Course Title: Ecology

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2015

Course Code: EASC5057

Course Title: Ecology

School: 155T Vocational Health and Sciences

Campus: City Campus

Program: C4327 - 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 Bailey

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 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 into 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 ecosystem 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 and 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


Week NoWeek BeginningTopic ActivityDue date
19 Feb                 Introduction
What is an Ecosystem?
Abiotic & Biotic components
Food webs
Field trip: urban park ecosystem  Assessment  task 1
216 Feb

Ecology of populations and communities

323rd Feb

Classification and naming of organisms 

Identifying and classifying water bugs. Building a food web Assessment Task 2
42nd March

Key issues of Human Disturbance
Implications for ecosystems


9th March

Revision & Museum visit  
616th March Assessment Week 


 Assessment Task 3

Theory Test (1hr)


Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

There are no prescribed texts. Learning materials will be made available in class and on Blackboard


Odum, Basic Ecology,  (Eugene Pleasants) at   574.5 O27 in RMIT Library

Other Resources

Overview of Assessment

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


Assessment Tasks

Assessment schedule

Assessment Task 1: Describing the major components of an ecosystem and associated management issues (25%)  Week 1

Assessment Task 2: Identifying freshwater invertebrates using a dichotomous key and developing a food-web. (25%) Week 3

Assessment Task 3: Written exam (50%) Week 6

Assessment Matrix


Unit Title: EcologyRMIT code: EASC5057National Code: VU20954
Assessment TaskElements/ PCsRequired Knowledge (4)Required Skills (3)Critical aspects of evidence (2)
1. Worksheet 1 All3.14.11,3,4
2. Worksheet 21.3   21,2,31,2
3. Exam1.1,2,4All3.2,34.21,2,3,41,2,31,2

Other Information

Assessment information

• 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 Technology (Pathology Testing)
Diploma of Conservation and Land Management
Diploma of Dental Technology.

Course Overview: Access Course Overview