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Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

BIOL 1001: Understanding Biology

Note: This course is only available for registration to students residing in Canada

Students are introduced to biological principles applicable to many contemporary problems of human well-being and long-term survival. The aim of the course is to provide students who will not major in science with a scientific perspective. Students who plan to take advanced courses in biology should register in BIOL 1113 and BIOL 1213, rather than BIOL 1001.

Learning outcomes

  • Understand the process of scientific inquiry as it applies to biology.
  • Recognize the richness and breadth of the study of biology.
  • Identify and describe the components and basic metabolic processes of cells.
  • Discuss the ways in which biological information, stored in the cell, is maintained, utilized, and inherited.
  • Recognize the diversity of organisms from single-celled bacteria to multicellular plants and animals and use the hierarchical system of classification to name organisms.
  • Identify the evolutionary relationship among different groups of organisms and relate macro- and micro evolutionary processes to the history of life.
  • Describe the structure of plants and identify the main physiological processes, particularly growth and reproduction.
  • Describe the major physiological systems of animals with emphasis on the integration of functions and the relationship of function to environmental conditions.
  • Identify the abiotic and biotic components of ecosystems, including population dynamics and community structures.
  • Describe the energy and nutrient movement through ecosystems, using topical examples.

Course topics

  • Module 1: Introduction to the Science of Biology
  • Module 2: Cellular and Molecular Biology and Genetics
  • Module 3: Diversity and Evolution
  • Module 4: Plant and Animal Physiology
  • Module 5: Ecology

Required text and materials

Students require the following e-textbook, which can be purchased directly from the TRU bookstore site at:

  1. Taylor, M. R., Simon, E. J., Dickey, J. L., and Hogan, K. (2020). Campbell biology: Concepts & connections (10th ed.) with Modified Mastering Biology (access card). Pearson Education.
    Type: E-textbook: ISBN: 9780136538820


Please be aware that should your course have a final exam, you are responsible for the fee to the online proctoring service, ProctorU, or to the in-person approved Testing Centre. Please contact with any questions about this.

To successfully complete this course, students must achieve 50% or higher on the course overall and 50% or higher on the final mandatory examination.

Assignment 1: Introduction to the Science of Biology; Cellular and Molecular Biology and Genetics 12.5%
Assignment 2: Diversity and Evolution 12.5%
Assignment 3: Plant and Animal Physiology 12.5%
Assignment 4: Ecology 12.5%
Final Examination (mandatory) 50%
Total 100%

Open Learning Faculty Member Information

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Students will receive the necessary contact information at the start of the course.

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