BSc Botany UCAS Code: C200

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BSc BotanyUCAS code: C200For students entering Part 1 in October 2004Awarding Institution:Teaching Institution:Relevant QAA subject benchmarking group(s):Faculty of Life SciencesDate of specification: 26 May 2006Programme Director: Dr. J A HawkinsProgramme Adviser: Dr J D RossBoard of Studies: Botany and Botany & ZoologyAccreditation: NoneThe University of ReadingThe University of ReadingBioscienceProgramme length: 3 yearsSummary of programme aimsThe programme aims to provide a thorough, degree-level education in the main areas of Botany.It encompasses traditional studies of whole-plant biology with a consideration of recent advancesin areas such as biodiversity, biotechnology and genetics.Transferable skillsThe University’s Strategy for Teaching and Learning has identified a number of generictransferable skills, which all students are expected to have developed by the end of their degreeprogramme. In following this programme, students will have had the opportunity to enhance theirskills relating to career management, communication (both written and oral), information and datahandling, numeracy, problem solving, team working and use of information technology. There isalso an opportunity for language study.Programme contentThe programme that follows lists those modules that must be taken (compulsory modules).Students are required to choose additional modules during the Autumn and Spring Terms eachyear, in consultation with their Course Adviser, to make 120 credits in each Part. Additionalmodules will normally be selected from those offered by Plant Sciences, AMS, Geography or SoilScience. However, students lacking A-level Chemistry or an equivalent qualification should takeChemistry for biologists (BI1S10) in Part 1. In Parts 2 and 3, the additional modules willnormally include a selection from the Plant Science modules listed below as optional. Theadditional modules may include language modules offered by IWLP.Part 1 (three terms)Compulsory modules (80 credits)Module TitlePS1BA1 Plant worldPS1BA2 Plant physiology and developmentPS1BB1 Current topics in plant biologyBI1C10 Cell biology and biochemistryBI1C11 Genetics and molecular biologyBI1M10 BiodiversityBI1Z10 EcologyBI1Z11 Community ecologyRequired modulesIn addition, students without a post-16 qualification in chemistry must takeCredits1010101010101010LevelCCCCCCCC

ModuleBI1S20TitleChemistry for biologistsCredits10LevelCOptional modulesStudents will choose additional modules to take a total of 120 credits that include those in thefollowing B2AM1M12AM1Z10LA1P?TitleConcepts and skills IBiology and production of crop plantsBiology processes – soilMicrobiology 1Animal physiologyPrinciples of horticulturePhysical ecologyImportant microbesThe whole mammalInstitution wide language COr elsewhere from the programmes of other Schools subject to the agreement of the ProgrammeAdvisor.After Part 1 exams, students will attend Flora of the British Isles (PS2BG3) and the Botany Part2 field course (PS2BF3) which will take place in the summer vacation but which will be recordedas a Part 2 module.Part 2 (three terms)Compulsory modules (60 itlePlant geneticsCareer management and transferable skillsEvolution of plant biodiversityBotany Part 2 field courseFlora of the British IslesStatistics for life 010101010101010LevelIIIIIIIIIIOptional modules (60 credits, at least 40 credits from PS or BI PS2NA4BI2Z31BI2B31AM2Z32TitleWeed biology and controlCrop pests and integrated crop protectionEcological aspects of environmental assessmentPlants and the environmentEcological biochemistryCrop disease and its controlIntroduction to history and philosophy of scienceMicroevolutionMacroevolutionVertebrate zoology

