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2019/20 Undergraduate Programme Catalogue

MBiol, BSc Zoology (Integrated Masters)

Programme code:MBBS-ZOOLUCAS code:C309
Duration:4 Years Method of Attendance: Full Time
Programme manager:Dr Alison Dunn Contact address:a.dunn@leeds.ac.uk

Total credits: 480

Entry requirements:

- A-level: AAA
- Including Biology and preferably another science or science-related subject. General Studies and Critical Thinking excluded
- We accept the following science subjects: biology, human biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics.
- Science-related subjects: computing, environmental science, food science, geography, geology, PE, psychology, science in society, statistics, use of mathematics.
- Applicants taking a Science A-level (in England) will be required to achieve a pass in the practical element in addition to the standard A-level grade requirement.
- GCSE: Grade 6 (B) or above at GCSE Maths and Grade 4 (C) or above at GCSE English.

School/Unit responsible for the parenting of students and programme:

Faculty of Biological Sciences Undergraduate School (School of Biology)

Examination board through which the programme will be considered:

Faculty of Biological Sciences Undergraduate School (School of Biology)

Relevant QAA Subject Benchmark Groups:

The three year BSc programmes upon which the Integrated Masters are built meet the QAA Benchmarks and meet the QAA expectations for integrated masters programmes. There are no specified QAA Benchmarks for Integrated Masters degrees in Bioscience, however the principle of such programmes is to ensure coverage of Honours level Benchmark requirements plus ensure that the higher Masters levels objectives are met including:

Research training:
- Project-specific experimental skills
- Accessing literature
- Planning, including evaluation of hazards and environmental effects
- Making oral presentations, writing reports, including critical evaluation
- Participating in colloquia

Research project:
- Implementation of planned experiments
- Recording of data and their critical analysis
- Dissertation
- Outcome potentially publishable

Advanced studies:
- In area of specialism to support research topic
- Complementary studies outside, but cognate to, area of specialism

Problem solving:
- Development of general strategies including the identification of additional information required and problems where there is not a unique solution
- Application of advanced studies to the solutions of problems

Professional studies:
- Ethics and societal responsibilities
- Environmental impact
- Sustainability

The proportion of each activity will vary depending upon the programmes learning objectives. However, research studies (training and project) are likely to form at least one-half of the masters level study.

It is important to note that for students who may elect not to complete the fourth year of the programme, or who are advised that their performance makes it unlikely that they would be successful in completing the programme will have met the University requirements for the BSc and so will be able to graduate after 3 years.

Programme specification:

The MBiol , BSc Zoology programme offers students an excellent breadth and depth of knowledge plus the exceptional experience of advanced research. The initial two years of the programme follows the existing BSc Zoology programme. The year 3 will be similar to that for students enrolled on the 3 year BSc programme but will be integrated with year 4 with students undertaking a research project comprising of a 20 credit practical research project and 20 credit research literature project at Level 3. The fourth year of the programme is research focused, comprising an 80 credit research project and 40 credits of advanced research training. There is a strong emphasis on independent learning, problem solving and data analysis, taught in the context of the subject. The extended individual project allows students to develop their research skills in greater depth and produce a report containing material of publishable quality that could contribute to a research publication.

This programme provides a curriculum driven by the whole animal zoology research expertise within the School and underpinned by relevant core zoological and biological modules at levels 1 and 2. The majority of students in the UK interested in studying biology, do so on the strength of the animal biology component and therefore there is a close relationship between this popular programme and the more general Biology degree.

Level one provides students with the fundamental biological background a zoologist needs, and allows transfer between biological courses if desired. Zoology-specific core topics are covered at level 2 preparing for subsequent research-led subject specialist modules. There is a compulsory field course in level 1, one compulsory and two optional field courses in level 2 and an optional field course in level 3.

Core statistical and IT skills are taught at level 1 and practicals in both levels 1 and 2. At Level 3 all students carry out independent research projects, which will comprise a 20 credit Research and Manuscript project and a 20 credit Research Literature Review and poster presentation. In year 4 students will extend their specialist knowledge and research training through completion of an extended Masters level 80 credit research project and 40 credits of additional Masters level taught modules. In years 3 and 4, students will attend supervisory meetings with their research project supervisor who will guide them through their research project. The content of both projects will be specific to zoology.

