UCL Module Catalogue


Biodiversity and Macroevolutionary Patterns A (GEOL0021)

Key information

Faculty of Mathematical and Physical Sciences
Teaching department
Earth Sciences
Credit value

Alternative credit options

There are no alternative credit options available for this module.


A problem-oriented teaching approach will allow students to ask questions about the evolutionary history of a group of their choosing, and then attempt to answer such questions using the methods discussed in the course.

The aims are to provide students with:

• A working knowledge of how phylogenetic trees are constructed, and the strenghts and weaknesses of analytical methods;

• An understanding of the role of phylogenetic trees in palaeontological research (e.g. biodiversity, divergence date estimates, biogeography etc.);

• A practical insight into the different methodologies used for reconstructing macroevolutionary patterns throughout time

• A clear appreciation of the history of life during the Phanerozoic, especially with regard to large-scale macroevolutionary patterns such as mass extinction events and the impact of geological/climatic change on organismal distributions.


Module deliveries for 2020/21 academic year

Intended teaching term: Term 1     Undergraduate (FHEQ Level 6)

Teaching and assessment

Mode of study
Methods of assessment
80% Group coursework (13,000 words across three pieces of written work)
20% Presentation (10 minutes followed by questions)
Mark scheme
Numeric Marks

The methods of assessment for affiliate students may be different to those indicated above. Please contact the department for more information.

Other information

Number of students on module in previous year
Module leader
Dr Sebastian Groh
Who to contact for more information

Last updated

This module description was last updated on 5th March 2020.