Credit points: 15

Subject outline

BIO2POS is a second year level biology subject which explores both experimental design issues and the use of statistics to analyse data from experiments. Basic statistical concepts and aspects of experimental design will be introduced, followed by in-depth exploration of case studies of biological research. Using this knowledge, students will work in small groups to identify a gap in knowledge by locating and synthesising published research on a topic, create a novel research aim and hypothesis and, further develop the design of a theoretical experiment to test the hypothesis (including consideration of ethical issues associated with the proposed research). Group work will commence in week 1. This subject addresses La Trobe's Innovation and Entrepreneurship Essential by developing the ability to tackle problems creatively, generating new ideas, taking calculated risks and creating change to achieve ambitions, now and in the future .

SchoolLife Sciences

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorPam Hurst

Available to Study Abroad/Exchange StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 2 - UG

Available as ElectiveNo

Learning ActivitiesN/A

Capstone subjectNo

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites Completion of 60 credit points of first year level subjects


Incompatible subjectsN/A

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Quota Management StrategyN/A

Quota-conditions or rulesN/A

Special conditionsN/A

Minimum credit point requirementN/A

Assumed knowledgeN/A

Learning resources

Experimental Design for the Life Sciences

Resource TypeBook

Resource RequirementRecommended

AuthorRuxton G & Colegrove N


Edition/Volume3rd Edition

PublisherOxford University Press


Chapter/article titleN/A



Other descriptionN/A

Source locationN/A

Career Ready


Work-based learningNo

Self sourced or Uni sourcedN/A

Entire subject or partial subjectN/A

Total hours/days requiredN/A

Location of WBL activity (region)N/A

WBL addtional requirementsN/A

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

Graduate Capabilities

Intended Learning Outcomes

01. Distinguish a research aim/question from a research hypothesis.
02. Identify and explain the applicability of experimental design concepts to biological research questions and hypotheses
03. Identify types of variables and apply this knowledge to experimental design and statistical analysis.
04. Identify the appropriate statistical test for analysing data for selected experimental designs and produce and interpret statistical software outputs
05. Describe and interpret the results of analysis of biological experiments using statistical and biological terms

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

Melbourne (Bundoora), 2021, Semester 1, Blended


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorPam Hurst

Class requirements

LectureWeek: 10 - 22
Two 1.00 hour lecture per week on weekdays during the day from week 10 to week 22 and delivered via face-to-face.

Unscheduled Online ClassWeek: 10 - 22
Five 1.00 hour unscheduled online class per study period on any day including weekend during the day from week 10 to week 22 and delivered via online.
Students should complete online learning activities before attempting the quizzes.

WorkShopWeek: 10 - 22
One 2.00 hours workshop per week on weekdays during the day from week 10 to week 22 and delivered via face-to-face.


Assessment elementCommentsCategoryContributionHurdle% ILO*
Experimental design group task (900 word equivalent, per student) The task comprises two parts: Part A (contribution to groupwork equivalent to 250 words) 10%. Part B (individual submission equivalent to 650 words) 20%. Groupwork will commence in week 1 of semester.N/AN/AN/ANo30 SILO1, SILO2, SILO4
Seven online quizzes (700 word equivalent total) Best five quiz marks contribute to final markN/AN/AN/ANo10 SILO1, SILO2, SILO3, SILO4, SILO5
2 hr end-of semester exam (2000 word equivalent)N/AN/AN/ANo30 SILO1, SILO2, SILO3, SILO4, SILO5
Group oral presentation (200-word equivalent) Students will give a short, group oral presentation during the workshop in week 2.N/AN/AN/ANo5 SILO1
Two data analysis assignments (700 word equivalent total)N/AN/AN/ANo25 SILO3, SILO4, SILO5