ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR - 2022/3
Module code: BMS3096
Have you ever wondered why animals behave in the way they do? In this module we will be introduced to some of the most peculiar animal behaviours, and we will learn how to analyse them under the lens of natural selection. The study of animal behaviour give us a great insight on how animals shape their environment and are shaped by it, and we will learn how important it is for an animal to choose the right strategy whenever foraging, escaping a predator, communicating with others or mating.
School of Biosciences
SANTORELLI Lorenzo (Biosciences)
Number of Credits: 15
ECTS Credits: 7.5
Framework: FHEQ Level 6
JACs code: C120
Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A
Overall student workload
Workshop Hours: 13
Independent Learning Hours: 90
Lecture Hours: 17
Seminar Hours: 2
Tutorial Hours: 1
Laboratory Hours: 9
Guided Learning: 10
Captured Content: 17
Prerequisites / Co-requisites
Indicative content includes:
- Introduction to the study and definition of animal behaviour
- Quantification and analysis of different animal behaviours
- The importance of signals and communication
- How sexual selection affected morphology and behaviours
- Kin selection, altruism and social behaviour
- Artificial selection, domestic animals and animal welfare
Through a series of practicals, lectures and documentaries, we will learn to recognise, quantify and analyse the most significant animal behaviours. This module is designed for students that are curious and fascinated to understand in depth how animals, and eventually us, behave and look the way they do.
|Assessment type||Unit of assessment||Weighting|
|Coursework||Project based on ethogram||40|
In case students could not attend the ethogram practicals for justified absence, access to the data and appropriate instructions are provided in order to complete the required exercises for the assessment.
The assessment strategy is intended to allow the students to demonstrate that they have been capable of critically analysing the information they have received on how and why animals behave in a certain way, as well as to be confident in the process of measuring and processing data linked to these behaviours.
Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:
Ethogram project (40%, LO 1,3,4)
Building a website in pair (25%, LO 1,2,5)
Short answer questions (35%, LO 1,2)
For the ethogram assessment, students will be allowed to submit a draft and receive formative feedback before the final submission.
Further feedback will be provided during quizzes
Written feedback will be provided following submission of each component. Further tutorials will be provided to discuss issues with students. The discussion board will be monitored, and any comments or questions will be prompted answered.
- Have an overview of the variety of different behaviours in vertebrates and invertebrates
- Comprehend how natural selection has shaped the behaviours of all the considered organisms
- Apply this knowledge in order to understand how proximate and ultimate explanations can be used to provide a theoretical framework
- Be able to measure behaviours and to critically analyse the adaptive reasons behind the expression of these behaviours
|001||Demonstrate knowledge of a range of different types of behaviours in vertebrates and invertebrates animals||KP|
|002||Understand the mechanisms of natural selection in shaping different behaviours||KC|
|003||Critically evaluate the ultimate and proximate reasons of animal behaviours||KC|
|004||Have the theoretical and practical knowledge in order to measure and analyse animal behaviours and to write a research project||KCPT|
|005||Develop digital skills in order to communicate scientific facts about animal behaviours to a wider audience using blogs||KCPT|
C - Cognitive/analytical
K - Subject knowledge
T - Transferable skills
P - Professional/Practical skills
Methods of Teaching / Learning
The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:
Give the students the opportunity to understand why animals behave in a certain way and which are the selective pressures that determine these behaviours
The learning and teaching methods include:
- Journal clubs and vision of documentaries
- Practical activities (including measurement and analysis of behaviours, project writing, group writing blog.
Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: BMS3096
Resourcefulness & resilience: The assessments for this module rely on the ability to interpret and
understand primary research literature, and to produce data in practical. The coursework will allow
students to develop teamwork skills, problem-solving, decision-making, self-efficacity, self-regulation
Global & cultural capabilities: Students will work in small groups during the practical sessions and for
an assignment which will encourage and engage students in working with other students from different
cultures and abilities to achieve an end goal.
Sustainability: The module will consider the principles on which animals live and are shaped by their
environment, which highlight the importance of conservation and sustainability.
Digital capabilities: For each component of the course work students will produce a material using
Microsoft Suits software as PowerPoint. Students will also utilize the virtual learning environment
SurreyLearn and other digital resources. The skills learned will be applied in the assignments they
undertake to equip the students for a variety of modern professions.
Employability: Transferable skills such as the ability to work in a team, report findings in a scientific
manner and ability to identify clades will equip students for a variety of modern professions.
Programmes this module appears in
Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2022/3 academic year.