• Offered by Biology Teaching and Learning Centre
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Biology
  • Areas of interest Biology
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Prof Spencer Whitney
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Summer Session 2021
    First Semester 2021
    Autumn Session 2021
    Winter Session 2021
    Second Semester 2021
    Spring Session 2021
    See Future Offerings

Delivery of this course will vary from student to student. Contact your course convener or supervisor to see if there is an on campus activity.

This course is specially tailored for students attracted to, or wondering about research. Students are immersed in a real research environment and in the practice of research. They are integrated in a research team and get direct experience in core components of research activities, from posing a question, defining hypotheses to address it, and the appropriate approaches to examine these hypotheses; data analysis and rigorous presentation, interpretation of results, and most importantly their critical assessment and discussion in the context of the current body of knowledge. Students are experiencing first-hand the joys and tribulations of probing the unknown, the drive, curiosity, discipline, and perseverance this requires.

This course is designed to be flexible and allows for a broad range of research areas and environments to be experienced by students. Interested students are encouraged to contact the convener and prospective supervisors in Biology. Many research areas are available, for example: http://www.biology.anu.edu.au/ , http://cos.anu.edu.au/Plants , http://genetics.anu.edu.au/ , http://jcsmr.anu.edu.au

It is also possible to be hosted at the Genetic Counselling Unit of The Canberra Hospital for a Genetic Counselling Internship. This option is aimed at those with a special interest in the field of human genetics, specifically in the area of genetic counselling. Students who wish to be considered for this internship should have completed BIOL3204 Human Genetics, or other relevant human genetics courses and the eligibility criterion of at least a 70% average across science courses during previous semesters. Please contact David.Rowell@anu.edu.au for more information about Genetic Counselling Internship option.

NOTE: This course is an Honours Pathway Course that involves research oriented material of a greater conceptual difficulty than a typical 3000 level science course.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, 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 supervised by an academic
  2. Systematically identify relevant theory and concepts, apply them appropriately, and draw appropriate conclusions
  3. Engage in critical review of appropriate and relevant information sources
  4. Understand and apply relevant research techniques and methods
  5. Record original data and apply statistical or other evaluation processes to original data when appropriate
  6. Communicate concepts and results clearly and effectively both in writing and orally

Other Information

For permission to enrol in this course, please email rsb.studentadmin@anu.edu.au.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Written report, in a scientific paper format (70) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6]
  2. Seminar (15) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6]
  3. Notebook/Lab book (10) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6]
  4. Blog entry (5) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6]

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.


The expected workload will consist of approximately 130 hours throughout the semester including:

  • The project is expected to involve 65 hours of laboratory or fieldwork throughout the semester.
  • Approximately 85 hours of individual work which will include preparation individual work, including preparation of a report (up to 9000 words), presentations and other assessment tasks.

Students are expected to actively participate and contribute towards discussions.

Inherent Requirements

To be determined

Requisite and Incompatibility

Enrolment in this course is dependent upon the availability of a suitable supervisor and must be approved by the course convener. Completion of at least 96 units towards a degree with an average of 70% or above in science second and third year courses.

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

Prescribed Texts




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
2021 $4110
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2021 $5880
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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.

Summer Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
1285 01 Jan 2021 22 Jan 2021 22 Jan 2021 31 Mar 2021 In Person View

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
3343 22 Feb 2021 01 Mar 2021 31 Mar 2021 28 May 2021 In Person View

Autumn Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
3282 01 Apr 2021 23 Apr 2021 23 Apr 2021 30 Jun 2021 In Person View

Winter Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
4296 01 Jul 2021 23 Jul 2021 23 Jul 2021 30 Sep 2021 In Person N/A

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
6334 26 Jul 2021 02 Aug 2021 31 Aug 2021 29 Oct 2021 In Person N/A

Spring Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
6252 01 Oct 2021 22 Oct 2021 22 Oct 2021 31 Dec 2021 In Person N/A

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