Available in 2022
Course code



20 units


4000 level

Course handbook


This course introduces the objectives of the honours program in Biological Sciences, which is designed to develop students who possess the skills required for research and other career pathways. This course enhances skills and capacities in reading and literature reviewing, critical reasoning and argument, essay writing and verbal communication, and understanding and identifying appropriate application of data collection techniques. Depending upon the project selected each student will be assigned to one of the research groupings within the discipline (Plant Sciences, Reproductive Biology, Wildlife Biology and Management, Drug Design and Discovery, and Molecular Structure and Detection). Each research group conducts a series of workshops/meetings aimed at developing in students a sound knowledge of the research techniques and methodologies that are utilised in their research area. This workshop component runs through both semesters.



  • Semester 1 - 2022
  • Semester 2 - 2022

Learning outcomes

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

1. A highly developed capacity to read, understand and evaluate a large body of academic and professional literature

2. Higher order thinking skills involving the identification of research problems, selection of research techniques, evaluation of a variety of data forms, critical analysis and appropriate policy advice

3. Mastery of specific data collection techniques

4. The capacity to devise and employ effective and creative strategies in problem solving.

5. The ability to communicate effectively both in written and oral form using a variety of appropriate styles


Within the first four weeks of semester one, students will attend presentations that will introduce them to:

  1. The various legislative requirements that must be met before a research project may be initiated (Occupational Health and Safety, Animal Ethics and Human Ethics).
  2. Project management skills

This course outlines the main component of the honours program, this being an original research project conducted under the close supervision of an academic staff member. Together with the workshop program, this will allow the student to generate a thesis that demonstrates their capacity for effective data collection, processing, analysis and interpretation.


This course is only available to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Science (Honours), Bachelor of Environmental Science and Management (Honours) and the Bachelor of Biotechnology (Honours) programs.

Assumed knowledge

A major in the appropriate sub-discipline with a credit point average at 3000 level.

Assessment items

Online Learning Activity: Induction Workshop WHS quiz Risk assessment Academic Integrity Module

Compulsory Requirements

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

General Course Requirements:

  • Workshop: 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


Self-Directed Learning

Self-Directed 18 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

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.