The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2019

Course handbook


Students are introduced to the principles of scientific investigation and initiate the development of analytical and practical skills necessary for an active career in the diverse fields of modern biology. This equips the student for further studies in both lab-based biotechnology and field based environmental biology subjects. Students will be taught practical laboratory and field skills together with experimental design, data evaluation and technical report writing within the context of a number of exciting hands on biological investigations.

Availability2019 Course Timetables


  • Semester 2 - 2019

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. biological terminology and concepts in experimental biology

2. the ability to implement a working knowledge of the scientific method and philosophy

3. basic experimental design

4. fundamental skills in the collection, processing and interpretation of biological information

5. ethical conduct in learning and research

6. hazard recognition and minimisation in safe biological investigation

7. an ability to use basic experimental apparatus

8. the ability to work in a team

9. critical and ethical thinking and the scientific approach

10. writing and data presentation skills


Through undertaking scientific experiments in; biological chemistry, microbiology, fungi, plant & animal systems and ecology, students will be exposed to the theory and practice of:

  1. The scientific method and philosophy of science
  2. Experimental design, hypothesis testing & problem solving
  3. Health & safety - Laboratory and field
  4. Basic laboratory skills
  5. Slide preparation & microscope usage
  6. Use of selected Measurement Instruments
  7. Fundamentals of aseptic technique
  8. Basic dissection/surgical techniques
  9. Use of Lab books to organise and document experimental details and results
  10. Data analysis, interpretation and presentation
  11. Report Writing a) Effective use of Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion format b) Referencing c) Computer publishing skills
  12. Working in teams
  13. Ethics, Academic and personal/professional integrity.


This course has similarities to BIOL1070 and BIOL1050. If you have successfully completed either of these courses you cannot enrol in this course.

Assumed knowledge

HSC Mathematics and Chemistry advisable.

Assessment items

In Term Test: Examination: Class

Tutorial / Laboratory Exercises: Laboratory Exercises

Report: Reports - Laboratory reports

Compulsory Requirements

In order to pass this course, each student must complete ALL of the following compulsory requirements:

General Course Requirements:

  • Laboratory: Induction Requirement - Students must attend and pass the induction requirements before attending these sessions. - In order to participate in this course, students must complete a compulsory safety induction.

Contact hours



Face to Face On Campus 3 hour(s) per Week for Full Term


Face to Face On Campus 1 hour(s) per Week for Full Term


Face to Face On Campus 1 hour(s) per Week for Full Term