APS 404 Advanced Trends in Biology

Level 4
Semester 1
Credits 10
Pre/Co Requisites -
Recommended Requisites -
Teaching Staff Dr Gareth Fraser, Professor Mike Siva-Jothy, and seminar speakers
Co-ordinator Professor Mike Siva-Jothy


The aims of the module are (i) to provide students with an insight into current issues in animal and plant sciences through the medium of research presentations, (ii) to foster and develop skills in the acquisition, processing and presentation of information and (iii) to develop skills in written communication.


This course utilises seminar programs within the Biological Sciences to introduce students to the most recent developments in a wide range of biological subjects. This course fosters and develops skills in the acquisition, processing and presentation of information as well as in written communication. The student is required to attend all Departmental Seminars of Semester 1 and to attend workshops with five speakers from these seminars. The workshops will be allocated during a meeting in the first week of term. Students are also welcome to come along to the APS 321 workshop on Tuesdays at 14.10 hrs.

Learning Outcome

By the end of the module, a candidate will be able to demonstrate (i) a broad understanding of the scientific material presented in the seminar programme; ii) to discuss topics covered within the course; iii) to critically evaluate presented seminar material.

Student Contact Hours: 10 1hr seminars, 10 1hr "workshops".

Assessment Method: Write a 1000 word review based on a seminar of your choice to set the seminar topic within the current framework of research in the particular field of study. This review should be readable for lay readers, such as an article from the New Scientist. So try to use plain language and avoid jargon. If you include graphs, make sure they are simple. Also, do some background research on the topic and/or speaker. Reference the talk or papers as a science journalist does, so no full citations.
Please provide additionally supplementary information; a list of the sources for your article: original papers, web pages, newspapers etc. 5 extra references will do, and 10 should be a maximum. The supplementary information is not included in the word count.

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