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BIO1100 Biology Concepts

Semester 2, 2020 Online
Short Description: Biology Concepts
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Sciences
Student contribution band : Band 2
ASCED code : 010999 - Biological Sciences not elsewh
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: John Dearnaley

Other requisites

Students who have completed Biology 1 (BIO1101) or Biology 2 (BIO2103) are ineligible to enrol in the course.


An understanding of basic biological patterns and processes, evolution and diversity of life on Earth, and the structure and functioning of organisms and ecosystems is central to the exploration of human impacts on biodiversity and sustainability of natural and modified systems and global environmental changes, including climate change. This course aims to provide students with a basic grounding in the fundamental concepts of biology in the context of global environments and provides a theoretical foundation suitable for science and non-science students. This course introduces the characteristics and diversity of organisms and provides a comprehensive foundation in cell structure and function, introductory genetics, energy transformations (photosynthesis and respiration), the diversity of plants and animals, an exploration of evolution, and an introduction to ecosystems and global energy flows and biogeochemical cycles. The course is particularly suited to education, engineering, environment and other students seeking an overview of the characteristics of life, biotic form and function and how living organisms behave and respond to changing environments.


This course provides a brief description of the science of biology and the definition and characteristics of life. The classification and diversity of organisms, a comprehensive foundation in cell structure and function, energy transformations critical for the understanding of relationships between organisms and environment, genetics and an introduction to the diversity and evolution of plants and animals are also covered. The course concludes with an introduction to the principles of ecology, ecosystem dynamics, global energy flows and biogeochemical cycling.


On completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. understand the impact of environmental and climate change on biological processes and systems
  2. describe the role of biology in adapting to and mitigating environmental changes on global, regional and local scale
  3. provide an overview of ecological principles and processes
  4. understand the concepts of global energy flows and biogeochemical cycling
  5. outline the processes of photosynthesis, glycolysis and aerobic and anaerobic respiration
  6. assess the role of geochemical cycles and impacts of climate changes on primary productivity in terrestrial, aquatic and marine systems
  7. explore the role of biology and environmental changes in global food and crop production systems
  8. apply knowledge of fundamental biological concepts in discussing environmental processes such carbon sequestration in soils and forests
  9. appreciate how the mechanisms of evolution are important for understanding biodiversity


Description Weighting(%)
1. Biodiversity and Classification 7.69
2. Cell Structure & Function 7.69
3. Biological Membranes 7.69
4. Metabolism 7.69
5. Photosynthesis & Respiration 7.69
6. Genetics I 7.69
7. Genetics II 7.69
8. Evolution I 7.69
9. Evolution II 7.69
10. Microbial Diversity 7.69
11. Plant Diversity 7.69
12. Animal Diversity 7.69
13. Ecosystems & Biosphere 7.72

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. (

Starr, C, Evers, C & Starr, L 2018, Biology: Concepts and Applications, 10th edn, Brooks-Cole, Belmont, Cal.

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.
Ladiges P, Knox, B, Evans, B & Saint, R (eds.) 2014, Biology: An Australian focus, 5th edn, McGraw-Hill Book Company, Sydney.
Miller, GT 2017, Living in the environment, 19th edn, Thomson Brooks/Cole, Pacific Grove, CA.
Urry, LA Meyers N, Cain ML, Wasserman SA, Minorsky PV, Reece JB 2018, Campbell Biology (Australian Version), 11th edn, Pearson Education Australia, Frenchs Forest, NSW.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Assessments 26.00
Examinations 2.00
Online Lectures 39.00
Online Tutorials 13.00
Private Study 92.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
Online Test 1 32 10 07 Aug 2020
Online Test 2 32 10 21 Aug 2020
Online Test 3 32 10 11 Sep 2020
Assignment 1 100 20 18 Sep 2020
Online Exam 60 50 End S2 (see note 1)

  1. This will be an open examination. Students will be provided further instruction regarding the exam by their course examiner via StudyDesk. The examination date will be available via UConnect when the official Alternate Assessment Schedule has been released.

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:
    Due to COVID-19 the requirements for S2 2020 are:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks for that item.

    Requirements after S2 2020:
    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:
    Due to COVID-19 the requirements for S2 2020 are:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

    Requirements after S2 2020:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must obtain at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course

    Supplementary assessment may be offered where a student has undertaken all of the required summative assessment items but failed to achieve a passing Final Grade by 5% or less of the total weighted Marks.

    To be awarded a passing grade for a supplementary assessment item (if applicable), a student must achieve at least 50% of the available marks for the supplementary assessment item as per the Assessment Procedure (point 4.4.2).

  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:
    Due to COVID-19 the requirements for S2 2020 are:
    An Open Examination is one in which candidates may have access to any printed or written material and a calculator during the examination.

    Requirements after S2 2020:
    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:
    Due to COVID-19 the requirements for S2 2020 are:
    The details regarding deferred/supplementary examinations will be communicated at a later date.

    Requirements after S2 2020:
    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. 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.

Date printed 6 November 2020