BOTN30050 Diversity of Plant Form & Function

Academic Year 2021/2022

The Earth's vegetation is replete with a diversity of plant forms from 40 meter high trees to aquatics to parasites and climbers. Different plant forms are adapted for different functions. This course aims to provide students with the basic tools necessary to understand, describe and appreciate a diversity of plant form and think critically about the likely functional role of different plant structures. There will be an emphasis on the Irish Flora. Students will be introduced to the morphology of the vegetative and reproductive structures of a range of different evolutionary lineages of land plants from the most ancient (bryophytes/mosses) to the most derived (angiosperms/flowering plants). Special emphasis will be placed on the identification of species belonging to various groups using taxonomic keys.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

Learning Outcomes:
(1) Students will become familiar with basic botanical nomenclature needed to describe plant morphology and use taxonomic keys;
(2) Students should be capable of identifying various plant species in the Irish flora using taxonomic keys in standard works of reference;
(3) Students will gain an overview of the morphological differences and similarities among a range of land plants including bryophytes, ferns and fern-allies, and seed plants (gymnosperms and angiosperms).

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours




Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
The module consists of a series of labs that give the student practical experience in identifying plants. The lecture content covers current scientific insight into the evolutionary history of plants, and discusses their ecology and lifecycles. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Assignment: Preparation of Herbarium Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded No


Essay: Essay on assigned topic Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded No


Continuous Assessment: Attendance at lab and preparation of lab report. At least half of the labs must be attended (with lab report completed) or lab report completed where it is possible to find material for the lab. Varies over the Trimester n/a Alternative linear conversion grade scale 40% Yes


Carry forward of passed components
Remediation Type Remediation Timing
In-Module Resit Prior to relevant Programme Exam Board
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

lab reports are returned before the following lab.

Name Role
Ms Martina Caplice Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Grace Cott Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Joanne Denyer Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Ms Ciara Brierley Tutor
Ms Gwyneth MacMaster Tutor
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 28, 29, 30, 32 Fri 12:00 - 12:50
Tutorial Offering 1 Week(s) - 21 Thurs 14:00 - 14:50
Tutorial Offering 1 Week(s) - 28, 30 Tues 11:00 - 11:50
Practical Offering 1 Week(s) - 20, 21, 22, 24, 25, 28, 30 Fri 14:00 - 16:50
Practical Offering 2 Week(s) - 20, 21, 22, 24, 25, 28, 30 Fri 14:00 - 16:50