Course Outline

UCC109 Biology

Course Coordinator:Lyris Snowden ( School:School of Education and Tertiary Access

2023Semester 2

UniSC Sunshine Coast

UniSC Moreton Bay

Blended learning Most of your course is on campus but you may be able to do some components of this course online.

Please go to for up to date information on the
teaching sessions and campuses where this course is usually offered.

What is this course about?


Biology principles are foundational to understanding both ourselves and our interactions with the world around us. This course enables you to acquire fundamental knowledge in the principles of biology to support your study in undergraduate science.

How will this course be delivered?

Activity Hours Beginning Week Frequency
Blended learning
Learning materials – You are required to engage and interact with VLM (Video Learning Materials) of 40 to 60 minutes duration on a weekly basis. In addition, there may be related activities based on this content. 1hr Week 1 13 times
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – Tutorials are delivered face to face at the nominated campus locations. 2hrs Week 1 13 times
Independent Study/Research – In addition to engaging with the video learning materials, tutorials and completing the assessment tasks, you are required to engage in self-directed learning using the course modules, workbook readings, activities, and other resources. For independent study, 7 to 10 hours a week is recommended. 7hrs Week 1 13 times

Course Topics

Life’s raw ingredients, cell types, domains and kingdoms  

Water: the molecule that supports all life


Cell structures and their functions

Cell membrane structure and membrane transport 


Human digestive system

Evolution, classification and basic ecological concepts

Energy flow and nutrient cycling in ecosystems 

What level is this course?

100 Level (Introductory)

Engaging with discipline knowledge and skills at foundational level, broad application of knowledge and skills in familiar contexts and with support. Limited or no prerequisites. Normally, associated with the first full-time study year of an undergraduate program.

What is the unit value of this course?

12 units

How does this course contribute to my learning?

Course Learning Outcomes On successful completion of this course, you should be able to... Graduate Qualities Completing these tasks successfully will contribute to you becoming...
1 Characterise the key features of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, the domains and kingdoms Knowledgeable
2 Explain how the chemical structure of water results in its four emergent properties Knowledgeable
3 Identify macromolecules, describe their key characteristics and provide examples. Knowledgeable
4 Describe the structure of eukaryotic cells, naming the organelles and recalling their function Knowledgeable
5 Describe cell membrane structure and the types of transport across the cell membrane Knowledgeable
6 Recognise the role of prokaryotes in health, disease and ecosystems Knowledgeable
7 Identify the structures of the human digestive system and describe their function Knowledgeable
8 Outline the fundamental ideas in evolution theory and key themes in biology. Knowledgeable
9 Define basic ecological concepts and outline energy flow and nutrient cycling in ecosystems Knowledgeable
10 Comprehend and effectively communicate scientific biological information Creative and critical thinker

Am I eligible to enrol in this course?

Refer to the UniSC Glossary of terms for definitions of “pre-requisites, co-requisites and anti-requisites”.


Students must be enrolled in Program UC103


Not applicable


Not applicable

Specific assumed prior knowledge and skills (where applicable)


How am I going to be assessed?

Grading Scale

Standard Grading (GRD)

High Distinction (HD), Distinction (DN), Credit (CR), Pass (PS), Fail (FL).

Details of early feedback on progress

The first two worksheets in your UCC109 Biology Course Workbook will be discussed in peer groups in your tutorial. This peer group work and the feedback from your tutor will provide you with the opportunity to reflect upon your learning and study skills. Support with your learning is available in the weekly consultation sessions as communicated on Canvas or with your tutor.

Assessment tasks

Delivery mode Task No. Assessment Product Individual or Group Weighting % What is the duration / length? When should I submit? Where should I submit it?
All 1a Examination - not Centrally Scheduled Individual 10%
45 minutes
Week 4 Online Test (Quiz)
All 1b Examination - not Centrally Scheduled Individual 30%
1 hour
Week 9 Online Test (Quiz)
All 2 Written Piece Individual 20%
+/- 500 words
Week 10 Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All 3 Examination - not Centrally Scheduled Individual 40%
2 hours
Week 13 Online Test (Quiz)
All - Assessment Task 1a:Characteristics of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, domains and kingdoms, water
To demonstrate your knowledge on prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, domains, kingdoms and water.
Product: Examination - not Centrally Scheduled
This online exam is composed of multiple choice, short answer and true or false questions. It has a duration of 45 minutes and weighting of 10%.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Knowledge of water, cell types, domains and kingdoms.
1 2
All - Assessment Task 1b:Macromolecules and Cells
To demonstrate your knowledge of macromolecules and cell structure and organelles.
Product: Examination - not Centrally Scheduled
This online exam is composed of multiple choice, short answer and true or false questions. It has a weighting of 30% and duration of 1 hour.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Knowledge of macromolecules and cell structure and organelles.
3 4
All - Assessment Task 2:Short response assignment
To develop your skills in reading and understanding scientific journal articles in addition to summarising and communicating the key information in response to provided questions.
Product: Written Piece
Summarise the key information of two provided scientific journal articles in response to provided questions.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Comprehension and communication of scientific biological information.
1 6 7 10
All - Assessment Task 3:Cell membrane and membrane transport, prokaryotes, human digestive system, evolution, classification,ecological concepts and nutrient cycling.
To recall and integrate your knowledge of the topics presented throughout the course.
Product: Examination - not Centrally Scheduled
This online exam is composed of multiple choice, short answers and true or false questions. It has a weighting of 40% and duration of 2 hours.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Knowledge of cell membrane and membrane transport, evolution, prokaryotes, human digestive system, ecological concepts and energy flow and nutrient cycling in ecosystems test.
5 6 7 8 9

Directed study hours

A 12-unit course will have total of 150 learning hours which will include directed study hours (including online if required), self-directed learning and completion of assessable tasks. Student workload is calculated at 12.5 learning hours per one unit.

