This unit (RBF1310) provides students with knowledge and understanding of key concepts in biology for students specialising in biotechnology, ecology or science education and will be built upon in the subsequent unit, Biology 2. The lecture content will be supplemented by laboratory practicum. Students will develop scientific literacy, practical and writing skills in a student centred learning environment with a focus on ecology, microbiology, plant structure and function, animal physiology, and evolution.

Unit details

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Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Gather and interpret data in a laboratory setting, using microscopy and other techniques, in relation to given and/or unpredictable problems;  
  2. Analyse the scientific literature and report on a specific topic in biology, expressing ideas and perspectives as an individual and as a member of a group;  
  3. Identify the structure of the main plant tissues and describe how the structure relates to the function including the main metabolic pathways;  
  4. Examine the processes involved in the operations of major biological systems, including digestion, gas exchange, muscle contraction and neural control;  
  5. Apply knowledge of population and community ecology and environmental variation to predict the structure and functioning of ecosystems.  


Assessment type Description Grade
ICT (Wiki, Web sites) Group Wiki (3000 words) and a 12 minute oral presentation - groups of 4 students per topic. 30%
Laboratory Work Complete six (6) Practical Worksheets 40%
Test Three (3) Online Quizzes 30%

Required reading

Biology 10th ed.
Solomon, E., Martin, C, Martin D., & Berg, L., (2015)
Cengage Learning

Where to next?

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following courses. Refer to the course page for information on how to apply for the course.

Study a single unit

This unit can be studied on its own, without enrolling in a full degree. Learn more about single units of study at VU.

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