Academic tutorials in levels 1 and 2 of zoology focus on providing research skills and experience and rotate between research leaders, while the personal tutor remains the same for the full four years to provide continuity and progressive guidance. The research project-based learning in levels 1 and 2 is complemented by a number of workshops to teach skills such as library use, presentation skills etc. Students will build on these over subsequent years of specialisation and training. In years 3 and 4 students will continue with their personal tutorial meetings and attend supervision meetings with their project supervisor.

The MBiol, BSc Zoology programme is one of 5 Integrated Masters programmes in the School of Biology. Differentiation of the Zoology programme at year 4 (level 5) from the others will be through the extended research project which comprises two-thirds of the final year. Research topics will be specific to Zoology and hence substantial subject-specific specialisation will be achieved through the project. In addition, specialisation will be achieved through taught module topics offered, again aligned to Zoology. There is overlap in content between the taught modules in year 4 with those offered in year 4 of the MBiol, BSc Ecology & Environment programme, which are relevant to both programme areas. The research project and the Zoology specialist modules covered during the different levels of study, will collectively develop both depth and breadth of knowledge in Zoology together with an exceptional experience of advanced research delivered through an integrated research project.

The most important values which inform the MBiol, BSc Zoology programme are to provide excellent students with the opportunity to gain substantial research training and experience through engagement with an individual research project conducted as part of a research team in an internationally recognised research laboratory.

The academic content of the MBiol, BSc Zoology programme concentrates on developing an understanding of research through the delivery and active engagement in taught components, practical skills development, data analysis and problem solving elements culminating in a major research project supported by further research and transferable skills training and career planning opportunities.

The most important intellectual skills developed in the MBiol, BSc Zoology programme are appreciation of the fundamental underpinning principles of zoology leading through to the current state of the field informed by the research-based ethos of teaching and investigation.

The most useful practical skills, techniques and capabilities developed will be those underpinning the zoology area, together with advanced level research skills expected of early stage PhD students.

Competency will be developed in a broad range of topics associated with Zoology combined with competency in research methodology, the development of hypothesis driven research, the approach to the analysis of data and ability to solve problems, appropriate practical skills in the design and execution of suitable experiments, the production of publication quality outputs and the ability to communicate effectively.

The most important ways in which a student will learn are dependent upon the level of the students as they progress through the course. Initially delivery will be more research-informed teaching in lecture and seminar/tutorial and practical class settings leading to more independent research-based learning through lectures and independent study, small class teaching and project team or individual mentoring. Students will progress from the development of research-based practical skills in teaching labs to the design and execution of independent research work.

On completing the MBiol, BSc Zoology programme we want students to know and understand their programme specialist subject from basic principles through to cutting edge research, and to appreciate the process of research and to be able to demonstrate implementation of these principles.

On completing the MBiol, BSc Zoology programme we want students to be able to compete worldwide with other students for high quality research opportunities within appropriate industries or for PhD positions to pursue research careers.


Year1 - View timetable

[Learning Outcomes, Transferable (Key) Skills, Assessment]

Students will be required to study 120 credits.

Compulsory modules:

Students will be required to study the following compulsory modules:

BLGY1125Biology Practicals and Data Analysis20 creditsSemester 1
BLGY1128Living Planet20 creditsSemester 1
BLGY1232Introduction to Genetics10 creditsSemester 2
BLGY1238Exploring Whole Organism Biology in the Lab and Field10 creditsSemester 2
BLGY1300Coastal and Upland Habitats Field Course10 creditsSemester 2
BLGY1304Research Experience and Skills Level 110 creditsSemesters 1 & 2

Optional modules:

Candidates must choose either FOBS1135 or BLGY1115.

BLGY1115Introduction to Cell Biology: from Molecules to Cells and Tissues10 creditsSemester 1
FOBS1135The Basis of Life20 creditsSemester 1

Candidates who choose BLGY1115 must take at least 20 credits and up to 30 credits from the following optional modules. Candidates who choose FOBS1135 must take at least 10 credits and up to 20 credits from the following optional modules.

BIOL1223Career and Professional Development for Life Scientists10 creditsSemester 2
BIOL1225How can Biological Sciences change the world10 creditsSemester 2
BLGY1211Applied Biology and Agriculture10 creditsSemester 2
BLGY1234Practical Genetics10 creditsSemester 2
BMSC1210Biology of the Mind10 creditsSemester 2
PSYC1617Exploring Animal Behaviour10 creditsSemester 2
SOEE1120Vertebrate Evolution10 creditsSemester 2

Discovery modules:

Students may select up to 10 credits of discovery modules.


