Module Catalogue 2018/19

BIO1003 : Plant Biology 1

  • Offered for Year: 2018/19
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Anne Borland
  • Lecturer: Professor Jerry Barnes
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



To stimulate an interest in plants by demonstrating their role and importance in the natural world.
This will be achieved by describing the diversity of plants and plant adaptations to the different climates across the globe and by translating plant responses to the environment into a basic mechanistic understanding of physiology, metabolism and development. The combination of lectures and practical work will engender an understanding of fundamental biological principles and develop cognitive skills through the analysis and interpretation of data and observations obtained within the laboratory.

Outline Of Syllabus

Plant diversity will be introduced and the future applications of plant biotechnology will be highlighted.
Climate and global vegetation, nutrient requirements, aquatic environment, light requirements, plant-animal interactions, germination and life history.
The plant body, leaf structure/function, water uptake and transport, light reactions of photosynthesis, CO2 fixation and turbo chargers, carbon transfer and allocation. Introduce plant responses to abiotic stress.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

An understanding of the diversity in both form and function of plants and how this is influenced by physical and biological interactions with the environment.

Intended Skill Outcomes

The combination of lectures and practical work will engender professional skills in terms of: 1) understanding fundamental biological principles, 2) searching for scientific information and making concise appraisals of the information obtained, 3) developing cognitive skills through the analysis and interpretation of data and observations obtained within the laboratory. Students are expected to gain ability for safely performing simple laboratory procedures and for recording data and observations effectively.

Graduate Skills Framework

Graduate Skills Framework Applicable: Yes
  • Cognitive/Intellectual Skills
    • Numeracy : Assessed
    • Literacy : Assessed
    • Information Literacy
      • Source Materials : Present
      • Synthesise And Present Materials : Present
  • Self Management
    • Self Awareness And Reflection : Present
    • Planning and Organisation
      • Goal Setting And Action Planning : Present
  • Interaction
    • Team Working
      • Collaboration : Present
      • Relationship Building : Present
  • Application
    • Social Cultural Global Awareness : Present

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion11:301:30Final exam
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion21:002:00In-class tests
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion100:305:00Revision for class test
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion160:308:00Revision for final exam
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture161:0016:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading161:0016:00Completion of post-lecture directed reading
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical33:009:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study130:3030:30Study of lectures, ReCap, Blackboard etc.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study160:4512:00Lecture follow up
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures provide the framework and theory for introducing plant diversity together with (eco)physiological and biochemical properties of plants. Practicals set this material in the context of plant-environment interactions by direct observations and measurements of cellular and physiological processes. Class tests based on video material complementing the lectures will further direct student learning and provide feedback to students on their progress. Communication and teamwork are key elements of the practicals. Private study using the recommended texts will provide further depth of understanding of the fundamental biological properties of plants.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
PC Examination902A70N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Practical/lab report2M151 3 hour practical
Written exercise2M152 x 1.5 hour practicals
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Lab exercise2M2 Lab Tests
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Practical reports written up and handed in at end of session supplement information presented in lectures and engenders general appreciation of the topic. Formative assessment (which will not count directly for final module mark) will be provided in the way of class tests following videos which complement lecture material. Lectures, practical exercises and videos provide questions for the formal exam which focuses on the testing of factual knowledge and basic interpretation of biological processes. The practical reports assess the ability to record and interpret experimental results.

To ensure that students have achieved a sufficient level of knowledge and skills, students are required to attain at least 30% in the exam in order to pass the module. For students failing to attain at least 30% in the exam, the module mark will be the exam mark without the inclusion of the in-course assessment marks.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2018/19 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 2018/19 entry will be published here in early-April 2018. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.