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Unit information: Key Concepts for Biologists in 2015/16

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 Key Concepts for Biologists
Unit code BIOL10002
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Professor. Wall
Open unit status Not open




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

Description including Unit Aims

This unit aims to introduce a range of key concepts that provide important background knowledge for those wishing to study Biology, but which are not covered elsewhere in our first-year course. The unit includes aspects such as study skills for an effective student, data collection and handling, plotting figures and tables, finding and interpreting scientific literature, COSHH and risk analysis, an introduction to biophysical methods, understanding chemical analysis and impact for Biologists. This will provide a common foundation in these areas on which all other Biology units can then build; this is important given the diversity of educational backgrounds amongst those studying Biology or Zoology. On completion of the unit, students will be familiar with the terminology used within these disciplines, be able to handle, summarise and present biological data and have an appreciation of the relevant methods and concepts which are applied in Biological analyses and which will underpin their studies through the biology and zoology degree programmes.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On completion of the unit, students will be familiar with the terminology used within these disciplines and have an appreciation of relevant technical and conceptual issues and how these are often applied to Biological analysis. The study skills element will help the students to critically assess sources of information. The unit will give an awareness of the framework in which science is now performed within the context of personal, social, ethical and cultural standards.

Teaching Information

Lectures and tutorials, practical data collection excercise, along with self-directed study

Assessment Information

The course will be assessed within the tutorial sessions associated with the unit, using 1 marked essay (1500 words, 30%) and 3 other assessed activities, which will include a written research abstract (10%), an oral tutorial presentation (10%), and through a final project report (3,000 words) presented in the form of a scientific research paper which will incorporate elements from the material covered in the unit (50%).

Students will receive feedback on all elements of assessment through the tutorials associated with the unit

Reading and References

Practical Skills in Biology 5th Ed. (2012) Jones, Reed, Weyers. Pub: Pearson