BIO1022 - Life on Earth - 2019

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

School of Biological Sciences

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Richard Burke


Dr Richard Burke (Clayton)
Dr Lee Wai Leng (Malaysia, Semester 2)
Dr Tan Hock Siew (Malaysia, October semester)

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2019 (On-campus)


  • Second semester 2019 (On-campus)
  • October intake 2019 (On-campus)


BIO1711, BMS1021

Students in S2007 Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Biomedical Science are prohibited from enrolling in this unit.


This unit views the extraordinary diversity of life on Earth through the prism of evolutionary theory and in the context of human and environmental health. Students will examine how animals and plants, through the agents of gene mutation and natural selection, are able to adapt to new and changing environments. Diverse physiological, reproductive and behavioural solutions to life's challenges will be used to illustrate how evolutionary forces and constraints shape us and the world around us. We will then examine how interactions within and between species and with the non-living environment generate the immense ecological variety seen on Earth. Contemporary issues and the societal impact of biology will be explored by learning from world-class researchers and industry experts.

Students will undertake self-directed learning through the online environment. These online activities, readings and instructional videos will be complemented by face-to-face workshops where they will collaborate with peers and teaching staff to deepen their understanding of the biological concepts introduced each week. Students will gain hands-on experience and develop experimental and analytical skills in the laboratory environment. Optional drop-in tutorials are available for additional learning support. This unit is ideally paired with BIO1011 and/or BIO1042.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Identify and describe the role of biological concepts and processes of evolution, plant and animal physiology, reproduction and life history strategies and core ecological concepts in society and everyday human life;
  2. Demonstrate proficiency in communicating scientific results through a range of formats (written and oral);
  3. Formulate hypotheses, collect experimental data and demonstrate proficiency in interpreting their results;
  4. Demonstrate competence and precision in the use of common life sciences equipment and techniques;
  5. Utilise research skills including database searches to synthesise and interpret information related to scientific research, using appropriate conventions for scientific attribution;
  6. Work effectively, responsibly, safely and ethically, both individually and in peer or team contexts.


NOTE: From 1 July 2019, the duration of all exams is changing to combine reading and writing time. The new exam duration for this unit is 2 hours and 10 minutes.

Examination (2 hours): 50%

Continuous assessment through laboratory classes and online activities: 50% (Hurdle)

Hurdle requirement: Students must attend at least 80% of workshops and laboratory classes to be eligible to pass this unit.

Workload requirements

  • One 1-hour workshop and
  • 1.5-2 hours online activities per week
  • Six 3-hour practicals per semester

See also Unit timetable information

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study