NS5207: Animal Behaviour

Please note this module descriptor is indicative of the structure of this course and may be subject to change.

NS5207: Animal Behaviour

Module Title Animal Behaviour
Module Code NS5207
Module Tutor Adam Hart
School School of Natural and Social Sciences
CAT Points 15
Level of Study 5
Brief Description

This module examines how animals interact with each other and their environment from a behavioural perspective. Using natural selection and evolution as guiding principles, students will examine key behavioural concepts including feeding, mating, parental care, sociobiology, altruism, and predation. Students will be required to undertake their own animal behaviour project during this module and to consider the legal and ethical frameworks guiding animal behaviour research. The material covered in this module is further developed in NS6201 Evolutionary and Behavioural Ecology.

Indicative Syllabus

Topics covered include:

Natural selection, genes and behaviour. The comparative approach and adaptation. The neurology of behaviour. Predators and prey. Fighting and assessment. Reproduction, sex and mating systems. Altruism and sociobiology. Students will undertake a student-led project on an animal behaviour system supported by the module tutor.

Learning Outcomes

A student passing this module should be able to:

  1. Critically discuss the many ways in which animals behave and the different methods of studying and understanding behaviour
  2. Understand the legal and ethical frameworks governing the use of animals in behavioural studies
  3. Frame discussions of animal behaviour within strict natural selection and evolutionary contexts.
  4. Devise behavioural hypotheses and design experiments to test these hypotheses
  5. Carry out suitable experiments to test behavioural hypotheses within the relevant ethical and legal frameworks
  6. Write a concise, coherent, well-referenced scientific report, including statistical analysis where appropriate
Learning and Teaching Activities Scheduled Contact Hours: 36
Independent Learning Hours: 114
Assessment (For further details see the Module Guide) 001: 100% Coursework: Individual, standard written: 3000 words or equivalent
Special Assessment Requirements
Indicative Resources The current reading list can be found in the Module Guide, which your lecturer should make available via Moodle.

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