• Offered by Biology Teaching and Learning Centre and the Centre for Advanced Microscopy
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Biology
  • Areas of interest Human Sciences, Medical Science, Cell and Molecular Biology, Neuroscience, Biology
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Melanie Rug
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in Winter Session 2023
    See Future Offerings

Contemporary biological research utilises foundational analytical approaches including genetic manipulation, biochemistry and microscopy to understand life. This course focuses on the application of various microscopic approaches to analyse the variance, function and structure of plant, animal and human samples across scales from the biological system to the molecular level. Students will experience how microscopy enables researchers to undertake powerful qualitative and quantitative analysis and they will be guided in interpretation of biological sample analysis.

This course is offered intensively over two weeks during the Winter Session. The course will be held in July of each year. Enrolment places are limited to 30 as entry will be merit-based and practicals require small groups. Information on how to enrol in this course is in the Other Information section.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Appraise the relevance of microscopic approaches to life sciences inquiries.
  2. Determine an appropriate sample preparation and instrumentation selection based on the nature of the research inquiry being pursued.
  3. Critically analyse, interpret and report visual data with awareness of the limitations and affordances inherent in selected methods and analytical tools.
  4. Participate in and contribute to collaborative research inquiries.
  5. Manage necessary experimental protocols and documentation to ensure accurate interpretation, publication and reproducibility of visual data.
  6. Transfer and infer microscopic approaches for different inquiry contexts.

Other Information

Enrolment places are limited as practicals are based on small group activities. Entry will be merit-based. This course will be of interest to students in areas covering plant sciences, biosciences, cell and molecular biology and organismal biology.

To register interest in this course for Winter Session, please fill in an expression of interest form. Applications will open mid March and close mid May.

Students will be notified of the outcome in early June.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Logbook (12) [LO 3,5]
  2. Research Reflections (5) [LO 1,2]
  3. Research Essay (25) [LO 1,2,3,6]
  4. 3 Group-authored reports on microscopy techniques, sample preparation and analysis tasks (23) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  5. Exams: online quiz and exam (35) [LO 1,2,3,5,6]

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.


This is an intensive course running for 2 weeks. The expected workload will consist of approximately 130 hours including:

  • Face-to face component which may consist of 7 hours of lectures/tutorials/workshops/labs per day during the course session.
  • Approximately 60 hours of self-study which will include preparation for lectures, presentations, group work reports and other assessment tasks.

Students are expected to actively participate and contribute towards discussions.

Inherent Requirements

Not yet determined

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 72 units toward a degree including BIOL1004.

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

Prescribed Texts

Relevant texts and resources will be provided via the course Wattle site. An online logbook (LabArchives) will have to be purchased prior to the course ($20)

Preliminary Reading

Relevant texts and resources will be provided via the course Wattle site.

Assumed Knowledge

24 units of relevant disciplinary coursework in Biology at the 2000 level. This course will be of interest to students in areas covering plant sciences, biosciences, cell and molecular biology, organismal biology and medical sciences.


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

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you 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). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2023 $4320
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2023 $6180
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.

Winter Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
4590 03 Jul 2023 03 Jul 2023 07 Jul 2023 21 Jul 2023 In Person N/A

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