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BIO1101 Biology 1

Semester 1, 2015 On-campus Fraser Coast
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Agric, Comp and Environ Sciences

Contents on this page


Examiner: John Dearnaley
Moderator: Ursula Kennedy


This course aims at providing students with a basic grounding in the fundamental concepts of biology and the application of scientific method in solving problems. It provides a theoretical and practical foundation for science and non-science students.


This course provides a brief history to life on earth, introduces the characteristics and diversity of organisms and provides a comprehensive foundation in cell structure and function, energy transformations (photosynthesis and respiration), genetics and an introduction to the evolution of animals and the tissue and organ systems of animals. The course concludes with an exploration of evolution - the process by which organisms change over time. The scientific method is used to design, perform and interpret the results of experiments in biology. The residential school is a compulsory component of the external offering of this course.


On completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. outline the principles of biological classification and binomial nomenclature;
  2. demonstrate an understanding of the evolutionary history of life on earth;
  3. examine and describe the structure and function of cells and their organelles;
  4. describe the structure of cell membranes and outline the principles governing dialysis, osmosis and membrane transport systems;
  5. discuss the laws governing energy transformations and the role of enzymes in biological systems;
  6. outline the processes of photosynthesis, glycolysis, aerobic and anaerobic respiration;
  7. describe the processes of mitosis and meiosis;
  8. demonstrate an understanding of basic Mendelian genetics;
  9. demonstrate an understanding of DNA structure and how proteins are formed from genes;
  10. differentiate between the main groups of vertebrates and invertebrates and classify organisms into these groups;
  11. describe basic animal structure in terms of tissues and organ systems;
  12. outline the ways in which animals acquire nutrients and describe the structure and function of organs associated with this process;
  13. describe the mechanisms of evolution;
  14. plan, conduct and report simple scientific experiments in biology.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Biodiversity and Classification: Unity and diversity of life: biological organization, basic life processes, origins and diversity of life; Classification and Naming Organisms: principles and problems of classification, taxonomic hierarchy, species concept, binomial nomenclature system of classification. 15.40
2. Cell Structure and Function: Cell Structure and Function - An Overview: cell theory, basic cell structure and function, procaryotic and eucaryotic cells, cell organelles; Membrane Structure and Function: basic models of membrane structure, diffusion, osmosis, dialysis, membrane transport: facilitated diffusion, active transport, endocytosis, exocytosis. 15.40
3. Energy Transformations: Metabolism: Ground Rules and Main Principles: laws governing energy transformations, metabolic reactions and pathways, enzymes, coupling and ATP; Energy - Acquiring Metabolism: photosynthesis and chemosynthesis; Energy - Releasing Metabolism: glycolysis, aerobic and anaerobic pathways, energy yields. 15.40
4. Cell Reproduction and Genetics : Meiosis and mitosis; Mendelian genetics: chromosome structure and function; genotype/phenotype. Inheritance of simple traits; Molecular basis of inheritance: DNA structure, genes to proteins. 23.00
5. Animals 1: Overview ? invertebrates and the origin of animal diversity, the vertebrate genealogy, an introduction to animal structure and function, animal nutrition. 15.40
6. Evolution Mechanisms for evolution; Darwinism in historical context; Summary of evidence for evolution of species; The evolution of populations; The modern synthesis; Major causes of microevolution; Genetic drift, gene flow, mutation and natural selection; The origin of species; The species concept; Allopatric and sympatric speciation; Gradualism and punctuated equilibrium. 15.40

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • Kennedy, U and Dearnaley, J 2014, Biology 1 practical notes and exercises, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba.
    (to be downloaded from the course study desk.)
  • Reece, JB, Meyers, N, Urry, LA, Cain, ML, Wasserman, SA, Minorsky, PV, Jackson, RB & Cooke, BN 2011, Biology, 9th edn, Pearson, Benjamin Cummings, San Francisco, California.
    (Australian Version.)
  • Laboratory Coat.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Pechenik, JA 2013, A short guide to writing about Biology, 8th edn, Pearson Longman, Boston.
  • Taylor, MR et al 2011, Student study guide for Campbell Biology, 9th edn, Benjamin/Cummings, California.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Assignments 30.00
Examinations 3.00
Laboratory or Practical Classes 30.00
Online Lectures 37.00
Private Study 75.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
1HR THEORY TEST M/C 40 15 17 Apr 2015 (see note 1)
PRACTICAL REPORT 1 100 15 17 Apr 2015 (see note 2)
PRACTICAL REPORT 2 100 25 15 May 2015 (see note 3)
PTAOF2HR CLSD THEORY EXAM M/C 80 25 End S1 (see note 4)
PTBOF2HR CLSD THEORY EXAM S/A 40 20 End S1 (see note 5)

  1. The examiner will advise the date of the test.
  2. The examiner will advise the due dates of the report.
  3. The examiner will advise the due dates of the report.
  4. Examination dates will be available during the Semester. Please refer to the examination timetable when published.
  5. Examination dates will be available during the Semester. Please refer to the examination timetable when published.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration. To maximize their chances of satisfying the objectives of the practical component of the course, students should attend and actively participate in the laboratory sessions in the course.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks or a grade of at least C-. Students do not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to be awarded a passing grade in this course. Refer to Statement 4 below for the requirements to receive a passing grade in this course.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the weighted aggregate of the marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    In a Closed Examination, candidates are allowed to bring only writing and drawing instruments into the examination.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the next examination period.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. In order to attend laboratory classes, students must provide and wear appropriate personal protective equipment. This shall include a laboratory coat, closed in shoes, and safety glasses. Such equipment must be approved by supervising staff. Failure to provide and wear the appropriate safety equipment will result in students being excluded from classes.

  2. Harvard (AGPS) is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use Harvard (AGPS) style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The Harvard (AGPS) style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide. //