The UNSW Evolutionary and Functional Biology (BIOS1101) course examines the evolutionary history of life on Earth. You’ll explore human origins and the relationship between environment, adaptation, form and function. Using evidence from the fossil record and living world (animal and plant physiology), you’ll identify patterns of structure, organisation and development.

Upon successful completion of this course, you’ll have the ability to do the following:

  • explain the concept of evolution and the evolutionary processes responsible for the past and present diversity of life on Earth
  • identify and classify living organisms into higher-order evolutionary groupings
  • relate plant and animal anatomy, physiology and reproduction to function adaptation and environment
  • demonstrate proficiency in fundamental biological laboratory skills (microscopy, biological drawing, dissection and inferring scientific observations) through first-hand scientific investigations
  • gather, analyse and interpret data from first-hand scientific investigations to draw valid conclusions.

Term offering: Term 2

Course attendance: In person

Level: Undergraduate - First year


  • Biology.
  • Ecology.

Course code: BIOS1101

Course breakdown

This foundational Stage 1 course is designed to cover the introductory concepts of evolutionary and functional biology, which are required for higher-level courses in Biological Sciences.

The course is structured via lectures and practicals to encompass three major themes as modules:

  • Module 1: evolution and diversity.
  • Module 2: animal form and function.
  • Module 3: plant form and function.

Career opportunities

Relevant roles

  • Ecologist 
  • Biologist
  • Environmental scientist
  • Natural resource manager 
  • Marine scientist 
  • Marine biologist 

Find out more

For more information, please contact:

E:  BIOS1101@unsw.edu.au