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In this subject you will conduct group-based, hands-on, original research into animal behaviour. Over the semester you will be immersed in the entire process of scientific research - from hypothesis development and experimental design, through to data collection and statistical analysis. You will report your findings in spoken and written formats, and critically review the work of other students. Study animals range from insects and spiders, to fish, birds and mammals – in the lab, zoo or wild. You will emerge with an authentic experience of scientific research – complete with its challenges, frustrations and the thrill of scientific discovery.
Intended learning outcomes
To provide students with an opportunity to engage in an authentic experience of the entire process of scientific research: from translating a general question in animal behaviour to a specific hypothesis about the relationship between measurable variables; developing an experimental or sampling design; collecting and analysing data; preparing an oral presentation and a draft written report; formally reviewing reports prepared by other students and revising their reports in line with the reviews provided by their colleagues; and finally submitting an individual report for assessment.
The subject builds upon existing generic skills, including an ability to assimilate and critically evaluate new knowledge within a scientific paradigm, and to communicate that knowledge to others. Students should also develop skills in managing a group research project, and in analysing, interpreting and evaluating scientific data critically. They should also gain experience in writing a scientific report, providing and responding to peer reviews, and making an oral presentation
Last updated: 9 September 2021