Course Title: Animal Structure and Function

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Animal Structure and Function

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


135H Applied Sciences


Sem 2 2014,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 2 2016

Course Coordinator: Nathan Bott

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7143

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Bundoora campus 223.1.48

Course Coordinator Availability: by appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

This is an introductory enabling course requiring no formal prerequisites, but students will find that knowledge of biology and chemistry at VCE level will be an advantage, as will knowledge and understanding of cells and their functions, as shown by completion of BIOL2146 Cell Structure and Function, an equivalent course or provide evidence of equivalent capabilities.

Course Description

This course is an introduction to animal (mainly mammalian) structure and function. It provides an overview of the structure,  function and reproduction of the major vertebrate groups, with emphasis on mammals, especially humans.

Topics covered will include:
Cells, tissues and organs in vertebrates.
Physiology of muscles, nerves, digestion, respiration, excretion, circulation, reproduction and endocrines of mammals with reference to other animal systems.
A brief overview of aspects of the comparative anatomy of vertebrates
Methods for histological preparation of tissues for microscopic examination

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs)

1 Understanding science

3.4 You will be able to critically analyse and solve problems in science by collecting accurately recording, interpreting and drawing conclusions from science data.

5.1 You will be accountable for individual learning and scientific work by being an independent and self-directed learner.

5.2 You will be accountable for individual learning and scientific work by working effectively, responsibly, ethically, and safely in an individual or team context.


On successful completion of this course you should be able to:

  1. Illustrate and understand histological methods to prepare tissue sections for microscopic examination
  2. Explain the structure and function of the major organ systems in mammals (nerve, kidney, circulation functions, etc)
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of the terminology used to describe animal structure in widely divergent animal groups.
  4. Dissect, examine and illustrate organs in a wide variety of animal organisms.
  5. Identify organs and determine function of organs in a wide variety of animal organisms.
  6. Develop an understanding of comparative anatomy of vertebrates


Overview of Learning Activities

The learning activities included in this course are: 
attendance at lectures where syllabus material will be presented and explained, and the subject will be illustrated with demonstrations and examples; 
completion of tutorial questions and laboratory projects designed to give further practice in the application of theory and procedures, and to give feedback on student progress and understanding; 
completion of written assignments consisting of conceptual and other problems requiring an integrated understanding of the subject matter; and 
private study, working through the course as presented in classes and learning materials, and gaining practice at solving conceptual and simulated problems.

completion of laboratory simulations and submission of written reports based on the excercise.

Total Study Hours

36 hours Teacher directed,

30 hours learner directed)


Overview of Learning Resources

You will be provided with lists of relevant texts, library resources (Including appropriate journals) and freely accessible Internet sites. Other material will be provided in class.

You will be able to access course information and learning material through the Learning Hub (also known as online@RMIT).



Overview of Assessment

Note that:

☒This course has no hurdle requirements.

☐ All hurdle requirements for this course are indicated clearly in the assessment regime that follows, against the relevant assessment task(s) and all have been approved by the College Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning & Teaching).

The assessment for this course are:

 Practicals 24%

This assessment supports CLOs 1,2,3,4,5, and 6


  1. PhysioEx Computer Simulations 16%

This assessment supports CLOs 2, 3


  1. Online lecture test quizzes 20%

This assessment supports CLOs 2,3,5,6


  1. Final exam 40%

This assessment supports CLOs 2,3,5,6