Plant Diversity - 2017

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 3
  • 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
  • Assessment: Invigilated Exam - Theory Examination (2h) (50%) , Practical 2 - Practical test (15%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2017 Fees
Domestic 1,931.00
HECS 1,131.00
International 2,181.00

This course has a vocational focus. It introduces the student to the classification and identification of algae and (lower and higher) plants. The aim of the course is to provide depth of knowledge in plant identification for future employment in agricultural, horticultural and environmental areas. Students finish able to to examine algal and plant structure and identify algae and plants using appropriate techniques, eg light microscopy, dissection and keys.

Students study the various non-flowering (algae, mosses, liverworts, ferns, conifers) and flowering plants (monocotyledons and dicotyledons). Students learn about life cycles, structure, function, ecology, evolution and economic importance. Structure and function are related to ecology and evolution. You learn about life cycles, structure, function and reasons for importance of these very different plants. You also learn how to identify the organisms using the various keys and pictorial guides available.

Whilst the topics will be arranged to suit seasonal availability of practical material, the course will cover the importance, terminology and structure, classification, reproduction and ecology of the groups in lectures and practicals, as follows: algae, bryophytes, pteridophytes, gymnosperms and angiosperms (monocotyledons and dicotyledons). Practicals will focus on structure, reproduction and identification of major groups.

This unit requires you to attend an on-campus practical of five half days in Melbourne.

2017, Study Period 3:

  • Nov 20 - 24, 2017 - PM*

2017, Study Period 4:

  • Feb 5 - 9, 2018 - PM*

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

At the completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. Define characteristics, importance and applications of plants in agriculture, horticulture and environmental ecology
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of taxonomy and classification to identify unknown plants to genus or species level
  3. Recognise and identify relevant structures for vegetative growth and reproduction for the purposes of classification, identification and industrial applications
  4. Work independently and in teams to achieve these goals.
  • Invigilated Exam — Theory Examination (2h) (50%)
  • Practical 2 — Practical test (15%)
  • Practicum — Practical Work (25%)
  • Test — Online Test (10%)
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:

Assumed knowledge and capabilities from SCB100, SCB110 and SCB120

  • Some on campus attendance — Students are required to attend five half days in Melbourne.

This unit addresses the following topics.

1Introduction to the course, Plant evolution and diversity
3Lower plants, Bryophytes and Pteridophytes
5Introduction to Angiosperms
6Angiosperm vegetative characteristics
7Angiosperm floral characteristics and pollination
8Angiosperm reproduction
9Cosmopolitan plant families
10Australian plant families

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Print based materials

  • Welcome Letter

Online materials

  • Online Assessment
  • Printable format materials
  • Quizzes
  • Resources and Links

This unit is a core requirement 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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