Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Marine & Freshwater Biology 3B BIOL4066

  • Academic Session: 2020-21
  • School: School of Life Sciences
  • Credits: 60
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

This course will present a broad coverage of Marine & Freshwater Biology. Specific topics may include:

■ animal physiology

■ parasite biology

■ ecological and developmental biology

■ quantitative approaches to ecology including experimental design and data analysis

■ designing and implementing a mini research project relative to aquatic ecosystems


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


There will be a short residential field course in March.

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 School's Chief Adviser.

Excluded Courses

BIOL3002 Animal Biology 3B and BIOL4138 Zoology 3B


The course will be assessed by means of a 3-hour examination paper (70%) and in-course assessment (30%). The in-course assessment will include research papers, a poster presentation and an oral research proposal.

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. 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, or for items of assessment which are undertaken as a group exercise. These items are:

■ One research paper

■ Poster presentation

■ Oral research proposal

Course Aims

The aims of the course are:

■ To provide students with a broad-based knowledge and understanding of Marine & Freshwater Biology; 

■ To further advance laboratory and field techniques in Marine & Freshwater Biology;

■ To develop skills relating to independent and critical thinking and forming research hypotheses;

■ To provide opportunities to further improve written and oral communication skills;

■ To advance skills related to quantitative analysis of data relevant to Marine & Freshwater Biology.

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 Marine & Freshwater Biology;

■ solve problems of a numerical or logical nature in the context of this understanding;

■ apply practical skills in fundamental techniques in Marine & Freshwater 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;

■ form a research question on a Marine & Freshwater Biology related topic;

■ design and carry out a small scale research project.

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.