ATAR Notes: Forum

Uni Stuff => Universities - Victoria => University of Melbourne => Topic started by: stonecold on July 03, 2011, 02:23:10 pm

Title: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: stonecold on July 03, 2011, 02:23:10 pm
University of Melbourne
Subject Reviews and Ratings


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We encourage you to review the subject(s) you have completed, even if someone else has already reviewed your subject(s). The more reviews we have, the more helpful this resource will be. Please try to avoid overtly denigrating lecturers and keep your review relatively objective.

Updated to post #834

ANCW10005: Ancient Near Eastern Language: Egyptian
ANCW20019: Rise and Fall of the Roman Republic
ANCW20025: Archaeology of the Roman World
ANCW30011: Underworld and Afterlife

ANTH10001: Anthropology: Studying Human Diversity

CCDP20001: Street Art

CHIN10003: Chinese 7
CHIN10005: Chinese 1A (2)

CLAS10003: Intensive Beginners Latin (2)
CLAS10006: Latin 1 (1) (2)
CLAS10022: Intensive Beginners Ancient Greek A (1) (2)
CLAS20027: Intermediate Latin Language

CWRI10001: Creative Writing: Ideas and Practice

ENGL10001: Modern and Contemporary Literature
ENGL10002: Literature and Performance (1) (2)
ENGL20022: Modernism and Avant Garde
ENGL20023: American Classics
ENGL30013: Gothic Fictions

EURO10002: Eurovisions

FREN10004: French 1 - Winter Intensive
FREN10006/FREN20001/FREN30003: French 5 (1) (2)
FREN20012: French Travel Writing

GERM10002/ GERM20005: German 4
GERM10004: German 1
GERM10006/GERM20007/GERM30005: German 5 (1) (2) (3)

HIST10006: Making Sense of America
HIST10012: The World Since World War II
HIST20010: The First Centuries of Islam
HIST20013: The Holocaust and Genocide
HIST20060: Total War: World War II (1) (2)
HIST20069: Modern European History
HIST30010: Hilter's Germany and Fascism

HPSC10001: From Plato to Einstein (1) (2)
HPSC20015: Astronomy in World History
HPSC20021: Critical Reasoning
HPSC30019: Minds and Madness

INTS10001: International Politics (1) (2) (3)

ISLM10002: Islam in the Modern World
ISLM20003: The Qur'an: An Introduction

ITAL10001: Italian 3
ITAL10002: Italian 4
ITAL10004: Italian 1
ITAL10008: Italian Mid-Year Winter Intensive

JAPN10001: Japanese 1 (1) (2)
JAPN10002: Japanese 2
JAPN10003/20013/30007: Japanese 5

KORE10001: Korean 1

LING10001: The Secret Life of Language (1) (2) (3) (4)
LING10002: Intercultural Communication (1) (2) (3) (4)
LING20003: Second Language Learning and Teaching
LING20005: Phonetics (1) (2)
LING20006: Syntax (1) (2)
LING20011: Grammar of English (1) (2) (3)
LING30007: Semantics
LING30012: Language and Identity

MECM10006: Introduction to Media Writing
MECM20009: Introduction to Media Writing

MULT10015: Language
MULT10016: Reason
MULT10018: Power

PHIL10003: Philosophy: The Great Thinkers
PHIL20030: Meaning, Possibility and Paradox

POLS10003: Introduction to Political Ideas
POLS20006: Contemporary Political Theory
POLS20008: Public Policy Making
POLS30011: Chinese Politics and Society
POLS30019: Australian Foreign Policy

PSYC10003: Mind, Brain and Behaviour 1 (1) (2)
PSYC10004: Mind, Brain and Behaviour 2 (1) (2)
PSYC20006: Biological Psychology (1) (2) (3) (4)
PSYC20007: Cognitive Psychology (1) (2) (3)
PSYC20008: Developmental Psychology
PSYC20009: Personality and Social Psychology (1) (2)
PSYC30012: The Unconscious Mind
PSYC30013: Research Methods for Human Inquiry (1) (2)
PSYC30014: The Psychopathology of Everyday Life (1) (2)
PSYC30016: Social and Emotional Development
PSYC30017: Perception, Memory and Cognition
PSYC30021: Psychological Science: Theory & Practice
PSYC30022: Trends in Personality and Social Psychology

RUSS10001: Russian 1 (1) (2)
RUSS10002: Russian 2

SCRN10001: Introduction to Screen Studies
SCRN20011: Hollywood and Entertainment
SCRN20014: Film Genres and Auteurs
SCRN30005: The Digital Screenscape

SPAN10001: Spanish 1 (1) (2)
SPAN10002: Spanish 2
SPAN20020: Intensive Intermediate Spanish
SPAN30014: Spanish 5

SOLS10001: Law in Society (1) (2) (3)

THTR20021: Shakespeare in Performance

ACCT10001: Accounting Reports and Analysis (CURRENT COURSE) (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8)
ACCT10001: Accounting Reports and Analysis (OUTDATED COURSE) (1) (2) See here
ACCT10002: Introductory Financial Accounting (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6)
ACCT10003: Accounting Processes and Analysis
ACCT20001: Cost Management (1) (2)
ACCT20002: Intermediate Financial Accounting (1) (2)
ACCT20007: Accounting Information: Risks & Controls
ACCT30001: Financial Accounting Theory (1) (2) (3)
ACCT30002: Enterprise Performance Management (1) (2)
ACCT30004: Auditing and Assurance Services (1) (2) (3)

ACTL10001: Introduction to Actuarial Studies (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7)
ACTL20001: Financial Mathematics I (1) (2) (3) - renamed as Introductory Financial Mathematics from here
ACTL20002: Financial Mathematics II

BLAW10001: Principles of Business Law (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8)
BLAW10002: Free Speech and Media Law
BLAW20001: Corporate Law (1) (2) (3)
BLAW30002: Taxation Law 1 (1) (2) (3)
BLAW30003: Taxation Law 2
BLAW30004: Competition and Consumer Law

ECOM20001: Introductory Econometrics (1) (2) (3) - renamed as Econometrics 1 from here
ECOM30001: Basic Econometrics
ECOM30002: Econometrics 2
ECOM40004: Financial Econometrics
ECOM40006: Econometric Techniques

ECON10002: Seminar in Economics and Commerce A
ECON10003: Introductory Macroeconomics (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9)
ECON10004: Introductory Microeconomics (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) (11) (12) (13)
ECON10005: Quantitative Methods 1 (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6)
ECON20001: Intermediate Macroeconomics (1)(2)
ECON20002: Intermediate Microeconomics (1) (2) (3)
ECON20003: Quantitative Methods 2 (1) (2) (3) (4)
ECON20005: Competition and Strategy (1) (2) (3)
ECON30005: Money and Banking
ECON30010: Microeconomics (1) (2)
ECON30011: Environmental Economics
ECON30019: Behavioural Economics
ECON30020: Mathematical Economics

FNCE10001: Finance 1 (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9)
FNCE10002: Principles of Finance (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7)
FNCE20001: Business Finance (1) (2) (3)
FNCE20003: Introductory Personal Finance
FNCE20004: Introduction to Real Estate Analysis
FNCE30001: Investments (1) (2)
FNCE30002: Corporate Finance (1) (2) (3)
FNCE30007: Derivative Securities (1) (2) (3)

MGMT10002: Principles of Management
MGMT20001: Organisational Behaviour (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)
MGMT20011: Business Negotiations (1) (2) (3)

MKTG10001: Principles of Marketing (1) (2) (3)
MKTG20006: Brand Management
MKTG30008: Neuromarketing

Science (A - L)
ANAT20006: Principles of Human Structure (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9)
ANAT30007: Human Locomotor Systems (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6)
ANAT30008: Viscera and Visceral Systems (1) (2)

BCMB20002: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)
BCMB20003: Biochemical Regulation of Cell Function (1) (2)
BCMB20005: Techniques in Molecular Science (1) (2) (3)
BCMB30001: Protein Structure and Function (1) (2) (3)
BCMB30002: Functional Genomics and Bioinformatics (2)
BCMB30003: Molecular Aspects of Cell Biology
BCMB30004: Cell Signalling & Neurochemistry (1) (2)
BCMB30010: Advanced Techniques in Molecular Science (1) (2) (3)
BCMB30011: Metabolism and Nutrition

BIOL10001: Biology of Australian Flora and Fauna
BIOL10004: Biology of Cells and Organisms (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7)
BIOL10005: Genetics & The Evolution of Life (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6)
BIOL10008: Introductory Biology: Life's Machinery
BIOL30001: Reproductive Physiology (1) (2)

BMEN20001: Biomechanical Physics and Computation (1) (2)

BOTA20004: Flora of Victoria (1) (2)
BOTA30001: Marine Botany

BTCH20002: Biotechnology
BTCH30002: Trends & Issues in Agrifood Biotech

CEDB20003: Fundamentals of Cell Biology (1) (2) (3)
CEDB30002: Concepts in Cell and Developmental Biology

CHEM10003: Chemistry 1 (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)
CHEM10004: Chemistry 2 (1) (2) (3) (4)
CHEM10007: Fundamentals of Chemistry (1) (2)
CHEM20011: Environmental Chemistry
CHEM20018: Reactions and Synthesis (1) (2) (3)
CHEM20019: Practical Chemistry
CHEM20020: Chemistry: Structure and Properties
CHEM30016: Reactivity and Mechanism

CHEN20007: Chemical Process Analysis 1
CHEN20008: Chemical Process Analysis 2
CHEN20009: Transport Processes
CHEN30001: Reactor Engineering
CHEN30005 Heat and Mass Transport Processes

COMP10001: Foundations of Computing (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6)
COMP10002: Foundations of Algorithms (1) (2) (3) (4)
COMP20003: Algorithms and Data Structures
COMP20005: Engineering Computation (1) (2) (3) (4)
COMP20007: Design of Algorithms (1) (2)
COMP20008: Elements of Data Processing
COMP30020: Declarative Programming
COMP30021: Theoretical Computer Science
COMP30022: IT Project
COMP30023: Computer Systems
COMP30024: Artificial Intelligence
COMP30026: Models of Computation
COMP90051: Statistical and Evolutionary Learning

CVEN30008: Risk Analyssis (1) (2) (3)
CVEN30009: Structural Theory and Design (1) (2) (3)
CVEN30010: Systems Modelling and Design (1) (2)
CVEN90016: Concrete Design and Technology
CVEN90024: High Rise Structures
CVEN90035: Structural Theory and Design 3
CVEN90043: Sustainable Infrastructure Engineering (1) (2)
CVEN90044: Engineering Site Characterisation
CVEN90045: Engineering Project Implementation
CVEN90049: Structural Theory and Design 2 (1) (2)
CVEN90050: Geotechnical Engineering
CVEN90051: Civil Hydraulics

ECOL30007: Marine Ecosystems: Ecology & Management

ELEN20005: Foundations of Electrical Networks (1) (2) (3)
ELEN30009: Electrical Network Analysis and Design
ELEN30011: Electrical Device Modelling
ELEN30012: Signals and Systems
ELEN30013: Electronic Systems Implementation
ELEN90054: Probability and Random Models

ENEN20002: Earth Processes for Engineering (1) (2) (3)

ENGR10003: Engineering Systems Design 2 (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7)
ENGR10004: Engineering Systems Design 1 (1) (2)
ENGR20003: Engineering Materials
ENGR20004: Engineering Mechanics (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8)
ENGR30002: Fluid Mechanics (1) (2) (3) (4)
ENGR90034: Creating Innovative Engineering

FOOD20003: Food Chemistry, Biology and Nutrition (2) (3)

GENE10001: Genetics in the Media
GENE20001: Principles of Genetics (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7)
GENE20002: Genes and Genomes (1) (2) (3)
GENE30001: Evolutionary Genetics and Genomics (1) (2)
GENE30002: Genes: Organisation and Function (1) (2)
GENE30004: Genetic Analysis (1) (2)
GENE30005: Human and Medical Genetics (1) (2)

GEOM20015: Surveying and Mapping
GEOM30009: Imaging the Environment

INFO20003: Database Systems (1) (2)
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: stonecold on July 03, 2011, 03:10:48 pm
Mod Note (AW): Split the Science subjects due to quantity exceeding character limit. Second half found in this post. 
Science (M - Z)
MAST10005: Calculus 1 (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)
MAST10006: Calculus 2 (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9)
MAST10007: Linear Algebra (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6)
MAST10008: Accelerated Mathematics 1 (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7)
MAST10009: Accelerated Mathematics 2 (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6)
MAST10010: Data Analysis 1
MAST20004: Probability (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)
MAST20005: Statistics
MAST20009: Vector Calculus (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)
MAST20018: Discrete Maths and Operations Research (1) (2)
MAST20022: Group Theory and Linear Algebra (1) (2) (3)
MAST20026: Real Analysis with Applications (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7)
MAST20029: Engineering Mathematics (1) (2) (3) (4)
MAST20030: Differential Equations (1) (2) (3)
MAST20031: Analysis of Biological Data
MAST30001: Stochastic Modelling (1) (2)
MAST30005: Algebra
MAST30011: Graph Theory (1) (2)
MAST30012: Discrete Mathematics (1) (2)
MAST30020: Probability and Statistical Inference (1) (2) (3)
MAST30021: Complex Analysis (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)
MAST30022: Decision Making
MAST30024: Geometry
MAST30025: Linear Statistical Models
MAST30026: Metric and Hilbert Spaces (1) (2)
MAST30027: Modern Applied Statistics
MAST30028: Numerical and Symbolic Mathematics (1) (2) - renamed as Numerical Method & Scientific Computing (3)
MAST30029: Partial Differential Equations
MAST90011: Modelling: Mathematical Biology (1) (2)
MAST90026: Computational Differential Equations
MAST90045: Systems Modelling and Simulation
MAST90053: Experimental Mathematics
MAST90067: Advanced Methods: Transforms
MAST90069: Introduction to String Theory

MCEN30014: Mechanical Design
MCEN30017: Mechanics & Materials (1) (2) (3)

MIIM20001: Principles of Microbiology & Immunology (1) (2) (3)
MIIM20002: Microbes, Infections and Responses (1) (2) (3)
MIIM30002: Principles of Immunology (1) (2)
MIIM30003: Medical and Applied Immunology
MIIM30011: Medical Microbiology: Bacteriology (1) (2)
MIIM30014: Medical Microbiology: Virology (1) (2)
MIIM30015: Techniques in Immunology
MIIM30016: Techniques in Microbiology

MULT10011: Introduction to Life, Earth and Universe (1) (2) (3)

NEUR30002: Neurophysiology: Neurons and Circuits (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)
NEUR30003: Principles of Neuroscience (1) (2) (3) (4)
NEUR30004: Sensation, Movement & Complex Function (1) (2)

OPTO10001: Vision: How The Eye Sees The World
OPTO30007: Visual Neuroscience (1) (2)

PATH20001: Exploring Human Disease - Science (1) (2)
PATH20003: Experimental Pathology (1) (2)
PATH30001: Mechanisms of Human Disease (1) (2)

PHRM20001: Pharmacology, How Drugs Work (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6)
PHRM30002: Drugs Affecting the Nervous System (1) (2)
PHRM30003: Drug Treatment of Disease
PHRM30008: From Discovery to Market (1) (2)
PHRM30009: Drugs in Biomedical Experiments (1) (2)

PHYC10001: Physics 1: Advanced (1) (2) (3) (4)
PHYC10002: Physics 2: Advanced (1) (2)
PHYC10003: Physics 1 (1) (2) (3)
PHYC10004: Physics 2: Physical Sciences and Technology (1) (2)
PHYC10005: Physics 1: Fundamentals (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6)
PHYC10006: Physics 2: Life Sciences & Environment
PHYC10008: From the Solar System to the Cosmos
PHYC20009: Thermal and Classical Physics (1) (2)
PHYC20010: Quantum Mechanics and Special Relativity
PHYC20011: Electromagnetism and Optics
PHYC20016: Elements of Quantum Computing
PHYC30016: Electrodynamics
PHYC30017: Statistical Physics
PHYC30018: Quantum Physics

PHYS20008: (Integrative) Human Physiology (2) (3) (4) (5)
PHYS20009: Research-based Physiology (1) (2) (3) (4)
PHYS30001: Cardiovascular Health: Genes and Hormones (1) (2)
PHYS30005: Muscle and Exercise Physiology (1)  (2) (3) (4) (5) (6)
PHYS30008: Frontiers in Physiology (1) (2)

SCIE20001: Thinking Scientifically
SCIE30001: Science Research Project (1) (2)
SCIE30002: Science and Technology Internship

SWEN20003: Object Oriented Software Development (1) (2) (3)
SWEN30006: Software Modelling and Design (1) (2)

ZOOL20004: Australian Wildlife Biology
ZOOL20006: Comparative Animal Physiology (1) (2)
ZOOL30006: Animal Behaviour (1) (2)
ZOOL30007: Experimental Animal Behaviour

ABPL20034: Urban History

AGRI10039: Australia in the Wine World

ASIA10001: Language and Power in Asian Societies

DASC10002: Animals in Society 1: Introduction
DASC20010: Applied Animal Physiology (1) (2)
DASC20011: Companion Animal Biology
DASC20012: Comparative Nutrition and Digestion
DASC20013: Topics in Animal Health

ENVS10002: Reshaping Environments
ENVS10006: Mapping Environments
ENVS10010: Owned Environments

EDUC10050: Understanding Knowing and Learning
EDUC10051: Sports Coaching: Theory and Practice (1) (2)
EDUC10057: Wellbeing, Motivation & Performance (1) (2) (3)
EDUC20065: Knowledge, Learning and Culture
EDUC20068: Sport, Education and the Media (1) (2)
EDUC20069: Deafness and Communication
EDUC20070: Learning via Sport and Outdoor Education
EDUC20076: Auslan and Visual Communication (1) (2)
EDUC20080: School Experience as Breadth
EDUC30070: Applying Coaching Science

EVSC20003: Forests in a Global Context (1) (2)

FINA10036: The Body: Facts and Fictions
FINA20026: Painting Techniques (1) (2)

FLTV10010: Making Movies 1 (1) (2)

MEDS90004: Principles of Clinical Practice 2
MEDS90020: Principles of Clinical Practice 3
MEDS90025: Transition to Practice
MEDS90026: MD Research Project 2

MUSI10017: Guitar Cultures and Practice
MUSI10023: Music Language 1: The Diatonic World (1)  (2)
MUSI10025: Writing About Music: Australian Issues
MUSI10208: 19th Century Music and Ideas
MUSI10209: Glee Singing
MUSI10211: Music Theatre: Singing Rock Musicals
MUSI20002: Impressionism to Postmodernism in Music
MUSI20008: Music Technology
MUSI20061: Music Language 2: Chromaticism & Beyond
MUSI20139: Gamelan Ensemble 2
MUSI20143: World Music Choir 3 (1) (2)
MUSI20149: Music Psychology (1) (2)
MUSI20150: Music and Health
MUSI20161: Alexander Technique for Musicians
MUSI20206: The Business of Music

Please use the following template for individual subject reviews:

Code: [Select]
[b]Subject Code/Name:[/b] [url=insert link here]SUBJECT CODE SUBJECT NAME[/url]  Please insert the handbook link for the subject, and replace SUBJECT CODE SUBJECT NAME with the appropriate details

[b]Faculty:[/b] (insert faculty here)

[b]Workload:[/b]  (specify how many lectures, pracs, tutes ect. and their duration)

[b]Assessment:[/b]  (Outline the various assessments which make up the subject and how much each counts for)

[b]Lectopia Enabled:[/b]  Yes, with/without screen capture etc.

[b]Past exams available:[/b]  Yes, how many?  No.  Was there a sample exam?

[b]Textbook Recommendation:[/b]  What must you buy?  What is "recommended"?  Do you need it?


