In line with good practice, module content is regularly updated and module titles may on occasion change to reflect updated content in the advances in the field of study.
Year 0 - Foundation Year
Advancing Biology (20 credits)
The aim of this module is to build on material learned in the module ‘Biological concepts’. Elements of genetics and molecular biology are extended and you will be introduced to various facets of the environmental sciences, including ecology and conservation, agricultural science, and pollution science. The module also aims to extend your practical skills within the life sciences.
Advancing Chemistry (20 credits)
This module aims to build on the knowledge acquired in Principles of Chemistry and to explore different fields within the subject of chemistry (physical chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry and environmental chemistry). The module will also further develop your laboratory skills.
Biological Concepts (20 credits)
This module aims to aims to introduce students to the central principles of biology, namely the basic structure, function and variety of living organisms and how they reproduce. It also aims to give students the basic transferable skills needed to understand scientific reasoning and to undertake scientific investigations.
Physical Laws of the Natural World (20 credits)
The aim of this module is to introduce you to the physical concepts that underpin all of science and how physics are studied in the natural sciences. You will develop an understanding of how physical laws are used to describe natural phenomena and how they may be applied to gain a deeper knowledge of particular systems and processes.
Principles of Chemistry (20 credits)
This is an introductory module that aims to develop your familiarity with fundamental chemical concepts such as atomic structure, chemical nomenclature, bonding, stoichiometry and a range of chemical reactions. The module also aims to develop your basic chemistry laboratory skills.
Study Skills (20 credits)
The course aims to give you the basic transferable skills needed to understand and practice scientific reasoning, to undertake scientific investigations and to communicate effectively scientific ideas and outcomes.
Biochemistry (20 credits)
The aim of this module is to introduce the basic concepts and chemical foundations of biochemistry and cell biology to develop an understanding of structure and function at the molecular level. This module prepares students for further study in more advanced cell and molecular modules.
Diversity of Life (20 credits)
This module aims to equip students with a fundamental understanding of evolutionary relationships between living things, their shared evolutionary history and the physiological and anatomical features that groups of organisms have in common. The module also aims to develop skills in identification of organisms and the use of dichotomous keys.
Genetics and Evolution (20 credits)
This module aims to give students the necessary background in genetics and evolutionary biology, providing broad knowledge of Mendelian genetics and the mechanisms of evolution which are essential for the study of biological and environmental sciences.
Introduction to Ecology (20 credits)
The module aims to develop student’s field skills and introduce a range of ecological sampling methods while developing a student’s wider appreciation an understanding of a range of different ecosystems.
Science Skills and Introduction to Statistics (20 credits)
This module aims to develop the necessary background in science communication, skills and methods essential for the study of biological sciences. This module will also provide the background knowledge required for the Level 5 Data Handling module.
Soil Science and Plant Nutrition (20 credits)
The aim of this module is to introduce the basic concepts of soil science, focussing on the physical properties of soil, the fundamentals of soil chemistry and hydrology, and the way in which soils and plants are inextricably interlinked. This module prepares students for further study in more advanced aspects of soil science, plant physiology and land management.
Animal Behavioural Ecology (20 credits)
The module aims to introduce students to the ecological side of animal behaviour. The students will learn about the main influences on behaviour and how these can influence animal behaviour at an individual, group and species level. Students will be able to use the content of this course to design and carry out animal behaviour studies in an ecological context.
Chemistry of the Environment (20 credits)
The module aims to provide students with an understanding of the fundamental theoretical concepts and practical applications of environmental chemistry. The students are introduced to the chemistry underlying the aquatic, terrestrial and atmospheric environments. It will also aim to make the students familiar with some of the different chemical analytical methods that can be used in the monitoring of these environments and to encourage a critical approach to these methods. In addition to becoming familiar with the natural chemical processes in soil, water and air, the students will also be encouraged to critically analyze and discuss environmental issues, such as smog, acid rain, global warming, ozone depletion and water pollution.
Data Handling (20 credits)
This module aims to develop the techniques necessary to handle quantitative biological data analysis and introduce the beginnings of bioinformatics. Central to the first aim will be introducing the powerful statistical programming language, R. This “programming” language is critical to current approaches to handling/analysing data, particularly “big data”. The module will also introduce critical biological sequence analysis techniques that form the foundation of the more complex bioinformatics techniques and knowledge (much of which will be introduced in the level 6 Bioinformatics 1 and Bioinformatics 2 modules). The module will also conclude with a brief session introducing R as a potential bioinformatics tool. This module will enable students to become comfortable with the console-based software and to use it for their statistical and data display needs.
Plants in the Environment (20 credits)
The aim of this module is to build upon the basic concepts of plant science from level 4, considering how plants differ in space and time and how plant communities are managed. Students will have the opportunity to study natural and agricultural systems in the field during the five-day field course section of the module. The module allows students to apply a cross-disciplinary approach to the management of problems in the area of plant ecology. The strong fieldwork element also gives them practical skills that can be used throughout their undergraduate studies and beyond.
Conservation Biology (20 credits)
The aim of this module is to further develop and deepen the students understanding of ecology and its utility as an aid to plant and animal conservation. The module aims to enable students to develop a deep understanding of the issues, techniques and legislation concerned with conserving plant and animal species.
Current Science Issues (20 credits)
This module aims to develop a student’s wider understanding of how science impacts and affects society. Students develop their independent research and analysis skills as they critique important science issues.
Honours Project (4-0 credits)
This module allows students to undertake a piece of commercially/socially relevant research in the field of Ecology. Students are required to identify an area of research directly relevant to the field of Ecology and design and undertake appropriate field based experiments evidencing a minimum of 10 days field work. The module aims to give students experience of independent research, analysis and experience of presenting findings in two styles: a written scientific paper and a presented poster to a non-specialist audience.
Molecular Ecology (20 credits)
The aim of this module is to develop a conceptual and systematic understanding of molecular ecology as a multidisciplinary research area, as well as its applications, bringing together concepts and techniques from molecular biology, genetics/genomics, population and evolutionary genetics, behavioural ecology, conservation biology, taxonomy and systematics.
Likely optional modules
Options are subject to availability and may change. The work placement module is offered based on suitable work placement being available and the student being accepted by the employer offering the placement.
Animal Pests and Diseases (20 credits)
This module will encourage students to develop the necessary knowledge to enable them to make reasoned arguments on current issues in the field of animal pests, parasites and pathogens. It will develop a holistic view of the relationship between pests, parasites and pathogens, their target host species and their environments. It will also cultivate an understanding that human needs and activities can have a profound effect upon the prevalence and evolution of virulence in pests, parasites and pathogens.
Plant Pests and Pathogens (20 credits)
This module enables students to develop a knowledge of common important plant pests and diseases, their effects on plant growth and yield, and how to recognise them in the field. The module also aims develop the ability of students to analyse and interpret published data through student led discussions about specific pests and diseases and their control.
Work Placement (20 credits)
This module provides students with the opportunity to develop key skills and experience while working in a commercial environment. Students develop critical reflection skills as they review their own competencies and development requirements.
Options are subject to availability and may change
Animal Health and Husbandry (20 credits)
The aims of the module are to explore the importance of animals in society and the scientific background to animal health and welfare issues, including nutrition, good husbandry, pain perception, the ability of animals to cope with their environments and the physiological and behavioural aspects of health and welfare. It further develops an objective and questioning approach to the evaluation of health and welfare issues.
Animal Reproduction and Development (20 credits)
This module aims to provide students with an understanding of both reproductive and parental strategies, and the various stages of embryogenesis in a range of vertebrate and invertebrate organisms.