module specification

PR3002 - Biology (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Biology
Module level Foundation (03)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 300
65 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
235 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
In-Course Test 11%   30 minute unseen In-class progress test 1
In-Course Test 11%   30 minute unseen In-class progress test 2
In-Course Test 11%   30 minute unseen In-class progress test 3
In-Course Test 11%   30 minute unseen In-class progress test 4
In-Course Test 11%   30 minute unseen In-class progress test 5
Coursework 20%   1h in-class seen essay 1000 words
Group Presentation 25%   Presentation (15 minutes)
Attendance Requirement 0%   Tutorial Attendance - 80% required to pass module
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Tuesday Morning
Year (Spring and Summer) North Wednesday Morning
Year North Friday Afternoon

Module summary

This module introduces students to key concepts of cell biology and human physiology to provide a foundation for subsequent study of biological subjects at Level 4.


Prior learning requirements


Module aims

The key aims and objectives of this module are to enable students to achieve a fundamental knowledge base of biology which will underpin studies at higher levels. An introduction will be given to the structure of cells and the concept of the cell as the basic unit of life. A range of cell types will be discussed.  Following an appreciation of the role of cells in the structure and function of tissues and organs, students will be introduced to the anatomy and physiology of key organ systems in the body. 


Cell theory.  Range of cell types: prokaryote; eukaryotes; cell specialisation.  An introductory overview of differentiated cells in multicellular organisms.  Cellular organelles.  Plasma membrane structure and functions; movement of molecules/ions across cell membranes.  The nucleus and DNA.  Chromatin; chromosome structure and organisation.  Mitosis and the cell cycle.  Meiosis as a source of genetic variation.  Genotype and Phenotype.  Simple Mendelian genetics.  Sources of error eg. Mutation, radiation etc.  The anatomy and physiology of digestion, respiration and the circulation in the human will be discussed in relation to homeostasis, as well as an introduction to the role of the kidney, liver and endocrine system as important regulators of the internal environment.

Learning and teaching

Acquisition of knowledge of the subject matter of this module will be promoted through lectures and tutorials, Self managed time and private study. Lectures are used to introduce the basic concepts required to achieve the learning outcomes.  Tutorial sessions  are either problem-directed or discussion-based, designed to work through, and expand on, material delivered in lectures. Students will be expected to prepare for tutorial sessions by reviewing appropriate material and devoting sometime to problem-solving exercises.

The module is supported by a website on WebLearn which includes a number of electronic learning aids. Students would be expected to use the site for assisted study. 

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module the students will be able to:

1. Recognise basic cell structures and have an awareness of different cell types
2. Relate the structure and activities of cell components to their functions and to cellular activities as a whole.
3. Prepare a basic essay and conduct research using library resources effectively
4. Explain physiological homeostasis and how this is achieved in multi-cellular organisms.
5. Describe the main components and role of physiological systems such as the circulatory system, endocrine system and the digestive system

Assessment strategy

This module will be summatively assessed using 5 progress tests and two seen essays.  There will be formative assessments for the students to complete on-line which will contribute to the overall mark

To pass the module students need to achieve a minimum aggregate mark of 40%.

Component Learning outcomes
Progress test 1 1, 2, 4, 5
Progress test 2 1, 2, 4, 5
Progress test 3 1, 2, 4, 5
Progress test 4 1, 2, 4, 5
Progress test 5 1, 2, 4, 5
Essay1  3
Essay 2 3

If a student’s attendance at tutorials falls below 80% on a module, this will result in the student failing the module.  Reassessment opportunities will not be available and instead the module will have to be retaken the following year with attendance and payment of fees. Mitigating circumstances cannot be claimed for missed classes; however Module Leaders will take account of absences that are a consequence of recorded disability or otherwise recorded as 'Authorised Absence' when applying the 80% threshold.


  • Bax, C., Botey-Saló, P., Jacoby, J.  (2009) BM0001N Biology I and BM0002N Biology II. Brooks/Cole Cengage Learning
  • Sadava, D, Heller, HC, Orians, GH, Purves, WK, Hillis, DM. (2009). Life:  The Science of Biology (8th edition). WH Freeman.

Plus on-line material; see the WebLearn site for details.