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This subject is designed for students with no prior knowledge of biology.
The subject will focus on establishing foundational knowledge in biology and building on this to provide students with a thorough understanding of key concepts.
It will introduce and investigate five core concepts in biology: evolution, structure & function, regulation, transmission of information and interconnectedness. These concepts will be studied at the level of the individual, population, ecosystem and biome, assuming no prior knowledge of biology. Topics include evolution of the diversity of life, and evolution in response to natural and human-induced environmental changes (from antibiotic resistance to climate change); the structure, function and behaviour of organisms and how these change across environmental gradients; energy flow and material cycling through organisms and ecosystems; transmission of genetic, social and cultural information between organisms in a population or community; relationships between individuals, populations, species and their environment, and the processes that shape populations, ecological communities and ecosystems.
Intended learning outcomes
At the completion of this subject students should be able to:
- use the foundational language of biology relevant to organisms, populations and ecosystems, and the classification of life's diversity;
- demonstrate an understanding of evolution and the processes that have resulted in the diversity and complexity of life on earth;
- describe the structural and functional complexity that results from the aggregation of cells into organised organs and systems;
- explain metabolic and physiological regulation as it relates to the maintenance of homeostasis in individual organisms;
- identify communication and information flows between organisms and within and between populations;
- describe energy flow and material cycling through individual organisms, ecosystems and biome;
- explain the interconnectedness in living systems including that between parents and offspring, and ecological interactions of organisms;
- identify biology as an evolving science based on concepts developed from observations, experiments, and data analysis; and
- write a report based on analysis of biological data.
On completion of this subject students should be able to:
- demonstrate an understanding of and apply the scientific process in a theoretical and practical setting;
- use appropriate protocols for making observations and recording data;
- competently use appropriate equipment;
- use quantitative reasoning and analysis;
- integrate biology with other disciplines;
- collaborate effectively in a team;
- understand the social, legal and ethical implications of studying and practising biology and biological discoveries; and
- demonstrate well developed information literacy and communication skills.
Last updated: 11 August 2023