The unit aims to enable students to develop and demonstrate essential research methods skills required to undertake and complete a research project in science, for example, acquisition and critical analysis of literature, experimental design, selecting and using alternative methods to address the hypothesis or research or technical problem, record keeping, problem solving, data generation and critical analysis, delivering scientific proposals, reports and assignments, and team work. The topics together provide the strong foundation essential for undertaking further research projects in the course as well as research-focussed employment.


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 in an unstructured environment
  • Demonstrate skills in the research methods of undertaking literature review related to the issue, critical analysis of the findings, identifying gaps or opportunities, and designing a clear and concise research question
  • Demonstrate skills in experimental design to address the problem, including application of theoretical principles, suggesting and/or theoretically applying appropriate laboratory technique(s), calculations, graphics, statistics and/or computer-based tools, use of appropriate controls, sample sizes, and recognising and avoiding flaws in experimental design
  • Develop and demonstrate skills in a selection of research methods such as (but not restricted to) pre-clinical and clinical trials, ethical considerations such as animal ethics, human ethics and/or gene technology ethics, occupational health and safety matters, select bioinformatics tools for analyses of genes and/or proteins and accessing the relevant databases
  • Demonstrate skills of organisation, planning of work, record-keeping, problem-solving and effective communication with work partner/team
  • Critically analyse and interpret the results and present written reports and/or multimedia presentations

Teaching methods


Type Hours per week Number of weeks Total (number of hours)
Face to Face Contact (Phasing out)
3.00 12 weeks 36
Face to Face Contact (Phasing out)
1.00 12 weeks 12
Unspecified Learning Activities (Phasing out)
Independent Learning
8.50 12 weeks 102


Type Task Weighting ULO's
ExaminationIndividual 30 - 40% 3,4 
Literature ReviewIndividual 10 - 15% 1,2,6 
Mid-Semester TestIndividual 15 - 20% 3,4,5 
Oral PresentationGroup 10 - 15% 5,6 
Project ProposalGroup 15 - 20% 1,2,3,4,5,6 


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 overall mark for the unit of 50% or more, and(ii)        At least 40% in the first reportStudents who do not successfully achieve hurdle requirements (ii) will receive a maximum of 45% as the total mark for the unit.


  • Undertaking literature review related to selected scientific issues, summation and critical interpretations of the findings, identifying gaps, and preparing professional reports.
  • Investigating aspects of experimental design(s) for appropriately addressing scientific issues, including selection of sampling methods, identification of appropriate analytical tools for addressing the research question and troubleshooting/problem-solving.
  • Introduction to basic bioinformatics methods and their principles.
  • Introduction to a selection of other research-related considerations, such as occupational health and safety matters for laboratory work, ethics, and environmental considerations.

Study resources

Reading materials

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