[b]Year & Semester of completion:[/b]

[b]Rating:[/b]  Out of 5

[b]Your Mark/Grade:[/b] (Optional)

[b]Comments: [/b] Give your overall opinion of the subject, lecturers, assessment etc. and a recommendation, plus anything else which you feel is relevant.

And the following template for Major reviews (courtesy of T-Rav):

Code: [Select]
[b]Major:[/b] [url=http://insert link here]Major Name[/url]  Replace "insert link here" with the handbook url for the major and replace "Major Name" in the URL tags with the appropriate name of the major. Also delete this text.

[b]First Year Subjects:[/b]  (use the following format "UNIB1070 Principles of ATARNotes Review Writing" Your Mark/Grade (Optional)

[b]Second Year Subjects:[/b]

[b]Third Year Subjects:[/b]

[b]Year of completion:[/b]

[b]Rating:[/b]  out of 5

[b]Your Average Mark:[/b] (Optional)


Mod edit (AW, 9/2/21): Added faculty to unit reviews, as this helps with correctly categorising units for future students.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: stonecold on July 03, 2011, 04:15:17 pm
Subject Code/Name: MAST10005 Calculus 1

Workload:  Weekly: 3 x 1 hour lectures, 1 x 1 hour practical (this is basically a tute where you work off a problem sheet, usually in small groups)

Assessment:  10 x Weekly Assignments totalling 20%.  Calling these "assignments" is a little over the top.  They are basically just a couple of questions which you have to answer and submit each week.  It is a relatively easy way to gain 20%.  Then there is the exam which is worth 80%.  It is held in the first few days of the examination period.

Lectopia Enabled:  No.  You will have to go to lectures unless you are willing to self learn.  Lecture slides are full of gaps where you copy the lecturers workings, so you will have to attend.  There are lots of streams available which makes attending easier.

Past exams available:  Yes. Six past exams were available, and the lecturer posted up the answers/solutions.

Textbook Recommendation:  Lecture notes are downloaded off the LMS.  DO NOT buy the textbook (Calculus 1 & 2 (Hass, Weir, Thomas, Adams and Essex), Pearson, 2010)).  You will never use it.  If you need additional help, consult a Specialist Mathematics 3/4 textbook, or you can go and get help from one of the many lecturers/tutors during their office period.  You are provided with everything you need to do well in this subject.  (comprehensive lecture notes, tutorial worksheets + solutions, problem book + answers, past exams + assignments with solutions)

Lecturer(s):  Dr. Deborah King (the other lecture streams were taken by Dr. Heng Soon Gan and Dr. Alex Ghitza)

Year & Semester of completion: 2011, Semester 1

Rating:  5/5

Your Mark/Grade: 94% H1

Comments: If you like maths and never had the chance to complete Specialist Maths 3/4 at VCE level then this is the subject for you.  It is very similar to Specialist Maths 3/4, however a few things are left out and you are NOT permitted a calculator of any kind.  The assessment was fair and with lots of practice, you will be well prepared for the exam.  The lecturers/tutors are usually approachable, however sometimes they oversimplify/assume things because I suppose they expect you to know it from VCE.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: mikee65 on July 03, 2011, 06:15:59 pm
Subject Code/Name: UNIB10002 Logic: Language and Information  

Workload:  Weekly: 2x 1 hour lectures, 1x 2 hour workshop(Problem solving class)

Assessment:  50% 3 hour end of semester exam, 10% mid semester test (40 m), 2 group projects worth 10% each, 4 group assignments totalling 15%, 5% workshop attendance

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture, however frequently the lecturers write on the whiteboard and this may cause difficulty following whatever is being discussed at times

Past exams available:  Past 3 years worth of exams are available however no full solutions were prepared until a tutor from his own volition formed the 2009 solutions, cant guarantee he'll write more.

Textbook Recommendation:  Only one text is required and is necessary, Greg Restall, Logic (Routledge 2006)

Rating:  2.5 / 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1

Comments: I only hope students are not mislead to taking this subject through seeing labels of philosophy and logic as interesting, some of it seems a pretence, its mostly tedious math based calculations with some theory which could be mathematically construed as philosophical, best advice I can give is, look over the past exams and that will give you the best idea of what this subject is about. That being said you everything apart from the exam is relatively simple (most students attain 45-50% before the exam), the exam then differentiates H1 from~H1 (negation of H1, something which you will become very familiar with ahah).
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: iamdan08 on July 03, 2011, 11:15:40 pm
Subject Code/Name: PHYS30005 Muscle and Exercise Physiology

Workload:  Weekly 3 x 1 hour lectures (except once every 3 weeks or so where there would only be 2 lectures for the week). There was also a workshop but this was kind of pointless since we were given an assignment that we could do at home.

Assessment:  There are 2 MCQ tests worth 15%, an assignment (mentioned above) worth 10% and the exam worth 60%.

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available:  Yes. About 10 years worth, although the course has changed a little during this time so you would have to look for the relevant questions.

Textbook Recommendation:  I think they recommended a textbook, however i didn't use one. The subject is based a lot around the lecturers research and current understanding of much of the content taught changes quite rapidly, so textbooks may be out of date anyway.

Rating:  3.5-4/5

Your Mark/Grade: H1

Comments: I thought this subject was pretty good. It is quite interesting and we learn about things such as sarcopenia, muscular dystrophy, muscle development, adaptations to training, performance enhancing drugs etc. (have a look at the handbook for more info). All the content is taught by researchers, and if you are contemplating honours in physiology this could be a good subject to do, as there seemed to be a lot of recruitment by the lecturers for honours students. Some problems i had with the subject was contradictory information at times between lectures and lecturers. There is also quite a lot of information presented, but doable if you can understand the key concepts. The subject is a lot more challenging than i think a lot of people anticipated, but i thought that overall it was quite a good subject and i enjoyed it.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Edmund on July 03, 2011, 11:58:22 pm
Subject Code/Name: PHYS30001 Cardiovascular Health: Genes and Hormones

Workload:  Weekly 3 x 1 hour lectures and three 2-hour workshops throughout semester. Course was split into 3 Themes, each theme had around 10 lectures so there were weeks where there was just 1 lecture.

Assessment:  Assignment worth 10-15% and test worth 20% at the end of each Theme.

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available:  Questions provided prior to Theme A test. Sample questions for Theme B test (MCQ). No questions provided for Theme C test.

Textbook Recommendation: Relevant research papers uploaded on LMS

Rating:  2.5/5

Your Mark/Grade: H2A

Comments: You can read the Handbook entry for subject content so I'll just talk about the assessments. Workload was pretty light throughout semester since there were only 10 lectures for each Theme so we could basically forget everything after the Theme test. For the Theme A test, 10 essay questions (1 question from each lecture) were uploaded onto the LMS prior to the test, and 3 of these will be examined. Many students leave test preparation to the last minute so many did not perform as well as expected (Class average H3). I recommend working in study groups for this and prepare early to maximise chances of getting good marks.

Theme B test was MCQ. Some sample questions were uploaded prior to test but that was it. Lots of memory work for this test so make sure you know your lectures well!

Theme C was a let down. They ran out of things to teach so they incorporated the renal/kidney system with the CVS with an emphasis on kidney development. The lectures were rushed and the last 2 lectures were examined in the same week as the test. Test was in short answer form and no practice questions were provided.

The assignments involved reviewing a journal article or responding to a Physiological problem. The more time you put in, the more likely you'll get a good mark.

The major downside for this subject is that there was no feedback for any of the assignments (except grades) and when feedback was requested, only a sentence of feedback was given with no opportunity for consultation.

I recommend this subject for anyone interested in pursuing a major in Physiology.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: simpak on July 04, 2011, 12:16:45 am
Subject Code/Name: HIST10006 Making Sense of America: U.S. Since 1945

Workload:  Two one hour lectures per week, one one hour tute per week.

Assessment:  One 500 word document analysis worth 10%.  One 1500 word essay on a 'topic' covered in class/the reader, worth 30%, due the week before the mid-semester break.  One 2000 word essay on a topic chosen or created by the student, either from a list of around 50-60 or that they propose themselves, worth 50%.

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with slides and video capture available but not for most AV material.

Past exams available:  N/A.

Textbook Recommendation:  Buy the reader, discussions in tutes (for which your participation is marked) centre around the documents found in the reader, your first assessment is about something in the reader and the second assessment also uses all of the documents in the reader no matter which topic you choose.  You can download the reader, but if you do, print it off anyway because it is good to have the documents in tutes as you discuss them for quotations and annotations.  You do not need to buy the recommended text.

Rating:  4.5/5.

Your Mark/Grade: 81, H1.

Comments: I loved this subject - it was very refreshing and was always interesting, covering all of the modern history I was interested in.  I thought that it was quite helpful for my then media degree because it addressed current issues such as the War in Iraq as well as historically important issues like the Cold War and Presidential ordeals.  I wrote my final essay on Bill Clinton, and screwed it up (ending up with only a 79) because I had 10000 words due on the one day in the exam period and didn't have time to finish it properly, hence my relatively low mark of 81.  However, the subject was really great and always enjoyable!  The class discussions were interesting and made you actually want to go to tutes, which are a hurdle requirement.

My tutor was awesome and even allowed us to send him drafts of our essays before final submission.  The lecturer for this subject, Ara, is grat and always interesting and thought provoking.  Be warned - if you have a clash, she shows a lot of AV materials which you can't access outside of class.  I had a clash with CMEDL (above) and I couldn't see half of the videos because Fran refused to upload the slides for my other subjects.  So I did one of the lectures for this subject at home and I did feel a little lost when I got to tutes the next day when I had missed out on some of the AV material.  So I would recommend going to this class rather than doing the lecture at home.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Peedles on July 04, 2011, 12:29:55 am
Subject Code/Name: PHYS20009 Research Based Physiology

Workload:  1 x 2-3hr Workshop/Practical & 1 x 1hr Lecture

Assessment:   Written reports of up to 1500 words each due during the semester (20%); Class participation during the semester (5%); Effective PRS participation and contributions (5%), A research-project and written report of up to 2000 words due during semester (30%); Ongoing assessment of e-Learning activities(10%), A 2-hour written examination in the examination period (30%)

Lectopia Enabled: 
Yes but without screen capture

Past exams available:
  4 of the most recent past exams will be mounted on the LMS with only one set of answers released

Textbook Recommendation:
Silverthorn, D.U., Human Physiology: An Integrated Approach 5th Ed., 2010 - Pearson (Same as that needed for Human Physiology PHYS20008 (not necessary))

Lecturer(s): Arianne Dantas & Charles Sevigny

Year & Semester (where applicable) of completion: 2011 Semester 1

Rating:  4/5

Your Mark/Grade:
H1 (87%)

This subject is a Pre-requisite for the Physiology Major. It is also a relatively easy subject to get a H1. All lectures and workshops should be attended since 10% of the overall mark will count towards 'rocking-up'. I recommend doing it co-currently with Human Physiology if you want a pretty chillax semester, as there is a complete overlap between the content in PHYS20008 and Research. E-Learning activities comprise of Pre-Practical Questions, Post-Practical Questions and Collaborative Exercises submitted during workshops. Charles Sevigny is the best demonstrator as he is pretty laid back and always happy to give everyone full marks. Getting a H1 in this subject is purely determinant among the work completed throughout the course of the semester. It is important that you strive to attain closeto to full marks for all assessments before heading into the exam. The Lecturer Arianne Dantas even admits to it as having a high prevalence of H1's. Practicals are relatively straight forwards and any queries are usually ironed out the week following the practical in the Post Practical Lecture. The research assignment I admit was extremely time consuming. In order to have a good idea of what the demonstrators are looking for when marking your research paper it is integral that you complete and submit all drafts (not assessed) (Intro Draft, Method Draft, Results Draft, Discussion Draft and a Full Draft). So technically, since i submitted all my drafts it took about 3/4 of the semester to complete the assignment. Doing a bit at a time will ensure that your work is of a high standard and that you're not cramming it in during the last week. Once this is all out of the way most people who are on top of their work should be on 60/100 in terms of their overall score. Which means no study is necessary for the end of year exam as you need only a 50%-66% to get a H1. You will notice that the exam is just a regurge of previous exam questions so this shouldn't be a problem.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: simpak on July 04, 2011, 12:35:56 am
Subject Code/Name: e.g. Introduction to Media Writing (otherwise known as Professional Writing)

Workload: One one hour lecture per week, one two hour workshop per week.

Assessment:  One group oral presentation on a newspaper, worth 10%.  One online discussion board blog (ongoing) worth 10% in response to readings for the week and ideas presented in lectures.  One 80% folio of '4000 words' (it actually ends up being around 6000) due at the end of the semester, with three drafts due throughout the semester for workshopping - the magazine article, the personal narrative article and the op-ed (or opinion piece).

Lectopia Enabled:  No.

Past exams available:  N/A.

Textbook Recommendation:  The reader must be purchased.  Word Bytes is optional, and I found it was helpful for some of the writing so you may as well get it, it's only like 20 dollars and is written by the coordinator.

Rating:  1/5.

Your Mark/Grade:: 75%, H2A.

Comments: This was the first H2A I ever received for a subject, and it was a subject I hated indeed.  In fact, it is this very subject which most efficiently prompted me to apply for the Bachelor of Science rather than continue with my degree.  The assessment is a nightmare, as it is difficult to be motivated when all of your articles are due at the end of the semester.  The drafting and workshopping does help, but I felt that the marking of the assessment was slightly unfair for some (one of my friends, who is a brilliant writer and whose pieces I read during proofreading only managed a H3).  Doug does not like giving people H1s.

You are encouraged to submit some of your pieces to major papers and etc.  Maybe it's just that I wasn't so fantastic at the subject or writing for the media but I found it to be a total bore and dreaded going every week to my two hour tutorial.  I spent most of my time in the tutorial (in which you merely workshop other people's pieces as a group) texting my friend next to me about the ridiculous and pretentious nature of the majority of the people in my class, one of whom donned a straw hat for the entire semester and did not take it off.  I was convinced he had a bald spot, but then I stalked him on facebook and was surprised to find he actually has a full head of hair.

Anyway, there is a lot of creative freedom, but that is part of the problem.  Wished the assessment had been due progressively rather than at the end of the semester.  It's not just me that despised this subject - everybody did.  Many call it the subject that 'makes you realise how much you don't want to be a journalist'.  So if you don't mind the possibility of a shitty mark and you're unsure of whether you want to be a journalist or not, I do recommend this subject as it will let you know that you never, ever, ever want your job to be writing for the media.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: iamdan08 on July 04, 2011, 12:48:13 am
Subject Code/Name: NEUR30003 Principles of Neuroscience 

Workload:  Weekly 3 x 1 hour lectures per week

Assessment: Midsemester test worth 30% and exam worth 70%

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture etc.

Past exams available:  No, but some sample questions were provided.

Textbook Recommendation:  They recommend Purves Neuroscience, but i didn't use it. I felt the lecture material was sufficient.

Rating:  4.5/5

Your Mark/Grade: H1

Comments: I really enjoyed this subject, particularly the first half where we studied topics such as the senses (hearing, vision etc.). The second half, which included topics such as consciousness i didn't enjoy as much but was still ok. The subject is pretty good in terms of contact hours (just 3 lectures a week). Assessment is straight forward with just the test and exam. I guess this may be a disadvantage to some, as a poor performance in the 30% test could proove costly to your overall mark. There is no prerequisite knowledge, so is a good subject for people who may want a taste of Neuroscience. This is also a core subject for those wishing to major in Neuro. I definitely recommend this subject to those who may be interested and i very much enjoyed it.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Peedles on July 04, 2011, 01:01:28 am
Subject Code/Name: ANAT20006 Principles of Human Structure 

Workload: 3 x 1hr Lectures and 1 x 2hr Practical every week after Week 5

  On-going assessment on theory and practical work throughout the semester (25%); a 2-hour written theory examination in the examination period (60%); on-going summative assessments (15%).

Lectopia Enabled:
  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:
No, some unhelpful sample questions were provided.

Textbook Recommendation:
Eizenberg N, Briggs C et al: General Anatomy: Principles & Applications, McGraw-Hill 2007 (not recommended). I think going to the Biomed library to borrow out the Grays Anatomy book by Drake and Netter Anatomy Atlas for exam study. They are overnight loans but because you can manually reborrow them, I reborrowed them for the whole semester because i'm cheap ass.

Lecturer(s): Dr Chris Briggs, Dr Varsha Pilbrow, Dr Peter Kitchener, Dr Jason Ivanusic & Dr Virginia Grossman

Year & Semester (where applicable) of completion: 2011 Semester 1

Rating: 3.5 of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1 (81%)

Comments: To be honest I found anatomy quite overwhelming (but I think I speak on behalf of a small minority within the subject cohort  :'(). I didn't have a choice in the matter though as it is a prerequisite for Medicine and Health Science Graduate Courses. Chris Briggs who took the Principles lectures for Bones/Upper and Lower Limbs and Jason Ivanusic who took the Reproductive Systems and Respiratory Tract Lectures were the most enjoyable and engaging to watch. I think every lecture proceeding the 2nd week, I had to lectopia again which took like a minimum of 2 hrs per lecture (+including collating my study notes). For a good 3/4 of a semester I think I approached the subject in the wrong way. It is important that you know that ALL ASSESSED material will be in the lecture. I kind of got obsessive compulsive and kind of read all the relevant (discussed in lectures) material within Grays Anatomy and then got completely overwhelmed by it. If your on top of your work, the MST should be relatively easy. Coming from a 500 student cohort the median and average mark was about 20/30 for both tests. I had to screw up both by getting 21 and 22 for each test which sucked because it meant I had to get 80% on the exam to get a H1. The ADSL (LMS 15%) quizzes are very useful. Chris Briggs posts up questions fortnightly which supplement the Lecture material which is intended to help aid in studying for the TIMED online quizzes and the exam if you complete them thoroughly. Images that are put onto these ADSL's WILL BE ON the EXAM so study them and make sure you're familiar with labelling everything.

The practicals were intended to supplement the lecture materials. The university recruits Physiotherapy and Medicine students to conduct each workshop class. There are 6-8 workshop stations within each practical usually on each lecture topic which groups of students rotate around through the duration of 2 hrs. You're able to see dismantled cadavers and have opportunity to touch/poke/prod them. Personally, I found it pretty dry and my legs were tired so therefore I wasn't very fond of it. Make sure you attend it though because they take attendance in some weeks. I don't think the practicals were assessed in any way though. 

The exam comprised of 3 Sections. A Multiple Choice Section which covered all lectures from the last three weeks of semester, A fill in the Blanks section (similar to that in 1st Year BIOL) and a Short Answer Response Question (whereby I had the choice of choosing 4 out of a 8 Questions). It was this exam structure which allowed me to recover from my terrible MST marks as you could be familiar with a bit more than half the subject content and still be able to score well. The Questions were very straight forward, mostly stuff that were drilled in during the semester so make sure your familiar with the key concepts and principles. Take your time in the exam.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Gloamglozer on July 04, 2011, 02:21:21 am
Subject Code/Name: e.g. MAST20026 Real Analysis With Applications

Workload: 3 x 1 hour lectures per week, 1 x 1 hour practice class per week, 4 x 1 hour computer laboratory classes during semester

Assessment:  12 written assignments worth 20% altogether, 80% exam.

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes - except for lectures 33 & 34 (last two lectures)

Past exams available:  Yes*

Lecturer: Barry Hughes

Textbook Recommendation:  None.  Most of them are either beyond the course or too advanced.  But Barry's top recommendation is worth a read.

Rating: 3.5 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: P

Comments: I've come across a lot of high school students who say that they "love maths".  Perfect.  Then this is the subject for you.  This subject will truly separate those who:

1.  Truly love maths for its art & beauty
2.  Appreciate maths & consider majoring in it
3.  Loathe maths for its proofs, logic and deduction

It is the first subject to introduce pure maths to undergraduates for those who went through the Calculus 1,2 pathway.  It is painstakingly annoying.  You leave out something and/or don't consider all cases - then you can safely assume that you will be penalised.  It will screw with your mind, motivation and confidence.  That is a fact.  It is the nature of the subject and you shouldn't expect it to be "easy".  The lectures were confusing and hard to grasp the concepts.  I have lost count of how many times I have said "WTF?!" in my mind.  Very often you can walk out of a lecture not understanding what the hell went on in that lecture.  And don't worry or fear, you won't be the only one.  ;)

This is why you need to go to the tutes.  If you can walk, then rock up - even if you are dead drunk.  Tutes operate a lot differently from other maths subjects.  Instead of just purely working (pun not intended) on practice problems, the tutor actually goes through the important material in the lectures from the previous week and actually teaches.  Then if time permits, then they'll get you to do some problems.  That is why it is imperative to attend.

Despite the academic rigour of the subject and the difficulty of some of the assignments, the exam that I sat was fair.  It was definitely doable.  It was designed to separate those who had a thorough understanding of the course and those who just "skimmed" the surface.  

Overall though, it was definitely challenging and is certainly an enriching subject to complete.

*In 2010 semester 1, all but one exam was useless.  As almost every semester there was a change in lecturer, there was a change in what was emphasised more in the course.  A sample exam was given generously by Dr. Alex Ghitza, the lecturer in 2009 semester 2.  Other past papers from subjects that Barry taught were also given.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Edmund on July 04, 2011, 10:53:58 am
Subject Code/Name: ANAT30007 Human Locomotor Systems

Workload:  3 x 1hr lectures, 1 x 3hr workshop/dissection

Assessment:  50% final exam, 30% Flag Race, 2 x 10% MST

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture etc.

Past exams available:  None, exam outline provided. Final exam was made up of MCQ, short answer and long answer. Flag Race was made up of 30 MCQ where you answer questions based on pictures on a powerpoint slide.

Textbook Recommendation:  Any anatomy text, I recommend Clinically Oriented Anatomy by Moore and an atlas (E.g. Netter). Lab coat and goggles and compulsory for dissections. Dissection notes are provided free on the LMS - thanks to Briggs

Year & Semester of completion: 2011, Semester 1

Rating:  5 Out of 5

Comments: This subject was planned very well and it was probably the most challenging subject I've done. This subject covers anatomy of the back, upper limb and lower limb, as well as the principles of locomotion. It expands on second year anatomy knowledge with applied examples - E.g. How does a fractured hip joint lead to a total hip replacement? Which nerve in the leg is susceptible to compression and what is the clinical significance? What actions are affected? In addition to the applied anatomy lectures, we had 4 clinical lectures - 2 by an orthopaedic surgeon who showed us various cases of surgeries in his clinic, and 2 by a radiologist who gave a different perspective of anatomy. We also had a few lectures by researchers (biomechanical engineering etc), evolutionary perspectives and neuroscience (neural control of locomotion). Some of the guest lectures (~10) were not directly examined which made the course manageable so it's not 36 lectures full of anatomy to memorise!

The 3 hour sessions are weekly (as opposed to fortnightly in 2nd year). There are 3 dissections on the upper limb and 3 dissections on the lower limb. You will work in groups of 6 with a demonstrator to be shared by 4 groups. Dissections are compulsory and they will tick your names off. There are also 4 workshops where you look at specimens in HALL. Nothing different to second year practical classes. I found these pretty useless since the practical groups were so big and it was hard to hear them.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Edmund on July 04, 2011, 11:12:42 am
Subject Code/Name: CHIN10005 Chinese 1A

Workload:  2 x 2hr lectures, 1 x 1hr listening class

Assessment:  50% final exam, 20% listening exam, 15% MST, 10% oral exam, 5 x 1% vocab test

Lectopia Enabled:  No

Past exams available:  None, exam outline provided.

Textbook Recommendation:  Chinese text (compulsory)

Year & Semester of completion: 2011, Semester 1

Rating:  3.5 Out of 5

Marks: 83% (scaled down by approx 12-15%)

Comments: Great subject for anyone wanting to learn Chinese. You learn around 20-30 new characters per week. The first 2 hour lecture covers the pinyin and writing of the new words for the week. The next 1 hour listening class involves listening to a recording and completing a question sheet. Vocab tests are held at the end of this class. The final 2 hour lecture covers speaking involving role plays etc. Lectures were held in classes of about 25 students so it was easy to ask questions. Classes were very laid back and enjoyable but you had to put in heaps of work learning the new words in order to do well. The assessments were easy so try your best to get full marks in all of them since it is likely that many others are getting high marks and the overall grade will be scaled down. Overall, it was a great distraction from my busy uni life, had a manageable workload and many pretty girls to look at :)
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: marr on July 04, 2011, 12:43:50 pm
Moderator note: This review was written before the subject was revised. The lecturer's thoughts on the subject can be found here

Subject Code/Name: ACCT10001 Accounting Reports and Analysis 

Workload: 1x two hour lecture and 1x one hour tutorial a week.

Assessment: 5% Participation Marks, 5% consisting of 6 Decision Making tasks to be completed within weeks 1-12, 10% Accounting Elements Assignment, 10% Quickbooks Assignment and a 70% exam.

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes

Past exams available:  Yes. About 8 past exams were available.

Textbook Recommendation:  Accounting in Context, although it is pretty much useless so not worth buying.

Lecturer(s): Matt Dyki

Year & Semester of completion: 2011, Semester 1

Rating: 3/5

Your Mark/Grade: H1

Comments: First of all if you are reading this and you have never done VCE Accounting/don't have an accounting background of some sort, then stay well away from this subject! It tries to go through the whole of VCE accounting units 1-4 in 12 weeks, which is near impossible not to mention tortuous. Even if you have done accounting before, this subjects goes through concepts very quickly that it is still difficult to keep up. On the other hand, this subject is simply just VCE Accounting just more in depth with 2 new topics. The biggest difference you will find is that, surprisingly, the accounting principles and qualitative characteristics are not even mentioned and that the format of some financial statements have changed with can be hard to get used to.

The two hour lectures are a pain and if you have Matt Dyki then prepared to be bored to death. I suggest bringing/sneaking in food or something else just to make it more interesting (I saw someone read the newspaper in there). To be honest though, it is very difficult to make accounting seem interesting.

Assignments are fine and if you need any help there are weekly consults to go to which are extremely helpful. If you have never used Quickbooks before then there is a optional lecture that will be held which I suggest you go to. The workload is okay, there is quite a bit to do each week but it's all repetitive (You'll be asked to fill out ledgers, balance sheets, profit and loss statements and cash flow statements every week from weeks 1-6). Decision making tasks are easy to get marks for, all you have to do is show that you made an effort to do them. The exam - it's usually early in the examination period I hear but if you've done all the work and understand it then it's not hard to pass, although it's very hard to get top marks because there are always tricks.

I did this subject as a breadth and I regret it. Take heed of my warning at the start of my post and basically, I would only recommend this subject to Commerce students wanting to major in accounting or possibly someone who has done VCE accounting - but either way be prepared to work hard in order to keep up to date.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: bridger on July 04, 2011, 02:02:12 pm
Subject Code/Name: BCMB20002 Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Workload:  3 1hr lectures/week, 1 1hr tutorial/week

Assessment:  3 hour written exam held in examination period (70%), one 1 hour multi-choice examination (10%), continuing computer based assessment (20%).

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes

Past exams available:  Yes, past exams are available. The department provides past exams starting from the beginning of the Melbourne Model years. However, only answers to Multiple Choice are provided

Textbook Recommendation:  Nelson and Cox, Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry, 5th edn., 2008 (not necessary, I did not touch the book at all during semester. Despite the lecturers raving about how good it is, I found it discussed material to a level well above what is expected in the course).

Lecturer(s): Irene Stanley, Paul Gooley, Geoff Howlett, Paul? Gleeson, Graham Parslow

Year & Semester of completion: 2011 Semester 1

Rating:  3.5-4/5

Your Mark/Grade: 87

Comments: Overall the subject is relatively enjoyable. The material covered is very memory based and is less dependent on understanding concepts. The workload is medium, just remember to review lecture material at least week by week and you'll be fine. Don't bother reading Lehninger, I think a lot of people were scared into going and reading it even though it wasn't necessary because at the end of the day they only assess what was covered in lectures.
Topics covered are Molecular Biology (DNA structure and function, RNA and protein synthesis etc), Proteins, Enzymes, Membranes and Lipids and Metabolism. Most topics are reliant on heavy memory work (be prepared to memorize Glycolysis and all Amino Acid structures/names). The CALs are an easy 20%, and the tests that are part of this component are a joke, just attempt the practise test a number of times because the questions are exactly the same in the real test. The Mid-Semester is ok, just remember to study. Covers the first two topics. Exam is not overly difficult, again just remember to study everything because they assess anything mentioned in the lectures (eg. some random fact on how long a sequence of bases is at a particular part of a gene).

sorry didnt know how to get link to work  :-\
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: darlok on July 04, 2011, 07:07:23 pm
Subject Code/Name: MAST30021 Complex Analysis

Workload: 3x1 hour lecture, 1x1 hour tutorial

Assessment: 4 Assignments worth 20%, 3 hour end of year exam worth 80%

Lectopia Enabled: No

Past exams available:  We were given 2 past exams from 2004 and 2005, they were not entirely relevant. Also had access to exams from Semester 1 2010 and Semester 2 2010, again, not entirely relevant due to change in lecturer / style.

Textbook Recommendation:  Jerrold Marsden and Michael J. Hoffman, Basic Complex Analysis, 3rd Ed. Freeman, 1998. Stopped using it after week 4. Didn’t flow in the same way that the topics did, which is very annoying. If you wanted to follow what was happening in the lectures in the book, you would have to switch sections every 5-10 pages. Also, some sections were presented differently in lectures. Some questions from the assignments were pulled from the book, but answers were not present. Would not recommend purchasing the book.

Lecturer(s): Paul Norbury & Alex Ghitza

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1 2011

Rating:  4 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 80

Comments: First of all, this is a difficult subject. Although you could probably do semi-decently without fully understanding the concepts, some of the concepts took me quite a while to grasp. It is a subject where almost everything is interlinked, and in an exam or assignment, you may have to use those links to quickly and correctly answer a question. I feel that this is what made the subject difficult for so many. The tutorials were next to useless. In fact, as 50 people were in each tutorial, they were required to call them practicals. They involved being given a set of problems and solving them at your desk. Admittedly, the format may have improved, but I stopped going after the first week. The lectures were decent, with Alex being one of the clearest lecturers I’ve had. Paul would sometimes make mistakes and his handwriting is sometimes hard to read, however he was better at visualising the material than Alex. The saving grace for this subject was the content. If you put some time into it, you will begin to appreciate why you learnt all those seemingly unrelated things. It wasn’t until a couple of days before the exam, when I actually knew what the hell was going on, that I fully appreciated this subject.
As far as offering advice on going well in this subject (I’m not sure if I’m qualified to give it); Make sure you have the mechanics down pat, as they are underemphasised in the lectures. Know your trig functions well, know the basics of complex numbers. The lectures mainly involve proving things that you will use to solve problems in tutorials, assignments and the exam. It is not important to remember the proofs 100%, although doing so will definitely give you more insight into the material. In the assignments and exams make sure to offer explanation of all steps, especially if you are using a theorem derived in class. I lost quite a few points due to this.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Massofbubbles on July 04, 2011, 08:59:43 pm
Subject Code/Name:  UNIB10003 An Ecological History of Humanity

Workload (weekly):   2 x 1Hr lectures, and 1 x 1Hr Tute

Assessment:  A 500 word tutorial paper due the week of your choice (10%), 10 x 150-300 word weekly private blogs (3% each) - none in 1st week and mid-semester break, a 2000 word research essay which was due first Mon of 2nd examination week (50%), tutorial attendance (10%) - must attend a minimum of 9 tutorials.  Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per day. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Anyone who missed no more than 3 tutes got the full 10% regardless of their participation.

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available:  N/A

Textbook Recommendation:  None. The text by Ponting is completely useless in terms of assessment. Also, the weekly readings are not required to go well in this subject. (I didn't read the text or any of the readings)

Lecturer(s): Sometimes I found the lectures interesting, but again, they are pointless in terms of assessment. It was beyond me why people were taking notes. When I found some of the lectures boring, I revised for my other subjects.

I really disliked the main lecturer (Richard Trembath). It seemed he was only there to massage his oversized ego.

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1, 2011

Rating:  2.5 of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1 (88)

Comments: This is an easy subject. You don't need to do much in it to get a decent mark. I think it helps to not write like a wanker - the way they teach us to in VCE. My tutor actually deducted marks when people wrote things like "In his text "Green History" Ponting continuously and forcefully contends that..." instead of "Ponting states that.." or "Ponting says.."

I spent most of my time trying to think of original arguments for the blogs. Then my blogs just consisted of the argument and a few sentences to support it.

The research topic I chose had nothing to do with anything we were taught, and Google Scholar along with Super-search made it a breeze to get references for just about anything.

Don't be fooled into thinking this is in some way a science subject. It's not. The tutes were extremely painful. If you try to discuss anything above primary school level science people are gonna stare at you blankly for a second, then go back to talking about how they ingeniously discovered that feminism causes capitalism (even though they're just regurgitating what they were told in a lecture earlier that morning).

Overall, although it was a pretty worthless subject, it was an easy H1, the lectures were a welcome break from my other subjects, and I think the blogs were good practice for the GAMSAT.

Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Massofbubbles on July 04, 2011, 09:43:32 pm
Subject Code/Name: BIOL10002 Biomolecules and Cells

Workload: 3 x 1hr lecture each week, 1 x 1hr tutorial each week, 5 x 3hr lab over the semester.

Assessment:  A 40 minute, mid-semester test consisting of 25 MC questions (10%); Labs - 4 of which are followed by short 10-15 min MC tests (25%) - a short essay on an assigned topic is also included in the 25%, 4 ILTs (5%); a 3-hour exam in the examination period (60%)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, but without screen capture.

Past exams available:  Yes, one was put up on the LMS towards the end of the semester.  

Textbook Recommendation:  I didn't use the text (Life), but I probably would have used it if I hadn't done year 12 Bio.

Lecturer(s): I thought all the lecturers were great, but I think Mary might have a small screw loose.
All the info needed to get a high score was in the lectures. I found all the frog egg, fish circulation, and animal taxa stuff to be extremely boring, but thankfully there was only a relatively small amount of it.

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1, 2011

Rating:  4.65 of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1 (91)

Comments: If you liked year 12 bio, you'll also like this subject. I loved it. It's takes a bit of memorisation, but that's not difficult if you find it all fascinating.
Some of the practice MST and past exam questions were recycled for this year's MST and exam, so make sure you do them :)
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Edmund on July 04, 2011, 10:05:59 pm
Subject Code/Name: BCMB20005 Techniques in Molecular Science

Workload:  1 x 1hr lecture, 1 x 1hr tutorial, 1 x 3hr practical, 1 x demonstrator session

Assessment:  Practical assessment including weekly lab reports and lab performance (50%), Final exam (35%), Practical exam (10%), MST (5%)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture etc.

Past exams available:  Heaps

Textbook Recommendation:  Don't buy the recommended textbook

Lecturer(s): Various

Year & Semester of completion: 2010, Semester 2

Rating:  4.5 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1

Comments: There were 12 lectures for this subject which were packed with content. These lectures covered the theory required for the lab report and this was mainly examined in the final exam. There was a MST which covered the first few lectures but was quite easy (similar to sample test provided). The last two lectures were difficult to understand, can't remember the topics but I think it was Genomics and microarrays. Make sure you ask if you still can't understand it.

The practicals are the major focus for this subject. If you don't keep up and hand in lab reports late, there will be penalties and you are not likely to get good marks. And if you don't pre-read the manual and come into class not knowing what to do, you'll hold up the rest of your group (10 students) and lose performance marks. About 42% of the 50% counts towards lab reports and the other 8% are the performance marks. Lab reports are marked out of 10. The maximum mark for each lab report is 8/10. To get the other 2 marks, you will need to consult research papers and expand your answers in the discussion. Trust me, this is hard and a 10/10 is very rare. The highest I've got was a 9.75 :P

The practical exam was held in Week 12 and you had to carry out an assay (Biuret/Bradford). Accuracy is important here. Remember to sign up for all the practice sessions you can. But remember, no matter how much practice you've done, it all comes down to your performance on the day.

General tips: Sit with someone you know because you want to work with someone who you can meet up with regularly to compete the lab report. Go to every demonstrator session and ask many questions. If you (and your other group members) get ridiculously high marks, don't be too happy because your demonstrator is lenient and it will get scaled down. Similarly, if you get low marks, it may get scaled up.

Hope this helps anyone interested in this subject  :)
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Massofbubbles on July 04, 2011, 10:58:36 pm
Subject Code/Name: CHEM10006 Chemistry for Biomedicine

Workload:  3 x 1hr lecture weekly; 1 x 1hr tute weekly; 6 x 3 hour (usually 2-2.5hr) labs over the semester. 3 x ILTs.

Assessment:     A 30min on-line mid-semester test consisting of 15 MC questions (5%); labs (20%); a 3-hour written examination in the examination period (75%). ILTs must be attempted to pass the subject.

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, withscreen capture.

Past exams available:  Yes, three I think. You could get more from previous/similar courses if you're eager.

Textbook Recommendation:  I wouldn't recommend either text. Just learn what you're taught in the lectures, and texts are in the library (or on the net) if needed. I only used the text once to read the chapter on sugars. Model kits seem kinda pointless, unless you have a long way to go on pubic transport to get to uni.

Lecturer(s): I thought they were all good lecturers. Make sure you learn A.Prof McFaygen stuff, cause he told us a few times that he doesn't want us to remember things, instead we should just "appreciate the chemistry". I did this, and consequently found his questions the hardest - I couldn't remember any of it.

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1, 2011

Rating:  4.7 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1 (88)

Comments: I ended up liking this subject way more than I expected. I even ended up loving the inorganic chem, when beforehand I was dreading it cause I hated all the VCE redox stuff. It was great how Bio and Chem sometimes complemented each other, and you'd be like fk yeah, now I know why I should eat more carrots.
This subject - along with bio - have made me really glad that I chose to do biomed :D
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: tek on July 04, 2011, 11:56:54 pm
Subject Code/Name: GENE30001 Evolutionary Genetics and Genomics

Workload:  3 x one hour lectures per week

Assessment:  A written class test during semester (20%); three assignments 10% each (In my semester two problem based and one question/essay based) ; a 2-hour written examination in the examination period (50%). The content on the mid-sem is not assessed on the end of semester exam.

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes. However it is the genetic departments policy to not allow screen capture

Past exams available:  Yes

Textbook Recommendation:  not essential

Lecturer(s): various. Some good ones and some bad ones

Year & Semester of completion: 2011 semester 1

Rating:  3.5 of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1

Comments: This subject is focused towards population genetics. So if you did not like it second year then this subject is not for you. The subject really needs tutorials, there were a few lectures where a lot the slides showed steps on how to solve problems. This time could have been used better if there were tutorials, plus more practice problems would have helped a lot. It was a challenging subject, and the exam was quite hard consisting of short answer questions, mini essays and application problems. I only did well because almost half the course (15 lectures) was assessed midsem and like the genetic subjects I have had so far they recycle past exam questions. Overall I found it to be an okay subject, there were some interesting topics, but some lectures just seemed to drag on.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: tek on July 05, 2011, 12:43:03 pm
Subject Code/Name: GENE30002 Genes: Organisation and Function

Workload:  3x1hour lectures

Assessment:  One midsem test (MC questions), and two online multiple choice questions based on on a online paper, each worth 10%. A 3 hour end of semester exam worth 70%.

