Accessibility statement

Animal & Plant Biology - BIO00012C

« Back to module search

  • Department: Biology
  • Module co-ordinator: Prof. Richard Waites
  • Credit value: 30 credits
  • Credit level: C
  • Academic year of delivery: 2022-23
    • See module specification for other years: 2021-22

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Autumn Term 2022-23 to Summer Term 2022-23

Module aims

This module concerns the fundamental biology of plants and animals. Core topics are water relations, gas exchange, nutrition and energy budgeting. In addition, the signalling systems such as the nervous system and hormone networks that regulate and integrate these systems will be considered. The focus on these central themes allows comparison of the strategies for overcoming common problems both within and between the plants and animals. These topics are also explored through the processes within and the interactions among all levels of the ecological hierarchy, from individuals and populations to ecosystems and biomes.

The module has highlighted lectures that bring together several of the key themes and learning outcomes. There are two types of lectures that do this. ‘Signpost’ lectures pull together important topics discussed in recent lectures and provide examples that many topics in Biology are interconnected. ‘Grand Challenge’ lectures highlight the significant problems that Biologists need to solve in the future and that are at the forefront of modern Biology.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module students will be able to:

  • Describe the major events in the evolutionary history of plants and animals with an appreciation of the characteristics of major animal and plant phyla.
  • Review the adaptive significance, organisation and function of the principal organ systems of animals, including the digestive, circulatory, excretory, thermoregulatory and skeletal systems, and how these organ systems may vary with animal body plan, size and environmental circumstance.
  • Review the adaptive significance, organisation and function of the principal organ systems of plants, including roots, stems, leaves, and flowers and how these organ systems vary with plant body plan and environmental circumstance.
  • Describe and appreciate the diverse physiological strategies that allow plant and animal life in different environments.
  • Describe the major regulatory systems that integrate physiological responses in plants and animals.
  • Explain how animal behaviour can be studied.
  • Describe the principles of element cycles.
  • Review the historical events is needed to explain modern ecosystems.
  • Review of the population dynamics of single and multi-species communities.
  • Describe the simple emergent patterns in community structure and their causes.
  • Review the global distribution of biodiversity, and current threats to biodiversity.
  • Describe and explain the ecological factors which make a good invader, and the consequences of invasions.
  • Explain theory of Island Biogeography and why small isolated islands support fewer species.
  • Perform simple experiments in Biology and to collect, analyse and present the results in an appropriate format.


Task Length % of module mark
Catastrophic community challenge
N/A 10
Field work presentation
2 hours 5
Grand Challenge problem
N/A 10
Online Exam -less than 24hrs (Centrally scheduled)
Open Examination
6 hours 45
Open Exam (7-day week)
Open Assessment
N/A 30

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Online Exam -less than 24hrs (Centrally scheduled)
Open Examination
6 hours 45
Open Exam (7-day week)
Open Assessment
N/A 30

Module feedback

Cohort-level feedback will be provided on performance in closed exams and made available via the VLE. Marks for open assessments will be made available to you and your supervisor via e:vision. Individual comments will be added to your script and/or on separate summary feedback document. Histograms of module marks will be posted on the notice boards outside the Biology Student Services office. Individual marks will be made available to you and your supervisor via e:vision. Exam scripts will be made available at the end of either the Spring or Summer terms. You should take the opportunity to discuss your marks and feedback with your supervisor.

During the teaching of the module you will receive feedback that may be at a whole class or individual level. Forms of feedback may include: model answers and discussion of workshop questions, summaries of performance in practicals, VLE-based quizzes, individual spoken comments during workshops, individual written comments on formative work.

Indicative reading

These are available through the VLE module site.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.