Year2 - View timetable

[Learning Outcomes, Transferable (Key) Skills, Assessment]

Candidates will be required to study 120 credits.

Compulsory modules:

Candidates will be required to study the following compulsory modules:

BLGY2144Population and Community Ecology
Pre-requisite for: BLGY3133
20 creditsSemester 1
BLGY2192Experimental Design and Analysis10 creditsSemester 1
BLGY2222Animal Behaviour
Pre-requisite for: BLGY3121, BLGY3135 & BLGY3214 & BLGY3122
10 creditsSemester 2
BLGY2223Organismal Evolution
Pre-requisite for: BLGY3245
10 creditsSemester 2
BLGY2262Animal Developmental Biology
Pre-requisite for: BLGY3251
10 creditsSemester 2
BLGY2293Animal Physiology: from Ants to Whales10 creditsSemester 2
BLGY2301Research Experience and Skills Level 210 creditsSemesters 1 & 2
BLGY2321Marine Zoology Field Course10 credits1 Sept to 30 Sept

Optional modules:

Candidates will be required to study 20 or 30 credits from the following optional modules.




Candidates will be required to study 20 or 30 credits from the following optional modules:

BIOL2223Employment, Career planning and Professional Development for Life Scientists10 creditsSemester 2
BLGY2137Parasitology10 creditsSemester 1
BLGY2142Animal Nutrition and Metabolism
Pre-requisite for: BLGY3105
20 creditsSemester 1
BLGY2175Human Populations10 creditsSemester 1
BLGY2201Introduction to Bioinformatics10 creditsSemester 2
BLGY2253Animals as Pests10 creditsSemester 2
BLGY2296Human Genetics10 creditsSemester 2
BLGY2330Terrestrial Ecology and Behaviour Field Course10 creditsSemester 2

Discovery modules:

Candidates may study up to 10 credits of discovery modules.


Year3 - View timetable

[Learning Outcomes, Transferable (Key) Skills, Assessment]

Candidates will be required to study 120 credits.

Compulsory modules:

Candidates will be required to study the following compulsory modules:

BLGY3395Advanced Research Skills and Experience20 creditsSemester 2
BLGY3396Research Literature Review20 creditsSemester 1

Optional modules:

Candidates will be required to study a minimum of 70 credits and a maximum of 80 credits from the following optional modules:

BLGY3105Applied Animal Science10 creditsSemester 1
BLGY3122Social Insect Biology10 creditsSemester 1
BLGY3133Advanced Topics in Ecology20 creditsSemester 1
BLGY3135Advanced Topics in Behaviour: from sex to death20 creditsSemester 1
BLGY3152Advanced Topics in Human Genetics20 creditsSemester 1
BLGY3245Advanced Topics in Evolution20 creditsSemester 2
BLGY3246Evolution and Population Genetics10 creditsSemester 2
BLGY3247Advanced Topics in Conservation Science20 creditsSemester 2
BLGY3251Animal Developmental Biology10 creditsSemester 2
BLGY3273Animal Nutrition Science20 creditsSemester 2
BLGY3300Level 3 Field Course (South Africa)20 creditsSemester 1

Discovery modules:

Students may select up to 10 credits of discovery modules.


Year4 - View timetable

[Learning Outcomes, Transferable (Key) Skills, Assessment]

Candidates will be required to study a minimum of 120 credits and a maximum 125 credits.

Compulsory modules:

Candidates will be required to study the following compulsory modules:

BLGY5380MExtended Research Project80 creditsSemesters 1 & 2

Optional modules:

Candidates will be required to study between 40 and 45 credits of advanced research training from the following optional modules:

BIOL5171MInfectious & Non-infectious Diseases10 creditsSemester 1
BIOL5172MPractical Bioinformatics10 creditsSemester 1
BLGY5102MCommunity Ecology15 creditsSemester 1
BLGY5104MConservation Genetics15 creditsSemester 2
BLGY5112MAdvanced Statistics10 creditsSemester 1
BLGY5117MIntroduction to GIS Skills for Ecologists10 creditsSemester 1
BLGY5118MPopulation Dynamics10 creditsSemester 1
BLGY5153MAfrican Field Ecology20 creditsSemester 2
BLGY5166MInsect Identification Skills15 creditsSemester 1

In order to take BIOL5172M, a student must have taken one of the following: BLGY3152, BLGY3246 or BLGY3251

Last updated: 22/08/2019

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