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An overview of the diversity, evolution, structure and function of animals, plants and microbes.
This course provides an overview of the vast diversity of life on Earth. You will hear about the evolution, structure, function and importance of animals, plants and microbes. The first part of the course focuses on the diversity, reproduction and structure of bacteria, protists and fungi. The second part focuses on plants whilst the third part examines animals and includes discussion of locomotion, respiration, circulation, nervous and endocrine systems. Hands-on investigation of a variety of organisms in laboratory classes is an important part of the course.
At the end of the course, students will have developed the ability to:Understanding of the diagnostic characters of major groups of organisms (assessment task: Learn quizzes, test, final exam)A working knowledge of the ‘tree of life’ and an appreciation of the sometimes surprising evolutionary relationships amongst the organisms that comprise the diversity of life (assessment task: Learn quizzes, test, final exam)Awareness of the importance of various groups of organisms in ecological communities and to humans (assessment task: Learn quizzes, test, final exam)Hands-on experience in observing a wide range of organisms in the laboratory (assessment task: laboratory tests)Understanding different ways in which biodiversity is observed, studied, and exploited (assessment task: laboratory tests, Learn quizzes, test, final exam)Transferable skillsUsing dissecting and compound microscopes. This is a skill required in advanced courses in biological sciences. Documenting biological observations in the form of notes and scientific illustrations. This skill is essential in many fields of biology.Using liquid and solid culture techniques. This practical skill is important for advancing in microbiology.Global awareness. Humans share the earth with an estimated 8.7 million other species. Being able to recognize the main groups in which they are classified enables making informed and environmentally responsible decisions.Synthesising information. In everyday life and in many job situations you will be required to read information from different sources, construct your own understanding and shape your own viewpoint.Evidence-based critical thinking. Being able to evaluate data, formulate and test hypotheses, and use scientific evidence in decision making is an important general skill.
It is compulsory to wear a lab coat and safety glasses in the laboratory.To purchase approved safety glasses, lab or coats go to https://www.canterbury.ac.nz/science/shop/.The collection point for purchases is inside the southern entry to the Ernest Rutherford Building, Monday to Friday between the hours 8.30 – 10.00 am and 1.30 – 3.00 pm for the first two weeks of the semester.Disposable gloves are available in the laboratory for those who might need them.
For further information see
School of Biological Sciences
Head of Department
This textbook is used for the three core biology courses (BIOL111, BIOL112, andBIOL113). Both hard-copy and electronic versions are available. Should you choosenot to buy it, some copies are available in the Central Library.
Library portalLearn Site
If a laboratory is missed, arrangements should be made to attend another lab stream later in the week after informing the lab coordinator. Due to logistic constraints, it is not possible to make up for a missed lab in the following weeks.If an assessment (see above) is missed due to illness, injury, personal bereavement or other critical personal circumstances, or if you consider that you have been impaired, you should apply for aegrotat consideration for this assessment.
PlagiarismIt is essential that you are aware that plagiarism is considered a very serious offence by the Academic community, the University and the School of Biological Sciences. Plagiarism is defined as taking content from another work or author and presenting it, without attribution, as if it is your own work. Content here includes text (sentences or major parts of sentences), display items (graphs and tables), and overall structure (the detailed sequence of ideas). Plagiarism includes:• re-use of previous assignments (even if each individual sentence has been rephrased to say the same thing in different words, if the overall structure is re-used) • copying of another student’s work (with or without their consent)• the unreferenced use of published material or material from the internet e.g. cutting and pasting of paragraphs or pages into an essay.For most pieces of in-term assessment you will be given information concerning the use of direct and indirect quotes from previously published work. If you are in any doubt about appropriate use of published material, please speak with a member of academic staff. If you are still unsure what plagiarism is, then seek advice.It is a School policy that courses may request you submit work electronically for subsequent analysis of originality using Turnitin. Students agree that by taking courses in BIOL, required papers may be subject to submission for textual similarity review to Turnitin.com for the detection of plagiarism. All submitted papers will be included as source documents in the Turnitin.com reference database solely for the purpose of detecting plagiarism of such papers. Use of the Turnitin.com service is subject to the Terms and Conditions of Use posted on the Turnitin.com site.
