This unit introduces key concepts of genetics, animal and plant diversity and evolution. Students will learn basic principles in the nature of variation, inheritance, genes and chromosomes, human genetics, DNA replication, gene action and expression, population genetics, selection, the genetics of speciation, molecular evolution, evolutionary biology and the origin of life, classification of organisms diversity of life, communities, ecosystems and the relationship of organisms to their environment, human impact, preserving habitats and genetic variation. This unit provides a strong foundation for students specialising in Biomedicine and health sciences.

Unit details

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Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Review the mechanisms of inheritance, recombination and mutation;  
  2. Examine the structure of DNA, its replication and the molecular basis of gene action;  
  3. Investigate the nature of genetic variation in populations, natural selection, microevolution, reproductive isolation and speciation;  
  4. Discuss the basic structure and mechanisms of action of viruses and bacteria;  
  5. Apply the concept of diversity of organisms to their relationship to each other and the environment;  
  6. Demonstrate an understanding of the fundamentals of scientific communication and critical analysis.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Exercise Guided Inquiry Worksheets (250 words) 10%
Report Annotated Bibliography Report (750 words) 10%
Test Two (2) Tests (25% each, 30 minutes each) 50%
Presentation Poster Team Presentation (1000 words) 30%

Required reading

Campbell essential biology 6th ed.
Simon, E. J., Dickey, J., Hogan, K. A., Reece, J. B., & Campbell, N. A. (2016)
New York: Pearson Education, Inc.,

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