Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Ruminant Gut Microbiology
Academic Year
Distance Learning
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Forum posts  : students will be required to post at least once in each forum and to reply at least once to another students post. The forum will be assessed on quality, quantity, relevance and manner of each post. (total word count 1,500).  25%
Semester Assessment Case report  : on ruminant gut microbiology (2,000 words).  30%
Semester Assessment Essay  on an aspect of ruminant gut microbiology (2,500 words).  45%
Supplementary Assessment Students must take elements of assessment equivalent to those that led to the failure of the module.  100%

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Describe the importance of rumen fermentation in animal production, gaining a clear grasp of both the positive and negative consequences to rumen digestion.

2. Explain the function and importance of different microbes within the rumen.

3. Evaluate the methodologies used to quantify the numbers and activity of rumen microbes.

4. Identify possible methods of rumen manipulation to increase productivity and decrease environmental damage.

Brief description

The module will discuss recent developments in microbiological research of the ruminant gut. The module will draw upon the ongoing research in IBERS and elsewhere to provide the students with the knowledge they require to understand the latest scientific evidence. The module will take the students through our current understanding and methods of ruminant gut microbiology to bring them all to the same level of understanding. It will cover the fundamentals of ruminant gut microbiology and look at the basic ecology of the rumen. After that it will introduce them to the latest research and discuss the theories behind the latest research into improving efficiency in ruminant gut function through microbiological research of the ruminant gut.


The module aims to provide students with an in-depth knowledge of the latest research into rumen microbiology.


The module will involve 20 hours of formal teaching and consider the following areas:

  • the anatomy and environmental conditions within the rumen of major ruminant species
  • the importance of rumen fermentation to the host
  • the diversity and importance of bacteria within the rumen
  • the diversity and importance of fungi within the rumen
  • the diversity and importance of protozoa within the rumen
  • the diversity and importance of archea within the rumen
  • the use of culture-based in-vitro based models to study rumen fermentation
  • the use of modern molecular-based methods to study rumen microbial diversity and function
  • the use of biotic agents to manipulate rumen fermentation
  • the use of abiotic agents to manipulate rumen fermentation
The module will deliver the content through a series of recorded lectures, interviews and discussions between researchers at IBERS. The students will be given a reading list of 'essential' and 'recommended' articles and books. They will be expected to interact through forums with other students and the course tutor/researcher. The module will also contain assessments which will encourage students to apply the research they have learnt about in the module to real-life scenarios.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Ration formulation and balancing will be looked at in detail and will form part of almost every assessed question in the module.
Communication Students will be expected to be able to express themselves appropriately in their assignments.
Improving own Learning and Performance Detailed feedback will be given for assignment work. This will be assessed through the feedback providing general guidance towards the student's next assignment. Especially with the formative assignment that will be due before any summative assignments.
Information Technology Students will be required to source information from a variety of scientific publication data bases and to use Blackboard for all aspects of the module.
Personal Development and Career planning This module will provide the students with the latest research into ruminant microbiology to help them provide the most up-to-date information/advice to their colleagues/clients in the agri-food industry.
Problem solving Online forum posts will be used to help develop and improve students problem solving skills, through use of questions that present theoretical problems for the students to solve.
Research skills Students will be required to undergo directed self-study and so will develop their literature research skills.
Subject Specific Skills Research methodology of ruminant nutrition.
Team work Online assessments will require students to debate among themselves to develop a consensus of opinion.


This module is at CQFW Level 7