The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2020

Course handbook


Complex problems that challenge humanity cannot be solved using only single disciplinary expertise. Examples include mitigating climate change, reversing increasing rates of obesity in populations and achieving equitable access to tertiary education. These types of problems are called 'wicked' problems and typically are high stakes, resist solution, and even resist agreed definition. In this course, you will undertake an interdisciplinary challenge and explore how diverse science disciplines can come together to generate new more-than disciplinary understanding and solutions to challenging problems.

Availability2020 Course Timetables


  • Semester 2 - 2020


  • Semester 2 - 2020

Learning outcomes

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

1. Participate in interdisciplinary inquiry and problem-solving.

2. As part of a team, use an interdisciplinary approach to investigate a scientific challenge.

3. Communicate interdisciplinary knowledge in written form.


  • Interdisciplinary approaches for complex problem solving
  • Conducting interdisciplinary scientific research on a real problem that challenges society
  • Working as a member of a team
  • Accommodating different disciplinary perspectives
  • Communicating interdisciplinary problem solving to a scientific audience
  • Communicating interdisciplinary problem solving to a lay audience


To enrol in this course you must have successfully completed at least 60 units, chosen from any courses offered by UON.

Assessment items

Report: Group Work Written Report

Portfolio: Portfolio

Project: Communication task

Contact hours

Callaghan and Ourimbah

Online Activity

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


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