BIO2013 : Animal Behaviour

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


The study of animal behaviour is a large discipline encompassing both the mechanisms and evolutionary function of the way that animals interact with their environment and with each other. This module is designed to provide the student with a comprehensive introduction to the scientific approach of studying, quantifying, and interpreting animal behaviour. Lectures focus on examples from the literature which illustrate important principles of animal behaviour taking both a mechanistic and an behavioural ecology approach. Practicals are designed to enable the students to design, conduct, analyze, and interpret scientific experiments using lab-based assays of animal behaviour.

Outline Of Syllabus

The topics covered in this module include:

* Introduction to the evolution of behaviour
* Neural and physiological mechanisms of behaviour
* Major themes in animal behaviour including (but not limited to) sexual selection, mating systems, parental care, foraging, predator-prey interaction and group living
* Methods for animal behaviour, data analysis and scientific hypothesis testing

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion23:006:00Practical reports
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion12:002:00Final exam
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion140:307:00Revision for final exam
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture141:0014:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading141:3021:00Completion of post-lecture directed reading
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical23:006:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study130:0030:00Study of lectures, ReCap, Blackboard etc.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study141:0014:00Lecture follow up
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Information for students will be provided by lectures and practicals. The lectures will provide students with examples and the theoretical interpretation of animal behaviour from both a physiological and evolutionary scientific perspective. The practicals will provide students with direct experience of experimental design, analysis, and reporting from animal behaviour.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1201A80N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Practical/lab report1M20Practical Report 1500 words max
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The final written examination will assess the knowledge and ability to understand and relate the main concepts covered in the course. The practical reports will assess the ability of students to synthesize and present the materials and methods from the practical experiments.

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.

Reading Lists