Academic year: 2022-23
Course: Foundation Course Science
Credits: 6
Period: first semester

Number of hours: 48

Teacher(s): Laura Mascia (

Language of instruction: English

Learning outcomes

To understand the main concepts in Biology and to critically apply to real world examples. To learn, organize and connect the different topics in a long-life learning perspective.

To find the right strategy to study scientific topics at University.


The course has the purpose of providing the basic knowledge of Biology.The main topics that will be treated are: Chemical composition of living organisms, Cell types: prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, cell division, DNA and genes, genetic code, protein synthesis,molecular biology techniques, viruses, anatomy and physiology of humans, tissues, organs and systems, circulatory system, respiratory system, digestive system, excretory system, nervous system, immune system.

Assessment criteria of knowledge

In the written tests the student must demonstrate his/her knowledge of the course topics through answers to specific questions.

In the scientific comprehension tests the student must demonstrate his/her ability to manage and understand scintific language

In the short oral talk on a favourite topic, chosen by the student, he/she must demonstrate his/her oral skills.


The aim of the course is the acquisition by the student of biological knowledge, useful also for further specialized examination and the developing of cognitive strategies to learn, compare and analyze scientific topics.

Assessment criteria of skills

Review of the topics,trial tests are  held periodically, Schemes and maps of the complex topics are held in the class.


The student will be encouraged to apply to real world examples the knowledge acquired and to implement in life long learning.


General scientific knolewdge from high school


            1. Chemical composition of living organisms

Basic chemistry: Atom and molecules. Types of bonds. The importance of carbon. The water and its properties. Biological molecules: proteins, nucleic acids, lipids, carbohydrates.

            2. The cell

Prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. Cell membranes and organelles: structure and function.

            3. Genetic code, cell division, reproduction and inheritance

DNA and genes. Genetic code. Transcription. Protein synthesis. Mitosis and meiosis. Mendelian genetics. Reproduction in animals. Viruses. Molecular biology techniques.

            4. Basis of anatomy and physiology of animals

Tissues, organs and systems in animals. Embryology. Circulatory system. Respiratory system. Digestive system. Excretory system. Nervous system. Immune system

            5. Elements of biochemistry

Energy flow and biological significance of photosynthesis, glycolysis, fermentation and aerobic respiration. The importance of ATP. Autotrophic and heterotrophic metabolism.


Biology, Coursebook. Cambridge IGCSE. Jones and Jones. Cambridge University press

High school Biology books in italian

Assessment methods

The final exam consists of two parts. The first and second part is a test consisting of 30-40 multiple choice questions on topics of the first part of the course for a total score of 30. Only if the first part is passed with a score the same or higher than 18, the second part can be performed. Also this second part must be passed with a score the same or higher than 18.

A scientific comprehension test on a recent scientific  topic, where the student has to answer some open questions.

A short oral talk (3-4 slides on a favourite topic) to be presented in the class

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