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Unit information: Biology 1B: Life Processes in 2014/15

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

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 Professor. Harris
Open unit status Open

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



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

Description including Unit Aims

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 Information

  • 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 Information

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