BIOL5551 Masters in Biological Sciences Research Project Development

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Semester 1AlbanyFace to face
Semester 2AlbanyFace to face
This unit includes an induction process which contains demonstrations relating to safety procedures and responsibilities in the use of laboratories, special equipment and chemicals, in field work and in the use of vehicles. Instruction is provided in issues relating to human and animal ethics, confidentiality and other legal requirements governing research. The core of the unit consists of supervisor-supported identification and reading of the literature relevant to a selected area of biological sciences, development of a critical review of the literature and, where appropriate, a specific set of aims and hypotheses. Students receive formal instruction in searching databases such as Web of Science, the practice of scientific writing and complete formative writing exercises prior to submission of a literature review. Students also receive training in critically evaluating, analysing and interpreting biological sciences literature by engaging in a formal process of peer review; the written review of a fellow student's literature review draft.
Students are able to (1) demonstrate the ability to use web-based literature searching; (2) critically evaluate current knowledge within a specific area of biological sciences; (3) recognise gaps in the knowledge of a field which could be addressed within a research dissertation; (4) identify key findings and to choose relevant information for communication; (5) critically evaluate and interpret novel information; and (6) communicate scientific ideas in written/oral format.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) literature review and research proposal; (2) proposal seminar; and (3) peer review of literature review drafts. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit rules
enrolment in the Master of Biological Science (72520) and (a) the equivalent of a UWA weighted average mark of at least 65 per cent in at least 24 points of Level 3 units in a relevant undergraduate major; or (b) the equivalent of a UWA weighted average mark of at least 65 per cent in at least 24 points of Level 3, 4 and 5 units completed within the course
Contact hours
organised meetings with supervisors to plan, develop and review the research project and its scientific context; tutorials for literature search, research safety and animal ethics and scientific writing
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.