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Thompson Rivers University 50th Anniversary
Thompson Rivers University 50th Anniversary

BIOL 0501: General Biology

Note: Students who complete BIOL 0501 will meet the ABE Advanced Level (Grade 11) learning outcomes and competencies for transfer credit as stated in the most recent BC Provincial Government’s publication Adult Basic Education: A Guide to Upgrading in British Columbia's Public Post-Secondary Institutions - An Articulation Handbook, including a completion of a minimum of seven labs.

This course is equivalent to Biology 11. The general aims of this course are to give a basic understanding of biological processes and to introduce a number of fundamental biological terms. To begin, students review the scientific method, microscope use, and basic cell biology. They then consider the evolution of biological diversity. As they explore the diversity of life, students progress from microbes to plants and animals, learning from observation in labs and neighbourhood field trips as well as from the excellent textbook and online resources. Finally they apply their biology skills to ecology.


The intended outcome of this course is for you as a conscientious student, to be as well prepared for further education and decision making as typical students who have completed other secondary school and adult basic education courses at the Biology 11 level, as articulated in the following sources

Course outline

  • Module 1: Biology and the Process of Science
  • Module 2: Microscopes and Cells
  • Module 3: Evolution and Speciation
  • Module 4: Classification and Microbes
  • Module 5: Biodiversity of Plants and Fungi
  • Module 6: Biodiversity of Animals
  • Module 7: Ecology

Required text and materials

  1. Simon, E. J., Dickey, J. L., & Reece, J. B. (2019). Campbell essential biology with physiology plus mastering biology. (6th ed.). New York, NY: Pearson.
    ISBN-13: 978-0134763453 ISBN-10: 0134763459

The following resources are either provided in electronic format within the learning management system or included in your course package.

  • Denning, D. (1998). Grizzly bear biology student guide. Victoria, BC: British Columbia Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks.
  • Thompson Rivers University Open Learning. (2005). TRU Microscope Guide. Kamloops, BC: Thompson Rivers University.
  • Konus Science Kit No. 20: a set of 10 prepared slides and 10 clean slides with coverslips.
  • PocketScope: a simple hand-held microscope.

Additional requirements

Technical Basics lists the hardware, software, and computer skills requirements for your course.


To successfully complete this course, students must achieve a passing grade of 50% or higher on the overall course, and 50% or higher on the final mandatory exam.

Assignment 1: Biology and the Process of Science 6%
Assignment 2: Microscopes and Cells 10%
Assignment 3: Evolution and Speciation 9%
Assignment 4: Classification and Microbes 9%
Assignment 5: Biodiversity of Plants and Fungi 8%
Assignment 6: Biodiversity of Animals 10%
Assignment 7: Ecology 8%
Final Examination * 40%
Total 100%

* Mandatory

Open Learning Faculty Member

An Open Learning Faculty member is available to assist students. Primary communication is through the Learning Environment's "Mail" tool or by phone. Students will receive the necessary contact information when starting the course.

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