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes without screen capture

Past exams available:  Multiple

Textbook Recommendation:  Not essential

Lecturer(s): 4 different lecturers. Hynes had the most lectures and a lot of people didn't like him. At first his Lectures were slow and boring (probably because those topics weren't his area of interest), but by the end of the subject he's style and enthusiasm grew on me. However I can see why others did not like him.

Year & Semester of completion: 2011 semester 1

Rating:  4.25 of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1

Comments: Out of the two 1st semester core genetics subjects, I liked this one better. The subject focuses on genetic processes like transcription, translation and their regulation; for example we went over the Lac operon and lambda phage regulation in the early lectures. I found it to be an in interesting subject and in general the lecturers were enthusiastic and helpful.

As a Biomedicine student I was slightly disadvantaged because we did not do a second year science prerequisite (GENE20002 Genes and Genomes). It was not too bad because they provided the slides to the subject and if there was anything important they went over it again. Also some of it was covered in the core biomed subject. It was not a challenging subject and is easy to do well in if you try. For example they give you a pdf of the MCQs for the online midsems, so you can go over it heaps of times and with friends. The best way to study for the exam is to go over the past exams as there is a bit of recycling and rejigging.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: dcc on July 05, 2011, 03:28:58 pm
Subject Code/Name: FNCE10001 Finance

Workload: Two hours of lectures and a 1-hour tutorial per week

Assessment:    Assignments not exceeding 2000 words (20%) and a 2-hour end-of-semester examination (80%). (We had 2 assignments, 1000 words each)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available:  Many past exams are available, but solutions were only provided to a single practice exam.

Textbook Recommendation: Financial Instiutitons and Markets (B Hunt and C Terry), though I didn't use it at all (use your brain - think, dont copy!)

Lecturer(s): Carsten Murawski.

Year & Semester of completion: 2011, Semester 1.

Rating:  -3 of 5.

Your Mark/Grade: H1.

Comments: A complete joke of a subject.  Lectures are too slow (although you can alleviate this somewhat by listening to lectopia recordings at +40% speed), the content is dry as anything, and the assessments are obviously intended to be a wicked satire of modern tertiary education.

To succeed in this subject, you need only know:

Since the exam pretty much determines your mark for the subject (80%), I was able to maintain a 0% attendance record for lectures and tutorials, which was perhaps the only reason this subject was rated -3 instead of -5.  You have my blessing to take this subject if:

As I alluded in the "Textbook Recommendation" section, I think the key to doing well in this subject is to not be a drone - while I estimate 50% of your mark in this subject comes down to your ability to do mathematics at a primary school level, the rest involves some MINOR CRITICAL THINKING, where you might be rewarded for saying something unique or creative (not necessarily "correct"). **

* - Not a typical situation.
** - I'm not entirely sure if this is true, because I never collected my assignments back so I have no idea how I went on them.

Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: iamdan08 on July 05, 2011, 11:56:16 pm
Subject Code/Name: BCMB20003 Biochemical Regulation of Cell Function

Workload: Weekly 3 x 1 hour lectures and a 1 hour tute

Assessment:  There is online CAL's (20%), a MCQ midsemester test (10%) and the exam (70%)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available: Yes there are exams for the past 2 years. There are also similar subjects that you can get exams from (from "old generation" subjects).

Textbook Recommendation:  They recommend Nelson and Cox, Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry, however i didn't use it. The lecture notes sufficed.

Lecturer(s): Irene Stanely, Graham Parslow, Matt Perugini

Year & Semester of completion: 2010, semester 2

Rating:  5 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1

Comments: I found this subject very enjoyable. The staff go out of their way to help you and genuinely care about the students. All the lecturers are very passionate! As far as the content goes if you are good at memorising material, this is the subject for you! Have a look at the handbook for detail about what is covered, but briefly it covers things such as cell structure and transport, metabolism (a lot of memorisation of metabolic pathways and structures), cell signalling and some plant biochemistry (which i found the least enjoyable). The assessment is very easy. The CAL's are an easy 20% as long as you remember to do them. The test was pretty straight forward (I think it was 20 MCQ from memory). The exam is also pretty straight forward although expects a lot of detail. They really can ask you anything that is on any lecture slide, no matter how much or how little it was emphasized, hence the need to be able to memorise a large amount of material. If you put in the work for this subject it is a pretty easy H1.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Massofbubbles on July 06, 2011, 01:00:48 am
Subject Code/Name: MAST10011 Experimental Design and Data Analysis

Workload (weekly): 3 x 1hr lectures; 1 x 1hr tute; 1 x 1hr computer lab

Assessment:  An assignment due in the second half of semester (5%); 10 weekly on-line quizzes  (10%); two relatively short take home computer software (Minitab) assignments (5%), and a 3-hour written exam at the end of the 1st week of the examination period (80%).

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture, but if you have Ray, he hasn't quite got the hang of putting the right things on the screen being recorded.

Past exams available:  Yes, a heap of them.

Textbook Recommendation:  Personally I just used Ray's reader, and didn't use the textbook once. I didn't really understand much in this subject though, so maybe the prescribed text (by the Triolas) is worth looking at. I noticed that whenever I was in the library there was multiple copies of the text available (I was in the 1st semester though - I think 2nd semester is much larger).

Lecturer(s): As a person, Ray has been my favourite lecturer at Melbourne Uni. But unfortunately I rarely had a clue what he was talking about. I think his level of mathematical comprehension is way above most people, so it's hard to understand what he's saying. Most lectures I just sat there blankly, occasionally grasping a few things. He did hammer in a lot of things that I would have never remembered if I had not gone to the lectures though.

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1, 2011

Rating:  3 of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H2A (78)

Comments: I found the content of this subject to be extremely boring, so I couldn't put in the effort to learn the material. Hence, when I did try to study I found it really frustrating because I didn't understand anything. In the end I just focused on the chapter problems in the reader, and sat there with the solutions until I got most of them. This actually saved my ass because the exam questions were extremely similar to the reader questions.
The maths in this subject is actually really basic, it's more about understanding where to do what, and why (and also trying to decipher Ray's formula sheet).
If you are more stoic than me you should be fine. I spent more of my study time complaining about the subject than actually studying.
I think (but could be wrong) that most of the statistical analysis we are going to do could've been (or already is) incorporated into our other subjects. And like Ray said, by the time we will need to use most of the stuff we will no longer remember it..
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Consuela on July 09, 2011, 03:44:50 pm
Subject Code/Name: MAST10007 Linear Algebra

Workload:  3 x 1 hour lectures; 1 x 1 hour tutorial; 1 x 1 hour computer lab which immediately follows the tutorial.

Assessment:  Ten short weekly assignments totalling 10%; A 45 minute MATLAB test worth 10% held near the end of semester; Final exam worth 80%.

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available:  Yes, about five, however solutions were provided for only two of them. There was also a sample MATLAB test but with no solutions nor the essential m-files.

Textbook Recommendation:  Lecture slides are a must, however I think they were all put up on the LMS if you would rather print them yourself. The Anton & Rorres textbook is great to help digest some of the proofs and to consolidate the theory. Definitely borrow it from the library to read through the more difficult sections, but only buy it if you can scrape a second hand copy for $30 like I did, or if you're really keen to do extra problems from the textbook.

Lecturers:  Dr. Craig Hodgson or Dr. Lawrence Reeves.

Year & Semester of completion:  Semester 1, 2011.

Rating:  5 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1

Comments: This subject is different from high school maths and Calculus 1 and 2, but a whole lot more interesting. Previously, simply working through a large amount of highly methodical problems will grant you success. However, in Linear Algebra I had to literally sit down and think about some of the ideas to get my head around it -- which makes it all the more gratifying when everything clicks! This subject is all about definitions, and usually once you have a clear idea of the definition you'll know how to solve the problem. A good memory or consistent summaries helps with this.
The tutorial worksheets were really helpful as fully worked solutions were provided so you knew how to set out your work. I found the MATLAB test an easy 10% but be aware they don't give method marks for it. No programming knowledge is required for the test even though quite a few lab classes were focused on irrelevant things like coding which i never needed nor bothered to learn.
Overall, this is not an easy subject to immediately grasp, as it covers things you've never come across before. I liked how abstract and seemingly unrelated to real life the content was but if you're doing it as a requisite for engineering you may not agree.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: QuantumJG on July 09, 2011, 06:07:42 pm
Subject Code/Name: MAST30005 Algebra

Workload: 3 x 1 hour lectures; 1 x 1 hour practice class

Assessment: Two assignments (10 questions each) worth 10% each totaling 20%; Final exam worth 80%  

Lectopia Enabled:  No

Past exams available:  Yes, from 1998 - 2010 (potentially more)

Textbook Recommendation:  Lecture notes are provided to you. All recommended textbooks (Michael Artin, Algebra, 1st Ed. Prentice Hall, New Jersey, 1991 and B. Hartley and T.O. Hawkes, Rings, modules and linear algebra, 1st Ed. Chapman & Hall, London, 1970) are available at the Maths library in the mathematics and statistics building. I personally found the Internet and lecture notes to suffice so I didn't really use the textbooks.

Lecturer: Lawrence Reeves

Year & Semester of completion: 2011, Semester 1

Rating:  5/5

Your Mark/Grade: 59

Comments: I personally love pure Maths subjects, so despite my mark I thoroughly enjoyed this subject. The subject jumps straight into ring theory at the start and is fairly fast paced, the content itself takes awhile to make sense. The main thing that separates high achievers from low achievers is the ability to do difficult proofs, to be able to do proofs your knowledge of the content must be concrete, you need to practice proofs A LOT (which I didn't do). The subject does have a mechanical side in the sense that you learn techniques to diagonalise matrices, determine which polynomials are irreducible in , etc. Also being able to memorize theorems and give examples is paramount to getting a good score. I guess how I know how to do well in this subject is that in hindsight I know how to not do well. I would definitely recommend this subject to anyone who did linear algebra and enjoyed it. In second year group theory and linear algebra (a prerequisite for algebra) builds up from linear algebra.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: QuantumJG on July 09, 2011, 06:25:19 pm
Subject Code/Name: MAST30021 Complex Analysis

Workload: 3 x 1 hour lectures; 1 x 1 hour practice class

Assessment: Four assignments totaling 20%; Final exam worth 80%  

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes

Past exams available:  Yes

Textbook Recommendation:  Jerrold Marsden and Michael J. Hoffman, Basic Complex Analysis, 3rd Ed. Freeman, 1998. This textbook covers all the content, but not in the same order as the lectures are given. I would definitely get this book since it helps a lot. 

Lecturer: Alex Ghitza and Paul Norbury

Year & Semester of completion: 2011, Semester 1

Rating:  4/5

Your Mark/Grade: 59

Comments: I personally found the subject quite easy to grasp in terms of the lectures (up until the last few) and the assignments were approachable. The real curveball with this subject is the exam. The exam was very different to past exams with questions on topics that are so subtle that you (well I especially did) can skip over when studying. Alex Ghitza was a great lecturer and just reading over his notes was enough to grasp the material, whereas Paul Norbury was lazier and understanding certain concepts required outside reading (the recommended textbook). The practice classes were pretty stupid, but completing the questions is essential for only them and the assignments and practice exams is the practice material for the exam. 
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: kamil9876 on July 09, 2011, 06:42:55 pm
Subject Code/Name: MAST30011 Graph Theory

Workload: 3 x 1 hour lectures; 1 x 1 practice class

Assessment: Two assignments first worth 8% and the second worth 12%; Final exam worth 80% 

Lectopia Enabled:  No

Past exams available:  Yes, plenty to keep you busy on the LMS but I only browsed through them.

Textbook Recommendation:  We were given a booklet with all the assignments,problem sheets, course content and general advice in the first lecture. Printed lecture notes were handed out whenever we started a new topic. You're also supposed to buy a course reader which is just a printed copy of the textbook Applied and Algorithmic Graph theory though it's only really useful for extra problems, certain tutorial problems and proofs of certain theorems we cbf proving in lectures. It doesn't exactly follow the lecture notes so it's not essential to read it all.

Lecturer: David Wood

Year & Semester of completion: 2011, Semester 1

Rating:  5/5

Your Mark/Grade: H1 90

Comments: Great subject even without my bias towards this area of math. A graph is just a bunch of points, some of which are connected and some which are not (like those networks that you may have studied in high school). Pretty simple eh? well it can get very interesting and complicated. That's one of the great things about this subject, that you deal with childish concepts but in a mathematically matured way, which is a nice change from getting bombarded with abstract definitions. Course consists of half proofs/reasoning as well as unfortunately(or for some, fortunately) mechanical computations of algorithms ala accounting. But let me repeat, you're dealing with childish concepts and so the proofs are nice and intuitive despite still being rigorous and sometimes challenging so you may enjoy this more than the usual proofs you may have encountered earlier. The lecturer is great, clear and precise. He is also honest in that he shows his appreciation for the subject as well as his views on math, unlike other lecturers who are completely different people once they start teaching. In a nutshell, interesting variety of problems and theory, enjoyable and sometimes interactive lectures(asks us questions and lets people solve them on the board) and approachable staff.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: QuantumJG on July 09, 2011, 06:51:51 pm
Subject Code/Name: PHYC30016 Electrodynamics

Workload: 3 x 1 hour lectures; 1 x 1 hour practice class

Assessment: Two assignments totaling 20%; Final exam worth 80%  

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes

Past exams available:  Yes

Textbook Recommendation:  J D Jackson, Classical Electrodynamics, 3rd edition, Academic Press. David J. Griffiths, Introduction to Electrodynamics, 3rd edition

Lecturer: Ann Roberts

Year & Semester of completion: 2011, Semester 1

Rating:  2/5

Your Mark/Grade: 57

Comments: This was a b$&ch of a subject to be honest! I did not enjoy it at all! One thing is that doing PDE's before this subject helps when you do Green functions, separation of variables and other ugly stuff. To be able of even having a chance of getting an H1 requires you pouring heaps of time into this since each question on the problem sheet can take at least an hour. The assignments were horrible, but the exam wasn't to bad.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: QuantumJG on July 09, 2011, 07:14:06 pm
Subject Code/Name: PHYC30018 Quantum Physics

Workload: 3 x 1 hour lectures; 1 x 1 hour practice class

Assessment: Two assignments totaling 20%; One poster presentation worth 10%; Final exam worth 70%  

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes

Past exams available:  Yes

Textbook Recommendation:  D J Griffiths Introduction to Quantum Mechanics, 2nd Ed, Pearson Prentice Hall 2005, E Merzbacher, Quantum Mechanics, Wiley and B H Bransden and C J Joachain, Introduction to Quantum Mechanics, Longmans. I personally didn't find the textbook that useful since the lecture notes were comprehensive enough.

Lecturer: Ray Volkas and Andy Greentree

Year & Semester of completion: 2011, Semester 1

Rating:  5/5

Your Mark/Grade: 74

Comments: I thoroughly enjoyed this subject. What I loved about this subject was how weird the quantum realm really is, also the lecturers are really great. What was also really good, was doing a poster presentation on a field in quantum physics and also writing an essay on a field of quantum physics. Mind you the subject was actually quite hard and you need to put in a lot to do well.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: stonecold on July 10, 2011, 02:50:17 am
Subject Code/Name: CHEM10006 Chemistry for Biomedicine

Workload:  3 x 1 hour lectures per week, 1 x 1 hour tutorial per week (commencing in week 3), 6 x 3 hour practicals throughout semester


Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available:  Yes.  All exams since the subject commenced in 2008 are available.  Solutions were provided, but they did have errors.  Exams for pre-2008 versions of the subject (Chemistry for Biomedical Sciences A/Chemistry for Biomedical Sciences B) are also available if you are very keen.

Textbook Recommendation:  The lecture notes are more than sufficient to do well in this subject.  Early on I read the recommended texts (Organic Chemistry 6th Edition by McMurry and Chemical Principles 6th Edition by Zumdahl), however in hindsight this was a waste of time as they often went into far too much detail. I ended up focusing on the lecture slides only.  The textbooks were occasionally useful for some additional problems or an explanation/definition here or there, but IMO still not worth buying.  Also, unless you really struggle with visualising molecules, you probably don't need the Molecular Model Kit.  You are premitted to bring it into the exam, but who has the time/patience to stuff around assembling molecules in that type of situation.  You are required to either purchase or download the practical and tutorial manuals and will also need a lab coat and safety glasses for pracs.

Lecturer(s): A/Prof. Craig Hutton, Dr. Spencer Williams, A/Prof. Brendan Abrahams, A/Prof. David McFadyen

Year & Semester of completion: 2011, Semester 1

Rating:  3.5/5

Your Mark/Grade: 96% H1

Comments: There were aspects of this subject which I really did not like.  It is meant to be a biologically focused fusion of Chemistry 1 and Chemistry 2.  Whilst the lecturers tried to put a biological focus on the content, a lot of the time they just went off on pointless tangents.  At the end of the day this subject is still chemistry so be prepared to learn stuff that in the eyes of many is unrelated to biology.  What annoyed me the most was the amount of content which was left out of the course.  As they are trying to teach first year chemistry in only one semester, they have to chop bits out, which I really didn't like.  I feel as if I have learnt some half baked version of chemistry.  Topics such as Entropy/Gibbs free energy, instrumentation as well as other important aspects went completely uncovered.  I don't really feel as though I can say I have properly learnt first year chemistry.  Moreover, if you are planning to sit the GAMSAT, you are going to have to learn the topics which they have left out yourself.

On the plus side, it is nice to get the chemistry requirement out of the way in one semester for some.  The assessment for this subject was very fair.  Many people complained about chem pracs being boring and unrelated to the content which was often true, but at the end of the day, it is a very easy way to pick up 20%.  The mid semester test being conducted online was annoying as there was a lot of collusion between students.  But it was very easy to prepare for by completing some of those pre-2008 exam multi choice questions.  Save the other exams for later on if you can.  The tutorials for the subject were well run, and the tute content well-prepared you for the exams.  Answers to tute problems were made available for download towards the end of the semester.  The faculty also offers several help classes run by tutors/lecturers in the Chemistry Library which I highly recommend you get down to and ask questions.  Try to go early in the semester because it will not be busy, so odds are you can sit down with a tutor for like half an hour and they will just be able to help you out.  As the exam period approaches, it gets very busy and you have to wait a long time for help, so don't leave all of your questions until then.  There are also online tutorials which you can complete which help to reinforce the lecture content.  I think they are okay and worth doing if you have the time, however they are somewhat outdated so a lot of the content in them is not relevant.  They are certainly not necessary.

The lecturers for the subject were decent.  It is pretty hard teaching a subject like chemistry, and I think they did a good enough job.  Professor Abrahams was particularly good.  He was very sincere and gave a list of content to revise for the exam.  The exam itself was pretty fair.  It consisted of 50% multi choice questions and 50% short answer questions.  It was however by far the longest exam this subject has ever had.  The content was not difficult, but it was a very long exam so you had to work fast.

Although I would have liked the subject to be more complete in terms of a first year chemistry course, I think it was a pleasant change to the type of content covered in VCE.  Whether or not you did well in VCE chemistry is irrelevant in this subject, as well as in other first year chemistry subjects.  So work hard and you will do well![/list]
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Spheniscidaphile on July 10, 2011, 05:05:28 am
Subject Code/Name: CLAS10003 Intensive Beginners Latin 

Workload: 1 x 2hr lecture, 1 x 1hr tute, 5 days a week for 7 weeks (10hrs lectures, 5hrs tutes per week). additionally, a translation passage to complete daily as homework.

Assessment:  1 final exam 30%. 3 in-sem tests, totalling 45%. 2 shorter tests, 15%, 28 daily tests totalling 10%.

