BOTA90011 Botany Research Project Minor

Credit Points: 50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Commencement Date & Location:
2011, Parkville
This subject commences in the following study period/s:
Semester 1 - Taught on campus.
Semester 2 - Taught on campus.
Timetable can be viewed by searching for this subject at http://sws.unimelb.edu.au or by viewing the timetable here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: .
Total Time Commitment: This subject is an individual research project and weekly contact hours will vary depending on the nature of the project. Students should discuss this with their supervisor but as a guide, a student enrolled in a 50 point research project subject would be expected to be engaged in their research for an average of forty hours per week or 480 hours for the semester. Students enrolled in a 37.5, 25 or 12.5 point research subject would be expected to be engaged in their research on a pro-rata basis.

Entry to the MSc (Botany program), or by approval of course coordinator.

Recommended Background Knowledge:
Non Allowed Subjects:
Core Participation Requirements:

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study and reasonable steps will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. This subject requires all students to actively and safely participate in laboratory activities. Students who feel their disability may impact upon their participation are encouraged to discuss this with the subject coordinator and the Disability Liaison Unit.


Assoc Prof Ed Newbigin, Prof Ian Woodrow


Associate Professor Ed Newbigin
Subject Overview:

This subject is the minor research component offered in plant sciences for the MSc degree. While providing a significant opportunity for independent research under supervision in the School of Botany, it allows a student to maximise the course-work component of the MSc. Projects are available in the areas of cellular, molecular and functional plant sciences, plant systematics and evolution, marine botany and environmental science. The research project will provide: experience in reviewing scientific literature, hypothesis testing, design of laboratory and/or field experiments, training in experimental techniques, data analysis and interpretation, and development of written and oral presentation skills. The research project will be designed in consultation with a supervisor(s) and the School’s Postgraduate Coordinator.

Students may enrol in a combination of research project subjects as indicated below (each of which is available in semester one and semester two) over their two years of full-time study or over their four years of part-time study, to ensure they have completed a total of 75 points for the minor research project by the end of their course.

75 point Minor Research Project:

  • 606-639 Botany Research Project Minor – 12.5 points
  • 606-638 Botany Research Project Minor – 25 points
  • 606-637 Botany Research Project Minor – 37.5 points
  • 606-636 Botany Research Project Minor – 50 points

The objectives of this subject are to provide students with:

• high-level experience in, and ability to conduct independent research in a field of plant science;

• ability in reviewing and assessing scientific literature;

• ability in hypothesis testing, design of laboratory and/or field experiments;

• ability in advanced scientific techniques, data analysis and interpretation;

• written and oral presentations; and

• potential to proceed to the PhD degree.


The assessment requirements below are applicable to the entire 75 point Research Project.

Assessment will be based on a research thesis (80%; 10,000 - 12,000 words), a comprehensive literature review (15%; 3,000 words) and presentation of a seminar based on the research findings (5%; 25 minutes). Submission of the literature review and presentation of the seminar will be based on the timing of the research project. The literature review will be submitted at an early stage of the research project and presentation of the seminar and submission of the research thesis at the end of the research project. Students are expected to attend the School’s general weekly seminar series held during semesters (hurdle requirement).

Prescribed Texts: None.
Recommended Texts: None.
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

At the completion of this subject, students should gain skills in:

• designing, managing and executing a research project;

• demonstrating a breadth of knowledge in a particular discipline;

• analysing and interpreting scientific data;

• providing persuasive intellectual arguments;

• exercising critical judgement, independent thinking and a problem solving approach;

• written report presentation and oral communication; and

• time management and self-organisation.

Related Course(s): Master of Science (Botany)

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