Module Identifier BS12710  
Academic Year 2007/2008  
Co-ordinator Dr Helen Marshall  
Semester Semester 1  
Other staff Dr John H R Gee  
Pre-Requisite Normally A or AS level Biology or its equivalent.  
Course delivery Lecture   16 x 1h lectures  
  Practical   3 x 3 h practicals  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam2 Hours Theory examination, comprising multiple choice questions and essays.70%
Semester Assessment Continuous assessment of practicals. Practical exercises are carried out during the practical class and submitted for assessment.30%
Supplementary Assessment2 Hours One 2 hour theory exam comprising multiple choice questions and essays.100%

Learning outcomes

On completion of the module the student should be able to


The module begins with a brief review of invertebrate design and classification. This is followed by the investigation of selected groups:
The phylum Porifera (sponges) is discussed covering choanocyte structure and function; the water conducting system in ascon-, sycon- and leucon-type sponges; spicules; and the absence of true nerves. The superphylum Radiata is then introduced, using examples from the phylum Cnidaria (hydroids, jellyfish, anemones etc), their cellular organisation is investigated with emphasis on polymorphism and colonial life.
The module then introduces further aspects of invertebrate design with the groups of invertebrates commonly referred to as triploblastic. Throughout these lectures examples are drawn from appropriate phyla, and at this stage of the course the phylum Annelida is discussed to illustrate diversity of form and function.
With the introduction of the phylum Arthropoda, several aspects of their biology related to the exoskeleton are investigated, including growth cycles, moulting, locomotion, and feeding mechanisms.
Studies on the phylum Mollusca emphasise the diversity of function that is achieved by adaptive radiation from a relatively simple body plan. Features of molluscan structure and function common to most of the major groups are explored, and the functional distinctiveness of the Bivalvia (suspension-feeding) and the Cephalopoda (buoyancy and locomotion) are discussed.
The lecture course concludes with a study of the phylum Echinodermata. Their symmetry, diversity of body form, the endoskeleton, the uniqueness of the water-vascular system and its role in feeding, respiration, and locomotion are investigated.
Practical classes illustrate and develop the main themes introduced in lectures. Practical work involves observation of living specimens, video presentation and examination of prepared material. There are no dissections.


The aim of this module is, through a series of integrated lectures and practicals, to introduce students to the major groups of invertebrates with an emphasis on (i) the basic features of invertebrate design (ii) diversity of body form and function (iii) inter-relationships.

Module Skills

Problem solving Through the lectures students will become aware of the basic principles of animal design.  
Research skills Students will research topics beyond the depth and scope of the lecture material using both directed and independent study. Information from a variety of sources will be the object of scrutiny and comment. Practical classes will allow the development of key biological research skills at an early stage of their academic careers.  
Communication Listening skills for the lectures and subsequent discussion in practical classes. Effective written communication in examinations.  
Improving own Learning and Performance Outside the formal contact hours, students will be expected to research materials, manage time and meet deadlines. The directed study elements will provide opportunity for students to explore their own learning styles and preferences and identify their needs and barriers to learning. Students will be able to review and monitor their progress and plan for improvement of personal performance.  
Team work Students will work in pairs/small groups during practical sessions. They will need to discuss their experimental design/ investigations and work effectively as a small team in practical classes.  
Information Technology Accessing the web for information sources and using databases to find primary literature.  
Application of Number Collection and scrutiny of data in terms of quality and quantity. Data interpretation.  
Personal Development and Career planning Students will gain confidence in their ability to evaluate biological problems and objectively assess the quality of proposed solutions.  
Subject Specific Skills Subject specific concepts relating to invertebrate zoology will be developed.  

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
Campbell, N. and Reece, J. (2005) Biology 7. Benjamin Cummings Publishers
** Reference Text
Barnes, R. S. K. (c1993.) The invertebrates :a new synthesis /R.S.K. Barnes, P. Calow, P.J.W. Olive ; with a chapter contributed by D.W. Golding. Blackwell Scientific Publications 0632031271
Pechenik, Jan A. (c1996.) Biology of the invertebrates /Jan A. Pechenik. Wm. C. Brown 0697137120
Ruppert, E. E. and Barnes, R.D. (2004) Invertebrate zoology /Edward E. Ruppert, Robert D. Barnes. 7. Saunders College Pub


This module is at CQFW Level 4