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Unit information: Life Processes Part A in 2021/22

Unit name Life Processes Part A
Unit code BIOL10009
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Pike
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Biological Sciences
Faculty Faculty of Life Sciences

Description including Unit Aims

The unit will introduce the common processes which govern cell maintenance and how cells communicate and ‘relate’ to one another within a multicellular organism. It will include topics on basic molecular biology, cell biology, respiratory systems, physiology (animal and plant), neurobiology and neurophysiology.


  • To present a solid foundation for cell maintenance by covering broad processes drawing on examples from different model organisms across kingdoms (animals, plants and bacteria).
  • 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

  1. Demonstrate the ability to implement successful independent study techniques;
  2. Describe the fundamental mechanisms by which genes are encoded;
  3. Identify key features of cells and describe their development;
  4. Explore the key physiology and neurological processes in multicellular organisms;
  5. Apply a range of biological practical skills

Teaching Information

A combination of synchronous and asynchronous teaching activities including lectures, directed reading, research and/or problem-solving activities; practical exercises and independent study.

Assessment Information

The unit mark is comprised of:

  • 60%: a 1 hour multiple choice question exam which will take place in the January examination period. Tests ILOs 1, 2, 3.
  • 40%: written work. Tests ILOs 1, 2, 3, 4.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. BIOL10009).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.