Course Title: Animal Structure and Function

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Animal Structure and Function

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


135H Applied Sciences


Sem 2 2014,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 2 2016


City Campus


171H School of Science


Sem 2 2017,
Sem 2 2018,
Sem 2 2019,
Sem 2 2020,
Sem 2 2021,
Sem 2 2022

Course Coordinator: Nathan Bott

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7143

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Bundoora campus 223.1.48

Course Coordinator Availability: by appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Required Prior Study

You should have satisfactorily completed following course/s before you commence this course.

Alternatively, you may be able to demonstrate the required skills and knowledge before you start this course.

Contact your course coordinator if you think you may be eligible for recognition of prior learning.

Assumed Knowledge

tudents will find that knowledge of biology and chemistry at the VCE level will be an advantage.

Course Description

This course is an introduction to animal (mainly mammalian) structure and function. It provides an overview of the major systems of the vertebrate groups with an emphasis on mammals, especially humans.

Topics covered will include:

  • Cells, tissues and organs in vertebrates
  • Physiology of muscles, nerves, digestion, respiration, excretion, circulation, reproduction and hormones of mammals with reference to other animal systems
  • A brief overview of aspects of the comparative anatomy of vertebrates
  • Histological preparation of tissues for microscopic examination

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs)

1 Understanding science

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

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.


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

  1. Illustrate and understand histological sections for microscopic examination
  2. Explain the structure and function of the major organs systems in mammals
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of the terminology used to describe animal structure in widely divergent animal groups
  4. Dissect, examine and illustrate organs in a wide variety of animal organisms
  5. Identify organs and determine function of organs in a wide variety of animal organisms
  6. Develop an understanding of comparative anatomy of vertebrates

Overview of Learning Activities


You will be actively engaged in a range of learning activities such as lectorials, tutorials, practicals, laboratories, seminars, project work, class discussion, individual and group activities. Delivery may be face to face, online or a mix of both. 

You are encouraged to be proactive and self-directed in your learning, asking questions of your lecturer and/or peers and seeking out information as required, especially from the numerous sources available through the RMIT library, and through links and material specific to this course that is available through myRMIT Studies Course

Overview of Learning Resources


RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through myRMIT Studies Course

There are services available to support your learning through the University Library. The Library provides guides on academic referencing and subject specialist help as well as a range of study support services. For further information, please visit the Library page on the RMIT University website and the myRMIT student portal.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment Tasks

Assessment 1: Practical assessments
Weighting 50%
This assessment supports 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6

Assessment 2: Online quizzes
Weighting 10%
This assessment supports 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6

Assessment 3: Theory Assessment
Weighting 40%
This assessment supports 2, 3, 5 and 6

If you have a long-term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or Equitable Learning Services if you would like to find out more.