Recorded Lectures:  No.

Past exams available:  No sample, but format is explained.

Textbook Recommendation:  you will need the Reading Latin Text and Grammar books. you can't get by without them, and the library won't have enough copies. There is an Independent Study Guide for the textbooks, which contains most of the answers, but it's not cheap and you may have to get it shipped from overseas.

Lecturer(s): Varies

Year & Semester of completion: 2010 summer semester

Rating:  4 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 98

   This subject should take you from no Latin, to enough Latin grammar to start translating real  (easy) texts.  The lectures focus on grammar, the tutes on reading the texts in the textbook which reinforce the grammar.  At times you know how a paté goose feels, but the tutors are very helpful and really know their stuff, so don't be afraid to ask for help swallowing and digesting all that grammar.  There are daily vocab tests, and all tests/exams are taken without a dictionary to hand, so you really have to work at mastering the vocab.

Even if you have previous language study experience, you may find it hard going at times, just because of the timetable and pace.  This subject is full on. it's doable if you keep on top of it.

5 days a week for 7 weeks. you *will* have no life. BUT, it's worth 25% EFTSL, so this would take care of some of your breadth requirements, and leave you with fewer units to do and so a lighter workload during the year. it's generally 2hrs of lecture until midday, then a tute after lunch.  You could get away with not attending every lecture, but some lectures you must attend, as the textbook won't explain the concepts for that lecture very well.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Spheniscidaphile on July 10, 2011, 05:06:47 am
Subject Code/Name: CLAS10022 Intensive Beginners Ancient Greek A

Workload:  4hrs of lectures each day for 12 days. In addition, I spent about 4-5 hours studying and doing the homework outside of class each day.

Assessment:  final exam 30%. in-sem test 30%. daily grammar tests totalling 30%. short tests 10%.

Recorded Lectures:  No.

Past exams available:  No, but format is explained.

Textbook Recommendation:  The Luschnig textbook listed in the handbook is essential if you want to get all the homework done.

Lecturer(s): L. Mcnamara

Year & Semester of completion: 2010 winter semester

Rating:  5 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 95

   This is one semester of Ancient Greek crammed into 12 days, mostly designed for people picking up a breadth, or those who want to do Ancient Greek B in semester 2.  The assessments weren't very hard, so long as you had learned the set reading, translation and exercise homework for each day.  If you've learned Latin before, this subject will be easy, especially as the textbook is to some extent designed for latin students.  The Lecturer, Leanne, is excellent, and manages to explain some reasonably arcane grammar quickly and clearly.  I enjoyed this subject, and it was nowhere near as intense as the Intensive Latin subject offered over summer.  The only downside was that you give up your mid year break.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Spheniscidaphile on July 10, 2011, 05:08:32 am
Subject Code/Name: CLAS20027 Intermediate Latin Language

Workload:  4 x 1hr lectures each week. no tutes. weekly homework exercises and readings.

Assessment:  Final exam 50%. mid-sem test 25%. weekly homework totalling 25%.

Recorded Lectures:  No. Powerpoint slides are presented and uploaded to lms each week.

Past exams available:  One available from library.

Textbook Recommendation:  A New Latin Syntax, E. C. Woodcock. You *need* the woodcock textbook, and access to a decent latin dictionary for the weekly homework. Ideally, this would be the big Oxford Latin Dictionary. I would also recommend a latin primer grammar for revision, such as Kennedy's (available for free at

Lecturer(s): Dr. A. Turner

Year & Semester of completion: 2010 Semester 1.

Rating:  5 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 92

   This subject focuses on advanced latin syntax, and assumes a thorough knowledge of the content of the Reading Latin grammar textbook.  Latin syntax is explained through its historical development and your knowledge is assessed in weekly english-> latin translation and parsing/syntax questions.  the exams will be more or less the same, with an unseen passage for translation, and syntax questions.

   This subject was awesome. Dr. Turner is excellent, knows the subject inside out, and imparts an good understanding of how the Latin language actually works. The Woodcock textbook is a bit dense at times, but contains all you will need for the subject, and more. I would recommend spending the time to read and re-read it, think about it, and then read it again until you understand all of the topics in it. It's not enough to just skim it.
Having said all that, I found this subject pretty hard, and spent *way* too much time on the homework exercises each week. I also feel this would have been a better subject if it were presented over two semesters and combined with some readings or more composition.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Edmund on July 10, 2011, 10:54:57 am
Subject Code/Name: UNIB20008 Drugs That Shape Society

Workload:  2 x 1hr lecture; 1 x 1hr tutorial (compulsory)

Assessment:  1000 word assignment (25%), Online quizzes and tutorial attendance (15%), Final exam (60%), Magistrates Court trip

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with and without screen capture

Past exams available:  No, only sample questions

Textbook Recommendation:  Stephens, T & Brynner R, (2001) Dark Remedy: The Impact of Thalidomide and its Revival as a Vital Medicine, Perseus Publishing, Cambridge, Massachusetts ISBN 0-738-0404-8

Lecturer(s): Various

Year & Semester of completion: 2010 Semester 2

Rating:  1.5 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H2B

Comments: This subject basically covered everything you could discuss about drugs. There were four main topics - alcohol, opiates, penicillin and thalidomide. I've attached the subject outline to give an idea on how the course is structured. For each theme, there were one or two lectures discussing the basic information of the drug, as well as its social, historical and legal issues. Here's a rather interesting quote from the handbook:

Quote from: Handbook entry
Lectures will provide basic information about the processes leading to the development of the drugs, their mechanism of action, the historical context of their impact on society, and how this has been handled legally. Tutorials and small group work will allow students to discuss and debate the issues raised and to put them into the context of their own experiences.

When it says basic information, it really does mean basic. They tell you obvious information like 'Don't drink alcohol because it is bad". The only lectures that were interesting were the law ones where they touched on the legal issues pertaining drug use.

Tutorials were an opportunity to discuss and expand material covered in lectures. A tutor (a later year student) was there to facilitate discussion. So the quality of the tutorial session depended on how well everyone discussed issues. There were times when people didn't care so you wouldn't learn anything from that session.

There was also a Magistrates Court visit where you have to attend court at some point during the semester and fill in a sheet. This is handed in during a tutorial which contributed to the tutorial mark.

The exam was essay-type which requires you to pick 4 questions from a choice of about 5.

Overall, I thought the workload was light but the subject was badly put together (throwing bits of information together to make a subject). It was expensive as well ~$1,000. If I could go back in time I would definitely choose a different subject. Hope this review helps anyone intending to do this subject.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Edmund on July 10, 2011, 11:28:03 am
Subject Code/Name: PHYS20008 Integrative Human Physiology

Workload:  3 x 1hr lectures; 1 x 2hr CAL sessions fortnightly

Assessment:  Lecture attendance/PRS (5%); CAL (15%); 2 x MST (30%); Final exam (50%)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:  Yes, lots

Textbook Recommendation:  Human Physiology by Silverthorn

Lecturer(s): Various

Year & Semester of completion: 2010 Semester 2

Rating:  5 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H2A

Comments: This subject is one of the prerequisites for a Physiology major and postgraduate health science courses.  It covers the basic Physiology concepts required for third year Physiology subjects - cardiovascular, digestive, respiratory, muscular, renal and some neurophysiology. The lectures were engaging and interactive. Attendance is compulsory and is worth 5% of overall marks. You will be required to lease a PRS clicker at the start of the semester for about $10. You will need this to record lecture attendance and participate in 'poll-the-audience' style questions during the lecture which makes it so fun.

(   (

The fortnightly CAL sessions involved working in a group of 3 to complete a question sheet or going through a computer program. At the end of each session there will be a past exam question which you will complete. Your demonstrator comes around and gives a mark for it.

For the final exam, study the lecture notes very thoroughly as everything in them will be examined. They could just take numbers of a diagram and make you fill them in - easy marks for anyone who remembers ;D such as this :P,34453.msg360716.html#msg360716  It was a short answer question so you had to do this in about 12 minutes
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Peedles on July 12, 2011, 01:55:21 am
Subject Code/Name: PHYS20008 Human Physiology 

Workload:  3 x 1hr lectures; 1 x 2hr CAL sessions fortnightly

Assessment:  Lecture attendance/PRS (5%); CAL (15%); 2 x MST (30%); Final exam (50%)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available:  Alot of Practice Exams

Textbook Recommendation:  Silverthorn, D.U., Human Physiology: An Integrated Approach 5th Ed., 2010 - Pearson

Lecturer(s): Dr Genevieve Morris, David Williams, Charles Sevigny and Arianne Dantas

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1 2011

Rating: 4.5 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H2A (75%)

Comments: I felt the need to write this review because this year the Exam has changed drastically. As of 2011, lecturers have decided that since Human Physiology is a pre-requisite for many of the graduate health science courses, the exam will be adapted to suit. In past exams, there has been alot of flexibility as students are able to have choice (from a selection of questions) in the questions that they want to answer. The exam has now been set up in a way where there are no longer MC questions and no longer any choice with questions. All questions must be answered and all material covered in lectures/CAL is assessable. (Although, the questions are still similar to the past exams (Short Answer Questions), so it is still a good reference)

Here's the structure of the exam:

SECTION A:  Cardiovascular system & Respiratory system
Short Answer Questions. Suggested time - 30 minutes. 25% of total marks. All questions are of equal value.
Answer both questions in the space provided.

SECTION B: Homeostasis, CNS, autonomic NS & endocrine; Digestion & Reproduction
Short Answer Questions. Suggested time – 30 minutes. 25% of total marks. Answer THREE (3) of the questions in the space provided.

SECTION C: Neural Integration, Muscle & Kidney
Long Answer Questions. Suggested time 60 minutes. 50% of total marks. Answer THREE (3) questions in the space provided.

Therefore, it is integral that you do not fall behind. Although, the 2 MST are there to motivate you to keep up to date anyway. What I didn't like about the exam was that, they didn't put point allocations for each question so it was kind of hard to determine how much detail you had to write down.

What i would have done differently? I think maybe doing the Past Papers during the semester as each topic was covered (Past MCQ would have helped for the MST's) and practicing answering short answer questions in detail. I felt that leaving Past Exam Questions to the last minute when I was under the stress and tiredness of having studied other exams caused me to be more focused on getting them done rather than trying to go through each question logically and methodically. This was probably my downfall in the exam. Finally, contribute more to the Discussion Boards and make use of your fellow eager beaver peers.

In addition to the CAL sessions that Edmund mentioned, the subject now has fortnightly MCQ submissions and Blog Discussion which formed part of the 15% CAL grade. The MCQ involved making up a question relevant to the most recent lectures; which I think lecturers used to stock up on good PRS questions for the prospective PHYS20008 cohort. The Blog Discussion (open for a week) involved the Lecturer posting up a Past Examination Question (which they felt was problematic) whereby your CAL group(s) and Demonstrator will then discuss the question. It is also a good forum to post up any queries. Completion of the MCQ and Participation towards the blog form part of your fortnightly CAL assessment grade.

I don't think Human Physiology was a difficult subject to grasp. Although I feel that this subject has set up more hurdles for students to pass in order to achieve a H1 (Hence, all the more reason to keep up to date). I know alot of people who got there Final Result and received a lower score than they expected because of this. Overall, the content made sense, extremely relevant to the workplace (prospective) and enjoyable. 

Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Russ on July 12, 2011, 08:14:54 pm
Subject Code/Name: UNIB30002 Global Health, Security & Sustainability 

Workload:  2 x 1 hour lecture, 1 x 1 hour tute per week

Assessment:  1000 word OpEd piece (30%), 3000 word essay (60%), tutorial participation (5%), oral presentation on a week's readings (5%)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes

Past exams available:  No exam!

Textbook Recommendation:  You need it in order to do your oral presentation, but you could probably get away with photocopying your selected readings from someone else. It has material that's useful for the OpEd but not essential. It's a good starting point for your essay but you're not allowed to cite it.

Lecturer(s): Tons. Subject covers so many areas that there are probably 20 different lecturers

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1, 2011

Rating:  3/5

Your Mark/Grade: H1

Comments: Redacted. PM me if required.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: gongchan on August 07, 2011, 05:49:43 pm
Subject Code/Name: PHRM30008 Drugs: From Discovery to Market

Workload:     Contact Hours: 3 x one hour lectures per week (total contact hours: 36) Total Time Commitment: 120 hours

Assessment:      Continuing assessment 10%    Mid-semester assessment 20%    A 2 hour examination in the examination period 70%

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available:  Yes, one provided (subject began last year), past questions from other relevant subjects also provided. However, no past midsemesters available.

Textbook Recommendation:  None prescribed.  Recommended:Pharmacology, Rang et al., Churchill Livingstone, 6th edition, 2007 OR Principles of Pharmacology, Golan et al., Lippincott, Wilkins & Williams, 2nd edition, 2007. Not really "needed"; I didn't look through them last semester.

Lecturer(s): (could have missed some) Michael Lew, Tony Hughes, Ross Bathgate, Alastair Stewart, Gary Anderson, Peter McIntyre

Year & Semester of completion: 2011 Semester 1

Rating:  4 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1

Comments: This subject is required for a pharmacology major. It goes through some basic pharmacological principles in more depth than Pharmacology: How Drugs Work (level 2), and talks about the drug discovery process. The "continuing assessment" consists of online multiple choice tests with a lot of time to look up the answer if you don't know, and a lot of people get full marks on them (or close to it). The midsemester test had a lot of time pressure (and all essay/short answer), and the average mark was 50% this year. The final exam also had no multiple choice and was all essays, and you had to choose 6/7 topics to write on. However, it was less pressured for time than the midsemester.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: gongchan on August 07, 2011, 06:04:11 pm
Subject Code/Name: PHRM30009 Drugs in Biomedical Experiments 

Workload:  Contact Hours: one x 3 hour practicals per week plus two x 1 hour workshops per week (total contact hours: 60) Total Time Commitment: 120 hours

Assessment:      Continuing assessment of practicals during the semester (40%);    Mid-semester assessment (20%);    A 2-hour written examination in the examination period (40%).

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available:  Yes, one midsemester provided, one exam. (out of two previous semesters)

Textbook Recommendation:  Course Manual (Provided) (no cost). No textbook prescribed or recommended, although pharmacology knowledge from theory subjects will help.

Lecturer(s): (not complete) Michael Lew, James Ziogas, Graham Mackay, Alastair Stewart, Peter McIntyre

Year & Semester of completion: 2011 Semester 1

Rating: 3 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: (Optional) H1 (barely)

Comments: The subject is a practical subject, available in semester one and two, and compulsory for the pharmacology (biomed or sci) major. Compared to some other practical subjects (from what I hear) it is pretty laid back (not assessed each week), but sometimes pracs can be up to 4 hours long. The midsemester and final exam in semester one felt harder than last year's ones which we had for practice. They can sometimes throw strange questions (non multiple choice) to do with hypothesis generation etc. That said, to do reasonably well in the exam doesn't really require that much hardcore knowledge.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: gongchan on August 07, 2011, 06:15:55 pm
Subject Code/Name: BIOM30002 Biomedicine: Molecule to Malady

Workload:  Contact Hours: Three 1-hour lectures per week plus two 1-hour tutorials per semester (note: the tutorials are a timetabling artifact; they are just spots to make up for lectures due to the tests, because they wanted to keep 36 total "learning" lectures I guess). Total Time Commitment: 120 hours

Assessment:      2x Intra-semester tests (20% each) at around weeks 5 and 9;    3 hr written examination in the final examination period (60%). (note: There are 6 themes. Two are assessed in each midsemester in MC format (4 out of 6 in total), but in the end of year exam the last two are assessed for 1/3 of the exam mark in MC format (ie 20% of total like the midsemesters) and the rest is a choice of short answer questions for 4 themes out of 6)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available:  None, but sample short answer/essay questions given.

Textbook Recommendation:  None prescribed.

Lecturer(s): Various

Year & Semester of completion: 2011 Semester 1

Rating: 4 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H2A

Comments: It was quite interesting to learn about 6 major types of "maladies". Like the biomed cores from second year onwards though, it was not easy, although a lot of people received H1s on the midsemesters.

I guess you don't really have a choice with this subject though; if you're in biomed you have to do it, but if you're outside biomed, you can't do it at all. The choice has already been made for you :P.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: gongchan on August 07, 2011, 06:28:38 pm
Subject Code/Name: MAST20026 Real Analysis with Applications

Workload:     Contact Hours: 3 x one hour lectures per week, 1 x one hour practice class per week, 4 x one-hour computer laboratory classes during semester Total Time Commitment: Estimated total time commitment of 120 hours

Assessment:  Ten to twelve written assignments due at weekly intervals during semester amounting to a total of up to 50 pages (20%), and a 3-hour written examination in the examination period (80%). (no multiple choice)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture, however, the lecturer does a lot of working out on the whiteboard which is not recorded.

Past exams available:  Yes, about four, but as someone else on is thread pointed out, only one for this subject was useful because for some reason the lecturers all seem to teach different stuff for this one subject. The lecturer gave us plenty of practice from Accelerated Math 2 past exams though.

Textbook Recommendation:  None prescribed

Lecturer(s): Barry Hughes

Year & Semester of completion: 2011 Semester 1

Rating: 5 Out of 5 (in terms of interest if you like math, but don't expect it to be easy!)

Your Mark/Grade: H1 (barely)

Comments: As stated by someone else on this thread, this subject goes into the deeper and more fundamental levels of mathematics. It's very rigorous. It's also way harder than calculus 2 and linear algebra, so I wouldn't recommend it as breadth or an elective if you found those difficult.

I found the depth that this subject went into was quite interesting, although like the other reviewer of this subject, I was frustrated with having to explain almost every minor detail in my working. For instance, you can't just use L'Hopital's rule by saying (0/0) or something without saying f is continous, g is continous bla bla bla, and can't just say the limit of 1/x as x approaches infinity is 0 without further explanation.

The labs were not assessed, but somewhat useful.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: gongchan on August 07, 2011, 06:40:48 pm
Subject Code/Name: MAST10007 Linear Algebra

Workload:  Contact Hours: Summer Semester: 6 x one hour lectures per week, 2 x one hour practice classes per week, 2 x one hour computer laboratory classes per week.
Semester 1 and 2: 3 x one hour lectures per week, 1 x one hour practice class per week, 1 x one hour computer laboratory class per week
Total Time Commitment: Estimated total time commitment of 120 hours

Assessment:  Summer semester: Five written assignments due at weekly intervals during semester amounting to a total of up to 25 pages (10%), one 45-minute written computer laboratory test held at the end of semester (10%), and a 3-hour written examination in the examination period (80%).

Semester 1 and 2: Ten written assignments due at weekly intervals during semester amounting to a total of up to 25 pages (10%), one 45-minute written computer laboratory test held at the end of semester (10%), and a 3-hour written examination in the examination period (80%).

Lectopia Enabled:  I think so (never used it).

Past exams available:  Yes, >4

Textbook Recommendation:  Prescribed text: Elementary Linear Algebra Applications Version (H. Anton and C. Rorres), 10th edn, Wiley, 2010. (not required). There were course notes which you are supposed to fill in during lectures available at the bookshop.

Lecturer(s): Prof Peter Forrester

Year & Semester of completion: 2011 Summer

Rating: 4 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1

Comments: This subject is mainly covering the use of matrices in many different ways. I thought it was pretty easy, although that said, I did do well in math in high school. In summer, I got 3 lectures a day for 2 days a week, and for 6 weeks. The first several lectures were quite boring, because the lecturer taught a concept and then did heaps of examples which were slightly different from one another, where you'd expect to "get" the concept on the first example (although that said, I guess not everyone is strong in math). It got better as the semester progressed.

