BIOLOGY 1202 - Biology I: Organisms

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2022

This course focuses on the biology and diversity of multicellular organisms, with evolution as the central theme. It addresses key questions in biology: What are plants and animals? How do they evolve? How do they function? How do they interact with other organisms and the environment? These questions are answered by analysing the scientific evidence that supports current theory

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code BIOLOGY 1202
    Course Biology I: Organisms
    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 1102 or BIOLOGY 1401
    Course Description This course focuses on the biology and diversity of multicellular organisms, with evolution as the central theme. It addresses key questions in biology: What are plants and animals? How do they evolve? How do they function? How do they interact with other organisms and the environment? These questions are answered by analysing the scientific evidence that supports current theory
    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 Explain how evolution by natural selection has affected the diversity of organisms on earth
    2 Predict how selection pressures will influence the traits of individuals in a population
    3 Explain how the structures and their functions in individual organisms enable them to respond to the main problems of growth and development, survival and reproduction, especially plants, animals and other eukaryotes
    4 Formulate plausible hypotheses to explain the origin and function of biological traits in organisms
    5 Explain how the key ecological processes affect the distribution and abundance of organisms
    6 Analyse how these ecological processes affect selected populations
    7 Analyse and interpret experimental data and appreciate the limitations of experimental design and the critical importance of controls
    8 Write practical reports and present the experimental results in a valid scientific manner
    9 Find, evaluate, summarise and use primary information sources to support a scientific argument
    10 Display scientific curiosity and to appreciate the importance of asking questions
    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
    Text Book:
    Campbell Biology 10e (Australian and NZ edition)
    Hardcopy and/or electronic copy

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


    Course resources as provided including 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
    Available on MyUni:
    Summative/Formative online tutorials 
    Self-directed learning modules on basic chemistry principles
    Summative/Formative Video introduction to the practicals
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course will be delivered by the following means:
    3 x 1 hour lectures per week
    1 x 3 hour practical per fortnight
    5 x online tutorials per semester

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

    Contact Hours (56 hours)
    Lectures 33 x 1 = 33 hours
    Practicals 6 x 3 = 18 hours
    Lecture tests 2 x 1 = 2 hours
    Exam 1 x 3 hours = 3 hours.

    Non-contact Hours (109 hours)
    Weekly reading/other study 3 hours per week  = 36 hours
    5 online tutorials = 5 x 3 hours = 15 hours
    Preparation for Practicals 2 hours per practical = 12 hours
    Preparation for Tests = 10 hours
    Preparation of Practical assessment = 6 hours
    Essay research and preparation = 15 hours
    Exam preparation= 15 hours
    Total = approximately 165 hours
    Learning Activities Summary
    The topics covered in the course (and supported by the textbook and online resources) are as follows:
    • Lectures 1-6: Evolution.
    • Lectures 7-8: Protists and Fungi.
    • Lectures 9-17: Plant Biology.
    • Session 18 - Lecture Test 1.
    • Lectures 19-26: Animal Biology.
    • Lectures 27-34: Ecology.
    • Session 35 - Lecture Test 2.
  • 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 (x2) Summative Weeks 6 & 12 0-30% 1-6
    Practical Assessment Formative and Summative Weeks 2,4,6,8,10 & 12 20% 1-10
    Online Tutorial Assessment Formative and Summative various times during semester 5% 1-10
    Essay/briefing paper Formative and Summative Week 8 15% 8-9
    End of Semester Theory Examination Summative In examination period 30-60% 1-6
    Assessment Detail

    End of Semester Theory Examination


    The examination will be divided into three sections:

    A. compulsory section consisting of short answer questions (30%)
    B. optional section consisting of multiple choice questions (potentially 15% if used to redeem lecture 
         test 1)
    C. optional section consisting of multiple choice questions (potentially 15% if used to redeem lecture
         test 2).

    Essay/Briefing Paper – 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. 15%

    Redeemable Supervised Tests - Total


    Lecture test #1 (Week6)    15%

    Lecture test #2 (Week12)   15%

    Practical Assessment - Total


    Practical 1: Evolution (worksheet due at the completion of practical)  3%
    Practical 2: Fungi, Lichens & Algae (worksheet due at the completion of practical) 3%
    Practical 3: Plant Biology (worksheet due at the completion of practical) 4%
    Practical 4:  Invertebrates (worksheet due at the completion of practical) 4%
    Practical 5: Vertebrate Srtucture and Function (worksheet due at the completion of practical) 3%
    Practical 6: Ecology of Populations (worksheet due at the completion of practical) 3%

    All worksheets will be marked and returned to the students at the following practical session

    Online Tutorial Assessment - Total


    5 online tutorials during the semester to be completed in the students own time. (5%)

    • 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.