Studying online

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Unit Overview


Dissertation units are typically taken over two successive semesters and parts 1 to 5 must be completed to fulfil the requirements of the dissertation. Students can commence part 5 in either semester 1 or semester 2. Parts 1 to 5 of the Research Dissertation are the application and iterative refinement of the BIOL5551 Masters in Biological Sciences Research Project Development unit. They encompass the 'active' component of the research project—the laboratory work, interviews, measurement, field work, analysis of data gathered from the experimental phase of the research project and development of an interpretative discussion of the findings. The units are conducted under the guidance of the supervisor and with feedback provided in the final seminar presented in the unit BIOL5556 Masters in Biological Sciences Research Presentation Skills. The units culminate in the submission of the completed research paper for evaluation.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Semester 1AlbanyFace to face
Semester 2AlbanyFace to face

Students are able to (1) develop and describe careful and appropriate design of experiments and selection of method to address rigorously formulated questions and hypotheses; (2) demonstrate expertise in the methods of science appropriate to the subject of research; (3) present their scientific investigation in a written report; and (4) identify key findings and choose relevant information for communication.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: research dissertation. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Associate Professor Jan Hemmi and Professor Jacqueline Batley
Unit rules
Enrolment in
72520 Master of Biological Science (ID 165)
or 74540 Master of Marine Biology (ID 1902)
Successful completion of
or Enrolment in
Unit(s) BIOL5552 Masters in Biological Sciences Research Dissertation Part 1 (ID 6635) Unit(s) BIOL5553 Masters in Biological Sciences Research Dissertation Part 2 (ID 6636) Unit(s) BIOL5554 Masters in Biological Sciences Research Dissertation Part 3 (ID 6684) Unit(s) BIOL5557 Masters in Biological Sciences Research Dissertation Part 4 Unit(s) BIOL5556 Masters in Biological Sciences Research Presentation Skills
Contact hours
independent research and project work plus regular meetings with supervisors
  • 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.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.