Introduction to Biology

Module summary

Module code: BIOL1059
Level: 0
Credits: 30
School: Engineering and Science
Department: Science
Module Coordinator(s): Sarah Harris



• To introduce the students to fundamental biological principles on the molecular, cellular, systemic and ecosystem level.
• To introduce different types of organisms and their biology.
• To explain the significance of homeostasis and the major mechanisms by which it is achieved.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:
1 Convey the importance of biological molecules and, for each class, describe structure and synthesis.
2 Describe the different cell types and explain the function of their relevant organelles.
3 Explain the different physiological systems found in animals and plants.
4 Outline the roles of the major organ systems in the maintenance of homeostasis.
5 Explain the mechanisms of cell division, replication and DNA synthesis and describe examples of what can go wrong.
6 Demonstrate key team working and verbal communication skills.

Indicative content

Water, carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, nucleic acids, enzymes and inorganic ions in biological systems.
Uptake, storage, synthesis, breakdown, cell transport and excretion of molecules in cells.
Cell membrane, cell wall (Gram +/- bacteria), cytosol, nucleus, common organelles.
Cell cycle (interphase, mitosis, cytokinesis). Stages of meiosis.
Cell transport mechanisms (diffusion, facilitated diffusion, osmosis, active transport, endocytosis, exocytosis).
Digestive system, cardiovascular system, respiratory system, renal system and nervous system.
Plants and photosynthesis. Insects and eco-role. Overview of evolution and biodiversity.
Biochemical processes including enzyme function.
Basic overview of metabolism, glycolysis and the Krebs cycle.
Food groups and nutrients. Energy balance. Take up of nutrients by the body. Effect of diet on health.