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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 30/11/2022 14:33:49

Title of Module: Animal Diversity

Code: BIOL09008 SCQF Level: 9
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Health and Life Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:Phillip  Cowie

Summary of Module

The module includes an overview of animal diversity and its meaning and application. Distinction is made between genetic diversity, species diversity and ecosystem diversity. Theorise on the evolution of life and organisation of animal body plans are discussed. The basic systematics and phylogeny of the kingdom Animalia is reviewed, emphasizing the diversity and numerical superiority of the invertebrate phyla. Brief reference is made to the minor phyla but most emphasis is placed on the structure, function and ecology of major groups such as the Cnidaria, Mollusca, and Arthropoda.

 The other key component of the module considers vertebrate taxonomy and physiology. Applied aspects of animal biology  is emphasized throughout the course. Practical laboratory classes and workshops include exposure to a diverse range of living organisms with opportunities to develop key skills required for species identification.

The module is core for degrees incorporating Zoology in the title and an option for Applied Bioscience.

Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
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Term used to describe the traditional classroom environment where the students and the lecturer meet synchronously in the same room for the whole provision.

A mode of delivery of a module or a programme that involves online and face-to-face delivery of learning, teaching and assessment activities, student support and feedback. A programme may be considered “blended” if it includes a combination of face-to-face, online and blended modules. If an online programme has any compulsory face-to-face and campus elements it must be described as blended with clearly articulated delivery information to manage student expectations

Fully Online
Instruction that is solely delivered by web-based or internet-based technologies. This term is used to describe the previously used terms distance learning and e learning.

Online with mandatory face-to-face learning on Campus

Online with optional face-to-face learning on Campus

Work-based Learning
Learning activities where the main location for the learning experience is in the workplace.

Campus(es) for Module Delivery
The module will normally be offered on the following campuses / or by Distance/Online Learning: (Provided viable student numbers permit)
Paisley:Ayr:Dumfries:Lanarkshire:London:Distance/Online Learning:Other:




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Term(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
Term 1check markTerm 2


Term 3


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Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

L1. Recognise representative animals from the major animal phyla and be aware of diagnostic aspects of their biology.

L2. Explain the factors that limit the distribution and abundance of animals and their impact on Man's activities.

L3. Compare the adaptive strategies employed by animals to ensure survival and describe a range of examples where this creates either a positive or negative interaction with the interests of Man.

L4. Demonstrate practical skills in problem solving.

L5. Demonstrate practical skills in the ethical handling of live organisms and in species identification.

Employability Skills and Personal Development Planning (PDP) Skills
SCQF Headings During completion of this module, there will be an opportunity to achieve core skills in:
Knowledge and Understanding (K and U) SCQF Level 9.

General knowledge of animal diversity and classification. Detailed knowledge of the biology of selected representative animals and groups

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 9.

Development of practical skills including: taxonomic identification skills using microscopes; and the ethical handling of living organisms.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 9.

Recognize the factors that influence animal diversity and evaluate their importance. Synthesize information from lectures and laboratory classes.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 9.

Working in groups to tackle specific scientific questions, use of ICT to analyse experimental results from practical sessions.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 9.

Co-operate over a variety of group based problem solving issues. Take personal responsibility for independent information gathering.

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Vertebrate Physiology
Diversity of Life
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
This module is taught in a hybrid fashion using a variety of different methods, including on-line sessions and practical laboratory and workshop sessions; where a wide range of living organisms will be encountered. Formative and summative techniques will be used to aid learning. In addition to the core learning outcomes of the module. This module is designed to enhance students graduate attributes; Specifically related to their Academic development:(critical thinkers, knowledgeable and autonomous); Personal development (ethically minded, motivated and imaginative) and Professional development: (research-minded, ambitious and driven).
Learning Activities
During completion of this module, the learning activities undertaken to achieve the module learning outcomes are stated below:
Student Learning Hours
(Normally totalling 200 hours):
(Note: Learning hours include both contact hours and hours spent on other learning activities)
Lecture/Core Content Delivery24
Laboratory/Practical Demonstration/Workshop12
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity12
Independent Study152
200 Hours Total

