Module Catalogue 2016/17

BIO2004 : Plant Biology 2

  • Offered for Year: 2016/17
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Tahar Taybi
  • Owning School: Biology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



To deepen understanding and knowledge of the manner in which plants perceive and respond to environmental stimuli and the co-ordinated adjustments at the physiological, biochemical and molecular level that facilitate survival.
To describe the evolution and diversity of higher plants.
To grow an appreciation of relevant background theory and the application of experimental methods
Practical classes are designed to develop core skills and encourage the formulation and testing of hypotheses.

Outline Of Syllabus

The goal of this module is to build on the appreciation of the role and importance of plants in the natural world delivered at Stage 1 (Plant Biology 1). The evolution and reproductive biology of higher plants will be discussed and the diversity of plant life on the planet highlighted. The majority of the course will focus on the mechanisms underlying the way in which plants perceive and respond to environmental stimuli and the co-ordinated adjustments at the physiological, biochemical and molecular level that facilitate growth and survival in diverse environments.
Practical classes are aimed at developing core cognitive abilities (e.g. including the analysis and interpretation of datasets) and will facilitate the formulation and testing of specific hypotheses – skills that will be of direct relevance in the planning and execution of Stage 3 research projects.

This module is taught in three parts:
Part I. Dr G. Beakes
Evolution and diversity of higher plants including ferns (and allies), gymnosperms and angiosperms
(4 lectures)

Part II. Dr S. Peacock
Regulation of plant growth and dormancy; flowering and reproduction; biological clocks; plant-water relations, (4 lectures)

Part III. Dr T. Taybi
Plant responses and survival under environmental stress; perception of the external environment; cell signalling; plant hormones; in planta and plant-to-plant communication; mineral nutrition and plant-rhizosphere interactions (8 lectures + 3 practicals)

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

Students will gain a mechanistic understanding of the way in which plants sense, respond and withstand a range of environmental challenges as well as the hormonal control of plant growth and dormancy.

Intended Skill Outcomes

Specialist knowledge, team-working, information synthesis, scientific reasoning, critical appraisal and hypothesis-testing. Cognitive skills will be developed through analysis and interpretation of data and observations during laboratory practicals.

Graduate Skills Framework

Graduate Skills Framework Applicable: Yes
  • Cognitive/Intellectual Skills
    • Critical Thinking : Present
    • Data Synthesis : Present
    • Numeracy : Assessed
    • Literacy : Assessed
    • Information Literacy
      • Source Materials : Present
  • Self Management
    • Planning and Organisation
      • Goal Setting And Action Planning : Present
    • Personal Enterprise
      • Initiative : Present
  • Interaction
    • Communication
      • Oral : Present
      • Interpersonal : Present
    • Team Working
      • Collaboration : Present
      • Negotiation : Present

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion12:002:00Final exam
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion160:308:00Revision for final exam
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion24:309:00Lab reports
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture161:0016:002 sets of 4 lectures, 1 set of 8 lectures
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading161:0016:00Completion of post-lecture directed reading
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical33:009:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study124:0024:00Study of lectures, ReCap, Blackboard etc.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study161:0016:00Lecture follow up
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

A thorough understanding from molecular level to whole plant plus reaction and survival in extreme environment. The learning experience will constitute a strong foundation to pursue specialist 3rd year courses. A computer-aided learning tool will be employed as part of the teaching of the evolution and diversity of higher plants. Practicals will utilise Nuffield-style approaches to specifically encourage the formulation and testing of hypotheses. The practical experience is designed to complement the formal lecture programme. Private study using the recommended texts will provide further depth of understanding of the biological processes and systems involved.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
PC Examination1201A80N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Practical/lab report1M202 Lab reports (lab 1 formative and lab 2 20%)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Practicals and short review supplement information presented in lectures will engender not only an appreciation of the topic, but also the development of a hypothesis-driven scientific approach. Lectures, practical exercises provide questions for formal examination which focuses on testing depth and breadth of factual knowledge and general understanding of the subject area. The practical reports are designed to assess the ability to design and perform hypothesis-driven research, record findings and interpret experimental results.

Study Abroad students may request to take their exam before the semester 1 exam period, in which case the format of the paper may differ from that shown in the MOF. Study Abroad students should contact the school to discuss this.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2016/17 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2017/18 entry will be published here in early-April 2017. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.