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

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

This is an introductory course requiring no formal prerequisites, but students will find that knowledge of biology and chemistry at the VCE level will be an advantage. You will also benefit by having knowledge and understanding of cells and their functions, as shown by completion of BIOL2146 Cell Structure and Function, an equivalent course or provide evidence of equivalent capabilities.

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

Overview of learning activities for on-campus students:

The learning activities included in this course are:

  • Attendance at lectures where syllabus material will be presented and explained with demonstrations and examples
  • Completion of laboratory practicals designed to give further practice in the application of theory and procedures

Total Study Hours

36 hours Teacher directed,

84 hours learner directed


Overview of learning activities for Open University Australia (OUA) students:


In this course you will be encouraged to be an active learner. Access to course learning materials will be via Canvas, including written materials, lecture recordings, live webinars, podcasts and other relevant resources.

Your learning will be supported through various in-class and online activities, which may include individual and/or group work. These may include quizzes; assignments; prescribed readings; sourcing, researching and analysing specific information; solving problems; conducting presentations; demonstrating your work; producing written reports on set tasks or projects.

Overview of Learning Resources

Overview of learning resources for on-campus students:

Learning material required for this course (including textbook, practical manual, practical answer booklet, tips for scientific drawing and dissection videos) are available through the Canvas site.


Overview of learning resources for Open University Australia (OUA) students:


You will be able to access course information and learning materials through myRMIT. Lists of relevant reference texts, resources in the library and freely accessible Internet sites will be provided.

The course is supported by the Canvas learning management system which provides specific learning resources.

Overview of Assessment

Note that:

Please note that this course has no hurdle requirements.


The assessments for this course are:

Assessment 1: Pre-prac quizzes (completed at the start of the practical class)

Weighting 5% (1.25% each for 4 quizzes)

This assessment supports CLOs 2 and 3


Assessment 2: Lab Reports (paper submission, handed in at the end of the practical class)

Weighting 25% (5% each for 5 reports)

This assessment supports 1, 2, 3, 4,5 and 6


Assessment 3: Online Tests (30% total)

 - Lecture test, weighting 20% (10% each for 2 tests)

 - Practical Test (online test in the practical laboratories), weighting 10%

 This assessment supports 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6


Assessment 4: Theory Exam

Weighting 40%

This assessment supports 2, 3, 5 and 6