ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR - 2022/3
Module code: BMS3096
In light of the Covid-19 pandemic the University has revised its courses to incorporate the ‘Hybrid Learning Experience’ in a departure from previous academic years and previously published information. The University has changed the delivery (and in some cases the content) of its programmes. Further information on the general principles of hybrid learning can be found at: Hybrid learning experience | University of Surrey.
We have updated key module information regarding the pattern of assessment and overall student workload to inform student module choices. We are currently working on bringing remaining published information up to date to reflect current practice in time for the start of the academic year 2021/22.
This means that some information within the programme and module catalogue will be subject to change. Current students are invited to contact their Programme Leader or Academic Hive with any questions relating to the information available.
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.
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.
School of Biosciences and Medicine
SANTORELLI Lorenzo (Biosc & Med)
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
Independent Learning Hours: 111
Seminar Hours: 4
Tutorial Hours: 20
Practical/Performance Hours: 3
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
|Assessment type||Unit of assessment||Weighting|
In case the student could not perform one or more practicals for justified absence, alternative materials and appropriate instructions are provided in order to complete the required exercises for the coursework
The assessment strategy is intended to allow the students to demonstrated 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:
- A series of coursework including a project writ-up, a group presentation and an online blog
- An exam, consisting of and a set of four essay questions, out of which the student will be required to answer two in 1.5 h time.
Formative assessment and feedback
Written and verbal feedback is offered to drafts of each assignment before it get submitted
- 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||K|
|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||KCT|
|005||Develop digital skills in order to communicate scientific facts about animal behaviours to a wider audience using blogs||KCT|
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:
- Lectures (approximately 24 h, 2-3/week)
- Journal clubs and vision of documentaries (6 h)
- Practical activities (including measurement and analysis of behaviours, project writing, group presentation, writing blog. 3x 2h)
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
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.