BIOLOGY 1310B - Fundamentals of Biomedical Science

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2021

Medicine and Biomedical Research are underpinned by an understanding of fundamental human biomedical science. This course describes how simple molecules and cells are built up to form the complexity of the human body including the complex network of tissues and organ systems, their interactions with the environment and potential pathogens. Topics to be covered include the chemicals of life, macromolecules, transfer of genetic information, lipid membranes and the structure of cells, homeostasis, the storage and utilisation of energy, the physical basis of medical imaging, the transfer of genetic information, patterns of inheritance and evolution, the control of cell division, cell shape and cell death, reproduction, growth and development, hormone networks and signalling.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code BIOLOGY 1310B
    Course Fundamentals of Biomedical Science
    Coordinating Unit School of Biological Sciences
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 6
    Contact Up to 5 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Prerequisites BIOLOGY 1310A in previous Semester
    Incompatible BIOLOGY 1101, BIOLOGY 1102, BIOLOGY 1510, BIOLOGY 1520
    Restrictions Available to MBBS students only
    Assessment Final examination, online quizzes, practical reports, tutorial papers, group project work & written tests
    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 an understanding of the chemical nature of biological processes in the human body.
    2 understand that the cell is the basic unit of structure of all living organisms.
    3 understand the principles of control systems in cells and organs of the normal human body.
    4 understand the principles, characteristics and behavour of microorganisms and their relationship to infectious disease.
    5 understand the principles underlying the characteristic immune responses to infection.
    6 appreciate the impact individual or teams of biomedical researchers have had on the practice of medicine.
    7 write reports and to present experimental results in a valid scientific manner.
    8 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)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Personal Protective Equipment (Practicals):
    Laboratory Coat
    Safety Glasses
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    This course will be delivered by the following means:

    3 x 1 hour lectures per week

    2 x 2 hour practical sessions per semester

    10 x 1 hour tutorial per semester


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

    Contact Hours (59 hours)

    Lectures 30 x 1 = 30 hours

    Lecture Tests 2 x 1 = 2 hours

    Tutorials 10 x 1 = 20 hours

    Practicals 2 x 2 = 4 hours

    Exam 1 x 3 hours = 3 hours


    Non-contact Hours (83 hours)

    Weekly reading/other study 3 hours per week  = 36 hours

    Preparation for tutorials 1 hour per week = 10 hours

    Preparation for Practicals 2 hours per practical = 4 hours

    Preparation for Tests = 10 hours

    Preparation of Practical assessment = 8 hours

    Exam preparation= 15 hours

    Total = approximately 132 hours

    Learning Activities Summary

    The topics covered in the course (and supported by the textbook and online resources) are as follows:

    Lectures 1-6: Homeostasis and Cell Biology.

    Lectures 7-10: Hormone signalling

    Lectures 11-16: Metabolism

    Lectures 17-20: Genetics

    Lectures 21-23: Cellular Differentiation

    Lectures 24-26: Embryology

    Lectures 27-30 Hot topics in Biomedical Science.

  • 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
    As a continuing course, the material from Semester 1 is also examinable in Semester 2. Note that the final mark for the combined course is composed of 40% Semester 1 and 60% of
    Semester 2.

    End of Semester Theory Examination 60%
    Held during official University examination period.
    The format of the exam will be 40% short answer/integrative questions, 60% MCQ.

    Tests – Total 20%
    Test #1 Closed Book MCQ 5%
    Test #2 Closed Book MCQ 5%

    Nobel Prize Assignment - Total 15%

    Practical Assessment - Total 10%

    Tutorial Assessment - Total 5%
    All tutorials are regarded as both formative and summative and each student will be assessed on their attendance and participation.
    Attendance and Participation 5%
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Attendance at Practicals is compulsory. Attendance and participation at tutorials is expected
    Assessment Detail

    End of Semester Theory Examination


    The examination will be divided into two sections:

    A.  short answer questions (60 marks)

    B.  multiple choice questions (90 marks)


    Supervised Tests - Total


    Test #1 - Closed book (~Week 6)    5%
    Test #2 - Closed book (~Week 12)    5%

    Assignment - Nobel Prize


    As part of the tutorial program, students will work in pairs to study a Nobel Prize winning researcher and present their findings to the group. (10%)
    Each student will also submit a written abstract of their findings as an individual (5%)

    Tutorial participation – Total


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

    Practical Assessment - Total


    Practical 1&2 : Completed worksheet  10 %

    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.