**Indicative Resources: (eg. Core text, journals, internet access)

The following materials form essential underpinning for the module content and ultimately for the learning outcomes:

Hickman, C.P., L.S.Roberts, A.Larson, H. I’Anson and D.J. Eisenhour (2005) Integrated Principles of Zoology. 13th Ed McGraw-Hill

VLE site 'Animal Biodiversity' - This contains a wide range of relevant resources including Journals, Web-sites and videos.

Practical handouts provided during practical sessions

(**N.B. Although reading lists should include current publications, students are advised (particularly for material marked with an asterisk*) to wait until the start of session for confirmation of the most up-to-date material)

Engagement Requirements

In line with the Academic Engagement Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on the relevant learning platform, and complete assessments and submit these on time. Please refer to the Academic Engagement Procedure at the following link: Academic engagement procedure

Where a module has Professional, Statutory or Regulatory Body requirements these will be listed here:
Compulsory attendance at synchronous sessions (lectures, workshops, practicals and tutorials), completion of asynchronous activities, and submission of assessments to meet the learning outcomes of the module. This module also has a practical element as part of the Royal Society of Biology accreditation, which must be attended.

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Supplemental Information

Programme BoardBiological Sciences and Health
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelBiology L7-11
ModeratorRichard Thacker
External ExaminerJ Spicer
Accreditation DetailsRoyal Society of Biology accreditation.
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
End of module class test
Direct assessment of technical skills related to ethical handling of living organisms and species identification. Pass/Fail components that must be passed.
(N.B. (i) Assessment Outcomes Grids for the module (one for each component) can be found below which clearly demonstrate how the learning outcomes of the module will be assessed.
(ii) An indicative schedule listing approximate times within the academic calendar when assessment is likely to feature will be provided within the Student Handbook.)

Assessment Outcome Grids (Footnote A.)

Component 1
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Learning Outcome (5) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Class test (written)check markcheck markcheck mark  500

Component 2
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Learning Outcome (5) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Report of practical/ field/ clinical workcheck markcheck markcheck markcheck mark 153
Review/ Article/ Critique/ Papercheck markcheck markcheck mark  153
Clinical/ Fieldwork/ Practical skills assessment/ Debate/ Interview/ Viva voce/ Oralcheck markcheck markcheck markcheck mark 205

Component 3
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Learning Outcome (5) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Clinical/ Fieldwork/ Practical skills assessment/ Debate/ Interview/ Viva voce/ Oral    check mark00
Combined Total For All Components100% 11 hours

A. Referred to within Assessment Section above
B. Identified in the Learning Outcome Section above

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  1. More than one assessment method can be used to assess individual learning outcomes.
  2. Schools are responsible for determining student contact hours. Please refer to University Policy on contact hours (extract contained within section 10 of the Module Descriptor guidance note).
    This will normally be variable across Schools, dependent on Programmes &/or Professional requirements.

Equality and Diversity
In line with current legislation (Equality Act, 2010) and the UWS Equality, Diversity, and Human Rights Code, our modules are accessible and inclusive, with reasonable adjustment for different needs where appropriate. Module materials comply with University guidance on inclusive learning and teaching, and specialist assistive equipment, support provision and adjustment to assessment practice will be made in accordance with UWS policy and regulations. Where modules require practical and/or laboratory based learning or assessment required to meet accrediting body requirements the University will make reasonable adjustment such as adjustable height benches or assistance of a ‘buddy’ or helper. Please refer to the UWS Equality and Diversity Policy at the following link:
UWS Equality and Diversity Policy
(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School)

2014 University of the West of Scotland

University of the West of Scotland is a Registered Scottish Charity.

Charity number SC002520.