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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Biological Sciences : Biology

Undergraduate Course: Biology 1A: Variation (BILG08020)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Biological Sciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe course covers several major concepts including heredity, mutation, evolution, animal and plant diversity, form and function. Within this context, students will be trained in the scientific method, basic experimental design, data interpretation, presentation and statistics. The structure of the course is also designed to assist students in the transition to University.
Course description The course covers several major concepts: The genetic basis of heredity, the link between genotype and phenotype, mutation as the source of variation. Evolution and natural selection, the maintenance of variation, species and speciation, the Tree of Life, animal and plant diversity, form and function. Within this context students will be trained in the scientific method, basic experimental design, data interpretation, presentation and statistics. The structure of the course is designed to assist students in the transition to University and allow students to develop a questioning approach to their studies and to take ownership of their learning. The weekly workshops will also contain activities to support community building, compassionate values and good mental health and wellbeing.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 196 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 25 %, Coursework 55 %, Practical Exam 20 %
Additional Information (Assessment) - Portfolio: 25%
- Online quizzes: 30%
- Lab report: 20%
- Open book exam: 25%

To pass the course, students must:
- pass the exam at 40%
- pass the portfolio at 40%
- pass the lab report at 40%
- attend at least 4 of 6 practical sessions
- obtain a course mark of at least 40% overall
Feedback Feedback will be given through the portfolio and script review meetings, as well as various formative assessment.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)2:00
Resit Exam Diet (August)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Describe and explain the origin and maintenance of diversity of life from molecules to whole organisms
  2. Acquire and assess information by research or by practice
  3. Use evidence-based thinking and creative enquiry to formulate, synthesise, evaluate and communicate ideas
  4. Understand, analyse, interpret and present data, and gain a conceptual grasp of common quantitative principles
  5. Demonstrate individual and cooperative skills when undertaking and evaluating tasks.
Reading List
Core textbook will be 'Biology: A Global Approach, Global Edition' (11th edition) by Campbell et al, and students will be directed to other relevant material.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Curiosity for learning
The course will provide choice and use enquiry-based learning to channel curiosity about biology into outputs for assessment.
Aspiration and personal development
We will support the development of a reflective approach to learning whilst building personal responsibility using the assessed portfolio.
Research and Enquiry: This course provides an introduction to the process of scientific research and enquiry. Field trips and practical sessions will introduce students to the art of hands-on research and enquiry, and the vital skill of keeping a detailed record of ideas, observations, results and conclusions obtained in the lab.
Communication: Students will learn how to communicate thoughts, ideas and discoveries clearly and concisely, and how to incorporate sources into their writing.
Technical and Practical Skills: Basic field work skills such as observation and measurement, basic lab skills including basic microbiological techniques together with good and safe practice. Computing skills in Excel and Python
Personal Effectiveness: Students will develop skills in recording information in a way that captures the key points; field trips and practicals will help with this.
Personal and Intellectual Autonomy: Teaching staff will not always present hard facts; sometimes, instead, they will present an unproven hypothesis, or questions that are not yet answered.
Keywordsbiology,heredity,evolution,natural selection,mutation
Course organiserProf Nick Colegrave
Tel: (0131 6)50 7705
Course secretaryMs Karen Sutherland
Tel: (0131 6)51 3404
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