BIOLOGY 1401 - Concepts in Biology

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2021

The aim of this course is to provide students with a foundation in biology covering key areas including evolution, diversity of organisms, cell structure and function, and inheritance. It provides a suitable background for further study in a number of biological disciplines with more focus on the organism level and above such as botany, zoology, ecology and agricultural sciences.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code BIOLOGY 1401
    Course Concepts in Biology
    Coordinating Unit School of Biological Sciences
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 7 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Incompatible BIOLOGY 1101
    Assumed Knowledge Prior study of biology or chemistry is desirable but not essential
    Restrictions Not available to students with SACE Stage 2 Chemistry Subject Achievement Grade of C+ or greater
    Assessment Online quizzes/assignments, lecture tests, practical worksheets, final theory exam
    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 Describe how evolution best explains the complexity and diversity of living organisms.
    2 Predict the impact of evolutionary pressures on populations.
    3 Explain how cells interact to form tissues and whole organisms.
    4 Explain how cells obtain and transform energy during the life cycle.
    5 Contrast the diversity of animals with the diversity of plants.
    6 Explain the flow of genetic information in cells and how this leads to heredity.
    7 Measure, analyse and interpret experimental data.
    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
    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
    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 and workshops.

    Course resources as provided including video/audio recording of lectures and copies of PowerPoint slides, as well as additional reading/recommended texts.

    As specified during the course
    Online Learning
    Available on MyUni:
    Links to Mastering Biology for self-directed learning modules and summative/formative Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)
    Video introduction to the practicals and preparation quizzes for practicals

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course will be delivered by the following means:
    2 x 1 hour "Lectorials" per week
    10 x 1 hour workshops per Semester
    4 x 3 hour practicals per Semester


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

    Contact Hours (47 hours)
    Lectures 22 x 1 = 22 hours
    Workshops 10 x 1 = 10 hours
    Practicals 4 x 3 = 12 hours
    Exam 1 x 3 hours = 3 hours.

    Non-contact Hours (89 hours)
    Weekly reading/other study 3 hours per week = 36 hours
    Preparation for Workshops 1 hour per workshop = 10 hours
    Preparation for Practicals 2 hours per practical = 8 hours
    Preparation for Tests = 10 hours
    Preparation of Practical assessment = 10 hours
    Exam preparation= 15 hours

    Total = approximately 146 hours
    Learning Activities Summary
    The topics covered in the course (and supported by the tutorials, workshops, textbook and online resources) are as follows:
    • Lectures 1-2: Biology from the ecosystem through to the cellular.
    • Lectures 3-4: The central role of evolution in biology and its impact on populations.
    • Lectures 5-6: The characteristics of animals, highlighting their diversity.
    • Lectures 7-8: The characteristics of plants, highlighting their diversity.
    • Lctures 9-11: Cell biology, including lipid membranes and organelles, cell division and a comparison of prokaryotes and eukaryotes.
    • Lectures 12-17: Cellular metabolism and the transformation of energy.
    • Lectures 18-22: The flow of genetic information within the cell leading to inheritance and sexual reproduction.
  • 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
    End of Semester Theory Examination Summative In examination period 30-60% 1-6
    Redeemable Tests (x2) Summative Weeks 5  & 12 0-30% 1-6
    Online modules/quizzes Formative and Summative available during  semester 15%  1-6
    Workshop Assessment Formative and summative Weekly throughout semester 5% 1-6
    Practical Assessment Formative and Summative Fortnightly throughout semester 20% 1-7
    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 10% if used to redeem Workshop test 1)

    C. optional section consisting of multiple choice questions

        (potentially 10% if used to redeem Lecture test 1).
    D. optional section consisting of multiple choice questions

    (potentially 10% if used to redeem Lecture test 2).

    Redeemable Supervised Tests - Total


    Workshop test #1 - Closed book (Week 5)    10%
    Lecture test #1 - Closed book (Week 9)    10%
    Lecture test #2 - Closed book (Week 12 ) 10%

    Online modules /quizzes – Total


    Online tutorials/quiz will be available on MyUni throughout semester.

    Workshop Assessment


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

    Practical Assessment - Total


    Practical 1: Worksheet (due at the completion of practical) 3%

    Practical 2: Worksheet (due at the completion of practical) 3%

    Practical 3: Worksheet (due at the completion of practical) 4%

    Practical 4: Worksheet (due at the completion of your practical) 5%

    Microscopy competency (due by end of Semester) 5%

    All practical assignments will be marked and returned to the students at their

    following practical session

    • On-line Quiz assessments will by undertaken using MyUni.
    • Practical worksheet and report assessments will be submitted via Turnitin.

    Late submission of assessments

    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.

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