Introductory Biology of Organisms - Online biology courses | Arts and Science ONLINE

Introductory Biology of Organisms

BIOL 103/3.0

An introduction to the basic themes and concepts of modern biology spanning organizational levels from organisms to ecosystems in an evolutionary context.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this course, students will have learned to:

  • identify the roles of the major physiological systems in diverse animals and how they are regulated through electrical and chemical signals to achieve change or maintain homeostasis
  • explain the structure and function of nerves and muscles, and how they contribute to physiological processes
  • articulate the role of physiological systems and processes in disease and dysfunction
  • compare the nature of interactions between organisms at the level of the population, the community and the ecosystem 
  • discuss the mechanisms by which evolution generates biological diversity, and how this is important for ecosystem health


Topics covered in this course include

  • Animal Form and Function
  • Ion, Water and Nutrient Balance – Water and electrolyte balance in animals and animal nutrition
  • Gas Exchange and Circulation
  • Nerves and Muscles
  • Endocrine Signalling
  • Reproduction
  • Immune System
  • Evolutionary Processes and Patterns
  • Evolutionary Processes
  • Speciation and the History of Life
  • Animal Behaviour
  • Population and Community Ecology
  • Ecosystems
  • Biodiversity and Conservation Biology


This course is intended primarily for students in biological and life sciences, for those considering pursuing careers in the health sciences/medical sector, and those with a general interest in Biology and plans to take further Biology courses. The Biology Department at Queen’s has two other courses, BIOL110 and BIOL111, that are intended for students who plan to take only one or two Biology courses.

This course may be used by Queen’s students towards the degree requirements of programs in the biological and life sciences. Students from other institutions pursuing chemistry, biochemistry, or similar programs should check with their home institution regarding the suitability of this course towards their degree programs.

BIOL 103 Online has a significant level of interaction with the instructor and TAs to help students master the course material.


Fall 2019
Course Dates: 
Sept 5 - Nov 29, 2019
Exam Dates: 
Dec 4 - 19, 2019


26% - Virtual Labs (x2)*
18% - Roundtable Assignments (x2)*
8% - Popular Press Assignment*
8% - Dynamic Study Modules (x8)***
10% - Quizzes (x2)
30% - Proctored Final Exam**

*These assessments are group-learning activities, with part of the marks devoted to how effectively individuals work within the group. 

** Students must pass the final exam to pass the course.

*** Students must complete at least 2 from each of 4 Units.

Evaluation Subject to Change

Final Examination

Students must write their exam on the day and time scheduled by the University. The start time may vary slightly depending on the off-campus exam centre. Do not schedule vacations, appointments, etc., during the exam period.


Professor Chris Moyes (

Time Commitment

To complete the readings, assignments, and course activities, students can expect to spend on average, about 123 hours on the course.

Course Resources


SOLUS is Queen’s Student On-Line University System. You’ll have access to a SOLUS account once you become a Queen’s student. You’ll use SOLUS to register for courses, add and drop courses, update your contact information, view financial and academic information, and pay your tuition.

About OnQ

onQ is Queen's online learning platform. You'll log into onQ to access your course. All materials related to your course—notes, readings, videos, recordings, discussion forums, assignments, quizzes, groupwork, tutorials, and help—will be on the onQ site.

About Credit Units

Queen’s courses are weighted in credit units. A typical one-term course is worth 3.0 units, and a typical two-term course is worth 6.0 units. You combine these units to create your degree. A general (three-year) BA or BSc requires a total of 90 credit units.

Computer Requirements

To take an online course, you’ll need a high speed internet connection as well as a microphone and speakers to be able to watch videos, hear sounds, and participate in interactive online activities. A webcam is recommended but not necessary.

System Requirements:

Computer Specifications

  • Windows 8.1 or newer
  • OSX 10.13 (High Sierra) or newer
  • Dual Core 2 GHz processor
  • 4 GB RAM
  • Soundcard
  • USB Headset
  • Webcam

Supported Browsers

  • Chrome (preferred - latest version)
  • Firefox (latest version)
  • Safari is not recommended as it causes several known issues in onQ
  • Edge is not recommended as it causes several known issues in onQ

Internet Connection

  • Wired high speed access: Cable or better
  • Wifi is not recommended


  • Latest version

Media Player

  • Flash (latest version)

Adobe Reader

  • Latest Version


The deadlines for new applications to Queen’s Arts and Science Online courses are in our Upcoming Application Dates section.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees vary depending when you start, your year, faculty, and program. Fees for Summer Term 2018 first-year Distance Career Arts & Science Domestic students are as follows: for a 3.0-unit course, $685.90; for a 6.0-unit course, $1371.80 See also Tuition and Fees.

Grading Scheme

The information below is intended for undergraduate students in the Faculty of Arts and Science. Academic Regulations in other Faculties may differ.

Letter Grade Grade Point

GPA Calculators
Have your SOLUS grade report handy and then follow the link to the Arts and Science GPA calculators.

How does this affect my academics?
See the GPA and Academic Standing page.

Follow the link above for an explanation of how the GPA system affects such things as the Dean’s Honour List, requirements to graduate, and academic progression.

Frequently Asked Questions on the Grading Scheme
Please follow this link to the FAQ's

Campus Bookstore

All textbooks can be purchased at Queen’s Campus Bookstore.

Non-Queen’s Students

All Queen’s Arts and Science Online courses are open to students at other universities. Before applying as a visiting student, request a Letter of Permission from your home university that states that you have permission to take the course and apply it to your degree. See also Apply.

Academic Integrity

Please see Queen’s policy statement on academic integrity for information on how to complete an online course honestly.