ZOOL30050 Diversity of Invertebrates

Academic Year 2023/2024

In this course, we review the major groups of invertebrates which, apart from arthropods, account for most of the animal species on the planet. The course provides the tools for describing and understanding biodiversity and many of the species discussed play key ecological and economic roles. We review classification of invertebrates into major groups and examine some of the extraordinary solutions they have developed to movement, feeding, sensing and reproduction. Practical sessions illustrate the variety of invertebrate life and include a field trip to search for specimens on the shore. Key skills include scientific drawing and dissection and, above all, the skill of species identification, including classification, use of keys and guidebooks and taxonomic conventions. These skills underpin all ecological research and are essential for many jobs in environmental assessment and monitoring.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

Students will:
- Appreciate the diversity of invertebrate life;
- Recognise diagnostic characters of major groups of invertebrates;
- Describe mechanisms underlying their basic function, movement, feeding and reproduction;
- Recognise some of their ecological roles, economic significance and conservation status;
- Dissect and make scientific drawings of invertebrate specimens;
- Describe, identify and classify unknown invertebrate specimens.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours




Field Trip/External Visits


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Practical classes
Field sampling
Field collection
Observation, dissection and drawing
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Recommendations:

Life on Earth (currently BIOL10140) OR Biology in Action (currently BIOL10130) OR Animal Biology and Evolution (BAgSc) (currently BIOL10010)

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Examination: 2 hr examination consisting of short answer and essay style questions. 2 hour End of Trimester Exam No Graded No


Fieldwork: Report on field excursion Week 10 n/a Graded No


Practical Examination: Practical quizzes based on lab sessions Throughout the Trimester n/a Alternative linear conversion grade scale 40% No



Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment
• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Not yet recorded.

Name Role
Dr Marcin Penk Lecturer / Co-Lecturer