BIOS 0003 Focus on Biology (WSTC)

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 900104

Coordinator Virginia Shepherd Opens in new window

Description Biology is the study of integrated living systems, from the level of molecular systems that constitute cells to the interactions that occur within and between organisms that together make up the biosphere. This subject will equip students to undertake tertiary level biological subjects that emphasise both the unity (cell biology) and diversity (evolution) of living organisms. Students will learn about the basic molecular biological underpinnings of cellular structure and function within an integrated framework that proceeds through major themes of bioenergetics, gas exchange and transport systems within multicellular organisms, inheritance and evolution. Students will develop a fundamental body of essential biological concepts, as well as build skills in collecting and analysing information, and writing coherent explanations.

School Western Sydney The College

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 2 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 0 Preparatory subject

Equivalent Subjects BIOS 0002 - Focus on Biology (UWSCFS)


Students must be enrolled at The College in Foundation Studies programs.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. Conceptualise and describe fundamental properties of living systems.
  2. Recall the basic structural organisation of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.
  3. Explain fundamental cellular processes including membrane transport, photosynthesis and respiration.
  4. Explain the basic roles of nucleic acids, proteins, carbohydrates and lipids in cell structure and function.
  5. Describe and explain the necessity for processes of gas exchange in multicellular organisms.
  6. Describe and explain the necessity for transport systems in multicellular organisms.
  7. Describe the manner in which genetic information is passed from generation to generation.
  8. Outline at a basic level the process of protein synthesis from a DNA template.
  9. Explain in simple terms the concept of evolution through natural selection and changes in gene frequency.
  10. Describe basic characteristics of six kingdoms of life within an evolutionary framework.
  11. Solve problems, analyse and synthesise information, and draw conclusions.

Subject Content

Topic 1
Cells: The Basis of Life
Characteristics of living systems
Prokaryotes and eukaryotes
Organisation, structure and function of cells
Overview of evolution of eukaryotic cells
Emergence of multicellularity
Topic 2
Cells in Action
Life's building blocks: proteins, nucleic acids, lipids and carbohydrates
Maintaining a boundary: cell membranes and membrane transport, compartmentalisation of eukaryotic cells
Energising the biosphere: chloroplasts and photosynthesis
Fuel for life: mitochondria, cellular respiration, and ATP
Topic 3
Life on Land: Gas Exchange in Multicellular Organisms
Gas exchange systems in multicellular organisms: overview of evolution
Stomata, guard cells and transpiration
The mammalian respiratory system
Topic 4
Life on Land: Transport Systems in Multicellular Organisms
Transport systems in multicellular organisms: overview of evolution
Roots and shoots, xylem and phloem: transport in flowering plants
The mammalian circulatory and excretory systems
Topic 5
Reproduction and Inheritance
DNA, genes, and chromosomes
Protein synthesis
Cell division in eukaryotes
Aspects of Mendelian Inheritance
Topic 6
Evolution and Biodiversity
Natural selection, changes of gene frequency in populations
Phylogeny: six kingdoms, three domains of life
Themes in evolution


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Type Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Log/Workbook — workbook problems 1 a. Quiz: up to 30 min b. Participation 20 N Individual
Intra-session Exam 2 1 hour 15 N Individual
Practical — Laboratory workbook 3 a.1 hour b. Quiz: up to 30 min 30 N Individual
Quiz-Living Systems 30 min 10 N Individual
End of Session Exam 2 hrs and 20 mins 25 N Individual

Structures that include subject