BIOL 103/3.0 Introductory Biology of Organisms
Biology is the study of life, from microscopic molecules inside a cell to the largest plants and animals on earth. New discoveries in biology are being made every day, which can revolutionise our understanding of how life works. This course is an introduction to the basic themes and concepts of modern biology spanning organizational levels from organisms to ecosystems in an evolutionary context. The course uses the blended learning technique, allowing students to control their learning experience. A number of practical sessions enable hands-on experience and roundtable discussions allow exploration of highly topical issues and experiential learning opportunities.
This course will build on itself allowing students to assimilate knowledge and concepts, ranging from the organismal level to ecosystems and the biosphere. Topics covered will build on student’s knowledge of how life works and include discussion on the most up to date technologies and recent discoveries. Assignments will be varied and include writing an academic paper, oral presentations, class discussions and will promote active learning to ensure a well-rounded learning experience.
By the end of this course, successful students will be able 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.
Experiential Learning Opportunities
Examples of previous Experiential Learning Opportunities for this course include a trip to the Knepp Estate rewilding project in West Sussex and Down House, the home of Charles Darwin.