Courses & Units

Advanced Scientific Methods in Biology KPZ720



Biologists collect and reason with a wide range of data and information. This unit will develop your existing skills to an advanced level so that you can design, collect and analyse biological data. You will then apply these skills to understand the different ways in which ‘data’ is converted to ‘information’ and how this articulates with the decisions that biologists in professional practice 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 further develop your 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 off with lecture, tutorial 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 a data management report, a group seminar, a final report on your group research project, and an open-book examination. The assessment in this unit will provide you with opportunities to demonstrate mastery in using primary data and peer-reviewed literature to critique and apply knowledge and skills creatively in novel situations.


Unit name Advanced Scientific Methods in Biology
Unit code KPZ720
Credit points 12.5
Faculty/School College of Sciences and Engineering
School of Natural Sciences
Discipline Plant Science|Zoology

L. A. Barmuta

Teaching staff

Scott Carver, Barry Brook

Level Postgraduate
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 25/2/2019 22/3/2019 15/4/2019 2/6/2019

* 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 2019 are indicative and subject to change. Finalised census dates for 2019 will be available from the 1st October 2018.

About Census Dates

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this unit, you will be able to:

1. Articulate an advanced understanding of the scientific methods used in biological sciences.
2. Explain why current scientific knowledge is both contestable and testable by further inquiry.

3. Solve problems by designing, planning and collecting data for an investigation in biological science.

4. Select and apply advanced quantitative techniques and tools in order to conduct an investigation to a professional standard.

5. Evaluate and critique conclusions drawn from analyses of quantitative data.



Band CSP Student Contribution Full Fee Paying (domestic) Field of Education
2 2019: $1,169.00 2019: $2,200.00 010999

Fees for next year will be published in October. The fees above only apply for the year shown.

Please note: international students should refer to this page to get an indicative course cost.



Any 2:  KPZ211, KZA212, KPA214, KPA215

Mutual Exclusions

You cannot enrol in this unit as well as the following:



Teaching Pattern

2 hr lecture and 3 hour practical each week


Data and Design report (20%); Group presentation (10%); Research Project report (35%); Written examination (open book) (35%)

TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable


Booktopia textbook links

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