Please note this module descriptor is indicative of the structure of this course and may be subject to change.
This module is for those interested in understanding the origins and diversity of life on Earth and the central role that evolution plays in modern biology. It is essential preparation for many modules at Levels 5 and 6. The module introduces organism diversity and classification as well as the principles of natural selection, evolution, adaptation and Mendelian genetics. After setting firm foundations the module will examine some more controversial theories and modern advances in evolutionary biology.
Taking a comparative approach, this module begins by introducing the diversity, form and function of life on Earth. Key features are highlighted and explained, and used to understand the diversity and adaptation that we can observe. Students will also explore classification systems and identification techniques, building up practical and well as theoretical knowledge and skills. Natural selection as the underlying mechanism of evolution will be explained and linked to genetic inheritance, including calculating expected allele frequencies and phenotypes. Microevolution, macroevolution and speciation will be covered using contemporary and fossil record examples, and will reinforce the diversity elements of the module. Modern advances in evolution and natural selection will be examined, using primary literature wherever possible.
A student passing this module should be able to:
A course map contains a list of the individual study units, called modules, that you study to complete your course. Some modules are compulsory, but you can sometimes choose modules outside your core area of study which interest you.
A module is a self-contained, individual unit of study. The module descriptor provides various details about the module including who the module tutor is, what you will be studying, how you will be assessed and what you will have learned once you have completed the module.
Course maps and module descriptors from previous years can be found in the Course Resources Archive.