BIOLOGY 1201 - Biology I: Human Perspectives

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2023

This course takes molecular, cellular, whole body, population and evolutionary approaches to understanding biology as it pertains to human function and the interactions of the body with the environment. In many cases, our understanding of human function is best derived from studies of mammalian and non-mammalian organisms, and such models will be discussed. The themes that will be covered include: the organisation of the body, evolution, regulation of gene expression, communication and control systems in the body; developmental biology and defence systems. Students in this course come from a very broad range of programs and academic backgrounds. Learning is supported by online resources, active-learning lectures, regular quizzes, workshops to practice application of knowledge, and laboratory practicals. The biomedical focus of this course is complemented by different aspects of biology in Biology I: Molecules, Genes and Cells, and Biology I: Organisms. Biology spans an incredibly wide range of themes. Suitable preparation for studying Level II courses in biology-based disciplines generally requires two semesters of Level 1 BIOLOGY.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code BIOLOGY 1201
    Course Biology I: Human Perspectives
    Coordinating Unit School of Biological Sciences
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 6 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Assumed Knowledge BIOLOGY 1101 or BIOLOGY 1001
    Assessment End-of-Semester exam, MCQ and theory tests, practical assessment, group research project, tutorial participation
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Michelle Coulson

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    A successful student should be able to:
    1 display understanding:
    • of the interplay between molecules, cells and tissues with respect to humans
    • of the role of model organisms in understanding human biology and disease
    • of the interaction between the host immune system and microscopic pathogens
    • of the observational and experimental character of the scientific method and biology
    • of the role of evolution in humans
    2 explain the experimental foundations that underpin our understanding of biology
    3 work cooperatively in workshops and practicals
    4 analyse and interpret experimental data 
    5 identify the limitations of experimental design and the critical importance of controls
    6 write practical reports and to present the experimental results in a valid scientific manner
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)

    Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth

    Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.


    Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving

    Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.


    Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills

    Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.


    Attribute 4: Professionalism and leadership readiness

    Graduates engage in professional behaviour and have the potential to be entrepreneurial and take leadership roles in their chosen occupations or careers and communities.


    Attribute 5: Intercultural and ethical competency

    Graduates are responsible and effective global citizens whose personal values and practices are consistent with their roles as responsible members of society.


    Attribute 7: Digital capabilities

    Graduates are well prepared for living, learning and working in a digital society.


    Attribute 8: Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

    Graduates are self-aware and reflective; they are flexible and resilient and have the capacity to accept and give constructive feedback; they act with integrity and take responsibility for their actions.

  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources

    Personal Protective Equipment (Practicals):
    Laboratory Coat
    Safety Glasses

    Recommended Resources
    Campbell Biology 11e (Australian & NZ Edition)
    Hardcopy and/or electronic copy

    Mobile Device:
    An internet capable mobile device (eg phone, tablet, laptop etc) will allow realtime participation in lectures


    Course resources as provided including online tutorials, video/audio recording of lectures and copies of PowerPoint slides, as well as additional reading/recommended texts. Links to Mastering Biology (Pearson Education)

    As specified during the course
    Online Learning

    This course runs face-to-face classes (lectures, workshops and laboratory practicals) with online material on MyUni to support your learning.
    Available on MyUni:

    • all lecture notes and workshop material for face-to-face classes
    • additional resources as appropriate for the topic
    • weekly review quizzes to support learning of lecture content
    • discussion board
    • past exams and other resources for the course
    • laboratory practical manual (instructions) and prelimary quizzes for preparation
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course will be delivered by the following means:
    3 x 1 hour lectures per week
    1 x 2 hour workshop per week (most weeks)
    4 x 3 hour practical per semester

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    Contact Hours (50 hours)
    Lectures 32 x 1 = 32 hours
    Lecture Tests 3 x 1 = 3 hours
    Practicals 4 x 3 = 12 hours
    Exam 1 x 3 hours = 3 hours

    Non-contact Hours (96 hours)
    Weekly reading/other study 3 hours per week  : 36 hours
    Preparation for Workshops : 9 x 1h = 9 hours
    Preparation for Practicals : 4 x 1h = 8 hours
    Preparation of Practical assessment (ahead of practicals) : 4 x 2h = 8 hours
    Preparation for Tests : 3 x 5h = 15 hours
    Exam preparation : 20 hours
    Total = approximately 150 hours
    Learning Activities Summary
    The topics covered in the course (and supported by the textbook and online resources) are as follows:
    • Module 1: Regulation of gene expression.
    • Module 2: Cell biology, cell signaling and cancer biology
    • Module 3: Host-Pathogen - Microbiology, Virology, Immunology
    • Module 4: Developmental biology.
    • Module 5: Human Evolution
    • Hot topics: Fontiers in Biology, Novel technologies - 4 Invited speakers
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment TaskTask TypeDueWeightingLearning Outcome
    Redeemable Tests (x3) Summative Weeks 4, 8 & 12 20% 1, 2
    Practical Assessment Formative and Summative Weeks 3,5,7 & 9 20% 1-6
    Online course reviews assessment Formative and Summative Various times during semester 5% 1-3
    Essay Formative and Summative End of week 10 10% 1-6
    Workshop participation Formative and Summative Weekly 5% 1-6
    End of Semester Theory Examination Summative In examination period 40-60% 1, 2
    Assessment Detail

    End of Semester Theory Examination


    The examination will be divided into three sections:

    A. compulsory section consisting of short answer questions (40%)
    B. optional section consisting of multiple choice questions (potentially 6.67% if used to redeem lecture test 1)
    C. optional section consisting of multiple choice questions (potentially 6.67% if used to redeem lecture test 2).
    D. optional section consisting of multiple choice questions (potentially 6.67% if used to redeem lecture test 3).

    Essay – Total


    Students select a given topic and research the relevant primary literature to address
    the topic or question. This is an individual piece of written work.

    Redeemable Supervised Tests - Total


    Lecture test #1 (Week4)    6.67%

    Lecture test #2 (Week8)   6.67%

    Lecture test #3 (Week12)   6.67%

    Practical Assessment - Total


    Practical 1: Online quiz (due prior to practical)  4%

    Practicals 1, 2, 3 & 4: Worksheet that covers sessions 1, 2, 3 & 4 (due at the completion of practical)   16%

    Workshop Participation - Total


    All workshops are regarded as both formative and summative and each student will be assessed on their attendance (5%)

    Online course review Assessments - Total


    8 online quizzes covering the material covered during the lectures

    • On-line Tutorial assessments will by undertaken using MyUni.
    • Practical worksheet and report assessments will be submitted via Turnitin using MyUni.
    If an extension is not applied for, or not granted then a penalty for late submission will apply. A penalty of 10% of the value of the assignment for each calendar day that the assignment is late (i.e. weekends count as 2 days), up to a maximum of 50% of the available marks will be applied. This means that an assignment that is 5 days late or more without an approved extension can only receive a maximum of 50% of the marks available for that assignment.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.