BB546: Behavioural Biology

Study Board of Science

Teaching language: English
EKA: N100024112, N100024102
Assessment: Second examiner: None, Second examiner: Internal
Grading: Pass/Fail, 7-point grading scale
Offered in: Odense
Offered in: Autumn
Level: Bachelor

STADS ID (UVA): N100024101
ECTS value: 5

Date of Approval: 28-03-2018

Duration: 1 semester

Version: Archive


Students who have previously attended and passed BB809 can not follow this course BB546.
This BA course can exceptionally be chosen by graduate students who have not taken the course on their bachelor's degree.

Entry requirements


Academic preconditions

The curriculum from a bachelor in biology, psychology, engineering or similar must be known.

Course introduction

The aim of this course is to give students heading for a Master’s degree in Biology and an introduction into and a broad overview on Behavioural Biology. Students interested in the field are given the chance to gain insights into major breakthroughs in Behavioural Biology, training in relating to currently debated topics, and an orientation about interesting questions for future projects.

The course gives an academic basis for studying the topics in behavioural biology and neuroscience.

In relation to the competence profile of the degree it is the explicit focus of the course to:

  • Give the competence to read original research literature covering behavioural biology
  • Give skills to make unbiased observations and quantification of animal behaviour.
  • Give knowledge and understanding of basic terminology and state of the art methodologies in behavioural biology.

Expected learning outcome

The learning objectives of the course are that the student demonstrates the ability to:
  • structure the presented overview on behavioural biology 
  • argue on the basis of the acquired knowledge about behavioural biology 
  • relate examples presented to basic concepts of behavioural biology 
  • analyze a new problem presented in a journal article on a behavioural biological subject 
  • classify exemplary methods according to the approaches presented in a behavioural biological study
  • use systematic methods to quantify animal behaviour


The course covers a wide variety of topics in Behavioural Biology.
The lecture topics are:
  • History of Behavioural Biology and modern approaches 
  • Sensory systems and cognitive mechanisms
  • Learning and animal culture
  • Orientation and habitat selection
  • Foraging and antipredator behaviour
  • Communication and aggression
  • Mating systems and kinship
  • Social behaviour and human behaviour
  • The students are presented with the practical use of behavioural biology through field assignments and an excursion that will give insights into ongoing scientific projects in a zoo.


See Blackboard for syllabus lists and additional literature references.

Examination regulations

Prerequisites for participating in the exam a)




Active participation




Second examiner: None




Full name and SDU username


Normally, the same as teaching language

Examination aids

To be announced during the course 

ECTS value


Additional information

Active participation in field trip.
The prerequisite examination is a prerequisite for participation in exam element a).

Exam element a)




Type Prerequisite name Prerequisite course
Examination part Prerequisites for participating in the exam a) N100024101, BB546: Behavioural Biology






Second examiner: Internal


7-point grading scale


Full name and SDU username


Normally, the same as teaching language

Examination aids

To be announced during the course 

ECTS value


Additional information

Portfolio with:

  • written assignment on animal behaviour
  • oral presentation of seminar

In the literature seminars each student must choose a recent journal article on a Behavioural Biology topic. She/he is asked to prepare a short presentation and discussion of the work, which is presented and discussed in plenum. Two students are pre-assigned to be discussion opponents and have to prepare critical questions to the presenters. 

Overall assessment.

Reexam in the same exam period or immediately thereafter. The mode of exam at the re-examination may differ from the mode of exam at the ordinary exam.

Indicative number of lessons

45 hours per semester

Teaching Method

At the faculty of science, teaching is organized after the three-phase model ie. intro, training and study phase.

Activities during the study phase:
  • Reading scientific article
  • Critical reflection / commentary
  • Preparation for plenum presentation

Teacher responsible

Name E-mail Department
Coen Elemans


Administrative Unit

Biologisk Institut

Team at Educational Law & Registration


Offered in


Recommended course of study

Profile Education Semester Offer period