Current active subject description (last updated 2023/24)
Diversity of Life II - Vertebrates
Current active subject description (last updated 2023/24)

Diversity of Life II - Vertebrates


Study of advanced invertebrates and vertebrates, adopts a comparative approach to the study of these groups of animals and the structure and function of their organ systems.

The course reviews and describes the main vertebrate groups; fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals, emphasising their form and function, ecology, evolution, adaptations and diversity.

The course also includes the evolution and comparative physiology of respiratory, circulatory and osmoregulatory systems; thermoregulation and sense organs; co-evolution of hosts and parasites/pathogens.

The lectures are supplemented by suitable practical exercises designed to teach a variety of skills which include microscopy, analysis and interpretation of data, dissection (of a fish), and group project work which includes report-writing and presentation skills.

On successful completion of the course:

Knowledge: The student:

  • has broad knowledge and understanding of the ecology, evolution, and current status of the diversity of advanced invertebrates and vertebrates
  • has knowledge of the phylogeny, taxonomy and general characteristics of the major organism groups
  • is familiar with different theories and methods within the study of systematics and phylogeny
  • can update his/her knowledge in the field of advanced invertebrate and vertebrate biology

Skills: The student:

  • can apply scientific knowledge and results in the field of organismal research and biodiversity
  • can evaluate and refer to academic resources and present scientific findings using scholarly forms of communication
  • can approach problems and make decisions regarding vertebrate biology based on scientific knowledge
  • will develop skills of observation, interpretation and recording of biological material
  • can dissect a vertebrate and identify the internal organs and define how these change with evolutionary complexity

General competence: The student:

  • can plan and carry out assignments alone over the semester and present the subject orally and in writing
  • can discuss and exchange knowledge and opinions with others within the community of the field
In addition to the semester fee and syllabus literature, students are expected to have a laptop with microphone and camera. Students must purchase their own laboratory coat for use in courses with laboratory exercises.
Compulsory: BSc in Biology
Campus based lectures, discussions, seminars, lab courses.
The study programme is evaluated annually by students by way of course evaluation studies (mid-term evaluation and final evaluation). These evaluations are included in the universitys quality assurance system.

Aggregate score, grading scale Letter grades

  • Assignment, comprises 10/100 of the grade, grading scale Letter grades.
  • Assignment 2, comprises 10/100 of the grade, grading scale Letter grades.
  • School exam, 4 hours, comprises 80/100 of the grade, grading scale Letter grades.
Pencil, pen, ruler, simple calculator and bilingual dictionaries.