I personally found the labs to be the most difficult part of this subject, due to the coding involved, but very little knowledge of it (apart from quite basic commands) is required for the lab test.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: happyhappyland on October 15, 2011, 09:50:48 am
Subject Code/Name: BLAW10001 Principles of Business Law [PBL]  

Workload:  2 hours Lectures a week with tutorials which are done by yourself in your own time (averages around 1-2 hours a week if you want to get a good mark)

Assessment:  Three Semester tests at 15% and end of year exam at 55%; All multiple choice

Lectopia Enabled:  NO!!!

Past exams available:  NONE!!!

Textbook Recommendation:  You have to buy the subjects tutorial book and "textbook". The tutorial book allows you access to the online tutorials.

Lecturer(s): Theres one dude that plays weird music during the breaks. His not that great, really boring

Year & Semester of completion: 2011 Semester 1

Rating:  0.5 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: (Optional) 74

Comments: Give your overall opinion of the subject, lecturers, assessment etc. and a recommendation, plus anything else which you feel is relevant.

Dont do this subjects, its terrible. The low contact hours and multiple choice assessments might attract you but there is ALOT of rote learning where you memorise cases and regurgitate them. Very pointless subject, it is more LAW than actual COMMERCE (e.g. Accounting or economics subject) and I would not suggest doing it unless you are doing an Accounting Major where you have to complete it.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Slumdawg on November 25, 2011, 11:10:25 pm
Subject Code/Name: MKTG10001 Principles of Marketing 

Workload:  1 X  two hour lecture per week, 1 X one hour tutorial per week

Assessment:  One essay based on a marketing concept found within a newspaper article (10%), creating an entire marketing plan for the Windows 7 phone *cough dodgy marketing there cough* (30%), exam consisting of 4 essays (60%).

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available:  No, they didn't give out past exams. However, Simon gave out 3 practice questions to give a feel for his type of essay questions.

Textbook Recommendation:  Marketing 8e by Kotler is prescribed, it's definitely needed for both assignments (or at least I definitely relied on them to help deepen my understanding of the topics I needed to write on). But I'd probably just borrow it for the assignment because it's probably not necessary for much else, although it is nice to have a good reference guide because the notes can be very brief.

Lecturer(s): Prof. Simon Bell - He was fantastic. Very engaging and I liked his sense of humour. He used really great examples and I actually enjoyed attending his lectures. (Note: Semester 1 and summer semesters have completely different lecturers - Simon is only for semester 2)

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2, 2011.

Rating:  5 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1

Comments: Well firstly I have to say this subject was organised extremely well. We were constantly kept aware of various updates via the LMS and the tutorial content really helped revise the material covered in lectures (as did the assignments). In contrast to other subjects where the tutorials, pracs, assignments, etc. aren't really related to the exam/lectures or each other, I felt like there was a lot of cohesiveness between everything done in the subject which was a refreshing change!

The lecturer was really great and made me enjoy the subject even more. Although prepare your printer for a big ink burner because his lecture notes have pictures on EVERY slide apart from the opening slide which just features the title of the lecture. It kinda annoyed me because the pictures got in the way of writing notes on the slides, but apparently he's a really visual person so you just gotta deal with it. They're also quite brief so you need to constantly annotate your lectures notes otherwise at the end of the semester when you're revising it'll make your life a lot harder!

Throughout the semester you might be feeling the subject content is quite easy (that's what most of us thought), however Simon doesn't like people making fun of his subject so he makes sure the exam is a real challenger. It had 7 essay questions, to which you must only write on 4. However given you only have 2 hours this isn't a lot of time. The thing that makes his questions difficult is that he takes multiple seemingly unrelated topics and puts them together into a question and expects you to be able to link and integrate various areas all in 30 minutes. Crazy huh! I felt quite overwhelmed when I was told of the exam format but when revising I made sure I constantly tried to link various concepts. True to form, the exam featured interestingly tied in topics like segmentation, co-creation and marketing communications all in the one question (which were 3 various topics taught at very different times throughout the semester). So it was actually quite difficult and really tested your understanding of the material rather than your ability to regurgitate facts and definitions. If you hate essays or aren't good at them then definitely avoid doing marketing in semester 2 (I think the exam format is different for summer and definitely for semester 1 which features no essays!).

The two assignments seemed easy enough although were marked extremely harshly with almost half the class merely receiving a pass grade. They need to include copious references, good links between topics, a good layout and other various nit picky things which your tutor will outline (follow these extremely carefully). The one thing here that is extremely irritating is that the second assignment is a group one, of course some people in the group had very different standards and produced pretty average work. Given its heavy weighting I had to spend many extra hours fixing up other sections, which was very frustrating. My tip, only pair up with people you know have similar goals in the subject as you. My group unfortunately featured people aiming for passes in the subject which is fine but not when it affects your own grades.

Overall this subject has been my favourite one this year. I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to get a basic understanding of marketing. I think the knowledge gained is very useful and has helped me gain a different perspective on the entire field of study.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: QuantumJG on November 28, 2011, 05:52:13 pm
Subject Code/Name: PHYC30017 Statistical Physics 

Workload:  2-3 1 hour lectures per week, 1 1 hour problem solving class

Assessment:  2 assignments (worth 10% each), 3 hour exam (worth 80%)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with/without screen capture. Wouldn't rely on lectopia since the lecturer also uses the white boards.

Past exams available:  Yes (~10, although the subject went under another name "620-322 Statistical Physics Advanced (prior to 2009)")

Textbook Recommendation:  You don't have to buy a textbook, but Statistical Physics an  Introductory Course is recommended if you're rusty with thermal physics

Lecturer(s): Dr. Andy Martin

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2, 2011

Rating:  4/5

Your Mark/Grade: Will update when mark is released.

Comments: Statistical physics is an interesting field of physics that I intend to go further with in my studies of mathematical physics in masters. The subject takes thermodynamics and quantum physics and merges them together so you can study how bulk matter behaves at low temperatures (i.e. T 0K) and how quantum mechanics becomes so important. The subject is essentially an introduction to condensed matter physics. The problem solving classes weren't that useful since you're put into a lecture theatre and solve problems on your own.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: QuantumJG on November 28, 2011, 06:15:07 pm
Subject Code/Name: MAST30029 Partial Differential Equations 

Workload:  3 x 1 hour lectures, 1 x 1 hour tutorial

Assessment:  1 50 minute mid-semester test (20%), 3 hour exam (80%)

Lectopia Enabled:  No

Past exams available:  1 past exam, 1 practice exam and 1 past mid-semester test

Textbook Recommendation: None

Lecturer: Assoc Prof Antoinette Tordesillas

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2, 2011

Rating:  4/5

Your Mark/Grade: Will update when mark is released

Comments: PDE's is an exceptionally important subject for Applied Maths. The subject covers 6 areas: Method of Characteristics, Fourier Series, Separation of Variables, Fourier Transforms, Laplace Transforms and Green's Functions. I thouroughly recommend attending the tutorials, since Antoinette and another tutor go around helping you.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: QuantumJG on November 28, 2011, 06:44:30 pm
Subject Code/Name: MAST30024 Geometry 

Workload: 3 x 1 hour lectures, 1 tutorial

Assessment:  3 assignments (20%), 3 hour exam (80%)
Lectopia Enabled:  No

Past exams available:  1

Textbook Recommendation: This webpage has all resources Craig gave us

Lecturer(s): Dr. Craig Westerland

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2, 2011

Rating:  5/5

Your Mark/Grade: Will update when mark is released.

Comments: I absolutely loved this subject! It covers Basic Topology, Classification of Surfaces, Differential Topology, Differential Geometry and Riemann Surfaces. Although the subject finished on a bad note with the exam being significantly harder than last year's, though this year is only the second year the subject has run.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: QuantumJG on November 28, 2011, 07:23:48 pm
Subject Code/Name: MAST30026 Metric and Hilbert Spaces 

Workload: 3 x 1 hour lectures, 1 tutorial

Assessment:  2 assignments (20%), 3 hour exam (80%)
Lectopia Enabled:  No

Past exams available:  1

Textbook Recommendation: None

Lecturer(s): Prof Hyam Rubinstein

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2, 2011 (hopefully)

Rating:  3/5

Your Mark/Grade: Will update when mark is released.

Comments: First of all, this subject is not for the faint of heart. It is an intense subject that last year replaced two subjects (metric spaces and linear analysis). The highlight of this subject was that Hyam (probably the best mathematicians at Melbourne University) taught it. The subject essentially builds on what was taught in Real Analysis and linear operators in Group Theory and Linear Algebra.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Russ on November 28, 2011, 08:11:33 pm
Subject Code/Name: Living Longer: A Global Diagnosis

Workload:  1 lecture a week (2 hours), 1 tute a week for 10 weeks

10 weekly blogs, 300 words = 3% each
'wiki' presentation on a research article = 10%
tutorial mark = 10%
Research Report/Essay = 50%

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:  N/A

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2, 2011

Rating: 4/5

Your Mark/Grade: ~H1

Comments: redacted, PM me with questions if required
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: mikee65 on November 28, 2011, 08:53:25 pm
Subject Code/Name: Introductory Microeconomics

Workload:  2 lectures a week (50 minutes each), one tute every week (50 minutes)

Assessment:  Lets start off with my favourite

10% tutorial participation :)

10% Assignment 1

15% Assignment 2

5% Mid semester online MCQ test

60% End of semester exam

Lectopia Enabled: Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:  Yes ranging beyond the scope of the current style and content of the course, ie, IMO its not worth working past 2007 papers,

Solutions are usually provided for 4 years worth of exams prior to the year the subject is taken. (Some solutions will explain MCQ answers, some wont)

Textbook Recommendation:  Gans, King and Mankin 'Principles of Microeconomic' is a must, Microeconomics: case studies and applications by Jeff Borland is optional IMO, however I would recommend it because solutions for problems therein are provided on the LMS.

Lecturer(s): Mr Gareth James (S2), Prof Jeff Borland (S1) (Try to get your copy signed to embellish your ebay advertisement)

Year & Semester of completion:
Semester 2, 2011

Rating: 4.5/5

Your Mark/Grade
: H1


Firstly, I recall some students having reservations about taking this subject because Jeff Borland (S1) wont be their lecturer, I will try to dispel this mentality.

This is a subject that everyone can succeed in, ie, obtain a H1,

The resources available to students are almost excessive, via the LMS students have access to: Complete lecture notes posted a week in advance, excerpts from various textbooks pertinent to subject matter, complete solutions to Borlands book, review questions posted every week covering that weeks material with complete solutions, an 'online tutor' which answers any questions about the course and its contents (troubles with questions in exams, lecture notes ect) usually within 24 hours (I strongly advise you make use of this service (the respondent gets paid for his troubles so he welcomes any question, no matter how stupid ;) )) and finally tutorial notes (unfortunately no solutions provided as these get recycled year to year, however the online tutor will answer you if your question is specific and researched)

Outside the LMS: 'pit-stop' tutorials, a dedicated room is announced via LMS, times are provided and students are able to arrive with their qualms to be discussed with a live tutor, finally the lecturer has consultation times during which you may discuss problems with the course or any other concerns.

What does this mean? THE LECTURER IS SUPERFLUOUS, you could literally stay at home with half of the support system this subject provides and scrape a H1.

Points on assessment: The 10% for tutorial participation can be considered 'in the bag' unless of course you arrive late (or not at all) and sit unresponsive with your back to the class, the tutor doesnt expect nervous excitement and arcane factoids about economics, just pay attention and you'll be fine.

A word about assignments, generally the course material can be considered relatively 'easy' which is why these puppies are marked quite harshly (I got ~50% on one), please due your research and read the question, I cant stress that enough, If you answer the question completely and close to correctly it leaves little room for the tutor (who marks your assignments) to justify marking you down, if you argue with them enough as did I, they will bend. For assignment 2, bear in mind that originality is key, leave the mundane classical textbook examples behind and do some research (this will make sense once you read the abstract)

The 5% MST can also be considered 'in the bag', this is basics,

A word on the exam, the bulk of the exam (75%) is written, as such, please make sure your explanation consider all perspectives of the question, are sharp succinct and to the point, no waffle, be expected tho complete the script book with your panicked hand writing in 90 minutes, finally USE DIAGRAMS there's nothing like a diagram to illustrate your arguments.

Finally, really, like the tutorials, questions from the exam are recycled, past exams indubitably are the best indicator of future exams, so do as many as you can and understand every single question that is asked, if you don't there's plenty of support networks available to help you understand the error of your ways and lead you back to a righteous path, on that pious note I will end before my hands fall off.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: dc302 on November 29, 2011, 02:55:34 am
Subject Code/Name: MAST30021 Complex Analysis

Workload: 3 x 1 hour lectures; 1 x 1 hour practice class

Assessment: 4x assignments 20%; final exam 80% 

Lectopia Enabled:  No

Past exams available:  Yes

Textbook Recommendation:  Didn’t use one.

Lecturer: Alex Ghitza and Paul Norbury

Year & Semester of completion: 2011, Semester 1

Rating:  4/5

Your Mark/Grade: 88

Comments: This subject is quite interesting, and has a fair balance of pure and applied maths. It is not as ‘annoying’ as real analysis and much more fun. In terms of difficulty, the subject is fairly easy as long as you keep up to date and make notes. Since you do not receive premade notes, going to lectures and writing notes yourself is not only important, but also very handy in not falling behind. In doing so, I only had to memorise some of the theorems and do some practice problems (there is a whole practice booklet to do) and it was fine. The first few assignments were tricky but the exam was very doable (and quite similar to past exams).
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: dc302 on November 29, 2011, 03:02:23 am
Subject Code/Name: Accelerated Mathematics 2

Workload: 4 x 1 hour lectures; 1 x 1 hour practice class

Assessment: Midsem 10%; a few assignments 10%; final exam 80% 

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes

Past exams available:  Yes

Textbook Recommendation:  Didn’t use one.

Lecturer: Barry Hughes

Year & Semester of completion: 2010, Semester 2

Rating:  3/5

Your Mark/Grade: 87

Comments: This subject is basically Real Analysis with Applications (and some calculus 2). It is an introduction to the rigor of higher university maths, and introduces concepts important to many areas of mathematics. It particularly helped me in my major of Pure mathematics. Real analysis itself is a prerequisite to 3 out of 4 maths major specialisations, as well as the physics and mathematical physics majors, so you can see how important it is. In terms of difficulty, it can be said to be quite hard, but there does exist a point of enlightenment, and once you cross that, the subject becomes rather easy.

I did not like the lecturer—he made me fall asleep so I stopped going to lectures. Every lecture, a lecture notes sheet is handed out so that alone is enough to keep up to date. Doing exercises throughout the semester is highly recommended, but understanding the concepts is more important.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: dc302 on November 29, 2011, 03:10:08 am
Subject Code/Name: Vector Calculus

Workload: 3 x 1 hour lectures; 1 x 1 hour practice class

Assessment: 4x assignments 20%; final exam 80% 

Lectopia Enabled:  Can’t remember..

Past exams available:  Yes

Textbook Recommendation:  Didn’t use one.

Lecturer: ...(didn’t go to lectures)

Year & Semester of completion: 2011, Semester 1

Rating:  1/5

Your Mark/Grade: 92

Comments: Although perhaps largely due to my bias (being a pure maths major), I found this subject extremely boring, though very easy. Just looking through the lecture notes I knew this wasn’t the subject for me. Vector calculus teaches students about the applications of 2 and 3-variable calculus, in finding quantities such as volume and mass of solids. It is used primarily (I believe) in fields such as mechanical engineering, and is useful to know when studying areas of mathematics like complex analysis and geometry. The work is VERY formulaic, so once you know how to do one type of question, every other question that is similar becomes easy. It is considered to be the ‘maths methods’ of second year by maths enthusiasts (heh). Studying for this subject is of course therefore, quite simple as long as you understand the concepts.

ALSO NOTE: The ‘partial notes’ you receive are NOT partial. They are FULL notes with the solutions in white font. My friends and I became aware of this the night before the exam...although it didn’t make much difference as there is a question book with answers, so doing that is sufficient replacement from doing the examples in the lectures.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: tek on December 01, 2011, 11:40:19 am
Subject Code/Name: GENE30004 Genetic Analysis

Workload:  1x1 hour lecture per week, 1x3 hour prac per week, and 1x1hour journal club/tutorial per week

Assessment:  30% prac reports/questions, 30% exam, 15% problem assignments, and 25% journal club assessment (5% oral and 20% written)   

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, without screen capture

Past exams available:  Yes, however the newer topics make the earlier exams less relevant

Textbook Recommendation:  None, the prac manual is provided

Lecturer(s): 6 lecturers. The quality varies but there were no shockers

Year & Semester of completion: 2012 semester 2

Rating:  4.25 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1 85

Comments: This was probably the best and challenging subject offered in a genetics major. As a prac subject there were only 12 lectures which are loosely connected to the pracs. Topics included genetic cloning (not the kind you're thinking of), sequencing and transgenic organisms. I found the lectures interesting and the amount of content was just right. I did not feel overloaded by information, unlike other subjects i've had where they give you slide after slide with wall of texts. That said, it was not an easy subject, there was a lot of assessment during the semester but it was fairly spread out. However for a bioinformatics assignment worth 5% we were practically left in the dark. I spent a few 2 hour sessions using the specific program and by the end of it was in the same position i started in. I was not alone, before the assignment was due, at any given moment there were probably at least 5 people in the medical computer lab attempting it.

i liked the pracs, sometimes it can get a bit repetitive and formulaic, but overall it was a great experience. As a biomed student who didnt do the second year genetics prac subject, there was a slight disadvantages as there was some techniques that i havent done. However these could be picked up easilily, and if you made a mistake you can rely on the class data and the end of the experiment. In my year it consisted of four pracs spread over multiple weeks with some overlap. The assessment was relatively easy. We never had to write a report just answers questions based on the prac.  The demonstrators are nice and helpful, for example when we had a genetics dinner they halved the amount of questions in the report that was due that week. The journal club is where you are given a journal article and you have to give a 12 minute oral and a 2000 word report based on it. This was useful as it makes you learn about the topic in the paper, gives you a general understanding of how papers are written, and is good experience if you want to continue in research where journal clubs are common. As for the exam, around half of it is based on the lectures and half the pracs. There is a lot of recycling, so the best way to study is to look at past exams.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: tek on December 01, 2011, 12:22:10 pm
Subject Code/Name: Genetics MAJOR

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, without screen capture. department policy to have no screen capture.

Past exams available:  always

Textbook Recommendation:  useful, but not necessary

Lecturer(s): Various

Year & Semester of completion: 2012 semester 2

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: Averaged a H1

Comments: I'm doing things a bit different by reviewing a major, but I think users will find it useful.
Overall I enjoyed the experience. What I like most about the major is that in all of the subjects we were thought concepts and were assessed on how we can use those concepts. There was hardly any rote learning and the lectures weren't overwhelming with information. The genetics subjects are well organised and its people are nice. One weakness they have is the quality of the lecturers. There are a few lecturers who are monotonal and just plain boring (which is exacerbated by their topics). Most were average to slightly above average. The standouts for me were Dawn and Phil. Most of the exams are relatively 'easy', there is a lot of recycling and they always have a swot vac tutorial where you can ask the lecturer for answers to past exam questions.

