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Unit information: Diversity of Life Part A: Exploring Lower Organisms in 2020/21

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Unit name Diversity of Life Part A: Exploring Lower Organisms
Unit code BIOL10003
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Andy Bailey
Open unit status Not open




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

Description including Unit Aims

The unit will introduce evolution and diversity of life ranging from prokaryotic origins to lower eukaryotes. It will cover evolution of organism form, structure, genetic variation, life cycle, adaptations with a focus on prokaryotes, fungi and lower eukaryotes (animal and plant).


To equip students with the broadest range of intellectual and practical skills and to fit them to confront the diverse biological questions they will meet in their future careers. This includes a clear understanding of the factors that mould living organisms, and knowledge of the diversity of the major groups of organisms.

Intended Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate the ability to implement successful independent study techniques;
  2. Recognise and identify a variety of lower life forms on Planet Earth;
  3. Observe and apply knowledge of the lower life forms on Planet Earth;
  4. Apply and use a range of biological practical skills.

Teaching Information

  • 3 x lectures weekly;
  • 1 x 3 hour practical session weekly.

Self-directed learning weeks will occur in weeks 6 and 12. Students are expected to spend this time on directed reading.

Assessment Information

The unit mark is comprised of:

  • 80%: a 1 hour multiple choice question exam which will take place in the January examination period. Tests ILOs 1, 2, 3.
  • 20%: assessed practicals (i.e. post lab tests). Tests ILOs 1, 2, 3, 4.

Reading and References

Recommended Reading

Campbell Biology, Pearson