Biological Basis of Behaviour - 2017

This unit contains mature content including Adult Themes, Sex / Sexual References and Violence and may not be suitable for some students.
Any student under the age of 16 who would like to enrol in this unit must first complete a Parental Consent Form.

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 1
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: Yes
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP
  • Availability for 2017: Sem1
  • Availability for 2018: Sem2
  • Assessment: Assignment 1 - Lab exercise 1 (6%) , Assignment 2 - Lab exercise 2 (6%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2017 Fees
Domestic 1,131.00
HECS 1,131.00
International 1,381.00

This unit was previously known as SCI140 Introduction to Brain, Behaviour and Evolution.

The Greatest Show on the Planet. This unit is a suitable introductory science unit for all students. It offers an integrative approach to the amazing world of animal behaviour. Basic mechanisms are covered, together with function and evolution. Scientific literacy about key ideas in the life sciences is an aim of the unit, which is delivered with engaging and colourful lectures and practicals. Such ideas include evolution, sex, genetics, how our brain works, sensing the world and animal communication. The unit culminates with some reflections on the lives of humans in our modern world and the role of culture in human evolution.

At the completion of this unit students will:

  1. be able to think critically about explanations of behaviour
  2. have a basic understanding of evolutionary processes
  3. have a basic understanding of how the brain works.
  • Assignment 1 — Lab exercise 1 (6%)
  • Assignment 2 — Lab exercise 2 (6%)
  • Commentary (24%)
  • Invigilated Exam (46%)
  • Quiz — Based on review questions (18%)
For more information on invigilated exams see Exams and results

Equivalent units

You cannot enrol in this unit if you have successfully completed any of the following unit(s) because they are considered academically equivalent:

  • SCI140 — Introduction to Brain, Behaviour and Evolution

This unit addresses the following topics.

2How science 'works'
4Good study habits
5Brief history
6Different explanations of behaviour
8Genetics and epigenetics
9Nervous system
13Animal behaviour
15Sexual selection
16Human evolution
17Topics on evolution and human behaviour

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Online Quizzes/Tests
  • Online assignment submission
  • Standard Media

Online materials

  • Audio/Video - Streaming
  • Quizzes
  • Resources and Links

This unit is a core requirement in the following courses:

This unit is an approved elective in the following courses:

This unit may be eligible for credit towards other courses:

  1. Many undergraduate courses on offer through OUA include 'open elective' where any OUA unit can be credited to the course. You need to check the Award Requirements on the course page for the number of allowed open electives and any level limitations.
  2. In other cases, the content of this unit might be relevant to a course on offer through OUA or elsewhere. In order to receive credit for this unit in the course you will need to supply the provider institution with a copy of the Unit Profile in the approved format, which you can download here. Note that the Unit Profile is set at the start of the year, and if textbooks change this may not match the Co-Op textbook list.

Textbooks are subject to change within the academic year. Students are advised to purchase their books no earlier than one to two months before the start of a unit.

Click on the titles of the listed books below to find out more:

Required textbooks

  • Biological Basis of Behaviour


    ISBN: 9781308974439


    Supplier:Go to The Co-op Bookshop

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