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BL3319   Animal Behaviour: A Quantitative Approach

Academic year(s): 2018-2019

Key information

SCOTCAT credits : 20

ECTS credits : 10

Level : SCQF level 9

Semester: 2

Planned timetable: Lectures: 9.00 am am Mon, Tue and Wed Practicals: to be arranged.

This module is designed to provide a broad and multifaceted perspective on animal behaviour, emphasising contemporary theoretical, mathematical and statistical approaches to the discipline. Nobel-Prize-winning ethologist, Niko Tinbergen, pointed out that to understand behaviour fully researchers had to answer four types of questions, about its causation, function, development and evolution. All four areas are covered in the course, which includes lectures on the genetic, neural, physiological and experiential (i.e. learning) influences on behaviour; behavioural development; foraging; sexual behaviour, sexual selection and mate choice; communication, cooperation and culture. The course contains extensive material of a formal theoretical nature, and emphasises quantitative skills throughout. Students will be introduced to new mathematical and statistical approaches within the field.

Relationship to other modules

Pre-requisite(s): Before taking this module you must pass BL2303 or pass BL2307 or pass BL2310

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact: 3 x 1-hour lectures (x 11 weeks), 3 x 1- hour mini-project group meetings during the semester.

Scheduled learning hours: 36

Guided independent study hours: 164

Assessment pattern

As used by St Andrews: 3-hour Written Examination = 66%, Coursework = 34%

As defined by QAA
Written examinations : 66%
Practical examinations : 7%
Coursework: 27%

Re-assessment: 3-hour Written Examination = 66%, Existing Coursework = 34%


Module teaching staff: Team taught