SCIENCE 2300 - Principles & Practice of Research (Advanced) II

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2019

Science 2300 is intended to expose students to the university research environment and familiarise them with the practice of research, including the experimental and theoretical paradigms of specific scientific disciplines. The course builds on the principles of scientific research introduced in Science 1100. Students will be immersed into contemporary programs of research through engagement with a number of different academic researchers, each of whom will present a current problem or project from their own research. Students will read and analyse current scientific literature, and will develop insights into the practise of scientific investigation though tutorials and written critical reviews. In addition, students will choose an academic mentor, who will supervise the exploration of a specific scientific research topic. Through a series of individual mentor meetings, students will develop a talk on their research subject, to be delivered at an end-of-semester symposium. These engaging 'research attachments' enhance a student's understanding of scientific methods and critical thinking. Students will emerge with a clearer understanding of the roles various people play in scientific discovery and some of the career paths a degree in science can make possible.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code SCIENCE 2300
    Course Principles & Practice of Research (Advanced) II
    Coordinating Unit Sciences General
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 8 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Restrictions Available to BSc (Advanced) students only
    Assessment Writing tasks, oral presentation
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Professor Phill Cassey

    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

    This course aims to:

    1 develop student competence in the understanding and analysis of contemporary scientific research, through reading and analysis of the current scientific literature, and the written and oral communication of current methodological and experimental practices;
    2 demonstrate the integrated nature of scientific thinking & scientific research;
    3 demonstrate the importance of scientific process and critical thinking;
    4 develop a deepening understanding of the importance of science communication and an appreciation of the ways in which scientists interact with each other and the wider community.
    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)
    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
    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
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning Resources
    Online Learning
    Course-related material is available through MyUni. We use it often. Students should regularly check the MyUni website for important course-related announcements
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The course consists of four tutorials conducted in small group settings (academic researcher and anywhere from 2-12 students) and a research review project (one-on-one project with a research/teaching mentor).

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

    This table presents an estimate of your workload in terms of non-contact time

    Assessment task



    Total noncontact time


    Pre-tutorial session literature reading (4 topics)

    4 hours per tutorial topic



    Post-tutorial session: additional reading/analysis

    4 hours per tutorial topic



    Writing tutorial reports (4)

    6 hours per tutorial


    Research review

    Research review notebook

    2 hours per meeting, 6 meetings



    Research, reading analysis for research review topic

    Estimate 25 hours



    Symposium talk preparation

    Estimate 20 hours


    Learning Activities Summary

    Each tutorial or research review project meeting, unless otherwise arranged by your tutor or your academic supervisor, will take place between 4-6pm Monday of the week. Tutors/academic supervisors may choose to use the timetabled space or he/she may email you with a different location.

  • 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

    Marks are based on the following:

    Assessment task

    % of total assessment

    Approximate Timing

    Critical Review Report #1


    due week 4

    Critical Review Report #2


    due mid-semester break

    Critical Review Report #3

    21.67% due week 8

    Research review Abstract & Notebook


    week 13

    Oral presentation content


    week 13

    Oral presentation delivery


    week 13

    Assessment Detail

    Critical Reviews of Tutorial Topics: (65%)

    A written review and critical analysis of the research material presented in each tutorial. Individual academic tutors may assign specific questions to be addressed by the written review. Task length c. 1500 - 1800 words. Submission will vary between electronic and hardcopy, depending upon the tutor’s choice.

     Research Review Notebook/journal: (10%)

    This will be a collection of the student’s own notes and collected primary and secondary reference sources connected with the development of the final symposium talk. The notebook should be a record of the student’s progress in understanding their chosen research topic and becoming a critical thinker.  It should include: printed copies of the key scientific literature (the student may prefer to keep only electronic copies of secondary papers, though they must demonstrate that an organised electronic collection exists), a system of notes/commentaries distilling their collected literature, a written record of their mentor talks, and written evidence of the development and evolution of their symposium talk. This is due at the time of the oral presentations, in week 13.

    Oral presentation—Content: (20%) and Delivery (5%)

    The final oral presentations will be assessed in two distinct parts.

    1) The student’s talk will be assessed on whether they have developed a coherent and understandable research-based topic, have understood and effectively marshalled the experimental data which underlies their topic, have accurately portrayed the current scientific literature and cited appropriated sources, and  a number of other “objective” criteria that measure the student’s success at the task of condensing a large body of data into a short talk understandable by a scientifically literate audience.  Also,
    where appropriate, students should explore the implications of the research/data presented in their talk, the possible  models/theories that have built, and the deficiencies, weaknesses and/or gaps in these models. In addition, students may also detail the possible approaches for pursuing further research in their chosen area. All academics who have participated in tutorials
    and who have served as academic mentors for the attachments would be expected to be present. Marking sheets would be filled in by all academics present for the talks.


    2) The student’s talks will also be assessed for their effectiveness in the delivery of their presentation. Marking topics would include: organization of talk (intro/aims/data/analysis/conclusion), effectiveness at communicating complex scientific ideas and theories (use of figures/diagrams, use of metaphors), oral delivery (is speech clear, coherent; has talk been rehearsed), etc.


    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 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 or more late without an approved extension can only receive a maximum of 50% of the mark.

    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.