Environmental Biology

Qualification: Undergraduate unit
Study mode: Online
Payment options: HECS-HELP may be available
FEE-HELP may be available
Duration: 13 weeks
Start date: Enquire now for upcoming start dates
Awarded by: Murdoch University
Course Unit A course unit is a single subject offered as part of a program of study, but can be completed individually. You may receive Recognition of Prior Learning for studying this unit.

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About this unit

This online Environmental Biology unit, offered by Open Universities Australia and Murdoch University, will give you a foundation of knowledge of environmental biology. You will learn about the various scientific methods used to classify and investigate natural ecosystems, and will develop your understanding of cell theory and evolution.

Emphasis will be placed upon understanding biodiversity and you will gain the knowledge needed to describe the main features of major phyla of prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms. Upon completion of the unit, you will also be able to describe the distinguishing features of marine, terrestrial, and inland aquatic ecosystems, and the animals and plants which are adapted to them.

You will also develop your report writing skills, as you will be required to produce industry-standard reports based upon your laboratory and field work. You will be required to write five practical reports over the course of 13 weeks.


There are no prerequisites for this unit; so anyone can apply.

Areas of study

In this science unit, the topics you will study include:

  • Scientific method (including an introduction to the cell theory and evolution as the unifying theories of modern biology
  • Understanding biodiversity (a survey of the characteristics of the major groups of living biota)
  • Evolution in action – population and community ecology
  • Biodiversity and the environment – marine, inland aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems
  • The future – conservation biology and restoration ecology

Course pathways

This unit is an approved elective in the following course:

  • Bachelor of Arts, Murdoch University

Content may also be relevant to other courses, and could qualify you for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) for a course offered by another institution.

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Want more information about this unit? Fill out the enquiry form to the right and a study consultant will contact you with the details you need.

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How will this unit advance my career?

This unit will provide you with a solid foundation of knowledge relating to natural ecosystems; and is ideally suited to individuals looking to pursue a career in the fields of scientific research, environmental conservation and marine biology. The topics you will study include classifying biodiversity, cell theory and evolution. You will also familiarise yourself with the various scientific methods commonly used today. Your communication skills will also be developed and improved through regular report writing. Being able to effectively communicate your ideas is a highly transferable and exceptionally useful skill. You will also undertake laboratory and field work, and will become familiar with the conventions for both.

You will gain the necessary knowledge to understand and coherently argue that ecology is evolution in action. You will be able to discuss this concept with reference to biogeography, such as biomes and the theory of continental drift. You will be able to identify the adaptations found in animals and plants, which inhabit terrestrial, inland aquatic and marine environments.

During this online unit you will also discuss the sub-discipline of conservation biology, and its distinguishing features. This will enable you to develop a deep understanding of the arguments for maintaining biodiversity and conserving the Earth’s ecosystems.

How else will I benefit from this unit?

  • Upon successful completion of this unit you will receive credit for competencies in Environmental Biology from Murdoch University.
  • Studying online means you can study where you want, at your own pace.
  • Gain industry-relevant skills and transferable knowledge.
  • Government financial support through FEE-HELP or HECS-HELP may be available.
  • Studying single units allows you the flexibility to work towards a qualification at your own pace.
  • Receive Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) for this unit across a number of OUA's full degree programs.

Get more information

Want more information about the career benefits of this unit? Fill out the enquiry form to the right and a study consultant will contact you with the details you need.

Financial assistance

If you are an Australian citizen, you may be eligible to receive a government HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP loan, meaning you can defer payment of your fees.


Get more information

Want more information about financial and student support? Fill out the enquiry form to the right and a study consultant will contact you with the details you need.

You may be eligible to receive HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP for this course!

This course can be paid for through the HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP government loan schemes. If you are an Australian citizen or hold a permanent humanitarian visa, this means you don’t need to pay upfront.

Instead, the Australian government will pay your course fees on your behalf. You’ll begin repaying your loan through the tax system once you start earning more than the minimum threshold of $54,869 (2016-17 income year).

Find out more about government study loans here.
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Get more information

Want more information about the career benefits of this course?
Fill out the enquiry form to the right and a study consultant will contact you with the details you need.

FREE CALL 1800 063 523

Monday to Friday: 8am - late
Saturday and Sunday: 9am - 5pm

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