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Experimental Marine Biology (ZOOL30008)

Undergraduate level 3Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 3
Subject codeZOOL30008
Availability(Quotas apply)
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

This subject explores the techniques and methods of undertaking marine biological research, including experimental and sampling design, data collection, statistical analysis of data, presentation of the research results and peer review. Students will participate in a group project, in which they will design, execute, analyse and interpret observational and experimental studies of marine animals in field and laboratory settings.

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 marine biology to a specific testable hypothesis; developing an experimental sampling design; collecting and analysing data; preparing 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

This subject builds upon existing generic skills, including an ability to approach and assimilate new knowledge from observation and the literature, and an ability to use that knowledge to evaluate and communicate results.

Students should develop their abilities to pose testable hypotheses, to devise appropriate sampling procedures and experimental designs, and to work in field situations.

Students should learn how to access information from the primary scientific literature, through both electronic and traditional sources, and gain experience in writing scientific reports and essays.

Eligibility and requirements


Code Name Teaching period Credit Points
MAST20031 Analysis of Biological Data
Semester 1

and one of:

Code Name Teaching period Credit Points
ECOL20003 Ecology
Semester 2
EVSC20004 Blue Planet-Intro to Marine Environments
Semester 1



Non-allowed subjects

Students who have received credit for 654-302 Experimental Marine Ecology (prior to 2010) may not enrol in this subject for credit.

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



Written practical report totalling up to 4000 words. This assessment includes:

  • Report introduction (up to 700 words) which will be assessed and returned with detailed comments (20%) - (due 1-2 weeks post field trip)
  • Full report, including revised introduction, of approximately 3000 words (50%). Introduction not re-assessed but used to provide study context (due 3-4 weeks post field trip)
  • a re-submitted report and ‘response to reviewer’ comments documenting how students have addressed feedback received on the initial submission, approximately an additional 1000 words (30%) (due 6-8 weeks post field trip)

Hurdle requirement: All students must complete a peer review assessment task.

Quotas apply to this subject

Dates & times

  • February
    Principal coordinatorJohn Morrongiello
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Parkville
    Contact hoursTen lectures and 50 hours practical and tutorial work.
    Total time commitment170 hours
    Pre teaching start date21 January 2019
    Pre teaching requirementsStudents are required to spend time reading scientific papers prior to the start of teaching. Papers will be distributed to students via the LMS by 21 January.
    Teaching period 1 February 2019 to 18 February 2019
    Last self-enrol date16 December 2018
    Census date15 February 2019
    Last date to withdraw without fail12 April 2019
    Assessment period ends24 May 2019

    February contact information

Time commitment details

170 hours

Additional delivery details

An enrolment quota of 40 students (in undergraduate and post-graduate offering) applies to this subject. For detailed information on the quota subject application process, enrolment deadlines and selection preferences, refer to the Faculty of Science website: http://science.unimelb.edu.au/students/course-planning-and-advice

Teaching dates: 1 and 18 February – including lectures and tutorial work undertaken on campus; and practical work undertaken at the Marine Research laboratories in Queenscliff, operated by Deakin University. Assessment for the subject is due in semester 1.

Students are required to spend time reading scientific papers prior to the start of teaching. Papers will be distributed to students via LMS by 21 January.

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

Further information

Last updated: 12 June 2019