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 find, examine and critically analyse information relating to a scientific topic of their choice. They learn to use various mechanisms/techniques to discuss and present scientific ideas in an oral presentation. Students are provided with a scientific dataset, learn how to evaluate the results of this dataset with basic statistical tests, and learn how to incorporate the results in a written scientific report. Students learn about science communication theory and collaborate with others in a team project to design an effective science communication initiative/event on a scientific topic. Throughout the unit students learn how to provide feedback to their peers.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Semester 1OnlineOnline timetabled
Semester 1AlbanyFace to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 1 core unit in the Conservation Biology; Zoology; Botany; Agricultural Science; Geology; Environmental Science; Anatomy and Human Biology; Agricultural Science and Technology; Integrated Earth and Marine Sciences; Environmental Science and Management; Marine Science; Geochemistry; Agricultural Technology; Environmental Management; Environmental Science and Ecology; Biodiversity and Evolution; Plant Biology; Chemistry; Geographical and Spatial Science major sequences
  • Level 1 option in the Science and Technology in Society major sequence
  • Level 1 elective

Students are able to (1) prepare and deliver an oral presentation on a specific scientific topic, communicating technical ideas succinctly and effectively.; (2) demonstrate scientific literacy skills, identifying elements of good experimental design, analysing and interpreting data, and using this to write a scientific report.; (3) develop an effective science communication event/initiative on a specific scientific topic and then present it; and (4) reflect on working collaboratively with others, and support peer learning by giving feedback..


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) oral presentation; (2) scientific report; and (3) group project. Further information is available in the unit outline.

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

Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Pieter Poot and Dr Heather Bray
Unit rules
Successful completion of
ATAR Subject(s) ATAR Mathematics Applications
or ATAR Subject(s) WACE Mathematics 2C/2D or equivalent
MATH1720 Mathematics Fundamentals
or MATX1720 Mathematics Fundamentals
Contact hours
Lectures: 3 to 5 prerecorded short lectures per week

Workshop/Practical sessions: 2 hours per week (either face to face or on line material)

Recommended texts (i.e. not compulsory) available in the unit's reading list (Week 1):

Bowater, L. & Yeoman, K. (2012). Science Communication: A Practical Guide for Scientists. New York, USA: Wiley-Blackwell.

Cormick, C. (2019). The Science of Communicating Science: the Ultimate Guide. Collingwood, Australia: CSIRO Publishing.

  • 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.