Skills for the Scientist will develop a set of fundamental skills that are required to navigate through all stages of the scientific process. The unit will explore the history and philosophy of science, leading to an understanding of the current approach to scientific thinking. Students will become familiar with accessing library resources, including popular science databases, and will learn the accepted referencing practices for the sciences. Methods will be taught for the management and interpretation of data, leading to the development of written and oral communication skills. Safe and ethical work practices in the laboratory and field will be discussed.

Unit details

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Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Apply the principles of the scientific method to real world problems;  
  2. Locate, synthesise and cite/reference scientific literature;  
  3. Manage scientific data, perform data manipulations and produce scientifically acceptable written and graphic outputs;  
  4. Create scientific documents and work collaboratively to develop presentations;  


Assessment type Description Grade
Exercise Analysis of scientific paper 10%
Assignment Initial data submission 15%
Assignment Manage and present scientific data 15%
Test Test 20%
Presentation Group oral presentation. 40%

Required reading

Scientific Writing = Thinking in Words 1st Edition
Lindsay, D.R. (2011)
Collingwood, Victoria, Australia, CSIRO

Scientific Method: A Historical and Philosophical Introduction 1st Edition
Bower, G.S. (2012)
London, Routledge

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