AP0412 - Animal and Plant Biology

What will I learn on this module?

You will learn about the diversity of plants and animals that inhabit the Earth and the principles of taxonomy and systematics which provide the basis for the classification of living organisms into hierarchical groupings. The relationships between form and function will be explored in a selection of representative animals and plants, through the study of the anatomy and physiology of the major plant and animal groups. You will gain experience of appropriate practical skills for laboratory and field-based investigations and techniques and software used to monitor animal and plant diversity and community composition. Examples of interactions between plants and animals will be used to illustrate the key concepts in the evolutionary theory and you will learn about current areas of research in animal and plant biology, in the context of challenges to global biodiversity and conservation initiatives.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through lectures, laboratory practical sessions, workshops and field trips. The lectures will cover the theoretical knowledge and the concepts that will enable you complete a series of guided practical sessions in the laboratory and in the field work. You will learn through hands-on experiences during these practical sessions and through completing data processing and interpretation exercises in workshops. You will also be guided to read and analyse selected examples of primary research articles related to the topics taught in lectures and practical sessions.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The module tutor will provide you with a module guide that will contain all the relevant information about the content and schedule of the sessions for this module, assessments, deadlines, sources of information and specific details of what you are expected to learn from the module. Lecture presentations and other relevant documents will be made available via the electronic Learning Platform (Blackboard). You will be encouraged to ask questions during taught sessions and to contact the academic staff teaching on the module with any queries you may have during your learning journey. The tutors will give you feedback on your performance and make suggestions for improvement during practical sessions, field trips and workshops. There will be opportunities for formative assessment of your theoretical knowledge and understanding of key concepts, prior to the summative assessments for the module. You will receive feedback and suggestions for improvement associated with both formative and summative assessments.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:

1. Describe the diversity and the main structural features of plants and animals from the major taxonomic groups and explain the phylogeny of plants and animals;

2. Explain the links between structure and function in different types of plants and animals, in relation to their main physiological functions;

3. Describe and explain how plants and animals interact in the natural environment, in the context of the current challenges to global biodiversity;
Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

4. Be able to carry out experimental work involving plant and animal specimens in the laboratory and in the field, while working in a safe and responsible manner, and record, process, interpret and present the outcomes of experimental work in a scientific manner;

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

5. Demonstrate curiosity and spirit of enquiry through directed and independent study and research and awareness of challenges to global biodiversity and conservation efforts.

How will I be assessed?

You will have to complete two components of coursework assessment, delivered as online tests with multiple choice answers and short answers:

The first assessment will include questions based on the aspects taught in the lectures, practicals, workshops and field trips related to animal and plant diversity, phylogeny, structure and function (60% of module mark) (MLOs 1, 2, 4 and 5) This will be supported by information you will have recorded in a module workbook.

The second component of assessment will include multiple choice questions and short answer questions based on the research areas discussed in lectures and the research articles you will be guided to read, illustrating examples of interactions between plants and animals leading to evolutionary adaptations and aspects of global biodiversity challenges and conservation initiatives (40% of the module mark) (MLOs 3 and 5).

You will receive feedback during the practical activities (laboratory sessions, workshops and field trips) and for your performance in the module assessments.


AP0406 Practical Skills, AP0404 Cell Biology and Genetics



Module abstract

The ‘Animal and Plant Biology’ module will take you on a scientific journey into the fascinating world of the animals and plants on planet Earth. You will learn about their diversity, the structural features and biological mechanisms that enable them to survive, grow and reproduce in their natural habitats, and about the major threats to global biodiversity and related recent research. You will enjoy the opportunity to apply the knowledge from lectures during practical laboratory activities, workshops and field trips, and develop the practical skills required for a variety of experimental tasks. The knowledge and skills acquired in this module will be useful for careers in scientific research in biology and biotechnology, environmental monitoring and consultancy, conservation, ecology and science education.

Course info

UCAS Code C100

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Applied Sciences

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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