AM2Z34AM2Z37AM2Z41AP2A26Invertebrate zoologyAquatic biologyApplied ecologyForestry and woodlandsInstitution-wide language programme1010101020IIIIC/IOr elsewhere from the programmes of Schools subject to the agreement of the ProgrammeAdvisor.After Part 2 examinations students will carry out preparatory work for the Botany researchproject(PS3BAX).Part 3 (three terms)Compulsory modules (70 credits)ModulePS3BAXPS3BF8PS3BH8TitleBotany research projectMediterranean botany field courseBotany research HHHH101020101010101010101010HHHHHHHHHHHHOptional modules (50 credits, at least 30 credits from PS 3Z76AM3Z77AM3Z80TitleCrops and climatePlant tissue cultureWeed ecologyBiodiversity assessment and sustainable use of plant resourcesCreating revisions, monographs, floras and informationsystemsConservation and biodiversityPhysiological ecologyDiversity and identification of plantsBiodiversity informaticsPlant developmental genetics and physiologySeed science and technologyInsects and societyConservation biologyEvolutionary genetics and phylogenyBehavioural ecology and life history theoryResearch topics in ecologyMarine biology field courseProgression requirementsPart 1To gain a threshold performance at Part 1 a student shall normally be required to achieve anoverall average of 40% over 120 credits taken in Part 1, and a mark of at least 30% in individualmodules amounting to not less than 100 credits. In order to progress from Part 1 to Part 2, astudent shall normally be required to achieve a threshold performance at Part 1.

Part 2To gain a threshold performance at Part 2 a student shall normally be required to achieve:an overall average of 40% over 120 credits taken in Part 2, and a mark of at least 30% inindividual modules amounting to not less than 100 credits. In order to progress from Part 2 toPart 3, a student shall normally be required to achieve a threshold performance at Part 2.Summary of teaching and assessmentTeaching is organised in modules. Teaching in Part 1 consists of lectures and practical classes.Modules can be assessed by 100% coursework but more usually are assessed by a combination ofcoursework (30%) and formal examination (70%).In Part 2 and 3, lectures and practical classes continue to be important modes of teaching but theyare increasingly supplemented by seminars, group work and field studies, including two FieldCourses. Modules can be 100% in-course assessed but are more usually assessed by acombination of coursework (e.g. 30%) and formal examination (e.g. 70%). Part 2 contributes onethird of the overall assessment and Part 3 the remaining two thirds. In order to be eligible forHonours, students must gain an overall weighted average of 40% and must gain at least 40% inthe Project module.The assessment is carried out within the University’s degree classification scheme, details ofwhich are in the programme handbooks.Admission requirementsEntrants to this programme are normally required to have obtained:UCAS Tariff: 260 points from no more than 4 AL or AS subjects including C in at least two ALscience subjects, plus Mathematics, Double Science and English at Grade B at GCSE level.International Baccalaureat: 30 pointsScottish Highers BBBB (Biology B)Irish Leaving Certificate: BBBBC (Biology B)GNVQ is accepted and mature students are also encouraged to apply.Admissions Tutor: Dr J.A. HawkinsSupport for students and their learningUniversity support for students and their learning falls into two categories. Learning supportincludes IT Services, which has several hundred computers and the University Library, whichacross its three sites holds over a million volumes, subscribes to around 4,000 current periodicals,has a range of electronic sources of information and houses the Student Access to IndependentLearning (S@IL) computer-based teaching and learning facilities. There are language laboratoryfacilities both for those students studying on a language degree and for those taking modulesoffered by the Institution-wide Language Programme. Student guidance and welfare support isprovided by Personal Tutors, the Careers Advisory Service, the University’s Special NeedsAdvisor, Study Advisors, Hall Wardens and the Students’ Union.The providing Departments offer a wide range of laboratory and plant growth facilities, togetherwith a herbarium and specialised library collection. There is a high staff/student ratio in theSchool of Plant Sciences. The Course Adviser can advise on the choice of modules within theprogramme.Career prospectsRecent Botany graduates have followed a diversity of careers in academia, in researchinstitutions, in school teaching, in conservation and in biologically-related commercial sectoractivities.