A+ 90% or aboveA 85 – 90A- 80 – 84B+ 75 – 79B 70 – 74B- 65 – 69C+ 60 – 64C 55 – 59C- 50 – 54A restricted pass (R) may be awarded to those who are close to a pass (i.e. an overall score of 48-49.9%) AND who have achieved at least a 40% overall score in both in-course assessment and tests/exams. If an R grade is awarded you gain credit for the course but cannot continue into papers that require this course as a pre-requisite. NB. The R grade is only available at 100 and 200 level - it cannot be awarded for third year papers. Failing grades: D 40-49 E 0–39
What if I have written more than the word or page limit?If there is a word limit on an assignment, it is usually there to stop you doing too much work and to encourage you to write succinctly. It also makes things easier to assess. You can be up to 10% over without too much worry, but if the length increases beyond that your mark may suffer due to failure to follow the requirements. If you find yourself way over the word limit have a chat to the lecturer concerned about how to trim your assignment to an acceptable length.
Reports and assignments should be handed in on time. Extensions may be granted if you have a valid reason. If you require an extension, you should request one from the course co-ordinator (or the lecturer responsible for marking the work), with as much notice as possible. Please do this BEFORE the deadline for the assignment. If you have been given an extension you should hand the work DIRECTLY to the course coordinator (do not put it in the drop box as it may not be cleared after the due date).If an extension has not been granted:• work must be handed in by the due date to gain full credit• work handed in up to 7 days after the deadline will be marked, but the marks will be discounted 25% before they are recorded to the student's credit• any work handed in more than 7 days after the deadline date will not be marked or earn credit.
What do I do if I have to miss something or if my performance was impaired?If you feel that illness, injury, bereavement or other extenuating circumstances beyond your control have prevented you from completing an item of assessment worth 10% or more of total course assessment or if these circumstances affected your performance in such assessments, you should apply for Special Consideration. Applications for Special Consideration should be submitted via the Examinations Office website http://www.canterbury.ac.nz/regulations/general/general_regs_aegrotat.shtml and notify the course co-ordinator within five days of the assessment or its due date. If this is for medical reasons you should visit a doctor within 24 hours of the assessment (application form available on-line or from the Student Health Centre). The Special Consideration provisions are intended to assist students who have covered the work of a course but have been prevented by illness or other critical circumstances from demonstrating their mastery of the material or skills at the time of assessment – they do not excuse you from doing the assessment within a reasonable time agreed with the course co-ordinator. You should expect to be required to submit additional work if you miss a major assignment (e.g. a field trip for which a major write-up is required). In rare cases you may not be able to complete an assessment or attend a field trip, because of involvement in international or national representative sport or cultural groups. In such cases you should also apply for Special Consideration. Please review the Special Considerations policy because very few kinds of activities will be eligible for consideration (e.g. holiday trips, birthday parties etc. are not given special status in the University policy).Students prevented by extenuating circumstances from completing the course after the final date for withdrawing, may apply for Special Consideration for late discontinuation of the course. Applications must be submitted to the Examinations Office within five days of the end of the main examination period for the semester.For further details on Special Consideration applications, please refer to the Examinations Office website http://www.canterbury.ac.nz/regulations/general/general_regs_aegrotat.shtml.
In BIOL, we require a satisfactory level of achievement in both the theoretical aspects of the discipline and in practical activities. This means you must attend all class activities and submit all items of assessment unless you have a very good reason not to (e.g. medical reasons). A student must attain an average score of at least 40% for in-course assessments (e.g. assignments, reports) and an average score of at least 40% in the exam and/or test, AND score at least 50% overall for the course, to be awarded a passing grade. See course outline for clarification of the assessment items included in each category and ask the coordinator if you are still unsure.
We welcome constructive feedback at all times – help us to make this a valuable course for you. We endeavour to remain approachable at all times. If you would rather give feedback anonymously, please use the on-line course survey or talk to lab demonstrators, or your class rep (who will all report back to the staff-student liaison committee that includes a representative from each of the undergraduate classes). Class representatives will be selected from each class at the start of course.
If you feel you have not been fairly treated during this course, please raise the issue with the lecturer or course co-ordinator in the first instance. Other avenues include your class rep., who can raise issues anonymously, or the UCSA education coordinator.
All assignments should be placed in the designated collection box in the foyer of the 2nd floor of the School of Biological Sciences (near the main office), unless directed otherwise by the course co-ordinator. All assignments must be accompanied by a cover sheet signed by you stating that the submitted work is not plagiarised. Cover sheets are available on top of the collection boxes, or you can download one from the Biology website (under Undergraduate). In addition, you may also be asked to submit your work electronically (via Learn) for analysis in Turnitin. You will be given instructions on how to do this in the assignment handout. Marked assignments can be collected from the Secretaries' Office, unless directed otherwise by the course co-ordinator. Teaching staff will endeavour to return work as soon as possible, and should contact you if there are likely to be any delays that will prevent return within the maximum 4-week timeframe.
Domestic fee $900.00
International fee $4,250.00
* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.
For further information see
School of Biological Sciences