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NES2310 : Insect Biology and Origins

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Giles Budge
  • Lecturer: Dr Mark Shirley, Dr Neil Audsley
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
  • Capacity limit: 60 student places

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


To give students an understanding of the biology of insects but also cover their origins. Students will be able to appreciate the effects of conservation and control of key species.

Outline Of Syllabus

Insects represent the majority of multicellular species on Earth. This module majors on providing an understanding of the biology and ecology of insects, but also covers other arthropods to provide phylogentic context with insects. Teaching will provide the foundation necessary to enable students to work with insects later in their degree programmes and beyond.

Content includes: morphology, metamorphosis, classification, food and feeding, respiratory and circulatory physiology, nervous and hormonal control, polymorphism, sociality, insects and man.

The practical exercises emphasise features of the ecology, structure and behaviour of insects, whilst enhancing essential skills in data recording and scientific report writing.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion112:0012:00Refreshing content for quizzes
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials270:3013:30Core lecture content~25 mins each
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion150:0050:00Main assessment: 3/5 short answer Qs in 1 week
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion130:0030:00Completing report for practical 1 and 2
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities30:301:30Introductions to practicals
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical23:006:00One formative practical report, and a second assessed practical report worth 30% of the final module
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops21:002:00Workshops to reinforce key principles
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery91:009:00Drop-in/Surgery
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study175:0075:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk11:001:00Introductory / orientation lecture to get students familiar with format and delivery of module.
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The teaching material provides a conceptual framework for understanding the structure and function of arthropods, with particular reference to insects. Two practical sessions will improve observational and experimental skills when investigating insects, as well as reporting experiments.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Practical/lab report1M30N/A
Written exercise1M70This will require the students to answer 3 of 5 short answer questions (~500 words) questions on selected topics from the module.
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Practical/lab report1MFeedback provided before summative assessed practical report.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

This module is assessed in four ways: 1) Knowledge is assessed formatively at weekly quiz events; 2) A practical report of the first practical session is formative and used to help with inform later assessments; 3) a full write up of the second practical (30%); 4) three short answer (500 word) questions on the concepts introduced during the lectures to be completed over 1 week (70%).

Reading Lists