Core Module Information
Module title: Life on Earth

SCQF level: 07:
SCQF credit value: 20.00
ECTS credit value: 10

Module code: ENV07100
Module leader: Mark Huxham
School School of Applied Sciences
Subject area group: Life Sciences


Description of module content:

This module will provide you with an introduction to evolution by natural selection, the theory that is central to understanding all aspects of biology. You will consider how species arise, change and go extinct, and how biological information is passed on through genetics. You will also look at the science of classification, and gain an overview of the diversity of life.

Topics taught
Introduction to Science. Origins of life. Biochemical origin of life. Introduction to evolution. Evidence for evolution. Species concept. Speciation and selection. Selective pressures and adaptation. Evolution of sex. Extinctions. Energy and nutrients in ecosystems. Climate Change. Introduction to taxonomy. Diversity. Functional ecology. Introduction to Mendelian genetics.

Learning Outcomes for module:

Upon completion of this module you will be able to
LO1: explain how life originated
LO2: list the essentials of Darwin’s theory of evolution and compare his theory with alternative theories
LO3: summarise the three main bodies of evidence that support Darwin’s theory and provide examples
LO4: discuss the diversity of animal forms and the major taxonomic categories of life
LO5: recount the principles of Mendelian genetics and inheritance

Full Details of Teaching and Assessment
2022/3, Trimester 1, 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: Mark Huxham
Module Organiser:

Learning, Teaching and Assessment (LTA) Approach:
The module is covering the major themes of evolution, functional ecology and genetics, along with supporting tutorials. There will be scheduled museum visits (National Museum Scotland), where you will use the exhibits to explore specific evolutionary and taxonomy/biodiversity topics to work towards a mini proposal for your poster project.
The poster group work is introduced in the early tutorials; we will negotiate and agree the marking criteria together. You will choose your topic for the poster in relation to the museum visits. Problem solving and ‘interactive windows’ are used to encourage reflection and interaction during lectures. One to one help with the poster assessment is provided during ‘surgeries’.
Weekly online quizzes have to be completed and can be repeated as needed, for continuous assessment of your progress throughout the module.

Formative Assessment:
Weekly online tests will allow you to evaluate your learning and progress.

Mini proposal for poster project will be written and discussed (week 9) after museum visits (needs to be presented with poster to show train of thought).

Summative Assessment:
1) Poster related to lectures and museum visits. You will produce a poster in a small group (4-5 students) to be presented in the poster session at the end of the trimester (week 12).
You will choose your poster topic, which will cover one or more LOs from 1 to 5.

2) Final Moodle online quiz, covering the module content (LO 1-5, week 14). The quiz will be open for one week and is not time limited, but you have to finish it, once you started.

Student Activity (Notional Equivalent Study Hours (NESH))
Mode of activityLearning & Teaching ActivityNESH (Study Hours)
Face To Face Lecture 26
Face To Face External visits 4
Face To Face Tutorial 5
Independent Learning Groupwork (Independent Study) 20
Independent Learning Guided independent study 145
Total Study Hours200
Expected Total Study Hours for Module200

Type of Assessment Weighting % LOs covered Week due Length in Hours/Words
Poster 45 1,2,3,4 &5 12 HOURS= 0, WORDS= 0
Centrally Time Tabled Examination 55 1,2,3,4 & 5 14 HOURS= 2.5, WORDS= 0
Component 1 subtotal: 45
Component 2 subtotal: 55
Module subtotal: 100

Indicative References and Reading List - URL:
ENV07100 Life on Earth