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BIO2034 : Animal Function (Physiology and Development)

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Mark Booth
  • Lecturer: Dr Richard Bevan, Dr Timothy Boswell
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


The aim of the module is to promote knowledge and understanding of the physiological processes that take place in animals and of the main events in animal development. The module will illustrate how different groups of animals have evolved physiological processes that support their adaptation to different ecological niches. The module will take a comparative approach and will cover different vertebrate and invertebrate groups, as well as some of the coevolved adaptations to different environments. The module also will also provide an experimental analysis of development events using invertebrate and vertebrate models, emphasising the importance of molecular biology.

Practical classes provide experience in making, reporting and interpreting measurements from live animal tissues and forge links between theoretical and practical aspects of the topic.

Outline Of Syllabus

Lectures will introduce and explain animal physiology and development using a comparative approach. Topics such as the following will be covered:
- Neurobiology
- Muscle
- Respiration
- Circulation
- Ion and water balance
- Excretion
- Digestion
- Animal reproduction and development

2 x three-hour laboratory practical sessions will include experiments on insect tissues, on, for example:
- Muscles
- Sensory neurons
- Embryogenesis in insects

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 completion241:0024:00Revision for final exam
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion34:0012:00Practical Assessment (formative and summative)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture241:0024:00Lectures
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical33:009:00Practical classes
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading112:0012:00Guided reading given in lectures
Guided Independent StudySkills practice33:009:00Preparation for practical classes
Guided Independent StudySkills practice32:006:00Practical follow up homework
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery31:003:00Regular Q&A sessions (Online)
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study241:0024:00Lecture Follow Up
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study175:0075:00Study of lectures, ReCap, /University Online Resources etc.
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Factual information, and the experimental evidence behind it, are delivered by means of lectures. Some of the fundamental concepts are reinforced by the practical exercises and associated private study exercises. The overview sessions provide the students with the opportunity for gaining further support with the material in the lectures and for preparation for the exam.

The practical classes provide the students with the skills that professional biologists employ, including:
- handling biological material,
- using apparatus to make measurements,
- numerical analysis of data.
- microscopic study

Private study is necessary for students to absorb information presented in lectures, to deepen their knowledge and understanding through reading supporting references, and to complete work on the practical materials.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Practical/lab report1M701x practical report
Computer assessment1M30Online computer assessment
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Written exercise1MPractice Report
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The computer assessment will test the breadth of understanding from the lecture course. An essay question will assess the ability of the students to apply and synthesise knowledge gained from the course and to show depth of understanding of a particular area.

In-course practical reports will assess ability of the students to make accurate observations, to report and to interpret measurements. The formative practice report will provide the students with the opportunity to practice their report writing skills and to gain feedback before the summative report.

Reading Lists