Courses & Units

Scientific Methods in Biology KPZ312


Biologists collect and reason with a wide range of data and information. This unit introduces the key processes needed to design, collect and analyse biological data, and develops the different ways in which data is converted to information and how this articulates with the decisions that biologists make in order to progress their science. As such, this unit complements traditional quantitative skills units by workshopping the different modes of scientific reasoning used in biology ranging from tightly controlled laboratory experiments to unreplicated field surveys. You will get the opportunity to consolidate and develop your basic data handling and analysis skills and integrate these into scientific reasoning about biological problems. This will be achieved by using a suite of real-life projects in the biological sciences in which you will be encouraged to develop your skills of critique, evaluation and synthesis. This unit is required in the Zoology and Ecology majors and is an option in the Plant Science major.


Unit name Scientific Methods in Biology
Unit code KPZ312
Credit points 12.5
College/School College of Sciences and Engineering
School of Natural Sciences
Discipline Biological Sciences
Coordinator Associate Professor Leon Barmuta
Available as an elective? Yes
Delivered By University of Tasmania
Level Advanced


Location Study period Attendance options Available to
Hobart Semester 1 On-Campus International Domestic


International students
Domestic students

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Key Dates

Study Period Start date Census date WW date End date
Semester 1 26/2/2024 22/3/2024 15/4/2024 2/6/2024

* The Final WW Date is the final date from which you can withdraw from the unit without academic penalty, however you will still incur a financial liability (refer to How do I withdraw from a unit? for more information).

Unit census dates currently displaying for 2024 are indicative and subject to change. Finalised census dates for 2024 will be available from the 1st October 2023. Note census date cutoff is 11.59pm AEST (AEDT during October to March).

About Census Dates

Learning Outcomes

  • articulate the scientific methods used in biological sciences.
  • explain why current scientific knowledge is both contestable and testable by further inquiry.
  • conduct scientific enquiries and solve problems by designing and planning an investigation in biological science.
  • select and apply practical and/or theoretical techniques or tools in order to conduct an investigation.
  • collect, accurately record, interpret and draw conclusions from raw quantitative data.

Fee Information

Field of Education Commencing Student Contribution 1,3 Grandfathered Student Contribution 1,3 Approved Pathway Course Student Contribution 2,3 Domestic Full Fee 4
010909 $1,118.00 $1,118.00 not applicable $2,596.00

1 Please refer to more information on student contribution amounts.
2 Please refer to more information on eligibility and Approved Pathway courses.
3 Please refer to more information on eligibility for HECS-HELP.
4 Please refer to more information on eligibility for FEE-HELP.

If you have any questions in relation to the fees, please contact UConnect or more information is available on StudyAssist.

Please note: international students should refer to What is an indicative Fee? to get an indicative course cost.



One of KPA214, KPZ215, KPZ211, KZA212


Teaching Pattern

2 x 2 hour face to face computer workshops weekly for Weeks 1 - 8

2 x 50 minute face to face (also recorded) lectorials for weekly Weeks 1 - 8

2 x 1 hour face to face consultation workshops with teaching staff for weekly Weeks 9 -13

AssessmentData Management Report (10%)|Mid-semester test (15%)|End of semester test (20%)|Review Essay (20%)|Research Project (35%)
TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable



Required readings will be listed in the unit outline prior to the start of classes.

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