Course Title: Plant Diversity

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Plant Diversity

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


135H Applied Sciences


Sem 2 2006,
Sem 2 2007,
Sem 2 2008,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 2 2016


City Campus


171H School of Science


Sem 2 2017,
Sem 2 2018,
Sem 2 2019,
Sem 2 2021


Open Learning Australia

Non Award

171H School of Science

Distance / Correspondence


Course Coordinator: Dr Tien Huynh

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7124

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 223.1.68

Course Coordinator Availability: Email for appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Assumed knowledge and capabilities from ONPS2334 Scientific Skills & Communication; BIOL2146 Cell Structure & Function; and BIOL2156 Plant Structure & Function.

Course Description

This course introduces you to the classification and identification of algae and (lower and higher) plants. The aim of the course is to provide depth of knowledge in plant identification for future employment in agricultural, horticultural and environmental areas. You will finish able to identify plants using appropriate techniques.

You study the various non-flowering plants (algae, mosses, liverworts, ferns, conifers) and the flowering plants (monocotyledons and dicotyledons). Structure and function are related to ecology and evolution. You learn about life cycles, structure, function and reasons for importance of these very different plants. You also learn how to identify the organisms using the various keys and pictorial guides available.

Whilst the topics will be arranged to suit seasonal availability of practical material, the course will cover the importance, terminology and structure, classification, reproduction and ecology of the groups in lectures, practicals or field trips, as follows: algae, bryophytes, pteridophytes, gymnosperms, angiosperms (monocotyledons, dicotyledons). Learning material will focus on structure, reproduction and identification of major plant groups.


Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes at Level 7 in BP229BISC Bachelor of Science (Biological Science)

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.

2. Scientific knowledge

2.1 You will exhibit depth and breadth of biological knowledge by demonstrating well-developed understanding of biological sciences.

3. Inquiry and problem solving

3.1. You will be able to critically analyse and solve problems in biological sciences by gathering, synthesizing and critically evaluating information from a range of sources.

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

5 Personal and professional responsibility

5.1 You will be accountable for individual learning and scientific work in biological science 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.

Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs)

At the end of this course, you should be able to:

  1. Define characteristics, importance and applications of plants in agriculture, horticulture and environmental ecology
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of taxonomy and classification to identify unknown plants to genus or species level
  3. Recognise and identify relevant structures for vegetative growth and reproduction for the purposes of classification, identification and industrial applications

Overview of Learning Activities

 The learning activities included in this course are:

  • Recorded lectures where syllabus material will be presented and explained, and the subject will be illustrated with demonstrations and examples;
  • participation at tutorials, practicals or field trips designed to give further practice in the application of theory and procedures, and to give you feedback on your progress and understanding;
  • completion of written assignments by individuals or teams consisting of numerical and other problems requiring an integrated understanding of the subject matter; and
  • private study, working through the course as presented in learning materials, and gaining practice at solving conceptual and numerical problems.

Overview of Learning Resources

You will be provided with lists of relevant texts, library resources (including appropriate journals) and freely accessible Internet sites. All course content, notes and learning materials will be available through Canvas. Other material will be provided in class.

The prescribed text for this course is:

Judd WS, Campbell CS, Kellogg EA, Stevens PF and Donoghue (2016). Plant Systematics – A Phylogenetic Approach (current edition). Sinauer Associates Inc. Publishers, USA. ISBN: 987-1-60535-389-0

Overview of Assessment

NOTE: This course has no hurdle requirements

Assessment task

Assessment item 1: Practical tests
Weighting 40%
This assessment task supports CLO 1, 2, 3

Assessment item 2: Field trip reports
Weighting 15%
This assessment task supports CLO 1, 2, 3

Assessment item 3: Practical reports
Weighting 45%
This assessment task supports CLO 1, 2, 3