Aquatic Biology 3A BIOL3029

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Biodiversity One Health Vet Med
  • Credits: 60
  • Level: Level 3 (SCQF level 9)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course will present a broad coverage of Aquatic Biology in relation to the field of Marine and Freshwater Biology. Specific topics may include:

■ field work on terrestrial and aquatic habitats

■ invertebrate and vertebrate biology

■ marine and freshwater ecology

■ molecular techniques

■ scientific writing

■ ecological applications and tools


The course will consist of lectures, laboratories and tutorials as arranged (the timetable varies from week to week).


In addition, there are two field courses in September and October - these may have residential or day field-work aspects.

Requirements of Entry

Normally, this course is only open to students admitted to Level-3 of a programme for which this is a compulsory course. The course may also be available to visiting students, at the discretion of the Life Sciences Chief Adviser and the Course Coordinator.

Excluded Courses

BIOL4065 Marine & Freshwater Biology 3A, BIOL4137 Zoology 3A and BIOL3001 Animal Biology 3A


The course will be assessed by means of a 3-hour examination paper (60%) and in-course assessment (40%). The in-course assessment will include a class test, laboratory/fieldwork report/presentation, a poster presentation, an essay and a reflective statement.

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? No

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. Where, exceptionally, reassessment on Honours courses is required to satisfy professional/accreditation requirements, only the overall course grade achieved at the first attempt will contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 


There is no reassessment opportunity for those items of assessment which are dependent on the student's attendance at a particular session or sessions. These items are:

■ online fieldwork journal

■ the poster presentation

Course Aims

The aims of the course are:

■ To provide students with a broad-based knowledge and understanding of Aquatic Biology in relation to the field of Marine and Freshwater Biology; 

■ To develop skills in laboratory and field techniques in Aquatic Biology; 

■ To develop skills relating to the systematic acquisition of factual information and data; 

■ To provide opportunities to improve written and oral communication skills.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Demonstrate a broad understanding of the central facts and the experimental basis of modern Aquatic Biology in relation to the field of Marine and Freshwater Biology; 

■ Solve problems of a logical nature in the context of this understanding; 

■ Apply practical skills in fundamental techniques in Aquatic Biology and analyse and interpret results obtained from using these techniques; 

■ Demonstrate proficient communication skills by giving well-constructed oral and written presentations; 

■ Appraise original scientific literature and promote critical thinking in relation to information obtained and communicated.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.