Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Marine Biology
Academic Year
Semester 1
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Rocky shore field trip report  to be written up following the rocky shore field trip to College Rocks, Aberystwyth. 2000 Words  50%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   Written exam  50%
Supplementary Assessment Supplementary Rocky Shore Field Trip Report  (Students must take elements of assessment equivalent to those that led to failure of the module.) 2000 Words  50%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   Written Examination  50%

Learning Outcomes

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

Demonstrate retained knowledge under controlled conditions of the influence of physical, organismal and ecological factors in determining the nature and distribution of species and communities within the marine environment

Design and conduct surveys in the intertidal employing standard techniques used by marine biologists.

Undertake data analysis, critically interpret results and produce written scientific reports.

Brief description

This module will provide students with an in-depth understanding of the fundamentals of Marine Biology. The module will cover a variety of different topics, however the emphasis will be on physical aspects of marine ecosystems (including the properties of seawater, circulation etc.), the adaptations of marine organisms (including reproduction, settlement etc.), and marine ecology (including zonation, competition etc.).


The aim of this module is, through a series of integrated lectures, workshops and practicals, to introduce second year degree level students to the subject of Marine Biology.


The module begins with a classification of the marine environment and an introduction to the major physical characteristics of the habitats to be studied. The chemistry and composition of sea water is introduced with emphasis on sea water as a "biological environment" including information on salinity, light, temperature nutrients, gases etc. The variability of these factors is described and discussed in relation to their importance within specific marine habitats. The lectures on organismal biology cover the functional and behavioural adaptations evolved in response to different habitats. The lectures on marine ecology explore how physical and biological factors interact leading to the patterns of diversity found in marine systems. The roles of competition, predation, disturbance (natural and anthropogenic) and facilitation in structuring marine communities are explored using examples from a range of marine habitats.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Collection and scrutiny of data in terms of quality and quantity. They will be expected to analyse their laboratory/field data statistically and interpret their results for the delivery of assessed work.
Communication Students will be expected to listen effectively in the lectures, practicals/fieldtrips and initiate/contribute to subsequent discussions. They will have the opportunity to work in small groups during the practical classes/fieldtrips which will require the oral exchange of ideas/data. The students will be expected to produce coherent written documentation for their examinations and field trip/practical reports.
Improving own Learning and Performance Outside the formal contact hours, students will be expected to research materials, manage time and meet deadlines. The practical classes/field trip will provide an opportunity for students to explore their own learning styles and preferences, and identify their needs and barriers to learning. The formative assessment will enable the students to review and monitor their progress and plan for improvement of personal performance through self-awareness and reflection.
Information Technology The students will be required to access online databases such as ISI Web of Knowledge and Google Scholar to find primary literature. They will also be expected to be competent in the use of word processing programs and spreadsheets for the delivery of assessed work.
Personal Development and Career planning Students will gain confidence in their ability to evaluate marine biological problems through an awareness of their personal skills and objectively assess the quality of proposed solutions. They will also gain experience in techniques used by research scientists, consultancy organizations, NGOs etc. Feedback will be provided where appropriate.
Problem solving Through the lectures and practicals/fieldtrips students will be encouraged to critically analyse information gathered/provided and identify appropriate solutions where problems arise. They will also be expected to critically evaluate these solutions in a biological concept. Feedback will be provided where appropriate.
Research skills Students will research topics beyond the depth and scope of the lecture material using independent study, and during the write up of the practical reports. They will be expected to produce academically appropriate reports, and where necessary comment, evaluate and scrutinize the information obtained/experiment conducted. Practical classes will utilise marine biological research skills at an early stage of their academic careers.
Subject Specific Skills Subject specific concepts relating to marine biology will be developed.
Team work Students will work effectively in pairs/small groups during field trips/practical classes/workshops. They will be expected to contribute to the planning and organisation of the practical exercises, delegation of tasks through persuasion and negotiation, and the execution of techniques relevant to the practicals/fieldtrips with the cooperation of group members.


This module is at CQFW Level 5