• Class Number 2785
  • Term Code 3430
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 12 to 24 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • AsPr Simon Williams
    • AsPr Simon Williams
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 19/02/2024
  • Class End Date 24/05/2024
  • Census Date 05/04/2024
  • Last Date to Enrol 26/02/2024
SELT Survey Results

The principal component of the Honours course involves a research project conducted under supervision of a research scientist. In addition, students are expected write a Grant Proposal on the research topic, a progress report, present seminars on their research work and attend various workshops and Divisional seminars. . The major item of assessment is the thesis. The Honours course runs from early February to early November or from mid July to mid May. In addition to meeting the entry requirements defined by the College, students must have the agreement of a member of the academic staff to supervise their project, and the agreement of the convener. Academic staff from the Research School of Biology, John Curtin School of Medical Research, CSIRO and Canberra Hospital may be supervisors or co-supervisors. Students should discuss their intention to undertake an Honours project with appropriate staff and the Honours Convener at least several months before the proposed starting date. Note that several organisations award honours scholarships in September-December for the following year.

Learning Outcomes

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

Specific learning outcomes will depend on the nature of the research project. In general, on satisfactory completion of the course students will have the knowledge and skills to:

1. Plan and engage in an independent and sustained critical investigation and evaluation of a chosen research topic to generate new knowledge in an area of biology.
2. Systematically evaluate relevant theory and concepts, relate these to appropriate methodologies and evidence, and draw appropriate conclusions.
3. Analyse and interpret original biology data with statistical or other evaluative processes where appropriate.
4. Understand and apply principles of laboratory safety and relevant laboratory techniques.
5. Demonstrate sufficient mastery to understand and apply relevant experimental techniques and methods in biology to collect original research data.
6. Communicate and justify complex concepts and results clearly and effectively to a variety of audiences.

Research-Led Teaching

BIOL4001 is an Honours Year with Biology specialisation.

A full-time load is over 2 semesters.

Students undertake a research project under the supervision of an academic from the Research School of Biology. The primary focus of this year of study is research.

Field Trips

Some research projects may have a fieldwork component.

The complete Biology honours handbook, 2024 timelines and College handbook is available on the Biology Honours Wattle site.

Recommended student system requirements 

ANU courses commonly use a number of online resources and activities including:

  • video material, similar to YouTube, for lectures and other instruction
  • two-way video conferencing for interactive learning
  • email and other messaging tools for communication
  • interactive web apps for formative and collaborative activities
  • print and photo/scan for handwritten work
  • home-based assessment.

To fully participate in ANU learning, students need:

  • A computer or laptop. Mobile devices may work well but in some situations a computer/laptop may be more appropriate.
  • Webcam
  • Speakers and a microphone (e.g. headset)
  • Reliable, stable internet connection. Broadband recommended. If using a mobile network or wi-fi then check performance is adequate.
  • Suitable location with minimal interruptions and adequate privacy for classes and assessments.
  • Printing, and photo/scanning equipment

For more information please see https://www.anu.edu.au/students/systems/recommended-student-system-requirements

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  1. Written feedback is provided by the examiners for the Grant Proposal and Final Thesis
  2. Three meetings are held with examiners over the year.
  • An intial meeting after the assessment of grant proposal
  • Mid-year progress meeting
  • Final Oral discussion of the thesis

Supervisors maintain regular contact with their students throughout the year.

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). Feedback can also be provided to Course Conveners and teachers via the Student Experience of Learning & Teaching (SELT) feedback program. SELT surveys are confidential and also provide the Colleges and ANU Executive with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement.

