This unit aims to develop in the student an understanding of scientific research methods, practical skills, research project design and development skills and problem solving skills.


BIO70003 Minor Research Project


37.5 credit points

Teaching periods
Start and end dates
Last self-enrolment date
Census date
Last withdraw without fail date
Results released date
Semester 2
Start and end dates
Last self-enrolment date
Census date
Last withdraw without fail date
Results released date

Learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete this unit will be able to:

  • Investigate a research or technical problem with confidence and commitment in an unstructured environment
  • Demonstrate skills in undertaking critical review of relevant literature and designing clear and well-justified research questions, aims and experimental design
  • Apply theoretical knowledge and practical skills, by selecting and applying appropriate laboratory and/or computer techniques to address the research questions
  • Take initiatives and responsibility, and demonstrate problem solving skills, safe laboratory work, independence of thought and interpretation
  • Demonstrate the skills of planning and conducting the project work, thorough record keeping, and effective communication with the project partner(s), laboratory staff and project supervisor(s) at all stages
  • Critical analysis and interpretation of results, and submitting high quality, well-structured written reports and/or multimedia presentations to peers

Teaching methods


Type Hours per week Number of weeks Total (number of hours)
On Campus
4.00  12 weeks  48
Unspecified Learning Activities
Independent Learning
8.50  12 weeks  102
TOTAL     150


Type Task Weighting ULO's
PresentationGroup 15 - 20% 4,5,6 
Problem SolvingGroup 25 - 30% 1,2,3,4 
Project ProposalGroup 10 - 15% 1,2,3,4 
Project WorkbookIndividual 5 - 10% 1,2,3,4 
ReportIndividual 30 - 45% 2,3,4,5,6 


As the minimum requirements of assessment to pass a unit and meet all ULOs to a minimum standard, an undergraduate student must have achieved:

(i) an aggregate mark of 50% or more, and
(ii) must complete a minimum of 80% of laboratory work based on the criteria for successful completion as explained in the lab handout(s), and
(iii) obtain at least 40% of the possible marks for the above laboratory hurdle.

Students who do not successfully achieve hurdle requirements (ii) and (iii) in full, will receive a maximum of 45% as the total mark for the unit.


  • Laboratory­based biochemical research projects, addressing a research or technical problem
  • Alternative non­laboratory based approaches such as critical analysis of literature and/or computer modelling or bioinformatics analysis may be selected by a student in exceptional cases
  • Students work in pairs/small groups and are encouraged to collaborate with other students in the preparation of materials. They may work and be assessed individually in exceptional circumstances
  • Techniques or methods used range across the areas of: microbiology, molecular biology, biochemistry and chemistry, including gel electrophoresis, spectrophotometry, spectrofluorimetry, centrifugation and ultracentrifugation, column chromatography, PCR and molecular biology techniques, bioinformatics tools, computer modelling, analysis of published data
  • Projects with laboratory work may use DNA manipulation or analysis, protein purification and analysis, enzyme analysis, or a combination of these and other techniques common to the above areas

Study resources

Reading materials

A list of reading materials and/or required textbooks will be available in the Unit Outline on Canvas.