Skip to main content

Unit information: Biology 1B: Life Processes in 2019/20

Please note: It is possible that the information shown for future academic years may change due to developments in the relevant academic field. Optional unit availability varies depending on both staffing and student choice.

Unit name Biology 1B: Life Processes
Unit code BIOL12000
Credit points 40
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Andy Bailey
Open unit status Not open

A-level Biology (preferred) or good science A-levels



School/department School of Biological Sciences
Faculty Faculty of Science


The structure and function of cells and their macromolecular components; animal physiology, neurobiology and development; transmission, molecular, population and evolutionary genetics; animal immune systems; natural communities and interactions within communities; exploitation and management of natural and agricultural ecosystems.


  • To present a wide-ranging biological course emphasising the general biological principles of cell biology, physiology, biochemistry, genetics and ecology.
  • To create a broad objective understanding of the intellectual and practical skills required by biologists.
  • To provide a basis for higher-level biological courses, or a support for other science courses involving living organisms.

Intended learning outcomes

On completion a student will have achieved an appreciation of practical biological methods, have learnt to analyse scientific problems and to draw objective conclusions, and have gained self-confidence in written, verbal and organizational skills, including communication, teamwork, and computer literacy.

Teaching details

  • Lectures: 3x 50 min lectures each week
  • Laboratory classes: 1x 3-hour class each week. These classes include practical work with plants, animals, fungi and microbes.
  • A tutorials
  • Self-directed learning. Students are expected to spend approx. 30-45 minutes on additional reading per lecture.
  • 20 hours of Dynamic Laboratory Manual (DLM)
  • Independent work in computing
  • Demonstrations
  • Videos
  • Field trips

Assessment Details

The course mark comprises 60% for the end of unit exam and 40% for continuous assessment (CA).

The end of unit exam in May/June comprises 2 papers.

The 40% CA mark is made up as follows:

  • 30%: assessed practicals (5% of unit marks from each of 6 practicals)
  • 10%: January assessment test

Reading and References

The core textbook is

  • Campbell Biology, Pearson, 9th revised edition ISBN13: 9781408277379

Also recommended is:

  • A good general biology dictionary, e.g. Henderson’s Dictionary of Biology, Pearson Paperback ISBN13: 9781408234303