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.


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 Plant Science|Zoology
Coordinator Associate Professor Leon Barmuta
Available as student elective? Yes
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 21/2/2022 22/3/2022 11/4/2022 29/5/2022

* 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).

Unit census dates currently displaying for 2022 are indicative and subject to change. Finalised census dates for 2022 will be available from the 1st October 2021.

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.
Field of Education Commencing Student Contribution 1 Grandfathered Student Contribution 1 Approved Pathway Course Student Contribution 2 Domestic Full Fee
010909 $1,002.00 $1,002.00 not applicable

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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Admission into a Masters course or (KMA153 and one from 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.

AssessmentExamination (35%)|Research Project (35%)|Seminar (10%)|Essay (20%)
TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable



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

LinksBooktopia textbook finder

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