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Experimental Animal Behaviour (ZOOL30007)

Undergraduate level 3Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 3
Subject codeZOOL30007
Semester 1
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

In this subject you will conduct group-based, hands-on, original research into animal behaviour. Over the semester you will be immersed in the entire process of scientific research - from hypothesis development and experimental design, through to data collection and statistical analysis. You will report your findings in spoken and written formats, and critically review the work of other students. Study animals range from insects and spiders, to fish, birds and mammals – in the lab, zoo or wild. You will emerge with an authentic experience of scientific research – complete with its challenges, frustrations and the thrill of scientific discovery.

Intended learning outcomes

To provide students with an opportunity to engage in an authentic experience of the entire process of scientific research: from translating a general question in animal behaviour to a specific hypothesis about the relationship between measurable variables; developing an experimental or sampling design; collecting and analysing data; preparing an oral presentation and a draft written report; formally reviewing reports prepared by other students and revising their reports in line with the reviews provided by their colleagues; and finally submitting an individual report for assessment.

Generic skills

The subject builds upon existing generic skills, including an ability to assimilate and critically evaluate new knowledge within a scientific paradigm, and to communicate that knowledge to others. Students should also develop skills in managing a group research project, and in analysing, interpreting and evaluating scientific data critically. They should also gain experience in writing a scientific report, providing and responding to peer reviews, and making an oral presentation

Eligibility and requirements



Code Name Teaching period Credit Points
ZOOL30006 Animal Behaviour
Semester 1
ECOL20003 Ecology
Semester 2

ZOOL30006 may also be taken concurrently.

Plus one of:

Code Name Teaching period Credit Points
ZOOL20005 Animal Structure and Function
Semester 1
ZOOL20006 Comparative Animal Physiology
Semester 2



Non-allowed subjects


Core participation requirements

The University of Melbourne is committed to providing students with reasonable adjustments to assessment and participation under the Disability Standards for Education (2005), and the Assessment and Results Policy (MPF1326). Students are expected to meet the core participation requirements for their course. These can be viewed under Entry and Participation Requirements for the course outlines in the Handbook.

Further details on how to seek academic adjustments can be found on the Student Equity and Disability Support website: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/student-equity/home


Additional details

A written project plan submitted by the end of the first three weeks of semester (1 page, 300 to 700 words; 10%); a written scientific report totalling up to 2000 words due at the end of semester (40%); evaluation of contribution by group members (10%); reviews of written and spoken work by peers, during the semester (3 reviews totalling up to 2500 words; 25%) followed by a rejoinder to reviewer comments (500 words, 5%); and a 10-minute oral presentation towards the end of semester (10%).

Dates & times

  • Semester 1
    CoordinatorTheresa Jones
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Parkville
    Contact hours3 tutorials (6 hours total) and 60 hours of practical work during the semester.
    Total time commitment170 hours
    Teaching period 4 March 2019 to 2 June 2019
    Last self-enrol date15 March 2019
    Census date31 March 2019
    Last date to withdraw without fail10 May 2019
    Assessment period ends28 June 2019

    Semester 1 contact information

Time commitment details

Estimated total time commitment of 170 hours

Additional delivery details

This subject requires all students to actively and safely participate in laboratory activities.

Further information

  • Texts

    Prescribed texts


    Recommended texts and other resources

    M. S. Dawkins, Observing animal behaviour: design and analysis of quantitative data,Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2007.

    P. Martin & P. Bateson, Measuring behaviour: an introductory guide, 3rd Ed.Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2009

  • Subject notes

    This subject is available for science credit to students enrolled in the BSc (both pre-2008 and new degrees), BASc or a combined BSc course.

    This subject was previously known as 654-320 Experimental Behavioural Zoology (prior to 2011)

  • Breadth options

    This subject is available as breadth in the following courses:

  • Available through the Community Access Program

    About the Community Access Program (CAP)

    This subject is available through the Community Access Program (also called Single Subject Studies) which allows you to enrol in single subjects offered by the University of Melbourne, without the commitment required to complete a whole degree.

    Entry requirements including prerequisites may apply. Please refer to the CAP applications page for further information.

  • Available to Study Abroad and/or Study Exchange Students

    This subject is available to students studying at the University from eligible overseas institutions on exchange and study abroad. Students are required to satisfy any listed requirements, such as pre- and co-requisites, for enrolment in the subject.

Last updated: 2 August 2019