Module Title:Fundamental Biology
Language of Instruction:English
Credits: 15
NFQ Level:6
Module Delivered In 2 programme(s)
Teaching & Learning Strategies: This module will be taught in four theory classes of one hour duration and one two hour practical. Practical sessions and theory will be synchronised. Synopsised lecture notes will be available for downloading by the students. Instructions for practicals will be provided in the form of photocopied exerpts from the in-house practical manual. Students will be regularly expected to reply to questions during both theory and practical sessions. Questions relating to the course will be discussed during or after lectures/practicals. Students will be referred to specialised texts available in the library and to scientific Internet resources where applicable. The practical component will: Allow the students to develop technical competency and Health and Safety protocols. Train the student in punctual submission of reports and in accurate report writing. Encourage team work and cooperative problem solving.
Module Aim: To provide a comprehensive overview of the life sciences and to provide practical skills essential for further studies.
Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this module the learner should be able to:
LO1 Define what life is, its characteristics and chemical composition.
LO2 Explain our current understanding on the origins of Life and the basis of evolution by natural selection.
LO3 Describe the fundamental biochemical, physiological and hereditary processes in living cells.
LO4 Describe the anatomy of plants, animals and microbes, the major divisions within their Kingdoms and their evolutionary affinities.
LO5 Demonstrate a wide variety of laboratory techniques in botany, zoology and microbiology
LO6 Demonstrate ability to clearly communicate underlying scientific principles/theory and their results from their completed experiments
LO7 Demonstrate enquiry based learning by selecting a science related topic of interest and submitting a 2 page essay on that topic
Pre-requisite learning
Module Recommendations

This is prior learning (or a practical skill) that is recommended before enrolment in this module.

No recommendations listed
Incompatible Modules
These are modules which have learning outcomes that are too similar to the learning outcomes of this module.
No incompatible modules listed
Co-requisite Modules
No Co-requisite modules listed
This is prior learning (or a practical skill) that is mandatory before enrolment in this module is allowed.
No requirements listed

Module Content & Assessment

Indicative Content
LO 1: The nature of life
The origin and nature of the universe, living and non living matter, characteristics of living things, cell theory.
LO 2: Theories on the origins of life and evolution
The origin of life (Abiogenesis v panspermia) and evolutionary theory (natural selection), Taxonomy and classification of lifeforms.
LO 3: Cells
Cell ultrastructure, cell division, enzymes and metabolism.
LO 3: Genetics
Genes and protein production, chromosomes and the basis of heredity, principles of genetics.
LO 4: Review of the Kingdom Protista
Ameoba, paramecium, euglenoids, diatoms, multicellular algae
LO 4: Botany
The plant Kingdom. Bryophytes/Pteridiophytes, Gymnosperms and Angiosperms. Angiosperm macro- and cellular anatomy, roots/stems and leaf. The flower, pollination and seed development
LO 4: Animal Biology
Review of major animal phyla, mammals, human evolution, digestion and nutrition, respiration, excretion, skeletal and muscular system, reproduction, senses
LO 4: Mycology
Morphology, nutrition and life cycles of representatives of the main phyla.
LO 4: Bacteriology
The prokaryotic cell; archaeobacteria and eubacteria; respiration, nutrition, reproduction, cultivation and enumeration techniques; asepsis, the nitrogen cycle.
LO 5/LO6: Practical
Care and use of the microscope. Examination of plant and animal cells. Algae, bryophyta and pteridophyta. Angiosperm tissues: sectioning and staining of dicotyledonous and monocotyledonous stem, root and leaf. Floral structure, identification of plants. Seeds and fruits. Examination of preserved and living specimens of protozoa, platyhelminthes, nematoda, annelida and arthropoda. Dissection of Gromphadorhina portentosa. Examination of a set of prepared histological slides. Dissection of Rattus rattus and the sheep heart. The human skeleton. The chromosome stain. Safety rules in the microbiology laboratory; principles of aseptic technique. Preparation of nutrient agar plates; demonstration of the ubiquity of bacteria. Cultivation of a pure culture using selective media, subculturing. The simple stains, the hanging drop preparation. Examination of Rhizopus, Penicillium, Saccharomyces, Agaricus campestris.
Assessment Breakdown%
Continuous Assessment10.00%
End of Module Formal Examination40.00%
Special Regulation
Students must achieve a minimum grade (35%) in both the practical/CA and final examination.
Continuous Assessment
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Assessment Date
Examination Four examinations, 1 midterm and 1 end of each semester Submission of enquiry based essay 3,4,6,7 10.00 n/a
No Project
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Assessment Date
Practical/Skills Evaluation Student will be assessed on the quality of their wriitten reports. These should demononstrate their ability to explain, in their own words, the theory/principle behind the practical, materials and methods used, clear and detailed observations and their interpretation of their observations. Practical skill will be assessed at the end of each term via practical examinations. Students will also be required to complete one oral presentation describing a practical of their choice (theory, methods used, their results and their interpretation and conclusions. 3,4,5,6 50.00 n/a
End of Module Formal Examination
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Assessment Date
Formal Exam No Description 1,2,3,4,5 40.00 End-of-Semester

ITCarlow reserves the right to alter the nature and timings of assessment


Module Workload

Workload: Full Time
Workload Type Frequency Average Weekly Learner Workload
Lecture 30 Weeks per Stage 4.00
Laboratory 30 Weeks per Stage 2.00
Estimated Learner Hours 30 Weeks per Stage 2.00
Total Hours 240.00

Module Delivered In

Programme Code Programme Semester Delivery
CW_SASES_B Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Environmental Science 1 Mandatory
CW_SABFQ_D Bachelor of Science in Biosciences 1 Mandatory