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Unit information: Biology 1B: Life Processes in 2019/20

Please note: Due to alternative arrangements for teaching and assessment in place from 18 March 2020 to mitigate against the restrictions in place due to COVID-19, information shown for 2019/20 may not always be accurate.

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Biology 1B: Life Processes
Unit code BIOL12000
Credit points 40
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Andy Bailey
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Biological Sciences
Faculty Faculty of Life Sciences


The structure and function of cells and their macromolecular components; animal physiology, neurobiology and development; transmission, molecular, population and evolutionary genetics; animal immune systems; natural communities and interactions within communities; exploitation and management of natural and agricultural ecosystems.


  • To present a wide-ranging biological course emphasising the general biological principles of cell biology, physiology, biochemistry, genetics and ecology.
  • To create a broad objective understanding of the intellectual and practical skills required by biologists.
  • To provide a basis for higher-level biological courses, or a support for other science courses involving living organisms.

Intended learning outcomes

1. On completion a student will have gained a detailed knowledge and understanding of the diverse range of biological processes of living organisms

2. Be able to use methods for independent study

3. Be competent in a range of biological practical skills

Teaching details

  • Lectures: 3x 50 min lectures each week
  • Laboratory classes: 1x 3-hour class each week. These classes include practical work with plants, animals, fungi and microbes.
  • Self-directed learning. Students are expected to spend approx. 2hours on additional reading per lecture.
  • 20 hours of Dynamic Laboratory Manual (DLM)
  • Demonstrations
  • Videos
  • Field trips

Assessment Details

The unit mark will be calculated as follows: 30% for the Summer exam (tests ILOs 1 and 2), 30% for the January exam (tests ILO 1 and 2) and 40% for continuous assessment (CA).

The 40% CA mark is made up as follows:

•20%: Assessed practicals (i.e. post labs). Tests ILOs 2 and 3.

•20%: Practical examination. Tests ILOs 2 and 3.

Reading and References

The recommended textbook is

  • Biology: A Global Approach, 11th edition, by Campbell, Urry, Cain, Wasserman, Minorsky and Reece. Pubs: Pearson. ISBN13: 978-1-292-17043-5

Also recommended is:

  • A good general biology dictionary, e.g. Henderson’s Dictionary of Biology, Pearson Paperback ISBN13: 9781408234303