BIOL11099 - Living Systems

General Information

Unit Synopsis

Successful completion of this unit will provide students with an understanding of the diversity of life at the level of cells and whole organisms, together with an appreciation of a range of fundamental themes in contemporary biology, including biodiversity, ecology, heredity and evolution. In the practical component, students will gain hands-on experience of relevant laboratory and practical procedures.


Level Undergraduate
Unit Level 1
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band SCA Band 2
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125
Pre-requisites or Co-requisites There are no pre-requisites for the unit.

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

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Residential School Compulsory Residential School
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Unit Availabilities from Term 1 - 2024

There are no availabilities for this unit on or after Term 1 - 2024

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Undergraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Online Quiz(zes) 10%
2. Practical Assessment 20%
3. Written Assessment 20%
4. Examination 50%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%).

Consult the University’s Grades and Results Policy for more details of interim results and final grades

Past Exams

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Previous Feedback

Term 1 - 2018 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was 4.5 (on a 5 point Likert scale), based on a 41.18% response rate.

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Source: Moodle course evaluation and student communication
Students found seeing and experiencing living organisms in their natural habitat during their field trip was beneficial in enhancing their understanding of the course material.
Recommend to continue to include a field trip as part of the practical learning component
Action Taken
Field trip was continued.
Source: Moodle course evaluation
Students found the time limit on the theory quizzes too short.
The time limit will be increased to allow students more time with the quiz
Action Taken
Time limit on theory quizzes was increased.
Source: Moodle course evaluation and student communication
Students enjoyed the practical laboratory sessions which enhanced their theoretical knowledge.
Practical laboratory session to follow the same format being in line with the lecture material
Action Taken
Practical laboratory sessions were continued in same format.
Source: Moodle course evaluation and student communication
Students found the unit very information heavy with 3 hours of lecture material and a lot of reading.
Revisit unit structure and work load
Action Taken
As this was to be the last offereing of this unit, there was little change to unit structure and workload, however more attempt was made to provide more tutorial questions with answers provided after the tutorial so students can test their knowledge and check their answers.
Source: Moodle feedback
Students found the practical work and the field trip really enhanced their learning
Practical work and field trip will be retained in the replacement unit
Action Taken
Source: Moodle feedback
Some students would like to see the practical material in the relevant week
A note will be made about the practical session in the relevant week, but the lab manual will continue to be all in one section on moodle. This is because in previous years where the practical manual was put in the relevant week, the distance students were confused.
Action Taken
Unit learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  1. Describe the organization of living organisms at the cellular and whole organism level
  2. Explain the fundamentals of selected core themes, including cell theory, emergent properties, heredity, evolution and biodiversity and demonstrate their application across the biological and environmental sciences
  3. Describe the concepts underlying current understanding of the diversity and systematics of living organisms, using appropriate sources and terminology
  4. Carry out a range of laboratory and practical procedures relating to the diversity of life

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Online Quiz(zes)
2 - Practical Assessment
3 - Written Assessment
4 - Examination
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Communication
2 - Problem Solving
3 - Critical Thinking
4 - Information Literacy
5 - Team Work
6 - Information Technology Competence
8 - Ethical practice
Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10