Core Module Information
Module title: Symbiosis

SCQF level: 08:
SCQF credit value: 20.00
ECTS credit value: 10

Module code: BMS08105
Module leader: Lorna Proudfoot
School School of Applied Sciences
Subject area group: LIFE SCIENCES

Basic knowledge of microbes at level 7.

Description of module content:

In this module we will introduce the concept that many different species can have a close relationship with each other, i.e. symbiotic, and that this has an influence on host biology. Symbiosis can be sub-divided into biological relationships that are commensalistic, mutualistic or parasitic in nature. Indeed many important diseases of humans, animals and plants are caused by a pathogen that has existed in one or more other organisms in its life cycle. In many symbiotic relationships the immune system comes into play. An introduction to immunology will be given with an emphasis on its evolutionary development. We will compare and contrast symbiotic relationships by focussing on a variety of different examples including bacteria (e.g. gut microbiota), fungi (e.g. mycorrhizae), protozoans (e.g. malaria) and helminths (e.g. nematodes). To accommodate specialist areas of interest there will be an opportunity to discuss one of those topics in more depth. The learning, teaching and assessment approach will give a broad grounding in this area of biology and will promote integration of diverse programmes within the biological sciences.

Learning Outcomes for module:

Upon completion of this module you will be able to:
LO1: Compare and contrast commensalism, mutualism and parasitism.
LO2: Explain the processes that establish, maintain and break down symbioses.
LO3: Describe the strategies used to control infection by pathogens of medical, veterinary and/or economical importance.
LO4: Utilise a problem-solving approach for data interpretation.
LO5: Select, and appropriately communicate, the best evidence found in review and journal articles.

Full Details of Teaching and Assessment
2022/3, Trimester 2, FACE-TO-FACE, Edinburgh Napier University
Occurrence: 001
Primary mode of delivery: FACE-TO-FACE
Location of delivery: SIGHTHILL
Partner: Edinburgh Napier University
Member of staff responsible for delivering module: Lorna Proudfoot
Module Organiser:

Learning, Teaching and Assessment (LTA) Approach:
A combination of interactive lectures, tutorials, problem-solving exercises and analyses (LO 1-5) will be used to provide background information and to develop employability skills. These include communication and teamwork, planning and organisation, and information and data interpretation. Workshops will be used to highlight examples of the effects that symbiosis has on host biology. Students will be directed on how to investigate appropriate interventions. The workshops will provide a framework for the topics covering the Group Presentation coursework.

Formative Assessment:
Working in groups, you will be required to investigate a particular topic using primary literature (LO5) and produce an Individual Plan. You will also be required to review an Individual Plan submitted by a classmate and provide critical feedback on that piece of work. Individual Plans will be randomly distributed amongst the class and both the author and reviewer will remain anonymous. The critical feedback from your classmate will act as feed-forward for your summative assessment, so we expect all students to engage in a critical and helpful manner (as a ‘critical friend’). This will be done in sessions in weeks 3, 5 and 7.
You must also complete an ‘Individual Reflection’ before your final submission, demonstrating how you have used the formative feedback you received earlier to inform the preparation of your final work.
You will also be encouraged to reflect upon previous relevant feedback, and devise ways of putting what you have learned into practise.

Summative Assessment:
Working in groups, you will be required to investigate a particular topic using primary literature (LO5) and produce a final group presentation submitted to Moodle.

A formal examination at the end of the module will be used to test the knowledge, understanding and skills attained (LOs 1-4).

Student Activity (Notional Equivalent Study Hours (NESH))
Mode of activityLearning & Teaching ActivityNESH (Study Hours)
Face To Face Lecture 12
Face To Face Tutorial 6
Face To Face Practical classes and workshops 3
Independent Learning Groupwork (Independent Study) 25
Independent Learning Guided independent study 150
Independent Learning Demonstration 2
Face To Face Centrally Time Tabled Examination 2
Total Study Hours200
Expected Total Study Hours for Module200

Type of Assessment Weighting % LOs covered Week due Length in Hours/Words
Centrally Time Tabled Examination 60 1,2,3 & 4 14/15 HOURS= 2, WORDS= 0
Oral Presentation 40 1,2,3,4 & 5 10 HOURS= 0, WORDS= 2000
Component 1 subtotal: 60
Component 2 subtotal: 40
Module subtotal: 100

Indicative References and Reading List - URL:
BMS08105 Symbiosis