BIOMED 4060A - Honours Molecular and Biomedical Science Project (T/Y) Cont

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2023

This course includes the performance of an individual research project under the supervision of one or more members of the Molecular & Biomedical Science staff or its affiliates. Early in the year students will report on the aim, significance and approach of their research topic. At the end of the year candidates will submit the results of their research in the form of a thesis, which will also contain a literature review surrounding their research topic. The research project is selected at the start of the Honours year following consultation with the Honours Coordinator and depends on availability of research supervisors in any particular year.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code BIOMED 4060A
    Course Honours Molecular and Biomedical Science Project (T/Y) Cont
    Coordinating Unit School of Biological Sciences
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Contact Up to 20 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Restrictions BSc Honours (Biomedical Science)
    Course Description This course includes the performance of an individual research project under the supervision of one or more members of the Molecular & Biomedical Science staff or its affiliates. Early in the year students will report on the aim, significance and approach of their research topic. At the end of the year candidates will submit the results of their research in the form of a thesis, which will also contain a literature review surrounding their research topic. The research project is selected at the start of the Honours year following consultation with the Honours Coordinator and depends on availability of research supervisors in any particular year.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Michael Lardelli

    Prof. Murray Whitelaw

    Prof. Rob Richards

    A/Prof. Renato Morona
    Course Timetable

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

    The course timetable is included in the Honours course handbook and is available to all students enrolled in the program
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

    On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

    1. Develop an hypothesis based on reading of the scientific literature in a field of research as evidenced by writing a literature review and research proposal
    2. Design a series of experiments that will test the hypothesis, as evidenced in the dossier discussion and undertake experiments and document these experiments and their outcomes as evidenced in a laboratory notebook
    3. Interpret experiments as indicated in dossier, thesis and interviews
    4. Communicate results in both oral and written format and integrate results into the broader discipline
    5. Understand the ethical, regulatory and accreditation standards required to conduct research in this discipline

    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)

    Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth

    Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.


    Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving

    Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.


    Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills

    Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.


    Attribute 4: Professionalism and leadership readiness

    Graduates engage in professional behaviour and have the potential to be entrepreneurial and take leadership roles in their chosen occupations or careers and communities.


    Attribute 5: Intercultural and ethical competency

    Graduates are responsible and effective global citizens whose personal values and practices are consistent with their roles as responsible members of society.


    Attribute 8: Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

    Graduates are self-aware and reflective; they are flexible and resilient and have the capacity to accept and give constructive feedback; they act with integrity and take responsibility for their actions.

  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Recommended Resources
    Online Learning
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The work includes participation in research seminars, and importantly, the performance of a research project under the supervision of one or more members of the Department of Molecular and Biomedical Science staff or affiliates. The research project will allow the students to design, conduct, analyse and interpret results of a series of experiments, and effectively communicate these in written and oral reports.

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

    A student enrolled in a course such as this, should expect to spend, on average 18 hours per week on the research project.
    Learning Activities Summary
    The major component of the Department of Molecular and Biomedical Science Honours year is the Research Project.

    1. Hypothesis, Aims, Significance - The Literature Review document

    In general, the supervisor will provide the overall approach and aim of the project and suggest the first experiments to commence the research. In March, students will submit a written document of the background relevant to the research project, the hypothesis that is being investigated (if appropriate), and the aims or approaches project will be followed, and projects significance to the group's research (if appropriate) and to the field in general. Electronic submission of the proposal (PDF or Word format) to the Honours coordinator is required. The supervisor will be available to help in the drafting of the Literature Review.

    There will be an oral presentation to the project to the Department. There is no summative assessment for the Literature Review and presentation, however feedback will be provided by the supervisor.

    2. Research

    Each Honours student is under the supervision of a member of staff or affiliate on an assigned independent research topic. They are required to contribute to the experimental design, execution and analysis of outcomes for all experimental procedures. The students are also expected to identify, interpret, critically analyse and integrate relevant material from published scientific literature.