What resources do I need to undertake this course?

Please note: Course information, including specific information of recommended readings, learning activities, resources, weekly readings, etc. are available on the course Canvas site– Please log in as soon as possible.

Prescribed text(s) or course reader

There are no required/recommended resources for this course.

Specific requirements

No specific requirements

How are risks managed in this course?

Health and safety risks for this course have been assessed as low. It is your responsibility to review course material, search online, discuss with lecturers and peers and understand the health and safety risks associated with your specific course of study and to familiarise yourself with the University’s general health and safety principles by reviewing the online induction training for students, and following the instructions of the University staff.

What administrative information is relevant to this course?

Assessment: Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the ethical standard of university participation.  It ensures that students graduate as a result of proving they are competent in their discipline.  This is integral in maintaining the value of academic qualifications. Each industry has expectations and standards of the skills and knowledge within that discipline and these are reflected in assessment.

Academic integrity means that you do not engage in any activity that is considered to be academic fraud; including plagiarism, collusion or outsourcing any part of any assessment item to any other person.  You are expected to be honest and ethical by completing all work yourself and indicating in your work which ideas and information were developed by you and which were taken from others. You cannot provide your assessment work to others. You are also expected to provide evidence of wide and critical reading, usually by using appropriate academic references.

In order to minimise incidents of academic fraud, this course may require that some of its assessment tasks, when submitted to Canvas, are electronically checked through Turnitin.  This software allows for text comparisons to be made between your submitted assessment item and all other work to which Turnitin has access.

Assessment: Additional Requirements

Eligibility for Supplementary Assessment

Your eligibility for supplementary assessment in a course is dependent of the following conditions applying:

The final mark is in the percentage range 47% to 49.4%
The course is graded using the Standard Grading scale
You have not failed an assessment task in the course due to academic misconduct

Assessment: Submission penalties

Late submission of assessment tasks may be penalised at the following maximum rate: 
- 5% (of the assessment task's identified value) per day for the first two days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- 10% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the third day - 20% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the fourth day and subsequent days up to and including seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- A result of zero is awarded for an assessment task submitted after seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. Weekdays and weekends are included in the calculation of days late. To request an extension you must contact your course coordinator to negotiate an outcome.


UniSC is committed to a culture of respect and providing a safe and supportive environment for all members of our community. For immediate assistance on campus contact SafeUSC by phone: 07 5430 1168 or using the SafeZone app. For general enquires contact the SafeUSC team by phone 07 5456 3864 or email

The SafeUSC Specialist Service is a Student Wellbeing service that provides free and confidential support to students who may have experienced or observed behaviour that could cause fear, offence or trauma. To contact the service call 07 5430 1226 or email

Study help

For help with course-specific advice, for example what information to include in your assessment, you should first contact your tutor, then your course coordinator, if needed.

If you require additional assistance, the Learning Advisers are trained professionals who are ready to help you develop a wide range of academic skills. Visit the Learning Advisers web page for more information, or contact Student Central for further assistance: +61 7 5430 2890 or

Wellbeing Services

Student Wellbeing provide free and confidential counselling on a wide range of personal, academic, social and psychological matters, to foster positive mental health and wellbeing for your academic success.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 1226.

AccessAbility Services

Ability Advisers ensure equal access to all aspects of university life. If your studies are affected by a disability, learning disorder mental health issue, injury or illness, or you are a primary carer for someone with a disability or who is considered frail and aged, AccessAbility Services can provide access to appropriate reasonable adjustments and practical advice about the support and facilities available to you throughout the University.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 2890.

Links to relevant University policy and procedures

For more information on Academic Learning & Teaching categories including:

  • Assessment: Courses and Coursework Programs
  • Review of Assessment and Final Grades
  • Supplementary Assessment
  • Administration of Central Examinations
  • Deferred Examinations
  • Student Academic Misconduct
  • Students with a Disability

For more information, visit

Student Charter

UniSC is committed to excellence in teaching, research and engagement in an environment that is inclusive, inspiring, safe and respectful. The Student Charter sets out what students can expect from the University, and what in turn is expected of students, to achieve these outcomes.

General Enquiries

  • In person:
    • UniSC Sunshine Coast - Student Central, Ground Floor, Building C, 90 Sippy Downs Drive, Sippy Downs
    • UniSC Moreton Bay - Service Centre, Ground Floor, Foundation Building, Gympie Road, Petrie
    • UniSC SouthBank - Student Central, Building A4 (SW1), 52 Merivale Street, South Brisbane
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  • Tel:+61 7 5430 2890