Credit points: 15

Subject outline

The subject provides an introduction to the practice of science and is core for a range of 3rd year science subjects. It explores how science proceeds and how to identify scientific questions. It examines the purpose of null and alternative hypotheses, how to design experiments and explores sampling methods. The course has a strong emphasis on statistical testing of hypotheses. Students will learn the mechanics and limitations of a range of important statistical tests, allowing them to choose appropriate tests and interpret and critically assess the reliability of experimental results. The course will explore the conventions of written and oral scientific communication and the challenges of communicating science to the general public and policy makers. Finally, students will be introduced to ethical behaviour in the practice of science.

FacultyFaculty of Science, Tech & Engineering

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorFiona Bird

Available to Study Abroad StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 2 - UG

Exchange StudentsYes

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites From 2013: Year 12 Mathematics (any), or if no Year 12 Mathematics then one of STA1DCT, STA1LS, STA1CTS or MAT1MAB


Incompatible subjectsN/A

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Special conditionsN/A

Learning resources


Resource TypeTitleResource RequirementAuthor and YearPublisher
ReadingsEssential StatisticsRecommendedMoore, DS 2010FIRST EDITION, FREEMAN AND COMPANY.
ReadingsExperimental design and data analysis for biologistsRecommendedQuinn GP & Keough MJ 2002CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

Melbourne, 2014, Semester 1, Day


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Enrolment information

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorFiona Bird

Class requirements

Lecture Week: 10 - 22
Two 1.0 hours lecture per week on weekdays during the day from week 10 to week 22 and delivered via face-to-face.

Tutorial Week: 10 - 22
One 2.0 hours tutorial per week on weekdays during the day from week 10 to week 22 and delivered via face-to-face.


Assessment elementComments%
3 hr Exam (short answer & multiple choice)50
Article critique (1000 words)10
Excel training (2.5%) and language test (2.5%)Online hurdle requirements5
Oral critique of popular publication2
Oral presentation (5 mins to tutorial group)8
Statistics assignments (x2)25