Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 1
Mutually Exclusive

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 2 x 1 hour lectures per week
Practical 2 x 3 hour practicals during semester


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Assessed practical  Outcomes 1, 2  40%
Semester Exam 1.5 Hours   Outcomes 1-3  60%
Supplementary Assessment 1.5 Hours   Examination 60%; Assignment 40%  Students must take elements of assessment equivalent to those that led to failure of the module.  Outcomes 1-3  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Describe basic vertebrate evolution and phylogeny

2. Compare and contrast the morphology and anatomy of the major groups and be able to identify representatives of the groups

3. Discuss physiological adaptations in the context of environmental conditions, drawing upon a wide range of examples.

Brief description

The module will describe the major animal vertebrate and invertebrate groups. It will give an introduction to the physiology of these animals with respect to sensing the environment, muscle and locomotion, nutrition, secretions, circulatory systems, and homeostasis. A wide range of examples will be used to illustrate key principles.


The module will draw upon a wide range of examples in order to illustrate the key principles. Animal biodiversity (including a brief overview of key extinct and extant groups); major invertebrate and vertebrate animal groups; sensing the environment (invertebrate and vertebrate nervous systems, including sensory physiology); muscles and movement; animal glands and secretions (including an introduction to endocrinology); circulation; respiration; osmoregulation; thermoregulation; feeding & digestion (including the diversity of strategies).

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Collection and scrutiny of data in terms of quality and quantity. Data interpretation. These will be assessed in the assignment and feedback will be given there also.
Communication Students will develop effective written communication skills in the examination and assignments, where these will be assessed. Feedback will be given in the assessment.
Improving own Learning and Performance Outside the formal contact hours, students will be expected to research materials, manage time and meet deadlines for the assignments and exam. Students will be able to review and monitor their progress and plan for improvement of personal performance. Some of these will be assessed in both the examination and assignment. Feedback will be given in the assignment.
Information Technology Accessing the web for reliable information sources and using databases to find literature in preparation for the assignments and the exam. Use of information technology will be assessed in both the assignment and exam. Feedback will be given in the assignment.
Personal Development and Career planning
Problem solving Practical classes will allow students to gain experience in designing, executing, interpreting data and writing-up assessed physiology experiments using animal models. Students will develop creative approaches to experimental design, critically evaluate their proposed solutions and construct rational proposals in response to experimental challenge. Assessed in the assignment.
Research skills The assignments and exam will require students to research topics beyond the depth and scope of the lecture material. Information from a variety of sources will be used. How to do this will be discussed in lectures. Research skills will be assessed in both the examination and assignment.
Subject Specific Skills Students will be able to describe the key physiological principles that underpin animal life. Students will be able to discuss physiological adaptations within the context of changing environmental conditions. Students will gain key skills in manipulating specimens. These will be assessed in both the assignment and the exam. Feedback will be given in the assignment.
Team work Students will work in pairs/small groups during practical sessions. They will need to discuss their experimental design and work effectively as a small team in practical classes. This will not be assessed.


This module is at CQFW Level 4