Other Information

  • The Honours year has a start date of 31 January 2022 for the Sem 1 intake.
  • Biology Honours is a one year program. The timelines in this outline provide a general indication for a student commencing in Semester 1 and submitting in Semester 2
  • The convenor details in this summary apply to students beginning in Semester 1 2022.
  • Students commencing Honours in Semester 2 (mid-year) should refer to the Semester 2 class summary.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 The Honours year commences on Monday 31 January with a welcome session which includes information and induction. This summary provides general information for a student enrolling in Biology Honours for the first time as a full-time student. It is expected that full-time Honours students will enroll in this course twice over consecutive semesters (24 units each semester) to a total of 48 units in the full year. Dates for submitting the thesis are defined based on the semester in which the student will complete their enrolment in the course. For further details, please refer to the course information and related documents in Wattle, and to the Science Honours Handbook.
2 Inhouse training courses are scheduled throughout the year. Details provided on timeline on wattle site. The training required will depend on the requirements of the research project undertaken. Timelines will be different for part time enrolment. Dates in assessment summary below relate to a full-time study load.
3 The focus of Honours is to complete a research project. This project is undertaken throughout the year. There will be milestones to complete during the year. Milestones - please see 2024 Honours timeline and Handbook for full details.Thesis Submission - 24 October 2024

Tutorial Registration

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.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Introductory Seminar 0 % 26/02/2024 26/02/2024 6
Research Proposal 15 % 21/03/2024 11/04/2024 1,2,3,4,6
Mid-term Progress Report 0 % 20/06/2024 31/07/2024 1,3,6
Final Seminar 0 % 17/09/2024 01/12/2024 6
Submission of Thesis 85 % 24/10/2024 01/12/2024 1,2,3,4,5,6

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines , which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Integrity Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using 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. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the Academic Skills website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


There is no examination

Assessment Task 1

Value: 0 %
Due Date: 26/02/2024
Return of Assessment: 26/02/2024
Learning Outcomes: 6

Introductory Seminar

A 15-minute presentation followed by 5 minutes discussion on the proposed research. This is the first opportunity for other students and academic staff (including examiners) to learn about the research.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 21/03/2024
Return of Assessment: 11/04/2024
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,6

Research Proposal

It is a written research plan modelled on a shortened version of an ARC or NHMRC grant application.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 0 %
Due Date: 20/06/2024
Return of Assessment: 31/07/2024
Learning Outcomes: 1,3,6

Mid-term Progress Report

A short (3-4 page) document detailing progress of research

Assessment Task 4

Value: 0 %
Due Date: 17/09/2024
Return of Assessment: 01/12/2024
Learning Outcomes: 6

Final Seminar

A 15-minute presentation followed by 5 minutes' discussion on the research findings. This is an opportunity for other students and academic staff to find out how the research project went and the outcome.

Assessment Task 5

Value: 85 %
Due Date: 24/10/2024
Return of Assessment: 01/12/2024
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5,6

Submission of Thesis

The thesis is the formal written presentation of the research project.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. The University’s students are an integral part of that community. The academic integrity principle commits all students to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support, academic integrity, and to uphold this commitment by behaving honestly, responsibly and ethically, and with respect and fairness, in scholarly practice.

The University expects all staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle, the Academic Integrity Rule 2021, the Policy: Student Academic Integrity and Procedure: Student Academic Integrity, and to uphold high standards of academic integrity to ensure the quality and value of our qualifications.

The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 is a legal document that the University uses to promote academic integrity, and manage breaches of the academic integrity principle. The Policy and Procedure support the Rule by outlining overarching principles, responsibilities and processes. The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 commences on 1 December 2021 and applies to courses commencing on or after that date, as well as to research conduct occurring on or after that date. Prior to this, the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 applies.


The University commits to assisting all students to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. All coursework students must complete the online Academic Integrity Module (Epigeum), and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are required to complete research integrity training. The Academic Integrity website provides information about services available to assist students with their assignments, examinations and other learning activities, as well as understanding and upholding academic integrity.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

No hard copy thesis submission required. A PDF copy of the thesis is electronically submitted to the Science Honours wattle site.

Late Submission

Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

The Academic Skills website has information to assist you with your writing and assessments. The website includes information about Academic Integrity including referencing requirements for different disciplines. There is also information on Plagiarism and different ways to use source material.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

AsPr Simon Williams

Research Interests

Plant innate immunity, structural biology

AsPr Simon Williams

By Appointment
AsPr Simon Williams

Research Interests

AsPr Simon Williams

By Appointment

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