Opportunities for study abroad or for placementsA number of Botany students have spent parts of their final year studying in Europeanuniversities through the Socrates programme, and it is anticipated that such exchanges willcontinue.Educational aims of the programmeThe programme aims to provide a thorough, degree-level education in Botany, enabling graduatesto capitalise on the range of career opportunities outlined above under Career Prospects.Programme OutcomesThe programme provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge andunderstanding, skills, qualities and other attributes in the following areas:Knowledge and UnderstandingA. Knowledge and understanding of:1. The range of plant diversity in terms ofstructure, function and environmentalrelationships.2. The evaluation of plant diversity.3. Plant classification and the British flora.4. The role of plants in the functioning ofthe global ecosystem.5. A selection of more specialised, optionaltopics.6. Statistics as applied to biological data.Teaching/learning methods and strategiesThese topics are presented in formal lecturescombined with practical classes andfieldwork. Tutorial sessions are incorporatedinto some modules to support the formalteaching, and students are encouraged todiscuss with their lecturers any points wherethey feel their understanding is weak.AssessmentKnowledge is tested through a combinationof coursework, including essays, reports onpractical and fieldwork, and oralpresentations with unseen formalexaminations. The coursework also serves toprovide feedback on student progress.B. Intellectual skills – able to:1. Think logically and organise tasks into astructured form.2. Assimilate knowledge and ideas based onwide reading and through the internet.3. Transfer appropriate knowledge andmethods from one topic within thesubject to another.4. Understand the evolving state ofknowledge in a rapidly developing field.5. Construct and test hypothesis.6. Plan, conduct and write a report on anindependent research project.Teaching/learning methods and strategiesMuch of the coursework is specificallydesigned to stimulate development of theskills outlined under 1-5. The researchproject conducted during Part 3 develops anability for independent research (6) as well asreinforcing many of the other intellectualskills.AssessmentDevelopment of these skills is essential topermit the student to perform well in much ofthe coursework and in the examinationsassociated with this programme. Item 6 isspecifically tested by the dissertation basedon the Part 3 research project.

Skills and other attributesC. Practical skillsStudents learn to carry out practical work, inthe field and in the laboratory, with minimalrisk. They gain introductory experience inapplying each of the following skills and gaingreater proficiency in a selection of themdepending on their choice of optionalmodules.1. Interpreting plant morphology andanatomy.2. Plant identification.3. Vegetation analysis techniques.4. A range of physiochemical analyses ofplant materials in the context of plantphysiology and biochemistry.5. Analyse data using appropriate statisticalmethods and computer packages.D. Transferable skills1. Use of IT (word-processing, use ofinternet, statistical packages anddatabases).2. Communication of scientific ideas inwriting and orally.3. Ability to work as part of a team.4. Ability to use library resources.5. Time management.6. Career planning.Teaching/learning methods and strategiesThese skills are specifically taught duringpractical classes and field courses. In largerclasses demonstrators are available to ensurethat each student received individualinstruction where appropriate. A number ofpractical skills are developed to an advancedlevel during the Part 3 research project.AssessmentThe development of practical skills is directlyassessed through written reports on practicalclasses and field courses, in the dissertationbased on the research project, and in apractical examination during finals.Teaching/learning methods and strategiesUse of IT and library resources is embeddedthroughout the programme and is essential tocomplete much of the coursework. Writtencommunication skills are developed throughessays and further in the preparation of theresearch project dissertation, activities whichalso require the use of library resources. Oralskills are developed though seminars, someof which are organised on a small-team basis.Teamwork and time management are bothessential elements of mini projects duringfield courses, some seminars are presented ona team basis, and time management isessential for the timely and effectivecompletion of the programme. Students areencouraged to discuss their future careerswith their personal tutors, other relevant staffin the contributing Departments, and in theCareers Advisory Service.AssessmentDevelopment of skills under 1, 2 and 4 isessential for a good performance in much ofthe coursework associated with theprogramme. The other skills are not directlyassessed but effective use of skills 3 and 5will contribute towards successfulcompletion of the programme.Please note - This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of theprogramme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected toachieve and demonstrate if he/she takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that areprovided. More detailed information on the learning outcomes, content and teaching, learningand assessment methods of each module can be found in the module description and in theprogramme handbook. The University reserves the right to modify this specification inunforeseen circumstances, or where the process of academic development and feedback fromstudents, quality assurance processes or external sources, such as professional bodies,requires a change to be made. In such circumstances, a revised specification will be issued.

A number of Botany students have spent parts of their final year studying in European universities through the Socrates programme, and it is anticipated that such exchanges will continue. Educational aims of the programme The programme aims to provide a thorough, degree-level education in Botany, enabling graduates to capitalise on the range of career opportunities outlined above under Career .

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