• Offered by Biology Teaching and Learning Centre
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject Biology
  • Areas of interest Health Medicine and the Body
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Prof Susan Howitt
  • Mode of delivery Online
  • Offered in First Semester 2020
    Second Semester 2020
    See Future Offerings

All activities that form part of this course will be delivered remotely in Sem 2 2020.

This online course will develop students’ scientific reasoning, writing and reflection skills through a structured program of activities. Students will engage in a cycle of analysis, writing and reporting on contemporary biological literature to evaluate argument, methodology, evidence and claims. This will build to a critical investigation and evaluation of selected research contexts to compare and contrast the diverse research and theory approaches used in contemporary biology. This course will expose students through specific biological contexts to deeply consider:

  • the nature of science; 
  • the contestability of scientific knowledge;
  • science as a profession, enacted by real people;
  • how scientist evaluate evidence through critical reading & analysis;
  • how scientists collect, use and communicate evidence to develop and support arguments.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

On satisfying the requirements of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Engage in an independent investigation and evaluation of selected biology research topics.
  2. Critically analyse and evaluate research literature and communicate the significant research findings.
  3. Apply and reflect on professional and personal standards of conduct in undertaking and communicating scientific research.
  4. Use a range of genres to communicate scientific research and information effectively.

Indicative Assessment

    Assessment will be based on:
    • Structured writing assignments: 25%, (LO 1-4)
    • Opinion pieces: 25%, (LO 2-4)
    • Self- and peer-assessments: 10%, (LO 2-4)
    • Capstone Essay: 40%, (LO 1-4)

      In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle. 

      The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


      120 hours

      Requisite and Incompatibility

      You will need to contact the Biology Teaching and Learning Centre to request a permission code to enrol in this course.

      Assumed Knowledge

      It is highly recommended that BIOL8291 is undertaken prior to this course.
      Completion of 48 units towards the program.


      Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

      If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

      Student Contribution Band:
      Unit value:
      6 units

      If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

      Units EFTSL
      6.00 0.12500
      Domestic fee paying students
      Year Fee
      2020 $4050
      International fee paying students
      Year Fee
      2020 $5760
      Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

      Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

      ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

      The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
      Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

      First Semester

      Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
      3703 24 Feb 2020 02 Mar 2020 08 May 2020 05 Jun 2020 In Person View

      Second Semester

      Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
      8711 27 Jul 2020 03 Aug 2020 31 Aug 2020 30 Oct 2020 In Person View

      Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions