Foundations of Biological Sciences

Module code: BS0011

This module will provide a comprehensive grounding in the molecular underpinnings of the chemistry, biology and genetics of biological organisms, and will develop your understanding of how these foundations contribute to the complexity of biological systems. You will gain an appreciation of the breadth of the biological sciences, and how this impacts on animal, plant and microbial populations. This module will equip you with study skills needed for effective working within the University environment.

Topics covered

  • Introduction to biological molecules: carbohydrates / lipids
  • Proteins and enzyme action
  • Structure of Nucleic Acids and their replication
  • Energy, ATP and water
  • Cell structure -typical cell features and contents, prokaryote versus eukaryote
  • Cell structure -differences in eukaryotic cells, organisms and tissues 
  • Cell specialization and interactions
  • Cell division
  • Cell communication - transport across membranes, osmosis and active transport
  • Gas exchange in organisms (single-celled, animals and plants)
  • Gas/fluid exchange in transport systems in plants and animals
  • Mass Transport - plants and animals
  • Photosynthesis - the energy basis of all life and ecosystems
  • Internal energy processing in cells – respiration
  • Ecosystems / ecology: animal behaviour and populations
  • Ecosystems / ecology: populations and communities
  • DNA, genes and gene expression
  • Protein synthesis
  • Genetic diversity
  • Biodiversity

Learning

  • 20 hours of lectures
  • 20 hours of practical classes and workshops
  • 20 hours of tutorials
  • 240 hours of guided independent study

Assessment

  • Reflective essay (60%)
  • Poster presentation (40%)