    Students are asked to provide a present a brief Research Update during July to the coordinators. This will not be assessed but formative feedback will be provided.

    3. Thesis

    Results of the research project are to be submitted in a thesis. The thesis will include an introduction that will contain the background to, and the significance of, the research question. The results section(s) should contain data and its interpretation. The final chapter of the thesis should contain a summary. Students are required to submit the electronic version of their thesis in approximately week 12 of semester 2, and thesis will be distributed to the thesis examiners the following week.

    Students are also asked to present their thesis orally approximately one week after thesis submission. This examination will start with a short presentation (20-30 min) which is open to anyone in the School wishing to attend. The rest of the time (up to 30 minutes) involves a session open only to the Department of Molecular and Biomedical Science academic staff and invited post-doctoral/research fellows, where questions from the two thesis examiners and other senior staff will be addressed.
    Specific Course Requirements

    Students must have satisfactorily completed the required occupational health and safety training.
  • 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 Outcomes being assessed / achieved Approximate Timing of Assessment for both Semester 1 and 2
    Literature Review (written and oral presentation) Formative 0% No 1-5 Week 6 of semester 2
    Research Update Formative 0% No 1-5 January of semester 2
    Overall mark for Thesis:
    Written thesis(60% of final thesis mark)
    Final seminar (20% of final thesis mark)
    Thesis viva(20% of final thesis mark)
    Formative & Summative 80% No 1-5 Approximately Week 6 to 8 of semester 1
    Assessment Detail

    The overall thesis assessment has three components (written, oral and viva)

    The written thesis will be assessed by a panel of two assessors, comprised of academic staff and senior researchers. The marks of the two assessors will be averaged to give the final mark. The mark for the written thesis is independent of the mark for the oral presentation and viva. The student’s supervisor will also contribute a written thesis mark, and also marks for the oral presentation and viva as part of the academic audience, but will not be on the student’s assessment panel.

    Marks from the two panel members and supervisor must be submitted to the Honours coordinator prior to the commencement of the final thesis presentations.

    Where the marks for the written thesis vary between the assessors by 2 or more grade categories, the Honours assessment board of academic staff and coordinators may decide to arrange for one additional independent assessment of the written thesis.

    Written thesis assessment (60%) will be based on the following:

    1. Demonstrated knowledge of the experimental literature that forms the foundation of the thesis project; formation of a coherent and logical hypothesis that drives the thesis work.

    2. Detailed documentation of the materials and methods for the thesis experiments.

    3. Comprehensive and logical arrangement of experimental results; figures and diagrams should support the written explanation of the experimental results. All major experimental findings should be documented with the appropriate experimental evidence. Appropriate statistical tests should be used to analyse the data.

    4. The discussion should examine the experimental results in the broader context of the available scientific literature; scientific conclusions should be supported by clear and logical argument.

    5. The novelty and originality of the project and it outcomes may also be considered.

    Assessment for the oral presentation and viva (40%)

    The oral presentation and viva are assessed by the two thesis readers and by all other available academic staff. The marks of all assessors will be averaged to give the final mark.

    Oral presentation (20 minutes) (20%):

    1. Demonstration of understanding of the background to the thesis work and the experimental details of the current work

    2. Demonstrate understanding of the significance of the work.

    3. Success at condensing the year’s experimental details into a summary of the important aspects of the thesis work

    4. Presentation scholarship: appropriate referencing and attribution of data and concepts to the correct sources

    Thesis viva period (30 minutes) (20%):

    1. Demonstration of understanding, analysis and evaluation of scientific concepts and scientific relevance

    2. Demonstration of understanding, analysis and evaluation of primary experimental details

    3. Demonstration of a depth of understanding of the broader fields of knowledge to the research topic and Discipline in general.

    Late submission of the electronic version of the thesis will incur a penalty in the form of a reduction in mark, as follows:

    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:

    NOG (No Grade Associated)
    Grade Description
    CN Continuing

    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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