Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Organisms and the Environment
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Miscellaneous 1 x 4 Hour Miscellaneous
Practical 6 x 4 Hour Practicals
Tutorial 10 x 1 Hour Tutorials
Lecture 55 x 1 Hour Lectures
Workshop 3 x 4 Hour Workshops


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Coursework portfolio  composed of work complete in class and set as directed study. For example calculations, practical reports, essays etc. A final reflective piece will demonstrate use of feedback and self-assessment of meeting the module's learning outcomes.  70%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   30%
Supplementary Assessment Students must take elements of assessment equivalent to those that led to failure of the module.  70%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   Students must take elements of assessment equivalent to those that led to failure of the module.  30%

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Demonstrate a basic knowledge of the classification of organisms

2. Define the properties characteristic of life

3. Outline the basic characteristics of the main metazoan phyla

4. Relate the structure of plant and animal tissues to their function

5. Demonstrate a basic understanding of homeostatic mechanisms

6. Demonstrate knowledge of the different types of global habitats (biomes) and their environments

7. Have an understanding of the importance of microorganisms in the recycling of carbon and nitrogen

8. Give examples of adaptations of organisms living in a range of habitats

Brief description

The module comprises of a series of integrated lectures, workshops, field and lab based practical sessions introducing the students to the diversity, structure and function of organisms inhabiting Earth, and the way in which these organisms interact with their environment.


This module aims to provide students with an understanding of the diversity of organisms in terms of their structure and function, and the way in which they interact with their environment.


The module begins with an overview of the living biosphere, providing details of the weather, climate and extreme environments. The diversity of life is introduced, starting with Bacteria and Archaea, leading on to eukaryotic organisms from single celled protozoa to complex multicellular plants and animals. Human physiology is covered; then follows evolution and natural selection, ecology and environmental biology.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number The analysis of biological data using basic statistics will be assessed.
Communication The tutorials, lectures and practicals require the students to listen and communicate verbally. Development of scientific terminology, English, punctuation and grammar will be assessed in the portfolio and exam.
Improving own Learning and Performance Outside the formal contact hours there is an expectation that materials for the portfolio will be researched, time is managed effectively and that deadlines are met.
Information Technology The practicals will involve word processing, spreadsheet manipulation and presentation of data.
Personal Development and Career planning Lectures, practicals and tutorials will provide the required skills and knowledge to enable the application of simple biological methods used by professional scientists etc.
Problem solving Practical classes and workshops will provide opportunities to develop problem solving skills.
Research skills The assessments will require reference to library and web resources.
Subject Specific Skills Specific knowledge relevant to Biological Sciences will be taught and assessed.
Team work Tutorials and practicals will involve working in pairs or small groups.


This module is at CQFW Level 3