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Unit information: Diversity of Life Part A in 2022/23

Please note: It is possible that the information shown for future academic years may change due to developments in the relevant academic field. Optional unit availability varies depending on both staffing, student choice and timetabling constraints.

Unit name Diversity of Life Part A
Unit code BIOL10010
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Murray
Open unit status Not open
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School/department School of Biological Sciences
Faculty Faculty of Life Sciences

Unit Information

The unit will introduce evolution and diversity of life ranging from prokaryotic origins to lower eukaryotes. It will cover the evolution of organism form, structure, genetic variation, life cycle, and adaptations, with a focus on prokaryotes, eukaryotes including fungi up to invertebrate metazoa.


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.

Attendance at the practical sessions for this unit is required.

Your learning on this unit

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

How you will learn

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

How you will be assessed

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.
  • 20%: written work. Tests ILOs 1, 2, 3.
  • 20%: Practical exam which will take place in the January examination period. Tests ILO 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. BIOL10010).

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.