Course Title: Concepts in biology

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2014

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

Nevil Schultz

9925 4421

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:

1.1 The 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
110 FebCell Theory, Characters of Living Things
Cell Types of 6 Kingdoms
Cell Structure
& Types
Lab Safety
VHS/DVD on Cell Structure
Worksheet 1
 217 FebProkaryotes & Eukaryotes
Plant & Animal Cells
Worksheet 2             

Worksheet 1 due

Wed 19 Feb

 324 FebCell Reproduction
Mitosis & meiosis

Internet Research

Assignment launch

Division for Growth Practical

 Worksheet 2 due

Mon 3rd March

 43MarchPhotosynthesis & Respiration and other energy transformations  

Hand in Prac Report for Division for Growth

 Wed 5th March

 510 MarchLower Levels of classification of Living Things Biological Classification Practical            
 617 MarchEcosystems & Relationships in Ecosysytems
Food Chains & Food Webs
  Biological Classification
Prac due
Wed 19 March
 724 MarchAdaptations of Living Things  

Internet research assignment due

Wed 26 March

 831 March31 March
 Wed 2 April 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

Assessment Information

• Extension of time for submission of assessable work- A student may apply for an extension of up to 7 days from the original due date. They must lodge the application form (available on the web ) at least the day before the due date. The application is lodged with the School Admin Office on Level 6, Bdg 51. Students requiring longer extensions must apply for Special Consideration (form available on the Web). For missed assessments such as exams- you (& your doctor if you are sick) must fill out a special consideration form. This form must be lodged at the HUB or online with supporting evidence (eg medical certificate), prior to, or within, 48 hours of the scheduled time of examination.

• Late work that is submitted without an application for an extension will not be corrected

• If you miss an assessment task due to unavoidable circumstances, you need to follow the procedure of special consideration and apply within the allowed time frame.

Assessment tasks

Worksheet 1                                   Due   Wed 19 Feb                 5%

Division for Growth Prac report     Due Wed 5th March               10%

Worksheet 2                                  Due  Mon 3rd March                 5%

Biological Classification prac        Due Wed 19th March              10%

Internet Research Assignment .     Wed 26th  March                    20%

Exam:                                               Wed 2nd April                        50%

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