Course Title: Ecology

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2017

Course Code: EASC5057

Course Title: Ecology

School: 174T School of VE Engineering, Health & Science

Campus: City Campus

Program: C4386 - Certificate IV in Tertiary Preparation

Course Contact: Namrita Kaul

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4309

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Paul Burgio

Nominal Hours: 30

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


Course Description

The purpose of this module is to provide students with the knowledge and skills to be able to recall and apply key ecological principles underpinning issues of concern about any specific type of environment.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VU20954 Ecology


1 Explain the levels of classification used in plant and animal taxonomy

Performance Criteria:

1.1 The major levels of classification used in plant and animal classification are named.

1.2 the scientific requirements needed for two organisms to be placed in the same species are summarised.

1.3 The correct use of classification keys for both plants and animals are demonstrated.


2 Outline the general characteristics of ecosystems

Performance Criteria:

2.1 The major components and terminologies associated with any type of ecosystems are identified.

2.2 The biotic and abiotic features and other major components in specific ecosystem contexts are identified.


3 Interpret food chains and webs

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Specific features of major components of food chains and webs are categorised.

3.2 Energy flow through an ecosystem is described.

3.3 The different types of special symbiotic relationships that can occur within any ecosystems are listed.

3.4 Nutrient recycling through living systems is described.


4 Discuss key issues involved in major current ecological problems caused by humans

Performance Criteria:

4.1 The key issues surrounding an ecological problem caused by human activity is discussed.

4.2 A detailed description of a major ecological problem and its environmental impact is provided using appropriate scientific terminology.

Learning Outcomes

Details of Learning Activities


Classroom worksheets, Practicals, Research, Field Data Gathering, Class Discussion, Guest Speakers



Teaching Schedule


WeekDate starting TopicActivityAssessment

What is an Ecosystem?
Abiotic & Biotic components
Food webs

213/2Ecology of populations and communitiesField trip: urban park ecosystemAssessment task 1
320/2Classification and naming  of organisms
427/2Key issues of Human Disturbance
Implications for ecosystems
Identifying and classifying water bugs.
Building a food web
Assessment task 2
56/3 Revision   
613/3 Test Assessment Task 3
Theory Test


Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

Access course overview

Overview of Assessment

Assessment for this course may include worksheets, reports, assignments and tests

Assessment Tasks


Assessment Task 1: Urban park ecosystem worksheet (25%)
Due date: 22nd Feb


Assessment Task 2: Identifying freshwater invertebrates using a dichotomous key and developing a food-web. (25%)
Due date: 8th March


Assessment Task 3: Written test-1 hour (50%)
Date: in class 15th March

Assessment Matrix

 Assessment criteria will be supplied to students prior to each assessment

Other Information


This course is graded in accordance with competency-based assessment, but which also utilises graded assessment
CHD Competent with High Distinction (80 – 100%)
CDI Competent with Distinction (70 – 79%)
CC Competent with Credit (60 – 69%)
CAG Competency Achieved – Graded (50_59%)
NYC Not Yet Competent
DNS Did Not Submit for assessment

• 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.


Note: This course will contribute to your grade average result in the Certificate IV in Tertiary Preparation (Science) qualification. Please note that you must achieve a CREDIT average across the program to be granted a guaranteed pathway in the following programs.
Diploma of Nursing (subject to passing the VETASSESS) 
Diploma of Laboratory Technology (Biotechnology) 
Diploma of Laboratory Technology (Pathology Testing) 
Diploma of Conservation and Land Management
Diploma of Dental Technology.


Course Overview: Access Course Overview