Overall i found the major to be intellectually stimulating, while its difficulty was easy to mildly challenging. However, as a word of warning, if you plan on doing the major make sure you are interested genetics. A lot of people can find the topics (such as population genetics) boring and struggle to take in the information. If your not interested in genetics, it is probably on the harder side of the majors.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: tek on December 02, 2011, 11:10:35 am
Subject Code/Name: GENE30005 Human and Medical Genetics 

Workload:  3x1hour lectures per week

5% pedigree analysis/ mcq assignment (used as a review for first year topics)
2x 7.5% midsemester tests made up of MCQs
80% 3hr end of semester exam (MCQ and essay/short answer)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, without screen capture

Past exams available:  Yes

Textbook Recommendation:  none, lecture slides are sufficient

Lecturer(s): Various

Year & Semester of completion: 2012 semester 2

Rating: 4 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1 (88)

Comments: This subject deals with how genetics relates to diseases. This includes specific diseases (eg thallasaemias) and their genetic basis, cytogenetics, cancer, sex determination, transgenic organisms and genetic mapping. As there were a lot of topics, we weren't required to have a deep knowledge of any single one, rather we just needed a general understanding of the genetic concepts. While overall I found the subject to be interesting, there were some topics (and lecturers) to be boring. The assessment was fairly easy. The assignment was basically 1st/2nd year problems/questions and the mcq for the most part weren't too difficult either. The exam was fairly challenging, the majority of the marks were short answer essay type questions, covering the main topics. During my exam review i fell into the trap of answering the past exam questions in my head. In hindsight I should have actually practiced writing and formulating actual answers. As a result I struggled for time in the actual exam.

NOTE: this subject is optional for a genetics major, however most of the people do it anyway. Also this subject is available as a breadth/science elective, but I wouldn't recommend it, as previous genetics knowledge (including third year genetics) helps you understand the topics a lot.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Edmund on December 02, 2011, 06:04:08 pm
Subject Code/Name: PHYS30008 Frontiers in Physiology


Weeks 1-3: 9 optional lectures
Weeks 4-5: At least 2 lectures out of 6
Weeks 6-10: At least 10 out of 15 lectures

Assessment:  20% written assignment on Week 4 and 5 lectures, 2 tests in Week 11 (40%), Wiki group project (40%)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture etc.

Past exams available:  None

Textbook Recommendation:  None

Lecturer(s): Dr. Sheldon Cooper

Year & Semester of completion: 2011 Semester 2

Rating: 2 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H2A

Comments: A rather dry subject that aims to cover several aspects of scientific research in Physiology such as written communication skills, teamwork and collaboration. The first 3 weeks are not assessed in any way and are a total waste of time. Material covered is useless and not worth going to. There are 2 Cardiovascular Health, 2 Muscle & Exercise and 2 Neurophysiology keynote lectures in Weeks 5 and 6. You need to choose 2 different lecture (from different themes) for the assignment. The lectures in Weeks 6-10 are divided into 3 blocks again, 5 CV, 5 ME, 5 NP. There is a test for each of these blocks in Week 11 and you will need to do at least 2 tests. If you choose to do 3, the best 2 will be counted. The 40% Wiki assignment involves getting into groups of 6 and working on a research project that involves reviewing journal articles throughout the semester.

So you may be thinking that it's too easy :P The first 6 weeks or so is fairly laid back. However, workload starts increasing quickly during the Weeks 6-10 period and you will be pressured to keep up with the material in time for the Week 11 tests. You will find that lectures will be similar to the lectures in Semester 1 (CV Health, M & E Physiology, NeuroPhys), but the pace is much faster i.e. 10 semester 1 lectures crammed into 5 lectures. If you haven't done the CV Health, M & E Physiology, NeuroPhys subjects, you will struggle significantly unless you spend extra time going over the lectures and reading the appropriate papers. The tests are difficult even though they assess just 5 lectures.

My advice is that if you are interested in this subject, make sure you have done at least 2 of CV Health, M & E Physiology, NeuroPhys, keep up with the lectures even though you have already covered some of them in your other lectures and don't leave your Wiki to the last week.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: dcc on December 02, 2011, 07:49:33 pm
Subject Code/Name: COMP30021 Theoretical Computer Science

Workload:  2 lectures a week and a tutorial (3 hours total)

Assessment: 2 assignments worth 30% in total and a final exam worth 70%

Lectopia Enabled:  One of the lectures had it.

Past exams available:  I think so?

Textbook Recommendation:  The book is pretty essential, I bought it off the internet for like $10 (it costs ~$150 retail)

Lecturer(s): Harald (legend!)

Year & Semester of completion: 2011, Semester 2.

Rating:  5 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 95

Comments: Absolutely fantastic subject, the brilliant continuation of COMP20004 Discrete Structures.  Topics covered (undecidability, decidability, complexity theory, time complexity, space complexity) are very very very very very (5) interesting, and Harald is a great lecturer.  This subject provided me with a much appreciated change in style (proofs are usually intuitive, not a lot of bashing), which is appreciated as a math student. 

The tutorials are done in a group-ish setting, so a lot of fun was had discussing the various problems provided to us.  Also the assignment style is fun - Harald gives super hard assignments (and a lot of time to do them), and its a satisfying experience to finally realise the correct way to do something after 3 weeks of thinking about a problem.  The class is super small (<15 people) and it has a nice atmosphere.  If you can take this subject, do so.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Slumdawg on December 02, 2011, 08:55:59 pm
Subject Code/Name: BIOL10003 - Genes and Environment 

Workload:  3 X one hour lecture per week, 1 X three hour prac every fortnight and 1 X one hour tutorial each week.

Assessment:  10% Mid-semester test (featuring 25 multiple-choice questions), 25% pracs (featuring one very short assignment but mostly composed of tests at the end of pracs), 5% online independent learning tasks (ILTs) and the big exam (60%)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, without screen capture.

Past exams available:  One sample exam available which was quite useful.

Textbook Recommendation:  Life by Sadava is recommended however I never looked at it once for semester 2 biol.

Lecturer(s): Ross Waller, Rob Day and Dawn Gleeson (takes more than half of the entire subject).

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2, 2011.

Rating: 4 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1

Comments: Well firstly in my opinion I found this subject much harder than its semester 1 counterpart (Biomolecules and Cells), although I think those who had done VCE bio were at a distinct advantage due to their prior knowledge of genetics. This subject starts off quite boring, focusing on the "environment" part of the subject, you learn about the life cycles of fungi, a large number of parasites and a bit of evolution. Then after the first 3 and bit weeks you get stuck into the "genes" component of the subject which is far more interesting but yet more complex. Throughout the semester I thought I was doomed for this subject because I'd gotten behind, missing 10 lectures in a row (yes I know it's terrible but it wasn't intentionally! :P). The good thing is you can definitely catch up on your own if you put the work in, I went to the library for a few days in a row and just listened to the lectures one after the other until I got through the entire series of lectures. I thought Dawn Gleeson's voice would start permeating through my dreams pretty soon considering I'd been hearing her voice in excess of 5 hours each day!

However I must say one of the best things about this subject is the fact that Dawn lectures the majority of it. Some people didn't like her, but I personally found her extremely entertaining (she makes so many dirty jokes it's hilarious!) and she explained things pretty well most of the time. Although a bunch of pictures presented in the lecture aren't in the notes, she only examines what is in her notes (cough Rob Day LEARN FROM DAWN cough) which means not having screen captured lectopia isn't THAT big of a deal. She does however get very behind in lectures, at one point we were 2 lectures behind! But in the end she covered all the content and it didn't feel too rushed so it was all alright.

This subject requires a lot of hours to be put in if you're aiming for a high score because there's just so much content to cover and understand. Then of course because it's genetics you need to be able to apply your knowledge to various problems which takes time. The mid semester test is quite specific, you really need to know your information in detail otherwise you'll get a low score. The pracs are all good and not too hard to score well in, although each test we had usually featured one pretty hard question which was kinda annoying.

Overall thanks to Dawn I really enjoyed this subject, it'd be a 5 out of 5 rating if we didn't have the first few weeks with Ross and Rob who both aren't the most entertaining lecturers and also their content wasn't particularly interesting. The subject is run really well, the pracs help with understanding the lecture content and therefore its overall cohesiveness made the subject really great :)
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Russ on December 04, 2011, 03:47:51 pm
Subject Code/Name: Genetics, Health and Society

Workload: 2 x 1 hour lectures, 1 x 1 hour tute (for the last six weeks only)

3 MCQ tests - 10% each
group wiki and presentation - 10%
2 hour exam - 60%

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes

Past exams available:  No

Textbook Recommendation:  Didn’t use one.

Lecturer: Various.

Year & Semester of completion: 2010, Semester 1

Rating:  4/5

Your Mark/Grade: H1

Comments: It's split into three general sections - for four weeks they teach you about the biology of "genetics", then the next four weeks is an exploration of all the areas that genetics has influenced (art/law/etc.) and then the final four weeks are about the "ethics" of decision making.

It suffers from the problem of being boring for people who already know the structure of DNA, how genetic inheritance works etc until the halfway mark. I enjoyed the lectures, but then again I also took philosophy and creative writing as breadth. If you dislike thinking laterally and discussing questions without correct answers, then this probably isn't something you'll enjoy a lot.

The wiki is, as with all group work, dependent on you getting a good group. The final exam is pretty easy, you get to pick areas to write on, so if you're completely ignorant of all things law then you don't have to discuss genetics and law etc.

Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: bridger on December 06, 2011, 05:28:08 pm
Subject Code/Name: PHYS20008 Human Physiology

Workload:  3 lectures per week and 6 2-hour Computer Aided Learning (CAL) sessions during the semester

Assessment: Effective personal response system (PRS) participation and contributions (5%); Tasks related to computer-aided learning activities during semester (15%); two 45-minute written examinations held during semester (30%); a 2-hour written examination in the examination period (50%).

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes

Past exams available:  Yes, a lot are available. However, only the 2011 exams will be set out in the current format (unless this changes next year, although I doubt it)

Textbook Recommendation:  Dee Unglaub Silverthorn - Human Physiology. I found it fairly helpful to understand concepts at first, but once I'd read through it once or twice the lecture notes were enough

Lecturer(s): Charles Sevigny (He said he was finishing up his PhD this year, and won't be lecturing next year), David Williams, Genevieve Morris, Arianne Dantas

Year & Semester of completion: 2011 Semester 2

Rating:  4/5

Your Mark/Grade: 74

Comments: I know that both Edmund and Peedles have already written good reviews for this one, but seeing as its a pre-requisite for the grad courses I think it's good to have a few reviews. Ok, well I found that as a subject, the concepts in Physiology were not too hard to understand. However, I feel that the way this subject is assessed is to make it hard for students to do well. Basically there's 2 multi choice tests, each worth 15%, held for us in weeks 6 and 11 of semester. The tests involved a fair few tricky questions that really tested your understanding of Physiology (I fell victim to many of these, so read the questions CAREFULLY). Theres a free 5% for turning up to at least 75% of lectures. 15% goes towards your CAL mark, which involves your participation in the CAL sessions and also participation in the online blog. I found the blogs useless. They were supposed to enhance our understanding, but in each one there would be a couple of people who would just write down a whole slab of text, leaving not much to be answered and not really helping my understanding at all  >:(. I was a bit scathing of the blogs in the student feedback haha. Then that leaves 50% for the exam which is LONG. The format for the exam changed this year, the reasoning being that given Physiology is a pre-req for Med, Dent etc, students need to understand all concepts thoroughly. No more ''answer 3 out of 5 questions in section blah blah''. As I mentioned before, the exam is long, and I only managed to just finish in the 2 hours. For us Section A consisted of 5 MCQ on Kidney/Excretory System which wasn't covered in the two MSTs. Section B had 3 short answer questions and Section C was the same but worth a bit more. Section D was one massive questions with many parts worth a third of the exam's marks. It was not an easy question  :(.
All in all, Physiology was pretty interesting. I think there was more substance to the subject that the other two pre-requisites (Biochem and Anatomy). Not just memory work, more understanding of concepts. In the end though, pay close attention to detail and you will be fine  :).
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: username on December 06, 2011, 06:12:03 pm
Subject Code/Name: SCIE30001 Science Research Project 

Workload:  10 hours a week in a lab, but you tend to spend a lot more than that. Most weeks I was in the lab for around ~15 hours.

Assessment:  It varies depending on the department. For the Microbiology and Immunology department, it was:

10% Literature review
10% Ability to record results properly
15% Ability to carry out experiments independently
15% Oral
50% Report on your experiment (thesis)

Lectopia Enabled:  NA

Past exams available:  NA

Textbook Recommendation:  NA, but you’ll be reading at least 30-40 journal articles as research for your lit review and final report.

Lecturer(s): NA

Year & Semester of completion: 2011

Rating:  5/5

Your Mark/Grade:  93


This subject was a lot of fun, and I’d recommend it to anyone who is interested in working in a lab, or progressing to Honours. You’ll get a lot of good research experience, such as designing/carrying out your own experiments. In the first few weeks I was taught lab techniques, and by the 3rd week I was independently carrying out assays by myself. 

Make sure you pick your supervisor well, because you’ll be with them A LOT for the whole semester. Also, be mindful that although you can nominate when to be in lab, it will require a lot of your time. One girl doing the subject had to complete a 12 hour experiment (all in one day).

Other things to consider:

Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Edmund on December 06, 2011, 06:31:46 pm
Subject Code/Name: SCIE30001 Science Research Project

Workload: No lectures. Weekly contact hours range from 2-15 hours.

Assessment:  Depends on supervisor. Mine was an extended literature review of about 4000 words and an oral presentation. Not sure how much each were weighted.

Lectopia Enabled:  None

Past exams available:  None

Textbook Recommendation:  None

Lecturer(s): R.K.

Year & Semester of completion: 2011 Semester 2


Your Mark/Grade: H1

Comments: This review may not apply to projects in other departments

My project was based in the Department of Physiology (Basic and Clinical Myology) and was about nutritional interventions to muscle wasting. To get into this subject, you have to have completed some 300 point subjects relating to the topic you are interested in and contact the relevant supervisors. Students are selected according to relevant grades, research interest and interview. This will differ in various labs of course.

Before the start of semester, you will need to set a meeting time (usually early in the week) to discuss anything related to your project and tasks for the week. Depending on your supervisors expectations, the first couple of weeks will involve reading journal articles to build an understanding of the topic. There will then be opportunity to do hand on experiments and collect results. There was once when I had to come in at 7am to continue an experiment I left off the evening before :P My supervisor was kind of laid back so I didn't really have to do an actual project and design an experiment. I think username had a set project she had to do. There was also a weekly lab meeting I had to attend every Fridays at 8am where I got to watch a live lab meeting in progress where the lab members discussed progress in their research work and presented journals.

If you are interested in this subject, make sure you are proactive and take initiative. My supervisor was so laid back to the point that I could go through 10 weeks without having to do anything. I had to keep asking about assessment etc. and he made up some tasks close to the end of the semester. Managed to get together a literature review and presentation in the end :)

I would say this subject can be fairly demanding at times especially close to the end of semester. This subject will give you a taste of what Honours will be like. And if you aren't interested in doing research/Honours, omg don't do it because you'll be bored and won't do well!!!

Edit: Please excuse an grammar errors.... typed it really fast
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Edmund on December 06, 2011, 06:41:32 pm
Subject Code/Name: EVSC20003 Forests in a Global Context 

Workload:  5 x 4hr lectures, 5 x tutorials

Assessment:  20 questions (5% each)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes without screen capture

Past exams available:  No

Textbook Recommendation:  Forestry in a Global Context (has answers to all the questions)

Lecturer(s): Sands, R

Year & Semester of completion: 2011 September

Rating: 0 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1

Comments: A ridiculously boring subject on forests. Lectures in the morning are 4 hours long and are terribly boring. Tutorials are held in the afternoon and are a great opportunity to ask questions and get feedback on your assessment.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Peedles on December 06, 2011, 06:58:35 pm
Subject Code/Name: MUSI20139 Gamelan Ensemble 2 

Workload:  2 hour Practice Class per week and a 2 hr Gamelan concert towards the end of semester

Assessment:  Attendance and participation (50%); a 10-minute practical examination at the end of the semester (25%); attendance and submission of a concert report of three appropriate concerts (500 words each, due weeks 4, 8 and 12) (25%)

Lectopia Enabled:  N/A

Past exams available:  N/A

Textbook Recommendation:  N/A

Lecturer(s): Illona Wright

Year & Semester of completion: 2011, Semester 2

Rating:  4 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1

If you are looking for a bludgy breadth subject, then here it is. Although I believe the course is going to change next year ( But I've had a read through next years assessment, and I don't think it would make that much of a difference apart from the fact that you will have to sacrifice a few hrs extra of your time LOL.

Practice class involved Illona writing some different types of pieces of music on the board and then the class just playing it. Here is a link to all the instruments you will play if you undertake this subject. ( The first couple of weeks is just experimenting with all the different instruments and differentiating which instruments are your strengths/weaknesses for the concert. Now the attendance/participation is 50%. But they make it quite clear at the start of semester that it is a bell-curved subject. There is obviously some kind of undisclosed points of differentiation when it comes to this part of assessment (especially if there are 60 students doing the subject). I predict that it has to with how you play during the practice sessions, your enthusiasm, your willingness to try out a variety of different instruments, whether your late to class or not and qualities that make you memorable, how you contribute to the practical classes and standout from the rest of the students to your demonstrator. Friend's that have done this in Semester 1 who received 100% for their quizzes and who were sure they received 100% on their test. Got scores ranging from 81 - 88. Bit weird. I only lost 2 marks on my quizzes (22/24) and i'm pretty sure I 100% the test and only got an 81. A friend of mine who got 100% for his quizzes and thought he got 100% on the test only got a H2B. So keep those points in mind if you want to do this subject and want to get a H1. (those who get lower than a H1 will exclaim that their mark was unjustified LOL)

From my knowledge the concert wasn't assessed, but it was more like a hurdle requirement. You needed to attend. You basically just play three allocated pieces that you will practice for several weeks leading up to the event. So don't stress about this.

The online quizzes resemble the Music Psychology quizzes that I had when i did the latter subject. There are 3 quizzes spread towards the later 2/3rds of the semester where you are allocated assigned readings for that quiz (comprising of 8 questions). Then you answer the comprehension questions. Mind you, the quizzes are worth 25% of your mark so getting one question wrong could prove detrimental to your overall score.

The written test was pretty easy. Had to memorise all the Instrument names. Write out Imbal(interlocking) and MIPIT lines of music. Define indonesian musical terms. The test should take no longer than 10 minutes. But once again, since it's 25% and there aren't many questions losing one mark will be costly. So please study for it.

If your looking for a easy pass, this is the subject for you. Alot of people will exclaim passionately that this subject is an easy H1. I guess compared to core subjects it is. But come into each gamelan class having those aforementioned points in mind. You are being closely monitored and are constantly assessed so always be on your game.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that this subject is unavailable to BMus students. So even playing field =)
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Edmund on December 08, 2011, 06:53:51 pm
Subject Code/Name: ANAT30008 Viscera and Visceral Systems

Workload:  3 x 1hr lectures and 1 x 3hr dissection per week

Assessment:  2 x 10% test and 2hr end of semester written exam 50% and 1 hour practical exam 30%

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:  No

Textbook Recommendation:  Clinically Oriented Anatomy, Gray's anatomy, Netter's Atlas, Anatomedia on USB

Lecturer(s): Many

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2, 2011

Rating: 5 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H2A

Comments: This subject covers head, neck, pelvic and abdominal regions as well as the viscera within. The lecture series consists of material from second year anatomy lectures, clinical focussed lectures and current research. Some of the stuff like the thorax, abdomen and heart are pretty much similar to what you cover in second year classes except you have remember a few more vessels and nerves. The only hard part is probably the pelvic region otherwise the rest is straightforward.

There are 6 dissections and 6 workshops throughout the semester. Like human locomotor systems, you will form a group with 5 others and will be allocated a cadaver during the first dissection. Workshops involve examining prosections and working through prac sheets. Make use of these sessions to learn anatomy in 3D and go through the difficult bits with a demonstrator. Tip: Workshops are optional so most students leave after an hour. Stay for the whole 3 hours and you will find that the student to demonstrator ratio is awesome ;)

This is probably the best subject ever. There are not many anatomy courses out there that offer whole cadaver dissection and it will be a great experience. If you are keen on taking an anatomy subject as an elective or an extension to the second year course, this is the one to take. And if anyone is interested in dentistry, there is a series of lectures on head and neck anatomy as well as a clinical focussed lecture on forensic dentistry.

