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SCI4401 Science Honours Project A

Semester 1, 2012 On-campus Toowoomba
Units : 3
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Sciences
School or Department : Biological & Physical Sciences
Version produced : 30 December 2013

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Examiner: John Dearnaley
Moderator: Mark Lynch


A substantial programme of research will be performed by the student, the prime purpose being to give the student experience in carrying out scientific research.


This course involves students in a research project which will be supervised by a member of staff with appropriate expertise. It may consist of pure or developmental research in an important area of science and be based on experimental work conducted either within the University or elsewhere in conjunction with a government or private organisation. This course will require the student to undertake an extensive literature review and deliver several seminars on their research topic, in addition to conducting their research program. Science Honours Project A and B need to be undertaken in consecutive semesters, overall Honours grades being determined in accordance with Department of Biological and Physical Sciences Honours program guidelines.


On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate competence in the performance of original scientific research and work in a research environment;
  2. demonstrate an understanding of real-world practical problems and the limitations these place on scientific advances;
  3. demonstrate expertise in critically reviewing scientific literature;
  4. demonstrate expertise in scientific communication through preparing a literature review and through the delivery of research seminars.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Design and presentation of a research project in consultation with supervisor. Projects will require approval of the Department of Biological & Physical Sciences Research & Higher Degrees Committee (DR&HDC). 10.00
2. Preparation of a Literature Review on current knowledge relevant to the Project. 50.00
3. Preparation and presentation of introductory and final seminars describing the student's research. 40.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • There are no texts or materials required for this course.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Such journals, monographs and other printed materials appropriate for the research topic chosen.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Directed Study 400.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
DISSERTATION MECHANICS 100 25 28 Feb 2012 (see note 1)
DRAFT LITERATURE REVIEW 100 8 28 Feb 2012 (see note 2)
FINAL LITERATURE REVIEW 100 25 28 Feb 2012 (see note 3)
FINAL SEMINAR 100 33 28 Feb 2012 (see note 4)
INTRODUCTORY SEMINAR 100 9 28 Feb 2012 (see note 5)

  1. Examiner to advise the date of the Dissertation.
  2. Examiner to advise of the due date for Literature Review
  3. Examiner to advise of the due date for Literature Review
  4. Examiner to advise the date of the Honours Seminars
  5. Examiner to advise the date of the Honours Seminars.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To complete each of the assessment items satisfactorily, students must obtain at least 50% of the marks available for each assessment item.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without prior approval then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment will apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded. No assignments will be accepted after model answers have been posted.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    Students will be awarded the grade of IIP (Incomplete - in progress) at the end of this course provided they have gained at least 50% of the marks available for their literature review and introductory Honours seminar.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    When the Science Honours Project has been assessed in its entirety, the interim grade of IIP will be changed to the appropriate final grade.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    There will be no Deferred or Supplementary examinations in this course.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. Seminars - Students will be required to deliver two seminars to the Department during the course of their project. Details of the content of each seminar are available from the Department of Biological and Physical Sciences Honours Co-ordinator.

  2. Literature Review - Students must undertake a comprehensive literature survey in their area of research and submit three copies of a written literature review (4000-5000 words, excluding references). Details of assessment criteria of the literature review and submission date will be provided by the Department of Biological and Physical Sciences Honours Co-ordinator.

  3. Harvard (AGPS) is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use Harvard (AGPS) style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The Harvard (AGPS) style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide.