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During 2021 we will continue to support students who need to study remotely due to the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 and travel restrictions. Make sure you check the location code when selecting a unit outline or choosing your units of study in Sydney Student. Find out more about what these codes mean. Both remote and on-campus locations have the same learning activities and assessments, however teaching staff may vary. More information about face-to-face teaching and assessment arrangements for each unit will be provided on Canvas.

Unit of study_

AVBS2005: Animal Energetics and Homeostasis

Effective metabolic function is critical for animal health and wellbeing. Key concepts include the comparative differences between animals and humans (eg ruminant metabolism), common disruptions in metabolism and endocrine regulation in companion animals, as well as the impact of metabolic dysfunction in animal production systems (eg bovine ketosis and ovine pregnancy toxaemia). This unit of study begins with an introduction to the metabolic processes of cells, tissues and whole animals by examining the structure ie the cytological and histological characteristics, of animal tissues in the physical context of whole animals. An integrated view is explored of the role of hormones in homeostatic control as dynamic metabolic regulators in wellbeing and the consequences of dysregulation. Students will apply knowledge of animal nutrition and animal structure and function to determine the underlying basis of metabolic disease and disorders and, how to alleviate or mitigate the dysfunction. This will be done by utilising an understanding of adaptive metabolism in animals to interpret biochemical data and identify disruptions to metabolism and homeostatic mechanisms. Clinical veterinary medicine examples of disruption to metabolism are used to emphasise normal metabolic processes. Students will develop key skills in microscopy, cytology and histology for broad application in the sciences.


Academic unit Life and Environmental Sciences Academic Operations
Unit code AVBS2005
Unit name Animal Energetics and Homeostasis
Session, year
Semester 1, 2020
Attendance mode Normal day
Location Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Credit points 6

Enrolment rules

Assumed knowledge

Knowledge and concepts from BIOL1XX7

Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff and contact details

Coordinator Paul Sheehy,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Tutorial quiz hurdle task Practical class 3 preparation quiz
0% - 15 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO5 LO6
Assignment hurdle task Case study report form submission
0% - 1 hour
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO4 LO3 LO2
Assignment group assignment Cytology group assignment
20% -
Outcomes assessed: LO5 LO6
Assignment hurdle task Practical class 2 preparation discussion board submission
0% - 15 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO5
In-semester test Mid semester examination
25% - 40 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2
Final exam Final written examination
55% Formal exam period 120 minutes/ 2 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Small test Computer based self-tests
0% Ongoing 2 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
Tutorial quiz hurdle task Practical class 1 preparation quiz.
0% Week 02 15 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO5 LO6
hurdle task = hurdle task ?
group assignment = group assignment ?
  • Cytology group assignment: This assignment is designed to develop the skills to describe, analyze and identify cells and sub-cellular components in histological slides in the context of veterinary and animal science.
  • Mid semester examination: A mid-semester examination will be conducted to cover all lecture material up to the date of the examination. Additional details will be provided but the exam will consist of a series of MCQ and short answer questions which is the same format as the final written examination in June.
  • Final written examination: The final examination will consist of a series of MCQ and short answer questions. This exam will cover all material discussed in lectures and tutorial classes including case study discussions.
  • Formative assessment: Students will be asked to investigate 3 case studies provided through LMS (Canvas) and answer questions on the case study report forms provided. Please note that one of the short answer examination questions in the June final examination will be based on these cases studies.
  • Computer based self-tests: These MCQ questions can be revised anytime during the semester and are similar in format to those in
    the final written examination.
Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100

At HD level, a student demonstrates a flair for the subject as well as a detailed and comprehensive understanding of the unit material. A ‘High Distinction’ reflects exceptional achievement and is awarded to a student who demonstrates the ability to apply their subject knowledge and understanding to produce original solutions for novel or highly complex problems and/or comprehensive critical discussions of theoretical concepts


75 - 84

At DI level, a student demonstrates an aptitude for the subject and a well-developed understanding of the unit material. A ‘Distinction’ reflects excellent achievement and is awarded to a student who demonstrates an ability to apply their subject knowledge and understanding of the subject to produce good solutions for challenging problems and/or a reasonably well-developed critical analysis of theoretical concepts.


65 - 74

At CR level, a student demonstrates a good command and knowledge of the unit material. A ‘Credit’ reflects solid achievement and is awarded to a student who has a broad general understanding of the unit material and can solve routine problems and/or identify and superficially discuss theoretical concepts.


