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2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

BLGY2222 Animal Behaviour

10 creditsClass Size: 136

Module manager: Dr Amanda Bretman

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23


BLGY2192Experimental Design and Analysis

This module is not approved as a discovery module


To show how the behaviour of animals evolves by natural selection, towards optimal solutions, highlighting basic principles and processes. To describe the theoretical and practical approaches used in behavioural research.

Learning outcomes
On completion of the module students should be able to;
- demonstrate a broad understanding of the concepts and information relevant to animal behaviour, including mechanisms, functions and evolutionary history;
- demonstrate practical competencies and techniques which are standard features in animal behaviour research such as derive hypotheses from theory, and undertake the analysis of data and information;
- appreciate and employ different methods of enquiry in animal behaviour, critically evaluate the appropriateness of different lines of evidence and apply the concepts and methods to novel situations;
- appreciate the need for a rigorous scientific and statistical approach to behavioural questions;
- employ effective communication of information, arguments and analysis in a variety of forms;
- demonstrate qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment, personal responsibility and decision making.

This module includes interactive lectures, which will involve peer to peer learning such as “think-pair-share”, and practicals in which you will learn about and practice animal behaviour research.


- Introduction and methodology;
- Levels of selection and the Comparative Method;
- Development of behaviour: role of the environment, learning, role of genes;
- Orientation, Navigation, Migration;
- Optimal foraging, group foraging, foraging behaviour and social structure;
- Information transfer and communication;
- Competition and territoriality;
- Predator-prey relations, Kin selection and altruism.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours76.00
Total Contact hours24.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

Each lecture will cover basic principles with examples. Further reading will be required to increase both the breadth and the depth of student knowledge. This will take the form of key research and review papers which the students will be directed to.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students will receive feedback from the practical report (submitted in weeks 4), and generic feedback will be available within two weeks but specific feedback within 3 weeks when they get their marks / reports returned.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Practical ReportGroup foraging practical report20.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)20.00

Failure to complete practical work to pass standard will result in a V code being appended to the final module mark.

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Online Time-Limited assessment5 hr 80.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)80.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 22/07/2022 13:33:29


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