Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Biological Thought and Discovery
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Due to Covid-19 students should refer to the module Blackboard pages for assessment details

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Exam 1.5 Hours   Exam  60%
Semester Assessment Debate Essay  40%
Supplementary Exam 1.5 Hours   Exam  60%
Supplementary Assessment ​Debate Essay​  40%

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Identify significant developments in the history of biological thought.

2. Recognize the advances in technology that have contributed our understanding of biological systems.

3. Construct and deliver arguments relating to the ethics of biological research and practice.

4. Discuss the role of the biological sciences for the future of mankind and the biosphere.

Brief description

This module covers the history of our understanding of biology and how biological thought has developed over time. The evolution of scientific methods, thinking and philosophy provides the background in which the most significant current questions facing biologists are discussed. These current topics in biology are presented by the IBERS professors, each focusing on their own area of expertise.


To provide background on the historical, philosophical and ethical foundations of the biological sciences.
To enable students to develop debating skills.
To enable students to explore a wide range of current topics in biological research.
To familiarize students with the IBERS professors and their research.


Weeks 1-2: Four lectures introducing philosophy and ethics of the biological sciences.
Weeks 3-5: Six lectures on history of biological thought and practice.
Weeks 6-10: Ten lectures on current topics in the biological sciences.
Students will be divided into small groups for debates on ethical issues in the biological sciences. Each student will participate in two debates.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number
Communication Participation in debates.
Improving own Learning and Performance Feedback on debate 1 prior to debate 2.
Information Technology Preparation of essays.
Personal Development and Career planning Students will be encouraged to consider their future careers as biologists in the light of the research challenges presented in this module.
Problem solving Following debates, students will be encouraged to resolve differences and find compromise solutions.
Research skills Preparation for debates, essay and seen exam.
Subject Specific Skills
Team work Working in groups for debates and associated posters.


This module is at CQFW Level 4