50 - 64

At PS level, a student demonstrates proficiency in the unit material. A ‘Pass’ reflects satisfactory achievement and is awarded to a student who has threshold knowledge.


0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Special consideration

If you experience short-term circumstances beyond your control, such as illness, injury or misadventure or if you have essential commitments which impact your preparation or performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website provides information on academic honesty, academic dishonesty, and the resources available to all students.

The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic dishonesty or plagiarism seriously.

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic dishonesty. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of dishonesty, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 1. General introduction; 2. Cytology 1; 3. Cytology 2; 4. Cytology 3 (4 hr)  
Week 02 1. Cytology 4; 2. Cytology 5; 3. Cytology 6 (3 hr)  
Microscopy (2 hr)  
Week 03 1. Small molecules, energy & biosynthesis 1; 2. Small molecules, energy & biosynthesis 2; 3. Small molecules, energy & biosynthesis 3 (3 hr)  
Tissue preparation (2 hr)  
Week 04 1. Small molecules, energy & biosynthesis 4; 2. Macromolecules 1; 3. Macromolecules 2 (3 hr)  
Cells (2 hr)  
Week 05 1. Macromolecules 3; 2. Enzyme catalysis; 3. Enzyme kinetics; 4. Metabolism 1 (4 hr)  
Week 06 1. Metabolism 2; 2. Protein metabolism 1; 3. Protein metabolism 2; 4. Revision/summary (4 hr)  
Week 07 1. Carbohydrate metabolism 1; 2. Carbohydrate metabolism 2; 3. Lipid metabolism 1 (3 hr)  
Week 08 1. Lipid metabolism 2; 2. Citric acid cycle; 3. Nitrogen metabolism; 4. Oxidative phosphorylation 1 (4 hr)  
Week 09 1. Oxidative phosphorylation 2; 2. Cellular metabolism in context; 3. Endocrine physiology 1; 4. Endocrine physiology 2 (4 hr)  
Week 10 1. Endocrine physiology 3; 2. Endocrine physiology 4; 3. Endocrine physiology 5 (3 hr)  
Diagnostic biochemistry (1 hr)  
Week 11 Endocrine physiology tutorial (2 hr)  
Week 12 1. Endocrine physiology 6; 2. Endocrine physiology 7 (2 hr)  
Week 13 Cell signaling (1 hr)  
1. Endocrine revision; 2. Revision and case studies (1 hr)  

Attendance and class requirements

Referencing guidelines: The default referencing style recommended is Harvard-Flinders:

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University’s graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. outline the biochemical basis of animal cellular metabolism as it applies to individual cells, tissues and whole animals, with particular focus on companion and production animals
  • LO2. explain the underlying cellular basis of abnormal metabolism or metabolic disease in animals through a thorough understanding of normal metabolic processes
  • LO3. interpret biochemical data from biological samples (e.g. analysis of blood and urine or other biological fluids or specimens) to infer metabolic status of an animal and suggest interventions that may facilitate maintenance of homeostasis
  • LO4. relate the commonly occurring disturbances to a hormones production, or action, to the effect on internal homeostasis
  • LO5. identify cellular/histological structures on stained histological sections of animal tissues and utilizing an understanding of normal histological tissue preparation and artifacts to identify possible histopathology
  • LO6. work with colleagues in groups to coordinate the investigation and written reporting of the histological features of a prepared sample.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities
Changes are made annually in response to student feedback.

Work, health and safety

Completion of the Canvas module “Zoonosis Awareness” is compulsory.

We are governed by the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 and Codes of Practice. Penalties for non-compliance have increased. Everyone has a responsibility for health and safety at work. The University’s Work Health and Safety policy explains the responsibilities and expectations of workers and others, and the procedures for managing WHS risks associated with University activities.

General Laboratory Safety Rules

  • No eating or drinking is allowed in any laboratory under any circumstances 
  • A laboratory coat and closed-toe shoes are mandatory 
  • Follow safety instructions in your manual and posted in laboratories 
  • In case of fire, follow instructions posted outside the laboratory door 
  • First aid kits, eye wash and fire extinguishers are located in or immediately outside each laboratory 
  • As a precautionary measure, it is recommended that you have a current tetanus immunisation. This can be obtained from University Health Service:


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.