Course Title: Biology

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Biology

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


135H Applied Sciences


Sem 2 2006,
Sem 2 2007,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 2 2014,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 2 2016

Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Trevor Stevenson

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7138

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Bundoora Campus, 223.01.71

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment only

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

There are no prerequisites for this course, but you will find that knowledge of biology and chemistry at VCE level will be an advantage.

Course Description

This biology course introduces you to current theories and practices in various areas of cell structure and function, microbiology, immunology, animal diversity, anatomy and physiology and the anatomy, reproduction, and economic importance of flowering plants. It is applicable to students from a wide range of disciplines requiring an understanding of these major areas of biology and to develop a holistic approach in their later studies in non-biological sciences.
You will be guided through the course by structured lectures preceding relevant practical classes in the laboratory to achieve competency in technical skills. You have the roles of active learners and have the responsibility of attending and actively participating in all planned student learning experiences, i.e. lectures and practical classes, reading all relevant references pointed out during planned student learning experiences and undertaking such other private study as will benefit their learning towards the objectives of the subject.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes as an Option course to the BH101 Bachelor of Science,   BP305 Bachelor of Science (Applied Science)/Bachelor of Business (Management), and BP229 Bachelor of Science (Applied Chemistry) in the following Program Learning Outcomes

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.

4 Communication

4.1. You will be an effective communicator of biological sciences by effectively communicating scientific results, information, or arguments using a range of modes (oral, written, visual) for a variety of purposes and audiences.

 5 Personal and professional responsibility

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.

5.3. You will be accountable for individual learning and scientific work by demonstrating knowledge of the regulatory frameworks and ethical principles relevant to the biological sciences.



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

1. Plan, conduct and interpret data generated in introductory experiments in biology that will then in turn enable you to understand basic language of and structure function relationships in biology and metabolism.

2. Explain and communicate current understanding of biological process and biological organisms

3. Report, defend and disseminate experimental findings according to conventions appropriate to scientific and non-scientific audiences.

4. Articulate and adhere to safe working practice in a biology laboratory.


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, examples and discussion;
• completion of laboratory exercises designed to give further practice in the application of theory and procedures, and to give feedback on student progress and understanding;
• completion of online tests consisting of multiple choice questions 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

A total of 120 hours of study is expected during this course, comprising:

Teacher-guided hours (54 hours):

2 hours of lectures per week for 12 weeks of semester = 24 hours of lectures

3 hours per week for prac, normally for about 10 weeks of semester = 30 hours

Student-directed hours (66 hours): You are expected to be self-directed, studying independently outside class.


Overview of Learning Resources

You will be provided with lists of relevant texts, library resources and freely accessible Internet sites. Other material will be provided in class.
You will be able to access course information and learning material through subject site on My RMIT.

Overview of Assessment

Note that: This course has no hurdle requirements.

 The assessment will be a combination of formal examination, tests and practical report assignments to assess your knowledge and your ability to solve higher-level problems in biology.


Assessment task 1: Online tests (30%)

Online tests (4-6) during semester will enable you to demonstrate your understanding of the material; as well these will give you early feedback on your progress.

This assessment task supports CLOs 1 & 2.

Assessment task 2: Practical reports (20%)

Reports and problems as part of the practical component of the course.

This assessment task supports CLOs 2, 3 & 4.

Assessment task 3: End-of-semester exam (50%)

An end-of-semester exam will enable you to further demonstrate your understanding of the material and your ability to apply it to solving university-level terminology and structures in biology.

This assessment task supports CLOs 1 & 2.