Living Systems (BIOL1002)


Living Systems deals with the biology of organisms as individuals, within populations and as part of communities and ecosystems. A broad range of taxa is presented, from bacteria to large plants and animals, and emphasis is placed on understanding the ways in which they can live in different habitats. Behaviour is discussed as a key process linking organismal-level processes to population and community dynamics. The importance of energy in living systems, and how elements are used and recycled in biological communities, are introduced as the basis of ecosystems. The unit of study includes lectures and laboratory classes on the physiology and behaviour of animals and plants, the ways in which organisms control and integrate their activities and the processes controlling dynamics of populations and community. These themes are revisited within applied contexts to discuss issues such as management and conservation. This unit of study provides a good foundation for intermediate biology units of study.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


Two 1-hour lectures and one 2.5-hour practical per week and tutorials every few weeks.


One 2-hour exam, assignments, quizzes (100%).


Knox R B et al. Biology. An Australian Focus. 4th ed. McGraw-Hill. 2010.

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules

Prerequisites and assumed knowledge

HSC Biology. Students who have not completed HSC Biology (or equivalent) are strongly advised to take the Biology Bridging Course (offered in February).


BIOL1500 or BIOL1902 or BIOL1992

Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.