BIOMED 2520 - Biomedical Science IIB

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2018

Biomedical Science IIB provides students with an overview of key areas of biomedical research including gene discovery; elucidation of biological mechanisms in health and illness and the prevention or alleviation of disease. In addition, key research activities within the Department of Cellular & Molecular Biology will be used to illustrate and provide examples of the above concepts. Student assessment focuses on two main aspects: (i) the acquisition, analysis and interpretation of scientific data and (ii) scientific communication.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code BIOMED 2520
    Course Biomedical Science IIB
    Coordinating Unit School of Biological Sciences
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 5 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Prerequisites BIOLOGY 1101/1101ND or BIOLOGY 1401, & BIOLOGY 1201
    Assumed Knowledge At least 6 units of Level I Chemistry
    Restrictions Available to BSc(BiomedSc) students only
    Course Description Biomedical Science IIB provides students with an overview of key areas of biomedical research including gene discovery; elucidation of biological mechanisms in health and illness and the prevention or alleviation of disease. In addition, key research activities within the Department of Cellular & Molecular Biology will be used to illustrate and provide examples of the above concepts. Student assessment focuses on two main aspects: (i) the acquisition, analysis and interpretation of scientific data and (ii) scientific communication.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr James Botten

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    The anticipated knowledge, skills and attitude to be developed by the student are:
    1. Build awareness of a wide variety of cutting edge biomedical and molecular biology research.
    2. Become familiar with standard molecular biology techniques and their application.
    3. Increase proficiency in dissecting (“critically evaluating”) scientific literature.
    4. To begin developing critical thinking and problem solving skills required to plan research directions.
    5. Enhance scientific writing and communication skills.
    6. Develop confidence in use of computational tools in the analysis of biological sequence data.

    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1, 2
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    2, 3, 5, 6
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Students will be supplied with required & suggested readings, available from the Barr Smith Library or from online sources.

    Access to MyUni and University email is absolutely required, as the bulk of communication with students will be via these mechanisms.
    Online Learning

    MyUni: Teaching materials and course documentation will be posted on the MyUni website (

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The tutorials provide a mechanism for students to review the lecture material. Workshop sessions and related assessments will use examples from the lectures to develop skills in computational biology and scientific communication in various forms.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    Students are expected to attend all planned teaching activities to maximise their chances of success. In addition students are expected to spend 2 hours per lecture and 1 hour per tutorial in revision and preparation respectively. Finally, students will need to spend 50 hours in preparation of various assessments associated with the workshop.

    A student enrolled in a 3 unit course such as this should expect to spend on average 12 hours per week on the studies required. This includes both the formal contact time required to the course (e.g., lectures and practicals), as well as non-contact time (e.g., reading, preparing assessments etc).
    Learning Activities Summary
    Please Note:
    Tutorials are held weekly and begin in week 2. 
    Lecture topics are subject to change based on staff availability
    Several lectures after the mid semster break will take the format of a "Research Seminar", given by staff from the School of Biological Sciences on topics relevant to their particular research program.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment task Type of assessment Percentage of total assessment for grading purposes Hurdle (Yes/No) Outcomes being assessed
    Discovery Challenge
    Summative 15% No 3,5
    Scientific Communication - Poster Abstract & Plan Summative 15% No 2,4,5
    Scientific Communication - Oral Presentation Summative 15% No 2,4,5
    Scientific Communication - Group Poster Summative 25% No 2,4,5
    Tutorial Tests Summative 3 x 10% No 1
    Assessment Related Requirements

    Attendance at all teaching activities is required to obtain instruction for assessments.

    Please note periodic assessements will be held during either workshops and/or tutorials, hence attendance at all of these activities is mandatory.

    Non-attendance at these sessions without adequate reason (in association with appropriate documentation) will result in a zero mark for the relevant assessment.

    Assessment Detail

    Description of Assessment:
    All assessment tasks will be supported by extensive guidelines and detailed assessment rubrics.
    Specific criteria along with a template document will be provided to assist the students in completing each assessment task.

    Bioinformatics Discovery Challenge (15% of total course grade):
    Students will be supplied with short DNA reads of an “unknown” sequence which they need to assemble and analyse using various online bioinformatics tools. Students present the putative function of the assembled sequence, using evidence from the tools used as well as published articles to support their hypothesis.  This assessment will be a written document that includes their analysis, along with information about how they would proceed to experimentally verify their hypothesis.

    Scientific communication - Poster Abstract & Plan (15% of total course grade):
    Students are required to review and summarise literature relevant to their assigned topic.  In addition, the students will also need to present a plan for the poster they will submit later in the semester. The poster topics will be derived from a range of Biomedical topics related to the lecture material.

    Scientific communication - Oral Presentation (15% of total course grade):
    Students will present a 6 min oral presentation on a provided topic, which will be linked to one or more of the lectures.  5% of their mark will be based on staff assessment and the remaining 5% on peer assessment.

    Scientific communication - Poster (25% of total course grade):
    Student groups will submit a conference style poster. This will be based on their abstracts; thus they will have the materials on hand and will need to translate these into a form that is suitable for
    presenting via a poster.  14% of their mark will be based on staff assessment of their posters, while the remaining 6% will be derived from peer assessment

    Tutorial Tests: (30% of total course grade):
    Tutorial tests will be held periodically throughout the semester.  These tests will help students evaluate their understanding of the lecture content, and provide a mechanism for discussion and review within the tutorial sessions.


    Written work will be submitted via the relevant assessment link on MyUni as appropriate. Coversheets & Templates will be supplied as required. Any work submitted without the relevant coversheet will NOT be assessed. Tests papers will be collected at the end of each test period, with feedback provided in a following teaching session.

    Late submission of assessments
    If an extension is not applied for, or not granted then a penalty for late submission will apply. A penalty of 10% of the value of the assignment for each calendar day that the assignment is late (i.e. weekends count as 2 days), up to a maximum of 50% of the available marks will be applied. This means that an assignment that is 5 days late or more without an approved extension can only receive a maximum of 50% of the marks available for that assignment.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.