.

Additional outcomes:
Increased understanding and appreciation of the diversity of plants; experience of reading primary scientific literature; familiarity with the School of Biological Sciences’ collections

Outline content:
Plant diversity:
What is a plant? An overview of photosynthetic organisms and the major lineages of green plants.
Plant structures:
Vegetative parts of the plant
Structure of flowers and fruits
Biology of flowers and fruits
Plant utilisation:
Plant domestication, the origins of agriculture and Plant Genetic Resources
Contemporary issues in the exploitation of plants.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Every week students will have a one hour lecture and either "free time" or a three hour practical class. Practical activities will include dissection, drawing and interpretation of plant material and annotation of drawings, quiz and plant hunting in the Harris Garden. Students will carry out a survey of fresh produce in a supermarket. Scientific reading is set for the "free time" and online quizzes will be used to test understanding of the reading and the practical classes. Students will have the opportunity to participate on online discussion forums with topics such as "Can oil palm be sustainably produced?".

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 10
Practicals classes and workshops 12
Guided independent study 78
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 70
Report 15
Set exercise 15

Summative assessment- Examinations:
One-and-a-half hour examination

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:
Report: Supermarket report to be submitted first week of Spring term (15%)
Set Exercises: on-line quizzes 3 x 5%

Formative assessment methods:

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:
    Re-examination in August / September only.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 20 April 2018


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