SCIENCE 1300 - Principles & Practice of Research (Advanced) I

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2017

This course will introduce students to the core principles of scientific research and research environments, and will include interdisciplinary collaboration and group investigation.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code SCIENCE 1300
    Course Principles & Practice of Research (Advanced) I
    Coordinating Unit Sciences General
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 5 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Restrictions Available to BSc (Adv) students only
    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
    The anticipated knowledge, skills and attitudes to be developed by the student in this course are:

    1 An understanding of what science is and how it is both practiced and applied

    2 Research skills (including acquisition, analysis and synthesis of complex scientific ideas and information)

    3 Critical and logical thinking

    4 Principles of academic honesty and ethical behaviour

    5 Communication skills (emphasis will be on academic & reflective writing)

    6 Research management (emphasis will be on curation and visualisation of scientific 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)
    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
    Recommended Resources
    A highly recommended writing guide (available as an e-book) is:

    The Little Penguin Handbook (Lester Faigley: 2nd Edition, Longman; 2013)

    A range of other resources, guides and source materials will be made available through MyUni.
    Online Learning
    Teaching materials and course documentation will be posted on the MyUni website (
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Classes will be devoted to group and open discussion of what science is and how it works. This will include introducing and developing scientific literacy and research skills (particularly skills related to finding, reading and interpreting scientific literature), consideration of key elements of scientific practice, and research management.

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

    Contact time
    Classes 5 hours per week (60 hours total)
    Non-contact time
    Workshop preparation 1 hours per week (12 hours total)
    Researcher profile 30 hours total
    Information search 10 hours total
    Annotated bibliography 15 hours total
    Essay 20 hours total
    Reflective writing 5 hours total
    Learning Activities Summary
    Classes will be devoted to group and open discussion of what science is and how it works. This will include introducing and developing scientific literacy and research skills (particularly skills related to finding, reading and interpreting scientific literature), consideration of key elements of scientific practice, and research management.
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    The Small Group Discovery Experience in SCIENCE 1300 will take the form  of meeting and interviewing an active researcher within the Faculty of  Sciences about their development as a scientist and the research they are currently engaged in. This activity is referred to as the "Researcher Profile" task and is assessed (constituting 30% of the overall mark for the course).
  • 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
    Percentage of total assessment
    for grading purposes
    Learning Outcome being Assessed
    Researcher Profile:
         (i) Video profile
         (ii) Research infographic




    Data management & visualisation:
         (i) Workshop tasks (2)


    Major Assignment:
         (i) Essay (including information search and bibliography)
         (ii) Public summary



    30% (HURDLE)

    Reflective Writing Summative 10% 1,3,5
    Assessment Detail
    Researcher Profile:
    (i) Video profile. Each group of students (3 students per group) will interview a University of Adelaide researcher (academic staff or affiliate) focussing on the researcher’s views on science, the science the researcher engages in and the development of the researcher as a scientist. Results of the interview will be presented as a short video profile. Summative (15%): 4 - 4.5 minute (max.) presentation.
    (ii) Research infographic. Each group of students (3 students per group) will construct an infographic around a piece (or body) of research from their University of Adelaide researcher's work. The infographic will focus on presenting the Results or Viewpoint of the research in a novel manner to a broad public, and/or policy, audience. Formative/Summative (15%).

    Data management and visualisation workshops:
    The management of research data is an essential component of scientific training. These workshops (four) will provide a background to the curation, handling and visualisation of scientific data. Assessment will be conducted during the second part of each workshop series. Formative/Summative (25%)

    Major Assignment:
    This will be on a broad aspect of the research Hot Topic in science ("Climate Change") chosen and developed by each student. The task will consist of two components.

    (i) Essay:
    This will address the chosen topic and will be developed during workshops on information searching, constructing a bibliography, and scientific writing. Formative/Summative (30%) – task length 1800-2000 words.
    A minimum level of performance (50%) is required in order to achieve a passing grade for the course.

    (ii) Public summary:
    This will be based on a high-impact translation of the essay for a broad audience. Formative/Summative (5%) – task length 150 words.

    Reflective writing assignment:
    For effective learning, new experiences need to be interesting, readily understood, believable and useful to the student. People often learn best when they can identify how new experiences alter their existing knowledge, skills and emotions. Describing and elaborating upon these experiences is an effective way to promote learning and professional development. This task will capture the ways in which students react to, or are affected by, their experiences in this course. Summative (10%); task length 450-500 words.
    Submission of assessment tasks
    Details of submission requirements for each piece of assigned work will be made available on MyUni. Some tasks may require submission through Turnitin (

    Return of assessed work
    Work that has been assessed will be returned in class (where this is a practical). Work which is not returned in class can be collected from the Faculty of Sciences Office.

    Extension for Assessment Tasks
    Extensions of deadlines for assessment tasks may be allowed for reasonable causes. Such situations would include compassionate and medical grounds of the severity that would justify the awarding of a supplementary examination. Evidence for the grounds must be provided when an extension is  requested. Students are required to apply for an extension to the Course Coordinator before the assessment task is due. Extensions will not be provided on the grounds of poor prioritising of time. The assessment extension application form can be obtained from: (see under ‘Forms for Students’).

    Late submission of assessments
    If an extension is not applied for, or not granted then a penalty for late submission will apply. 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.

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