Course Title: Plant Diversity

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Plant Diversity

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


135H Applied Sciences


Sem 2 2006,
Sem 2 2007,
Sem 2 2008,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 2 2016

Course Coordinator: Dr Tien Huynh

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7124

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 223.1.68

Course Coordinator Availability: Email for appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Assumed knowledge and capabilities from ONPS2334 Scientific Skills & Communication; BIOL2146 Cell Structure & Function; and BIOL2156 Plant Structure & Function.

Course Description

This course has a vocational focus. It introduces the you to the classification and identification of algae and (lower and higher) plants. The aim of the course is to provide depth of knowledge in plant identification for future employment in agricultural, horticultural and environmental areas. You will finish able to examine algal and plant structure and identify algae and plants using appropriate techniques, eg light microscopy, dissection, keys. 

You study the various non-flowering plants (algae, mosses, liverworts, ferns, conifers) and the flowering plants (monocotyledons and dicotyledons). Structure and function are related to ecology and evolution. You learn about life cycles, structure, function and reasons for importance of these very different plants. You also learn how to identify the organisms using the various keys and pictorial guides available.

Whilst the topics will be arranged to suit seasonal availability of practical material, the course will cover the importance, terminology and structure, classification, reproduction and ecology of the groups in lectures and in practicals, as follows: algae, bryophytes, pteridophytes, gymnosperms, flowering plants (monocotyledons, dicotyledons). Practicals will focus on structure, reproduction and identification of major groups using keys.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes at Level 7 in BP229BISC bachelor of Science (Biological Science)

1. Understanding science

 1.1 You will demonstrate a coherent understanding of biological sciences by articulating the methods of science and explaining why current biological knowledge is both contestable and testable through further inquiry.

2. Scientific knowledge

2.1 You will exhibit depth and breadth of biological knowledge by demonstrating well-developed understanding of biological sciences.

3. Inquiry and problem solving

3.1. You will be able to critically analyse and solve problems in biological sciences by gathering, synthesizing and critically evaluating information from a range of sources.

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

5 Personal and professional responsibility

5.1 You will be accountable for individual learning and scientific work in biological science 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.


At the end of this course, you should be able to:

  1.  Define characteristics, importance and applications of plants in agriculture, horticulture and environmental ecology
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of taxonomy and classification to identify unknown plants to genus or species level
  3. Recognise and identify relevant structures for vegetative growth and reproduction for the purposes of classification, identification and industrial applications

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 you feedback on your progress and understanding;
• completion of written assignments by individuals and teams consisting of numerical 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 numerical problems.

 Total Study Hours

You will undertake four hours per week to attend scheduled lectures and practicals. In addition, you are expected to spend a minimum of four hours per week in independent study.

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. The prescribed text for this course is:

Raven, P.H., Evert, R.F., and Eichorn, S.E. (current edition) Biology of Plants, Worth. Inc.

Judd WS, Campbell CS, Kellogg EA, Stevens PF and Donoghue (2016). Plant Systematics – A Phylogenetic Approach (current edition). Sinauer Associates Inc. Publishers, USA. ISBN: 987-1-60535-389-0


Overview of Assessment

The assessment of this course comprises a theory examination (50%), online theory tests (10%), practical test (15%) and practical reports (25%). Each assessment supports the following CLO’s:

  1. Theory examination = CLO #1 and 3
  2. Online theory tests = CLO #1 and 3
  3. Practical test = CLO #1, 2 and 3
  4. Practical reports=CLO #1, 2 and 3

 Note that this course has no hurdle requirements.