Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Invertebrate Zoology
Academic Year
Semester 1
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 2 Hours   Mid-term computer exam under controlled conditions  40%
Semester Assessment Online test on dissection 1  (45 mins. max.)  10%
Semester Assessment Online test on dissection 2  (45 mins. max.)  10%
Semester Assessment New Scientist-style essay on a current research topic  (1500 words)  40%
Supplementary Assessment Candidates must take elements of assessment equivalent to those that led to failure of the module.  100%

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Display detailed knowledge of the structure and function of invertebrates in the groups covered.

2. Discuss recent research in the fields of invertebrate zoology relevant to the groups studied.

3. Demonstrate an understanding of invertebrate anatomy developed through dissection.

4. Demonstrate science communication skills for a wider audience through writing of a magazine article suitable for the interested lay-person.

Brief description

This module builds on the basic coverage of invertebrates in year one. The module is structured in two cognate halves. The first part will provide formal lectures covering key aspects of invertebrate life including classification, adaptation, behavior, life histories and physiology etc. Following on from this, the second half draws specifically on research interests of staff teaching the module. The topics are chosen to represent a number of important invertebrate taxa and a range of concepts. It includes developments at the forefront of our understanding of invertebrates.


The module covers key topics in invertebrate biology from anatomy and physiology through to behavioural adaptations and life history traits in key invertebrate groups. The first 15 lectures will provide a sound platform to the subsequent research-led lectures, delivered by research active staff members who use invertebrate models in their research and covering five discrete topics in invertebrate zoology. Examples of the potential topics are shown in the list below, which is not intended to be comprehensive or definitive:

Cephalopod biology
Invertebrate symbioses
Insect flight
Invertebrate coloniality
Arthropod growth and development
Reproductive strategies
Invasive arthropod species
Invertebrate behaviour

Each topic consists of up to four formal lectures.
There are two dissections in practical classes aligned with the first half of the module.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Not a significant component of this module.
Communication Students will be expected to listen effectively in the lectures and practicals and initiate/contribute to subsequent discussions. They will have the opportunity to work in small collaborative groups during the practical classes that will require the oral exchange of ideas. The students will be expected to produce coherent written documentation for their examinations and will prepare a magazine article in the style of New Scientist, aimed at a lay audience.
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 will provide an opportunity for students to explore their own learning styles and preferences, and identify their needs and barriers to learning.
Information Technology Students will use IT in researching the information required to support the preparation the magazine article. For example 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 for the delivery of assessed work (New Scientist article).
Personal Development and Career planning The module provides students with aspirations for a research career insight to current research of staff. Experience of science communication provides insight into an alternative career choice for scientists? Developing communication = employability skill.
Problem solving Through the lectures and practicals 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 context. Feedback will be provided.
Research skills Students will research topics beyond the depth and scope of the lecture material using independent study, and during the written article. They will be expected to critically evaluate a variety of resources in the production of the written article.
Subject Specific Skills Invertebrate dissection.
Team work In working on the student-centred aspects of the module, students will be evaluating information obtained from different sources and producing appropriate outputs.


This module is at CQFW Level 5