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 work-shopping 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. The unit will start with lecture and workshop sessions to lay the foundations for the group projects which will be guided by teaching staff via on-line and face-to-face meetings.  Collecting new field or laboratory data will form part of the project work, and contact hours will be more flexible as the project work develops towards the end of semester.  The unit will be assessed using an essay, group presentation, project report and an open-book examination.


Unit name Scientific Methods in Biology
Unit code KPZ312
Credit points 12.5
Faculty/School College of Sciences and Engineering
School of Natural Sciences
Discipline Plant Science|Zoology

A/Prof L Barmuta

Teaching staff

Dr S Richards, Dr N. Fountain-Jones

Level Advanced
Available as student elective? Yes
Breadth Unit? No


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 22/2/2021 23/3/2021 12/4/2021 30/5/2021

* 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 (see withdrawal dates explained for more information).

About Census Dates


Field of Education Commencing Student Contribution 1 Grandfathered Student Contribution 1 Approved Pathway Course Student Contribution 2 Domestic Full Fee
010909 $993.00 $993.00 not applicable $2,354.00

1 Please refer here more information on student contribution amounts.
2 Information on eligibility and Approved Pathway courses can be found here
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Please note: international students should refer to this page to get an indicative course cost.


KMA153 AND one (1) of KPA214, KPZ215, KPZ211, KZA212


Teaching Pattern

2 x 1 hr lectures delivered online and 2 x 2 hr practicals each week. Additional, optional online practical sessions offered in final 5 weeks of unit for additional support for group projects.


Review essay (20%), curated data set and code (10%), research project (35%) 1 x open-book exam (35%)

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