Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


What is scientific knowledge, how does it develop and how can it be more effectively communicated? How do you determine credibility of scientific information and decide what information to use and how to use it appropriately?

Students will find, examine, and critically analyse information relating to a scientific topic. They will also learn to use various mechanisms to discuss and present scientific ideas. Students discuss their findings, write a scientific article, give an oral presentation, and provide feedback to their peers. Students will work with their tutorial group as a team to organise an event about a science topic of their choice.

6 points
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 1 elective

Students are able to (1) have an awareness and understanding of scientific practices, including the scientific method, development of scientific knowledge and communication about that knowledge, to peers and to the wider community; (2) find and critically analyse information and the credibility of information sources. Understand appropriate mechanisms of crediting sources of information and be able to cite those sources; (3) present information and ideas in an effective written form that is appropriate to the purpose and the reader; (4) have an awareness of basic learning theories and an understanding about the impact of how people process information on effectiveness of communication; (5) demonstrate effective verbal communication skills through the development and presentation of oral presentations and through teamwork in tutorial activities; (6) have demonstrated mastery in organising and presenting scientific information in the form of a report written according to professional standards; (7) work both independently and collaboratively by effective participation in individual and team projects; and (8) be able to provide constructive feedback and incorporate peer feedback appropriately.


This comprises a written report and/or oral presentation on each module (4 x 10 per cent), a short essay (20 per cent), a long essay (40 per cent) and quizzes (pass/fail).

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Patrick Finnegan and Dr Miriam Sullivan
Unit rules
SCOM1101 Introduction to Scientific Practices
Contact hours
lectures: 2 hours per week
tutorials: 2 hours per week

  • 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.