The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2021
Course code



10 units


1000 level

Course handbook


This course is intended to develop a student's ability to understand and logically evaluate arguments typically found in biomedicine, giving them the ability to think clearly and critically. This course also introduces the students to the scientific process used in biomedicine and develops their technical skills in the laboratory



  • Semester 1 - 2021

Learning outcomes

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

1. Analyse and critically evaluate arguments, ideas and theories in biomedicine.

2. Apply basic logical principles to the evaluation of arguments.

3. Identify cognitive bias and fallacious thinking.

4. Begin to formulate the right question or hypothesis to ask.

5. Recognise hazards and describe safe practices for biomedical laboratories.

6. Understand how to conduct biomedical experiments.

7. Measure basic properties of the human body and molecules.

8. Appropriately format, interpret, analyse and report on simple data from biomedical experiments.


This course will cover three major areas:

1. Critical thinking including:

-  how do we know things and find out information about them?

-  what is knowing versus believing?

-  how do our attitudes and opinions affect what we know and believe?

-  what is cognitive bias?

-  what is fallacious thinking?

-  how do we formulate the right question to ask?


2. An introduction to the scientific process in biomedicine including:

-  the philosophy of science

-  scientific method and formulating a hypothesis

-  ways to measure variables in biomedicine

-  variation and errors in measurement

-  how to collect, interpret and write a report using biomedical data

-  how to evaluate a scientific research report


3. An introduction to biomedical laboratory skills including:

-  recognition of laboratory hazards and safe laboratory practice

-  pipetting and creating a dilution series

-  colourimetric assays and spectrophotometry

-  microscopy and histology

-  recording of biological signals

Assessment items

In Term Test: Mid Semester exam *

Tutorial / Laboratory Exercises: Laboratory Report *

Formal Examination: Formal Exam *

* This assessment has a compulsory requirement.

Compulsory Requirements

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

General Course Requirements:

  • Laboratory: There is a compulsory attendance requirement in this course.

Course Assessment Requirements:

  • Formal Examination: Attempt / Submission Requirement - Students must attempt/submit this assessment item to pass the course.
  • Tutorial / Laboratory Exercises: Attempt / Submission Requirement - Students must attempt/submit this assessment item to pass the course.
  • In Term Test: Attempt / Submission Requirement - Students must attempt/submit this assessment item to pass the course.

Contact hours



Face to Face On Campus 32 hour(s) per Term Full Term

3 hours per week for 6 weeks, 2 hours per week for 7 weeks


Face to Face On Campus 26 hour(s) per Term Full Term

2 hours per week for 12 weeks and 2 hour examination for 1 week