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Unit information: Current Topics in Biology in 2016/17

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 Current Topics in Biology
Unit code BIOL10001
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Professor. Viney
Open unit status Not open




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

Description including Unit Aims

Biology is frequently in the news, often within the headlines. The subjects covered are numerous and often controversial, yet rarely explained in any depth. Within this unit we aim to introduce the current topics in an unbiased manner, introducing all the arguments so that Biology students are well informed about these subjects and can access peer-reviewed factual information on which to base their opinions. This will enable the students to participate in conversations on such topics in an informed manner. The topics will vary from year to year based on what is timely and getting press attention, but it is likely to include subjects such as the use of animals in research, use of GM crops, relevance of conservation work, cloning/stem cell research etc etc. The unit will also showcase new research outputs from the school and broader subject area. The aim of the unit is to help inform our student of the unbiased background to the current controversies in Biology and give a grounding in the current research from the School to allow them to develop a better appreciation of the scientific approach within Biology.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On completion of the unit, students will be familiar with the evidence available for each case, and be able to critically assess the quality and scope of such findings. They will be able to discuss these ideas in an informed manner and have an appreciation of evidence-based findings. There will also be an awareness of how research is performed within the School, the timescales involved and the sorts of impacts which can be achieved.

Teaching Information

Lectures and tutorials alongside self directed study

Assessment Information

The course will be assessed within the tutorial sessions associated the unit, using essays and worksheets

Reading and References

Hendersons Dictionary of Biology. (2011) Lawrence. Pubs: Benjamin Cummings