School of Biological Sciences


Stage 1 courses

Your first-year undergraduate courses will give you a broad understanding of Biological Sciences.

Seven 15-point courses offered at Stage I provide an introduction to the Biological Sciences. Students intending to major in Biological Sciences are required to have taken four Stage I Biology courses, including BIOSCI 101, in order to have an appropriate foundation in molecular biology, plant and animal biology and ecology.

The courses BIOSCI 101, 102, 103 and 104 provide the most suitable combination for students interested in whole organism biology, while courses BIOSCI 101, 102 or 103, 106 and 107 offer the best choice for students who prefer the more molecular or genetic aspects of biology. You can select more than four biological courses, thus allowing you to keep the full range of biology open.

The courses BIOSCI 101, 106 and 107 are core courses in other majors and specialisations. Further information about other BSc majors and specialisations that include biological science courses is available on the Faculty of Science website.

It is important to gain further information from sources listed below when planning your degree programme, as entry to second- and third-year courses is based both on academic merit and successful completion of specified first-year courses.

Check the schedule for prerequisites in the Calendar.

We strongly advise all Biological Sciences students to take at least one Stage I Chemistry course. Preferably students should have taken Biology at least to NCEA Level 2 and have a background in other science subjects.
 

BIOSCI 100/BIOSCI 100G Antarctica: The Frozen Continent


(15 Points) (online delivery) Semester Two

A general introduction to Antarctica and its environs including the Southern Ocean and the sub-Antarctic islands. Emphasis will be placed on the evolution of Antarctica and how resident plants, animals and microorganisms are adapted to cope with the extreme environment. Specific topics to be addressed include the history of Antarctic exploration and its impact on the development of Antarctic science, Antarctic ecosystems, Antarctica as a wilderness region, and the impact of humans including the exploitation of resources and the effects of pollution. This course is suitable for students with both science and non-science backgrounds. All lecture content is available online but you need to sit assessments on campus.

Assessment: Incourse 60% (Test 20%, Assignments 40%, Examination 40%)
Coordinator: Caroline Aspden
Phone: +64 9 373 7599 ext 89711
Email: c.aspden@auckland.ac.nz

 

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BIOSCI 101 Essential Biology: From Genomes to Organisms


(15 Points) (City) Semester One

An introduction to the structures and processes which are common to micro-organisms, animals and plants at the cellular, molecular and biochemical levels. Genetic principles and processes and an overview of evolution and evolutionary concepts are included. 

This course assumes a knowledge of NCEA Level 3 Biology and at least NCEA Level 2 Chemistry.

Assessment: Incourse 60%, (Theory 40%, Practical 20%), Examination 40%
Prescribed textbook: Campbell's Biology, Reece et al. (2015) 10th Edn., Australia and New Zealand version. (Pearson Benjamin Cummings).
Coordinator: Amanda Harper
Phone: +64 9 373 7599 ext 87794
Email: a.harper@auckland.ac.nz

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BIOSCI 102 Plants, Microbes and Society


(15 Points) (City) Semester Two

A multidisciplinary approach is taken to studying the relationships between plants, microbes and humans. The course begins with an introduction to the key characteristics of plants and microbes and demonstrates how they are used for food and pharmaceuticals. The impact of plants and microbes on human health, as well as their role in a variety of industrial and biotechnological processes will be highlighted.

Assessment: Incourse 60%, (Theory 40%, Practical 20%), Examination 40%
Recommended textbook: Campbell's Biology, Reece et al. (2015) 10th Edn., Australia and New Zealand version. (Pearson Benjamin Cummings), Raven Biology of Plants, 8th Edn, Freeman.
Coordinator: David Seldon
Phone: +64 9 373 7599 ext 84929
Email: d.seldon@auckland.ac.nz

 

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BIOSCI 103 Comparative Animal Biology


(15 Points) (City) Semester Two

A comparative approach to the study of animals focusing on the processes which underlie and unite all animal life. Emphasis will be placed on evolutionary relationships and history, and on the relationship between form and function and the predictability of animal design. Reference will be made to the New Zealand fauna and to other animals of economic or evolutionary importance where appropriate. The practical component of this course involves animal dissection. This is an essential part of the course. No exemptions are possible.

