The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2020

Course handbook


Science has an important role in contributing new knowledge and finding solutions to societal challenges. But, how does it do this? This course engages students with one another and with academic staff to begin the process of 1) building a learning community and 2) building an understanding of what it is to be a scientific professional.

Regardless of whether you are studying a science degree to pursue a career in science or not, this course will develop your understanding of what science is and how it can contribute to society. You will explore how science informs debate and decision-making about public issues. You will gain an understanding of what it means to be a professional having scientific literacy, the public responsibilities of having scientific understanding and how you can contribute to a better future using your scientific knowledge.

Availability2020 Course Timetables


  • Semester 1 - 2020


  • Semester 1 - 2020

Learning outcomes

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

1. Describe the methods of science and explain the thinking that supports high quality science.

2. Explain the role of the ethical scientist and relevance of science in society.

3. Identify and describe your responsibilities as students of scientific inquiry.

4. Articulate the importance of the scientific community for the success of science.


  • What is science and scientific method?
  • The nature of scientific knowledge
  • How to undertake scientific research
  • The role of science in contributing to societal challenges
  • The role of the scientist as responsible & ethical world citizen
  • The limits of science and the role of multi-disciplinary collaboration
  • Communicating science
  • Learning science at university

Assessment items

Presentation: Online Oral Presentation

Written Assignment: Nobel prize nomination

Journal: Reflective Journal

Compulsory Requirements

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

General Course Requirements:

  • Workshop: There is a compulsory attendance requirement in this course. - Students must attend a minimum of 80% of Workshops to meet course requirements.

Contact hours

Callaghan and Ourimbah

Self-Directed Learning

Online 3 hour(s) per Week for Full Term starting in week 1

This includes directed course content


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term starting in week 1