Konferenz Biologischer Fachbereiche

Subject Specific Criteria Biology

Organization and Structural Elements for Bachelor Programs in Biology

The Subject Specific Criteria Biology can only roughly give an overview about essential and desireable topics at levels that are appropriate for the bachelor level. Variations in realizing particular programs are attributed to particular expected learning outcomes.

Basic Competences

Common Topics in the Natural Sciences comprise the understanding and ability to apply the basic principles and methodologies in general, inorganic and organic chemistry, in physics, mathematics and statistics. These are all considered essential for the understanding of biological systems and should be acquired at a deepness according to the bachelor level. The detailed formulation of study programs will strongly depend on the intended learning outcomes

Subject Specific Contents

  • Genetics, evolution and systematics, physiology and biogeography of microorganisms including viruses, fungi, plants and animals and human
  •  Basic understanding how pro- and eukaryotic cells work with regard to cellular biology, biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology; including subcellular and molecular levels.
  • Structure, function, development and behavior of mono- and multicellular and societal organisms
  • Basics in neurobiology
  • Ecology, ecosystem analysis
  •  Aspects of applied biology
  • General principles of thinking and working approaches in both the natural sciences in general and the bioscientific field including the critical discussion of scientific results and their impact on society
  • Legal framework and additional regulations for working in the biosciences; bioethical aspects

Transferable Skills

  • Scientific thinking and working, critical analysis, synthesis and interpretation, documentation of acquired data
  • Good Scientific Practice, scientific writing, presentation of data including the generation of figures, critical discussion of results obtained, intellectual property rights
  • Good Laboratory Practice, Due diligence, occupational safety requirements and further organizational obligations
  • Personal competence (self, social), communication skills

Recommended Contents for Biology Bachelor Programs

The subsequent catalogue list elementary contents in Biology which should be reflected in the study programs. Neither the chapters as summarized here nor the relative proportion of the parts to each other may be derived from this list; both the structure of study programs and the formulation of particular modules may thus vary. Again, the level of communicating these topics will correlate with the educational level of a bachelor degree. Nevertheless, in case that a study program defies markedly from the recommendations given here this should be indicated to ascertain the required transparency.

1. Core Section Biology

Depending on the type of study program, this section may represent the major, an equal or a minor proportion of the whole program. Depending on varying goals o particular programs, the professors arrange how to include most if not all of the subsequent topics.

1a. Common Biology, Evolution, Genetics

  • History of Biology
  • Basics of inheritance, regulation of developmental processes, genetic control of environmental adaption
  • Adaptive mechanisms in evolution: genetic drift, selection and proof of, “strategies” that are stable during evolution, frequency dependent evolution
  • Synthetic theory of evolution
  • Performing of genetical experiments including genetic modification of organisms
  •  Acquisition of data in molecular biology, phylogenetics
  • Basics in bioinformatics, gnome annotation, genomics, RNomics, proteomics, metabolomics, high throughput sequencing
  • Classical genetics (Mendel rules, breeding)
  • Molecular genetics (mutagenesis, transformation, genetic model systems)
  • Developmental genetics and population genetics
  • Principles of species and their generation including critical discussion on current and previous concepts
  • Critical discussion of non-evolution-based ideas

1b. Biochemistry, Biophysics, Physiology

  • Structure and function of biomolecules (proteins, nucleic acids, carbohydrates, lipids, co-factors)
  • Fundamentals in biochemistry and biochemical pathways (glycolysis, gluco-neogenesis, citrate cycle, fatty acid oxidation and synthesis, nitrogen homeostasis, urea cycle, amino acid metabolism, biological membranes, electron transport systems, respiratory chain, ATP synthesis, photosynthesis, animal and plant hormones
  • Principles of transport and transfer of information
  • Metabolism of nucleotides and nucleic acids
  • Structure and inheritance of genetic information
  • Regulation of transcription and posttranscriptional modification
  • Regulation of protein synthesis, folding, assembly, transport and degradation
  • Protein interactions and protein cascades
  • Macroscopic physiology of organisms (transport mechanisms, gas exchange)
  • Hormones and endocrinology

1c Cellular and Developmental Biology

  • Cellular and intracellular organization of cells as basic units of life
  • Structure and biogenesis of biological membranes, compartments and organelles
  • Functional elements in cells; comparing prokaryotic, eukaryotic, animal fungal and plant cells
  • Intermediary filament network and cytoskeleton
  • Developmental Biology of selected model organisms
  • Selected examples of molecular regulation of differentiation and determination
  • Establishment of axonal systems
  • Histology and Cytology
  • Selected examples of morphology and organogenesis
  • Correlations of ontogenesis and evolution
  • Stem cells and cellular differentiation

