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TPP7155 General Science

Semester 3, 2019 Online
Short Description: General Science
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Open Access College
School or Department : Open Access College
Student contribution band : Band 2
ASCED code : 019999 - Natural and Physical Sciences
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Jenny Spence

Other requisites

Students are required to have access to a scientific calculator, personal computer, email capabilities and Internet access to UConnect. Current details of computer requirements can be found at


Students entering the Tertiary Preparatory Program (TPP) typically come from diverse backgrounds, with some having little experience in scientific related endeavours. Moreover, recent government initiatives related to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) related careers have seen a greater emphasis placed on science in undergraduate degrees. Students who wish to undertake undergraduate study in primary teacher education are now expected to demonstrate prerequisite skills, knowledge and attitudes in science. This course aims to provide students who do not feel confident about their knowledge of science with the basic concepts and skills necessary for further pursuit of the subject in undergraduate degrees that include nursing, teacher-education and general science. It also provides a useful foundation for students wishing to expand their understanding of science prior to entry into engineering related degrees.


Increasingly in today's world we are exposed to situations that require both a knowledge of science and an appreciation of scientific processes. The content of this course introduces students to scientific method, measurement in science, the nature of matter and contemporary scientific issues such as antibiotic resistance, genes and genetic technology and the causes and effects of climate change.
The course is structured to increase students' scientific literacy, particularly the ability to interpret, analyse and evaluate scientific data and to communicate effectively their findings. This will enable students to engage with scientific thought processes and content that is relevant both today and in the future.


In the process of successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Describe and explain the scientific concepts of the course.
  2. Apply analytical and problem-solving skills in a range of theoretical and experimental contexts.
  3. Effectively discuss and evaluate the scientific data and concepts presented in the course.
  4. Generate and communicate explanations of scientific phenomena based on knowledge and critical analysis of the concepts covered in the course.


Description Weighting(%)
1. The nature of science - experimental design, measurement, communicating scientific findings. 10.00
2. Introduction to Cellular Biology - Contemporary issues. 30.00
3. Introduction to Chemistry - models of the atom, physical and chemical properties of substances, the periodic table, ionic and covalent compounds, acids, bases, pH and chemical reactions. 20.00
4. Climate change: Causes and effects. 30.00
5. Sustainable energy. 10.00

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.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Assessments 35.00
Directed Study 90.00
Private Study 40.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 10 5 29 Nov 2019 (see note 1)
ASSIGNMENT 2 30 15 16 Dec 2019
ASSIGNMENT 3 30 10 02 Jan 2020
ASSIGNMENT 4 40 20 17 Jan 2020
ASSIGNMENT 5 15 5 31 Jan 2020
EXAMINATION 60 45 End S3 (see note 2)

  1. Assignments may take a range of formats, including practical reports, research reports, computer mediated assessments (CMAs) and problem-solving activities.
  2. This will be a Restricted Examination. The total working time for the examination is 1.5 hours. The examination date will be available via UConnect when the official examination timetable has been released.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no weekly attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the student's responsibility 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:
    Students are not required to complete every assignment item to a satisfactory standard in order to obtain a passing grade for the course. Students must achieve at least 40% of marks available for the end of semester exam to gain a passing grade.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must obtain at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course (i.e. the Primary Hurdle), and have satisfied the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised), i.e. the end of semester examination by achieving at least 40% of the weighted marks available for that assessment item.

    Supplementary assessment may be offered where a student has undertaken all of the required summative assessment items and has passed the Primary Hurdle but failed to satisfy the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised), or has satisfied the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised) but failed to achieve a passing Final Grade by 5% or less of the total weighted Marks.

    To be awarded a passing grade for a supplementary assessment item (if applicable), a student must achieve at least 50% of the available marks for the supplementary assessment item as per the Assessment Procedure (point 4.4.2).

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    Students must pass both the Primary and Secondary Hurdles to gain a passing grade. Final passing grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative items for the course.

  6. Examination information:
    RESTRICTED: Candidates are allowed access only to specific materials during a Restricted Examination. The only materials that candidates may use in the restricted examination for this course are:
    a. writing materials (non-electronic and free from material which could give the student an unfair advantage in the examination);
    b. ruler
    c. Scientific calculator. Graphical and/or programmable calculators are not permitted.
    d. one A4 page of hand written or typed notes (written on both sides)
    e. Students whose first language is not English may take an appropriate unmarked non electronic translation dictionary (but not technical dictionary) into the examination.
    f. Dictionaries with any handwritten notes will not be permitted. Translation dictionaries will be subject to perusal and may be removed from the candidate's possession until appropriate disciplinary action is completed if found to contain material that could give the candidate an unfair advantage.
    g. A periodic table is provided in the exam question paper.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the next examination period.

  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. Students must familiarise themselves with the USQ Assessment Procedures (

  2. Students must retain a copy of each written assignment submitted for assessment. This must be produced within 5 days if required by the examiner.

  3. If electronic submission is specified for a course assessment, students will be notified of this on the Course Study Desk. The due date for an electronically submitted assessment is the date by which a student must electronically submit the assignment irrespective of holidays. The assignment files must be submitted by 11.55pm on the due date using USQ time (as displayed on the clock on the course home page; that is, Australian Eastern Standard Time).

  4. If hardcopy submission is specified for a course assessment students will be notified of this on the Course Study Desk. The due date for a hardcopy assignment is the date by which a student must submit at USQ or despatch the assignment to USQ irrespective of holidays.

  5. USQ will NOT accept submission of assignments by facsimile or email unless expressly requested by the course examiner.

  6. Referencing in Assignments must comply with the Harvard (AGPS) referencing system. This system should be used by students to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The Harvard (APGS) style to be used is defined by the USQ library’s referencing guide. These policies can be found at

Evaluation and benchmarking

In meeting the University’s aims to establish quality learning and teaching for all programs, this course monitors and ensures quality assurance and improvements in at least two ways. This course:
1. Conforms to the USQ Policy on Evaluation of Teaching, Courses and Programs to ensure ongoing monitoring and systematic improvement.
2. Forms part of the Tertiary Preparation Program and is benchmarked against internal USQ accreditation/reaccreditation processes which include (i) stringent standards in the independent accreditation of its academic programs, (ii) close integration between business and academic planning, and (iii) regular and rigorous review

Other requirements

  1. Students should have a knowledge of Mathematics Tertiary Preparation 1 (or equivalent) or be currently enrolled in Mathematics Tertiary Preparation 1.