Animal Structure and Function - 2018

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 1
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Web Dependent
  • Prerequisites: Yes
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP
  • Availability for 2017: SP3 , SP4
  • Availability for 2018: SP3 , SP4
  • Assessment: Assignment - Laboratory practicals (24%) , Invigilated Exam (40%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2018 Fees
Domestic 2,019.00
HECS 1,169.00
International 2,269.00
This unit is an introduction to animal structure and function. It provides an overview of the structure, function and reproduction of the vertebrates, with emphasis on humans. Topics include: the physiology of muscles; nerves; digestion; respiration; excretion; circulation; reproduction; and endocrine systems. A brief overview of methods for histological preparation of tissues for microscopic examination will be provided. Practical components include understanding cells and tissues and vertebrate dissections (fish, amphibians, birds and mammals). Physiology computer simulations are undertaken in students own time with an open book/fixed time examination during the practical week. 

A pass mark in the final exam is not a hurdle. Attendance at the practicals is the hurdle.

Please note the dates below for the compulsory requirements for this unit to attend laboratory classes at RMIT University's City Campus in central Melbourne:

Study Period 3:

  • TBA

Study Period 4:

  • TBA

More details will be provided at the commencement of the relevant Study Period and available on Blackboard.

At the completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. use standard histological methods to prepare tissue sections for microscopic examination
  2. explain the structure and function of the major organ systems in mammals (nerve, kidney, circulation functions, etc)
  3. identify many animal specimens to phylum, order or lower levels of classification
  4. understand much of the terminology used to describe animal structure in widely divergent animal groups
  5. dissect, examine and remove organs in a wide variety of animal organisms
  6. identify organs and determine function of organs in a wide variety of animal organisms.
  • Assignment — Laboratory practicals (24%)
  • Invigilated Exam (40%)
  • Test — Lecture Test (20%)
  • Test 1 — PhysioEx Computer simulation (16%)
For more information on invigilated exams see Exams and results

Recommended prerequisites

You are recommended to have completed the following unit(s) or have equivalent knowledge before starting this unit:

  • Some on campus attendance — Mandatory Practicals of five half days in Melbourne

This unit addresses the following topics.

1Tissues and organs/Anatomical nomenclature
5Kidneys & water balance
6Immune system
7Locomotion / Muscle
9The nervous system
10The endocrine organs
11Sex & reproduction
12Hormones & reproduction

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Online materials

  • Printable format materials
  • Quizzes

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.

Textbook information for this unit is currently being updated and will be available soon. Please check back regularly for updates. Alternatively, visit the The Co-op website and enter the unit details to search for available textbooks.

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