Available in 2022
Course code



10 units


1000 level

Course handbook


This course introduces the taxonomic and functional diversity of organisms together with their interactions with each other and the physical world.

Students will gain an understanding of the immense scale of biological diversity, how that diversity arose and what are the essential elements required to maintain that diversity. This course is also the gateway to real understanding of how organisms work including the development and function of multicellular organisms. This understanding of the organism will then be expanded to interactions between organisms as populations, communities and ecosystems. Understanding how organisms and ecosystems function enables us to move towards living systems that are aligned with natural processes and are essential ingredients to sustainability.

Students who have completed this course are well placed to study further studies in: animal and plant development and function; microbiology; ecology, biodiversity and environmental biology courses at 2000 and 3000 level.



  • Summer 2 - 2022
  • Semester 2 - 2022


  • Semester 2 - 2022

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Explain biodiversity and its evolutionary history;

2. Define biological terminology in relation to tissues, organisms, ecology and ecosystems;

3. Recognise the diversity of the form, development and function of multicellular organisms, particularly plants and animals;

4. Explain the concepts of micro and macro evolution and speciation and describe mechanisms underpinning taxonomic and functional diversity;

5. Explain concepts of evolutionary processes and population and community ecology;

6. Apply critical thinking and the scientific approach to interpret biological information in the form of diagrams, graphs, tables and text.


Ecosystems are made up of a diversity of organisms which interact with each other & the physical environment to perform ecosystem functions.

Origin and Scale of Diversity:

• Evolving life & mechanisms of evolution

• Origin of species

• Coping with complexity - classification & relatedness

Biology of Organisms:

• Diversity, development & function of plants & animals

Ecology and Evolution:

• Theory of Natural Selection

• Evolutionary processes

• Population & Community ecology


This course has similarities to BIOL1070 and BIOL1050. If you have successfully completed either of these courses you cannot enrol in this course.

Assumed knowledge

HSC Chemistry

HSC Mathematics Advanced or HSC Mathematics Standard

Assessment items

Formal Examination: Exam

Quiz: Quiz-Online

Contact hours

Callaghan and Ourimbah


Face to Face On Campus 52 hour(s) per Term Full Term

Total hours to be spread across a normal semester term or compressed into a summer/winter term

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.