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The University of Southampton

BIOL1004 Patterns of life and their evolution

Module Overview

This module provides an introduction to the evolution and diversity of living organisms.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • describe and compare the structural and functional organisation of the major kingdoms of Life,
  • explain the evolutionary relationships among the different groups,
  • predict the life-styles of newly-encountered members of the groups,
  • apply their newly acquired subject-specific and key skills to other learning situations both inside and outside the University.


The same basic requirements for life are satisfied in different ways by different organisms. We consider how organisms at different levels of organisation and with different life patterns adopt different strategies in relation to their environments. The origins of life and the routes and mechanisms of evolution are outlined to highlight the ways in which the various groups of organisms have evolved their characteristic patterns of body organisation and life cycle. We explore the major life patterns displayed among bacteria, protests, fungi, plants and animals.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures, practical classes, field trip

Practical classes and workshops12
Independent Study111
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Jones, Reed, and Weyers. Practical Skills in Biology. 

Campbell and Reece. Biology. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Multiple choice Test 10%
Multiple choice Test 10%
Practical exercise 10%
Written exam 70%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 30%
Written exam 70%
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