Assessment: Incourse 60% (Theory 40%, Practical 20%), Examination 40%
Prescribed textbook: Campbell's Biology, Reece et al. (2015) 10th Edn., Australia and New Zealand version. (Pearson Benjamin Cummings).
Coordinators: Amanda Harper and Caroline Aspden
Phone: +64 9 373 7599 ext 87794 or 89711
Email: a.harper@auckland.ac.nz and c.aspden@auckland.ac.nz

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BIOSCI 104/BIOSCI 104G New Zealand Ecology and Conservation


(15 Points, City) Semester One

An introduction to the diversity of animals and plants in New Zealand including endemic, native and introduced species; biogeographical and evolutionary relationships; community structure and inter-relationships; behaviour and ecology; Māori perspectives in biology; and current conservation, environmental, social, animal welfare, and economic issues relevant to New Zealand biology.

Assessment: Incourse 60% (Theory 35%, Practical 25%), Examination 40%
Prescribed textbook: Parsons et al. (2006), Biology Aotearoa, Pearson Education New Zealand.
Recommended textbook: Campbell's Biology, Reece et al. (2015) 10th Edn., Australia and New Zealand version. (Pearson Benjamin Cummings).
Field trip: Two one-day weekend field trips. 
Coordinator: Caroline Aspden
Phone: +64 9 373 7599 ext 89711
Email: c.aspden@auckland.ac.nz

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BIOSCI 106 Foundations of Biochemistry


(15 Points) (City) Semester Two

This course will consider biochemical reactions as essential elements of life processes. Material covered includes: the molecular structure and action of proteins, the synthesis and metabolism of carbohydrates and fats in the fed and starved states, and elements of enzymology, energetics, metabolism, nutrition and hormonal control in health, physical performance and disease. Reference will be made to specific biomedical examples where appropriate. This is a limited entry course. Students are strongly advised to complete BIOSCI 101 and CHEM 110 before enrolling in BIOSCI 106.

Assessment: Incourse 60%, (Theory 40%, Practical 20%), Examination 40%
Recommended textbook: Berg et al, Biochemistry, 8th edition, W.H. Freeman and Company.
Coordinator: Dr Julie Mcintosh
Phone: +64 9 373 7599 ext 81234
Email: julie.mcintosh@auckland.ac.nz

 

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BIOSCI 107 Biology for Biomedical Science: Cellular Processes and Development


(15 Points) (City) Semester One

The cellular and tissue level basis of mammalian form and function. Special emphasis on cellular structure and processes including membrane transport, muscle types and function, blood and the immune response, and basic neurobiology. Selected topics in human and experimental embryology will also be covered. Practical component includes labs on cell histology, human embryology and muscle physiology. This is a limited-entry course that assumes knowledge of NCEA Level 3 Biology and at least NCEA Level 2 Chemistry.

Assessment: Incourse 60% (Theory 40%, Practical 20%), Examination: 40%
Prescribed textbook: Choose EITHER of the following two texts, depending on your own learning preference:

Tortora, G and B. Derrickson, Principles of Anatomy and Physiology, 14th Edition, Wiley Publishing. (Information is presented in primarily a written/ block text format, but with a slightly broader coverage. This book is also used by MEDSCI 142.)

Martini, et al. Visual Anatomy and Physiology, 2nd Edition, Pearson Education. (Information is presented in primarily a visual/ pictorial format, with appropriate written annotations.)

Recommended textbook: Campbell's Biology, Reece et al. (2015) 10th Edn., Australia and New Zealand version. (Pearson Benjamin Cummings). 

Coordinator: Dr Suzanne Reid
Phone: +64 9 373 7599 ext 89066
Email: s.reid@auckland.ac.nz

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