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Module

BGM2058 : Evolution

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Michael Jackson
  • Lecturer: Professor T. Martin Embley, Dr Joanna Elson, Dr Ian Wilson
  • Owning School: Biomedical, Nutritional and Sports Scien
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

This module aims to provide insight into modern evolutionary theory, enabling students to evaluate genetic information and biological mechanisms in the context of gene, population, and organism evolution. It will also give students the opportunity to build and interpret phylogenetic trees, and consider the conceptual challenges and limitations of these analyses which have become central to our understanding of life on earth.

Outline Of Syllabus

In broad terms this module provides insight into genetic systems and the control of variation and speciation, and will cover the following topics:

- Evolutionary forces acting at organismal level, speciation

- Basic population genetic theory and its application

- Molecular phylogenetic methods and tree building using sequence alignments

- Phylogenetics of human origins, and of the HIV and SARS-CoV-2 pandemics

- The origin of eukaryotes

- Forced molecular evolution; making new enzymes for biotechnology

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials201:0020:00Non-sync online - core content delivered using via short recordings/quizzes/problem solving exerc
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion150:0050:00Student Prep for in course written assessment and revision for exam
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical23:006:00PIP -computer practicals to develop data manipulation, analysis skills & apply theoretical knowledge
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading120:0020:00Additional reading/activities linked with lecture material sessions
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops51:005:00Sync online supporting each course section (discuss content/reinforce understanding/address queries)
Structured Guided LearningStructured non-synchronous discussion42:008:00Non-sync in depth discussion of specific concepts to further engagement & understanding
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study190:0090:00Extended reading to enhance understanding of lecture and practical materials
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk11:001:00Sync online overview of course rationale, structure & assessments
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lecture materials will provide the basic knowledge required to meet learning outcomes, which students can build upon through self directed study. This material will be reinforced and integrated further by the online workshops and discussions. The practicals, along with tasks within the lecture material, will enable students to apply their knowledge, formatively assess their understanding, and critically assess the evidence supporting evolutionary relationships, thereby meeting the module skills outcomes.

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

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

Exams
Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1202A70Online 24 hr take home paper. 4 open book compulsory short answer/data interpretation questions (1600 word limit)
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Prof skill assessmnt2M30Written report relating to key topic from recent literature. Includes re-analysis of published data (800-1000 words)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The assessment (written examination) is designed to test students understanding of the material delivered in the module, and will include 1 or more some problem solving questions. The in course written report will enable students to investigate a topical area from the current literature. It will test the students' ability to analyse and interpret data, and their written presentation skills.

Reading Lists

Timetable