Course Description

This is the first of two courses designed to prepare you for university entrance. Through the study of biology (life and living systems), learners are given an opportunity to explore and understand the natural world through the themes of diversity, energy, equilibrium, matter and systems. The major units developed in this course include energy and matter in the biosphere, ecosystem and population change, photosynthesis and cellular respiration, and human systems.

Course Details

Broad Learning Outcome:

Biology is the study of life and living systems from the molecular level to the biosphere. Through the study of biology, learners are given an opportunity to explore and understand the natural world and to become aware of the profound influence of biology in their lives. Students further develop their ability to ask questions, investigate and experiment; to gather, analyze and assess scientific information; and to test scientific laws and principles and their applications.

Supporting Learning Outcome Statements

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to describe how:

  • The biosphere is maintained by a constant flow of energy including the main source - solar energy
  • The biosphere is composed of a diversity of biomes and aquatic ecosystems, each with distinctive biotic and abiotic factors
  • Ecosystems have characteristic structures determined by their energy and matter exchange
  • Cycling of matter through the biosphere occurs through four main cycles
  • Photosynthesis stores energy in organic compounds
  • Cellular respiration releases potential energy from organic compounds
  • Through the process of natural selection organisms have adapted over time to their ecosystems
  • The distribution and abundance of organisms depend on interactions among organisms, and between individuals and their environments
  • Organisms are organized into groups such as kingdoms, depending on shared biological characteristics
  • Dichotomous keys are used to identify the two-word scientific name for individuals of a species
  • Populations are basic components of ecosystem structure
  • Humans through exploration and increased populations have negatively affected biodiversity
  • Limiting factors influence the distribution, range, and abundance of organisms
  • Scientists take random samples to estimate populations sizes
  • Sampling techniques include censuses, transects, and quadrats
  • The digestive system of a human involves many organs and enzymes
  • The respiratory and circulatory system of a human transports energy and matter to maintain equilibrium among the body systems as well as between the organism and its external environment.
  • The immune system of the human provides protection against foreign particles and antigens
  • The excretory system of the human exchanges energy and matter with the environment
  • The musculature system of the human allows for protection of organs and movement of the body
  • The knowledge gained in this course can be applied to everyone's daily activities and decisions 


Successful completion of Science 10 or an equivalent course. Questions about placement? Call: 403.220.2866 or E-mail: conted@ucalgary.ca 

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