Skills for the Scientist

Unit code: NSC1210 | Study level: Undergraduate
(Generally, 1 credit = 10 hours of classes and independent study.)
Footscray Park


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.

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;

Study as a single unit

This unit can be studied on its own, without enrolling in a full degree.

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For Melbourne campuses

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

Required reading

Scientific Writing = Thinking in Words
Lindsay, D.R. (2011)| Collingwood, Victoria, Australia, CSIRO
Scientific Method: A Historical and Philosophical Introduction
Bower, G.S. (2012)| London, Routledge

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following course(s):

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