1d Zoology

  • Phylogeny, Structure and Function of relevant animal groups
  • Taxonomy (methods/theories), brief characteristics of animal tribes
  • Knowledge of species and determination of both in the field and the laboratory
  • Structure of animal organs and tissues, reproduction, ontogenesis, skeletal systems, integument, respiration, circulation, digestion and secretion, sensory organs, communication systems
  • Neurobiology (neuronal systems, origin, evolution and diversity of neuronal systems, neuronal regulation of behavior)
  • Sensoric and motoric principles
  • Basics in zoogeography and the evolution of animals
  • Basics behavioral biology of animals (animal behavior at proximate and ultimate levels, ontogeny of behavior and mechanisms of learning, modes of communication, social behavior)
  • Basics in immunology and infection biology

1e Botanics

  • Phylogeny, taxonomy and systematics of fungi and plants
  • Morphology of plant organisms
  • Structure of plant organs, tissues and cells
  • Structure and functional principles of selected plants and fungi including developmental circuits
  • Physiology of plants (photo synthesis, molecular mechanisms of environmental adaption)
  • Knowledge of the most relevant indigenous and non-European plant families
  • Acquisition of practical skills to determine plant species and establish preparations of plant objects
  • Basics of photogeography and evolution of plants

1f Microbiology

  • Phylogeny, taxonomy and systematics of pro- and eukaryotic microorganisms
  • Cell Biology, physiology, regulation and signal transduction mechanisms in pro- and eukaryotic microorganisms
  • Microbial energy metabolism
  • Basics in molecular genetics of microorganisms
  • Relevance of microorganisms in global metabolic circles, microbioms
  • Application of microorganisms in environmental microbiology and biotechnology
  • Understanding of important pathogenicity mechanisms of microorganisms
  • Knowledge and safe use of biological agents including risk assessment and attribution of safety levels

1g Ecology

  • Analysis and energy balance of the biosphere, biogeochemical circles
  • Basic knowledge of the interaction of organisms including the interactions of organisms with both abiotic and biotic environment (dependence on ecological niches, adaption, symbiosis, commensalism, parasitism)
  • Ecophysiology and environmental adaption at metabolic level
  • Bioindication
  • Understanding ecological correlations and models of current environmental issues
  • Fundamental concepts: ecological niche, population growth, competition, predator-bait-dynamics
  • Basics of structure and function of ecosystems
  • Applied ecology (biodiversity research, anthropogenic consequences, economic aspects)

2. Fundamentals in the Natural Sciences

For a deeper understanding of biology it is essential to acquire basic competences in natural sciences and mathematics.

2a General and Inorganic Chemistry

  • Physicochemical basics: Atoms, molecules, ions, salts, molar entities, stoichiometry, periodicity, chemical binding, energy balance, chemical reaction, chemical equilibrium, precipitation reactions, acids and bases, redox reactions, electrochemical potential and reactions, typical compounds of major group elements, minor group elements, complexes, metals in living organisms
  • Qualitative and quantitative analysis (titration, instrument based analysis), standard reactions (test tube reactions)

2b Organic Chemistry

  • Basic knowledge of organic chemistry, organic compounds (e.g. carbohydrates, functional groups, carbonyl compounds, polysaccharides, amino acids, peptides, heterocycles, nucleic acids), reaction mechanisms (e.g. radical, nucleophile, electrophile substitution, polarized binding, elimination, reactions of carbonyl groups, reactions at CC double and triple bindings, oxidation and reduction)
  • Understanding the correlation of molecular and macroscopic structure , binding forces, substance specific properties and reactivity, reaction types, groups of organic compounds and their technical synthesis, natural compounds and their relevance

2c Physics and Physical Chemistry

  • Electricity and electromagnetism, oscillations and waves, optics
  • Calculating with physical terms and dimensions
  • Kinetics (phenomenological, experimental approaches, chemical reactions), electrochemistry (electrolytes, electrodes and electrochemical processes, ion-equilibria)
  • Atomic and nuclear physics, radioactivity and ionizing radiation

2d Mathematics, Statistics and Informatics

  • Functional correlations, differentiation and integration of functions with one or more variables, curve discussion, power series, common differential equations, linear equation systems, basics in statistics, mean value and distribution, regression, classification and testing biological models, biological explorative statistics, parametric and non-parametric tests, dimensions and correlation of quantities in Biology, mathematical description of dynamic processes

3. Transferable Skills

  • Regulatory framework for activities in the bioscientific field (GMO-regulations, ionizing radiation, animal protection, Natural and environmental protection, biological substances, working materials)
  • Common Codex of Good Scientific Practice including due diligence and occupational safety requirements and further organizational obligations (risk assessment, (bio)safety considerations and the implementation of safety procedures for activities in the laboratory, safety instructions, safety aspects of instruments and equipment)
  • Expertise according to regulatory standards (Biosubstances Act etc.)
  • Personal competence (self, social, communicative, intercultural), skill s in project management, independence, ability to learn
  • Writing scientific articles with respect to critical discussion of own and other´s data and proper citation

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