Course Title: Concepts in biology

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2013

Course Code: BIOL5217

Course Title: Concepts in biology

School: 155T Vocational Health and Sciences

Campus: City Campus

Program: C3305 - Certificate III in Science

Course Contact: Namrita Kaul

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4309

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Nominal Hours: 50

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites

There are no pre-requisites for studying in this course

Course Description

This course covers the skills and knowledge required to investigate the major concepts in biology and their basic application.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VU20929 Concepts in biology


1 Explain the Basic Building blocks for Life

Performance Criteria:


1.1The characteristics of living and non-living things are compared
1.2 The structures within different types of cells are identified and their function described
1.3 The differences between plant and animal cells are explained
1.4 The process of cell reproduction is explained
1.5 The sources of energy and the processes cells use to obtain and use energy are explained


2 Explain the Classification of Living Things

Performance Criteria:


2.1 The characteristics of organisms within kingdom classifications are compared
2.2 The lower levels of classification are explained
2.3 Keys are used to classify living things


3 Describe the Interaction of Living Things

Performance Criteria:


3.1 Features of ecosystems are described

3.2 The flow of energy through ecosystems is described
3.3 The relationships between members of ecosystems are described
3.4 The adaptations of living things to their surroundings is described                        


Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course students will be able to:
• explain the structure and function of cells
• explain sources and use of energy
• explain the classification of living things
• explain functions of ecosystems

Details of Learning Activities

Learning activities will comprise;

  • Group work
  • Completion of worksheets
  • Practical Work
  • Internet Research Assignment
  • Demonstrations

Teaching Schedule

Study Outline for Concepts in Biology
Week No.Date (week starts)Topic

Theory/Class Activity



Assessment & Due Date
18 JulyCell Theory, Characters of Living Things
Cell Types of 6 Kingdoms
Cell Structure
& Types
Lab Safety
VHS/DVD on Cell Structure
Worksheet 1
 215 JulyProkaryotes & Eukaryotes
Plant & Animal Cells
Worksheet 2             

Worksheet 1 due

Wed 17 July

 322 JulyCell Reproduction
Mitosis & meiosis

Internet Research

Assignment launch

Division for Growth Practical

 Worksheet 2 due

Wed 24th July

 429 JulyPhotosynthesis & Respiration and other energy transformations  

Hand in Prac Report for Division for Growth

 Wed 31 July

 55 AugustLower Levels of classification of Living Things Biological Classification Practical            
 612 AugustEcosystems & Relationships in Ecosysytems
Food Chains & Food Webs
  Biological Classification
Prac due
Wed 14 Aug
 719 AugustAdaptations of Living Things  

Internet research

assignment due

Wed 21 Aug

 826 August26 Aug
 28 Aug Exam 

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

There are no prescribed texts considering the length of the course, but it is of great benefit to have available for home study throughout the course (New, Library-Sourced or Second-hand): a copy of: Kinnear, J. et al., (2006) Nature of Biology - Book One, Jacaranda. 2nd, 3rd or 4th Edition Evans, B. et al (2006) Biology One, Heinemann, 3rd or 4th edition  


A biology dictionary from a reputable publisher, often available in paperback form

CD Rom material available at the Carlton Library

Other Resources

Overview of Assessment

Assessment for this course may include Worksheets, Practical reports, Assignments and Tests

Assessment Tasks

Worksheet 1 Due Wed 17 July

Division for Growth Prac report     Due Wed 31 July

Worksheet 2  Due  24 Aug

Biological Classification prac due Wed 14 Aug

Internet Research Assignment .  Wed 21 August

Exam: 28 Aug

Assessment Matrix

Outcome/ElementWorksheet sPracticalsExamInternet Research Task
 3  XX

Other Information

         Allocation of Nominal 50 Hours:


1            32 Hours Face to Face Classroom Instruction

2            6 Hours Library Research

3            8 Hours Internet Assignment work out of Class

4            4 hours of Practical Write-up time out of class   

Course Overview: Access Course Overview