Hope I've convinced everyone reading this to do this subject :)
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: QuantumJG on June 13, 2012, 02:19:12 pm
Subject Code/Name: MAST90067 Advanced Methods: Transforms

Workload:  24 one hour lectures, 12 one hour practice classes.

Assessment:  Two assignments worth 20% each, one 3 hour exam worth 60%

Lectopia Enabled:  No

Past exams available:  No

Textbook Recommendation: 

Carl M. Bender and Steven A. Orszag, Advanced mathematical methods for scientists and engineers: Asymptotic methods and perturbation theory, Springer. (1999).
George F. Carrier, Max Krook, and Carl E. Pearson, Functions of a Complex Variable: Theory and Technique, SIAM (2005).
• Murray R. Spiegel, Theory and Problems of Complex Variables, Schaum Outline Series.
• Murray R. Spiegel, Theory and Problems of Laplace Transforms, Schaum Outline Series.
• A. David Wunsch, Complex Variables with Applications, Second Edition (Addison-Wesley).
• E. B. Saff and A. D. Snider, Fundamentals of Complex Analysis for Mathematics, Science and Engineering (Prentice Hall).

Lecturer(s): Paul Pearce

Year & Semester of completion: 2012, Semester 2

Rating:  5/5

Your Mark/Grade: H2B [74]

Comments: This is my favourite university subject. The course is taught by a mathematical physicist, thus, he'll try invoke physics into as many lectures as possible. The subject starts off by looking at Lagrangian mechanics and then goes on to calculus of variations where you do all kinds of cool stuff with functionals. The subject also goes over the contour integration you would have learnt in Complex Analysis and extends that so you can do more advanced (and much cooler) contour integration. The subject then revisits Fourier and Laplace transforms, which were taught in Partial Differential Equations, but now that more advanced contour integral techniques have been taught, you get to do a couple of transforms by hand. The next part is asymptotic expansion of integrals, in this section you are taught techniques to approximate a difficult integral using methods such as Watson's Lemma, Laplace's method, method of stationary phase and method of steepest descents. Finally the subject finishes off by looking at generalised functions and Green's functions.

My advice is to stay on top of the questions assigned because you learn techniques that can't be learn't in a lecture and he actually threw in a question from the problem set into the exam. 
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: bridger on June 14, 2012, 10:06:39 pm

Workload:  Three 1 hour lectures and one 3 hour practical per week

Assessment:  2 Mid-Semesters (30 MCQ) = 10% each, Two hour theory exam (30 MCQ, 6 Section B short answer questions, 2 "essay" style Section C questions) = 50%, Two hour "practical" exam (90 MCQ) = 30%

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:   No. 

Textbook Recommendation:  Drake et al Gray's Anatomy for Students, Moore KL et al: Clinically Oriented Anatomy
Definitely recommend Moore's, very useful. An anatomy atlas also a MUST, so get your hands on one (I used Netter's Atlas, which is a popular choice).

Lecturer(s): Varsha Pilbrow, Chris Briggs, Peter Kitchener, Various guest lecturers

Year & Semester of completion: 2012, Semester 1

Rating:  2.5/5

Your Mark/Grade: -

Comments: Ok well after second year anatomy, I must admit I was fairly disappointed with the co-ordination of this subject. When I say that this subject is full on, I mean it is FULL ON. Not the difficulty, but the amount of content covered in lectures was excessive. If you are going to do this subject, expect it to consume a lot of your time if you want to keep up. My main issues with this subject were the amount of content covered in lectures and the speed at which this content was covered. It was virtually impossible to pick up everything in lectures so I was forced to re-listen to the lecture again online just to understand everything. It didn't help that the lecture notes were overly simplified compared to the actual content in the lecture. In addition to normal lectures on anatomy, there were nine clinical lectures from various guests who worked in some part of the medical/biomedical field. I found these to be fairly interesting, but often it was hard to know how this material would be assessed.
Practicals for the subject were overly packed, due to the department not putting a quota on the subject during enrollment period. Obviously once we were all enrolled they couldn't deny anyone a spot. (This did result in us twice to my memory being told we should all ''reconsider'' doing the subject/major, which even though I saw their point, I thought this was extremely inappropriate of the lecturers to say. It was clear they were struggling to cope with numbers, and as a result there wasn't exactly a ''welcoming'' feel in the subject. Hopefully next year they remember the quota!) There were 12 people per group (all huddled around a cadaver) with 16 groups in my practical, and understandably it was not an ideal learning environment. I luckily had a good demonstrator who was friendly and explained everything really well.
Overall, I felt the subject was taught in a very less than ideal manner. Concepts and facts were explained at a crazy pace, and it was extremely difficult to keep up. It would have been better if more organized, more clear and concise. My recommendation would be do this subject if you are REALLY interested in Anatomy, or it is counting towards your major. Otherwise, do another subject that won't impact your other subjects so much.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: VivaTequila on June 17, 2012, 01:16:14 pm
Subject Code/Name: RUSS10001 Russian 1

Quote from: handbook
Hours: 4-hours. 1 x 1-hour lecture, 2 x 1-hour seminars, and 1 x 1-hour practical per week.
Total Time Commitment:
8 hours per week, including 4 hours of class time. Total 96 hours per semester.
which is blatantly untrue, it's more like 2x 2hr tutes per week, one of them with a Russian native speaker, often ends early and ends up being 1.5hrs each.

Assessment:  10 weekly assignments commencing 2 weeks in comprising 50% (5% each), and an end of semester 2 hour examination worth 50%

Lectopia Enabled:  No

Past exams available:  No sample exam, just the assignments and a revision sheet. Nonetheless, it was more than sufficient.

Textbook Recommendation:  Ruslan 1 Textbook and Workbook at compulsory, but I got by just fine without them. You can get more off the net in an easier to understand format than these cruddy books. Don't buy them, it's a massive waste of cash.

Lecturer(s): Dr. Robert Largerberg, Ms Larisa Andreeva, and Dr Jonathan Clarke

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1 2012

Rating:  4 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: -

Comments: It's hard to make up my mind about this subject. The way the subject was taught was fundamentally flawed. As grammar comprises such a large part of Russian, they obviously had to only introduce to us sentences with the accompanying grammar studies. At the end of Russian 1, we still can't say or understand anything in the future tense. That, on it's own, is ok, because Russian is an incredibly complex language. However, considering that such an effort was put into teaching us correct grammar for the sentences that we DO know how to construct, it is absurd that they just taught us disconnected "chunks" of grammar without clearly linking them together.

Without a knowledge of "cases" which are a fundamental component of many languages (not English, however), then it might be hard to understand what I'm about to say. The lecturers taught us the individual cases we were expected to know without contextualising them. In a bizzare turn of events, all the students could speak, read, and interpret most of what was expected, but without understanding how any of it fundamentally worked. The best way I can describe it was that it was taught halfway between wrote-learning sentences, and learning how to construct the sentences.

The high achievers in this subject would have already studied other languages and understood what wasn't explained grammar-wise, or like myself would have anguished themselves actually looking it up and connecting the dots between what was and wasn't explained. Now that I actually KNOW what they were trying to teach because I figured it out using the net, I can appreciate how well the subject is constructed. It's just that there was a massive disparity in the majority of the students collectively misunderstanding how the grammar worked and saying things certain ways "just because", and the logical way that they attempted to teach the subject

However, the native speaker made coming to class worthwhile. She's FOB as all hell, and she embraces it and clowns around makes everyone laugh. My lecturer had some major pedagogy issues too; he couldn't use a whiteboard in any coherent form and he didn't explain things sequentially.

Do this subject if you want to learn Russian and you can afford some time to decrypt the way this subject is taught. What they're trying to teach is fantastic - it is really a great way to learn such a complicated language. They just fall a few miles short of it.

PS No matter how bad you are at learning languages, this subject is a guaranteed pass for anyone because the assignments are piss-easy and make up 50% of the mark. You don't even need to sit the exam (which is also very easy) to get a pass. I always thought languages were hard until I bothered myself with learning this one.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: VivaTequila on June 17, 2012, 01:46:18 pm
Subject Code/Name: MAST10005 Calculus 1

Quote from: handbook
Contact Hours: 3 x one hour lectures per week, 1 x one hour practice class per week.
Total Time Commitment: Estimated total time commitment of 120 hours
3x1 hour weekly lectures and a problem-solving tutorial.

Assessment:  10 weekly assignments worth 2% each (free 20%) and an end of semester exam worth 80%

Lectopia Enabled:  Not sure. Didn't use it... PM me or edit this if you're a mod if you know the answer.

Past exams available:  Yes there are a few, and they resemble the exam very closely.

Textbook Recommendation:  This should be your only textbook

Lecturer(s): Dr Deborah King, Dr Iwan Jensen, Dr Heng-Soon Gan, Mr Iain Scott

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1 2012

Rating:  3 of 5

Your Mark/Grade: -

Comments: Subject is spesh, minus a bit. If you didn't do spesh 3/4 and wanted to do it so you can tutor it or if you need it for a major, then this is the subject for you. It covers 6 topics from Vectors, Trig Functions, Complex Numbers (which are all new material on Methods 3/4) and then Derivatives/Integration/Differential Equations, which just introduce new methods of doing what you already know.

The first three topics are easy as pi (pun absolutely intended).
The last three topics should have you ripping your hair out, if you're anything like me.

I thought I was on top of this subject because the assignment marks are legitimately a free 20%. If you do your trig functions at the start, which apply to every other topic, you're halfway there. Vectors and complex numbers are for the most part, lone topics, and they don't merge into the others (save for De Moivre's Theorem and Parametric Equations). They are subsequently very easy because there's only so much you can be assessed on. In Differentiation, you learn how to differentiate stuff with two variables, and that's pretty much the only addition to VCE - it's still quite easy. Integration on the other hand is bum-spanking insane.

Having lost a minimum of 70 marks on the exam out of 150, all I can say is this - if you had to work your butt off in Methods to get an only semi-respectable score, then you will die in this subject. Don't pick it unless you have to, and work hard at it. Do all the questions you're given. Twice. And find more.

Maths at uni is only for those who want to do maths - it is not a bludge by any means and if you are doing this subject, it is for a reason.

Oh, and if you hated long division, save yourself now and do not pick this subject.

My reasons for picking this subject was that I figured doing a maths in addiction to Chem and Bio (which I needed for my choice of majors) would help in terms of critical analysis and being able to understand graphs and stuff in Chemistry. If you're going along the same line of thinking, reconsider it carefully for something like physics instead unless you really have it in you for doing Maths.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Starlight on June 17, 2012, 10:01:09 pm
Subject Code/Name: OPTO10001 Vision: How The Eye Sees the World

Workload:  Three 1 hour lectures and one 2 hour practical per week

Assessment:  2 Mid-Semesters (30 MCQ) = 5% each, Two hour end of year exam (75%), Pracs (15%). A 'hurdle requirement' to participate in online discussions, this may be about the multiple choice question bank where students submit questions, with which 1/4 of the end of year exam's multiple choice is based on. However, I don't think you actually HAD to post something on the discussion forum, I think it was just there for quick replies from lecturers etc.

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:   Sample exam questions posted on the subject's main page, but cannot access actual past exams.

Textbook Recommendation:
  Schwartz 'visual perception' was all I needed. Lecturer will talk about the textbook information in the first lecture.

: Andrew Metha, Andrew Anderson, Larry Abel, Michael Pianta.

Year & Semester of completion:
2012, Semester 1

Rating: 3.5/5

Your Mark/Grade:

This subject is basically an introductory subject on the eye- looking at anatomy of the eye (such as cranial nerves, blood supply to the eye and various parts of the eye's functions), some concepts on light (a little bit of physics in there, but barely any), visual illusions, colour vision etc. I found this subject to be very interesting, however it was quite annoying that it did not have any 'real' tutorials held say once every week or even every two weeks. Rather, there were 3 tutorials for the whole semester, 2 based on the mid semester test content (where students just asked questions, lecturer answered) and 1 tutorial based on the exam (which I hadn't actually listened to as a classmate mentioned a lot of the content wasn't covered). I don't think this subject was structured particularly well in that respect, in addition some lectures weren't ever completely covered and I guess it all just became 'assumed knowledge'. The practicals in this subject were often way too short for the time that I believed should have been assigned (3 hour practicals would have made life a lot easier), however i'd say about 1/2 of the pracs you can virtually do at home with research on the internet. Some pracs required we used a program in the prac computer lab though. This subject also had a lot of content, A LOT so it's important to keep up.

So to sum up:

Pros: An intriguing subject where you are able to learn more about the function and structure of the eye's, a lot of information processing to understand some concepts however. Lecturers were also enthusiastic which made the subject more enjoyable.

Cons: A lot of content as mentioned before, with some lectures left not completed. The time constraints on certain practicals were a little unrealistic.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: QuantumJG on June 25, 2012, 07:04:04 pm
Subject Code/Name: MAST90045 Systems Modelling and Simulation 

Workload:  2 x 1 hour lectures, 1 computer lab

Assessment:  3 assignments (each worth 15%) and a 3 hour exam (worth 55%)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes

Past exams available:  Yes, you're given exams for 2009, 2010 and 2011

Textbook Recommendation:  The lecturer wrote the textbook and thus put a link for the electronic copy on the LMS.

Lecturer(s): Dr. Owen Jones

Year & Semester of completion: 2012

Rating: 5/5

Your Mark/Grade: H2B [71]


Firstly I must say that having a lecture who has Jones and the title Dr is pretty awesome (Do we have Indiana Jones fans?).

This subject is a professional tools subject (compulsory for those doing a MSc(mathematics). This subject revolves around you learning how to program in R and use it for simulations.

The assignments by far are the best part of the subject. This year the three assignments were on:

- Modelling Dam levels: This assignment was to model the level of a dam with given data on rainfall (made up data of course) over 100 days.
- Spider Webs: This one was my favourite. Here you used an evolutionary algorithm to model how efficient spider webs become as the number of generations increase. It's cool because at the start you are required to write a program that draws a web given information on what it looks like.

-Modelling household water usage: This was the hardest and most frustrating one. This assignment required you to model a households water savings when it installs a grey water and rainwater tank. The rainwater data you're given is based off data acquired over 100 years in Melbourne, although the water consumption by the family isn't that accurate. Then you have to work out the best tank setup given how much a tank costs vs how much it will save.

The assignments aren't too difficult to get between 90-100% in if you put a fair amount of effort in. The exam on the other hand is purely theoretical and has nothing to do with the assignments. If you look at the exams, they start off relatively easy and get more difficult as the years go on, this year was no exception. This years exam allowed cheat sheets to be brought in (which helps a 'little') and if you got 75% or above, your mark would scale up to 100%.

My advice is to make sure you get ~90% for each assignment, so you can still pass even if you did poorly in the exam.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: QuantumJG on June 25, 2012, 07:50:37 pm
Subject Code/Name: MAST30028 Numerical and Symbolic Mathematics 

Workload: 1 or 2 x 1 hour lectures, 1 x 3 hour computer lab and 1 x 1 hour computer lab

Assessment:  2 assignments (each worth 20%) and 2 x 90 minute exams (each worth 30%)

Lectopia Enabled:  No

Past exams available:  Yes (MATLAB component only), you're given exams for 2010 and 2011

Textbook Recommendation: C. Moler, Numerical Computing with Matlab, SIAM, 2004.
Lecturers:  Assoc Prof Jan De Gier (Symbolic Component - Mathematica), Assoc Prof Steven Carnie (Numerical Component - MATLAB)

Year & Semester of completion: 2012

Rating: 5/5

Your Mark/Grade: H1 [80]


This is a pretty tough subject and keeping up to date is a necessity.

The first half of the subject is the numerical component taught by Steven Carnie. Here you start off learning how to use MATLAB and then you learn about how computers process numbers, error analysis and numerical stability applied to solving linear equations and ODE's.

The assignment is doable, although it is still pretty tough. The exam in the other hand was far too long to finish in time so everybody was marked out of 40 instead of 50.

The second half of the subject is the symbolic part taught by Jan de Gier. This part is considered easier, although the trade-off is that MATLAB doesn't crap itself anywhere near as often as Mathematica. Again you start off learning how to use Mathematica and then you look at writing short lines of code that do the same as Mathematica's inbuilt functions, then you look at cobweb plots and chaos associated with them, bifurcation diagrams and then finally solving ODE's symbolically. My favourite part to this was learning that the solution to:


Then you learn perturbation theory, boundary layer method and finally WKB approximation.

The assignment for the symbolic part isn't too hard, the exam is much easier than the MATLAB one, but again, Mathematica can play up on you.

With both exams, you're allowed to use lecture notes on the LMS and any code the lecturer has provided on the LMS. Make sure you know where they are so you can USE THEM in exams! Doing this will speed up the pace at which you complete the exams!
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: QuantumJG on June 25, 2012, 08:18:08 pm
Subject Code/Name: MAST30011 Graph Theory 

Workload: 3 x 1 hour lectures, 1 x 1 hour practice class

Assessment:  2 assignments (first is worth 8%, second is worth 12%) and 1 x 3 hour exam (worth 80%)

Lectopia Enabled:  No

Past exams available:  Yes, from 1998 (maybe earlier)

Textbook Recommendation: G. Chartrand and O.R. Oellerman, Applied and Algorithmic Graph Theory, McGraw-Hill, 1993, Freeman, 1998.

 Lecturers:  Assoc Prof David Wood

Year & Semester of completion: 2012

Rating: 3.5/5

Your Mark/Grade: H3 [65]


This subject starts off relatively easy and it's easy to neglect doing any study after a while and then suddenly you're faced with difficult concepts.

Anyway, the subject's content is somewhat intuitive and doesn't go anywhere near as abstract as what the other third year pure maths subjects do, so if you keep on top of the work, the subject should be a breeze. Although David does put the odd unsolved graph theory problem in the problem sheets (which he'll warn you about)

Both assignments are given to you on the first day, so if you already understand the content, you can finish them ahead of the due date (this wasn't the case for me).

This year's exam was split into three components:

- The first part (15% of the exam) was definitions and examples, which you can rote learn out of the notes.

- The second part (45% of the exam) was applying algorithms, you can master this skill by doing algorithm problems ad nauseum.

- The third part (40% of the exam) was doing proofs. This part is what will divide the students into those who get H1's and those who don't. Some of the proofs I found in the exam were quite tricky.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: VivaTequila on June 26, 2012, 02:23:51 am
Subject Code/Name: CHEM10003 Chemistry 1

Workload:  6x 3hr Chemistry Practicals (scattered throughout the semester) and 3x Weekly 1hr Lecture and 1x Weekly 1hr Tutorial

Assessment: A 30-minute on-line mid-semester test (5%); ongoing assessment of practical work (20%); a 3-hour written examination in the examination period (75%). Satisfactory completion of practical work is necessary to pass the subject. Independent learning tasks need to be completed in order to pass the subject.

Lectopia Enabled:  Not sure, never used it

Past exams available:  Yes, ample past exams, 2 per year dating back to ~2004. There is so much revision work that it is an effort to complete it all in the run-up to the exams, so start before SWOTVAC (pre-exam study break)

Textbook Recommendation:  2x Textbooks are recommended, one for Regular Chem and one for Organic Chem. The Organic Chem textbook honestly isn't needed, but "Chemical Principles" by Zumdahl is really very useful. I would recommend buying at the very least an outdated version of Zumdahl (I can testify that they are all the same in content) because there are so many small, pedantic things that you need to study that aren't covered extensively in lectures, such as Molecular Orbital Theory and particular calculations involving Buffer Solutions

Lecturer(s): Too many to list/remember, but this course is run REALLY well, and none of the lecturers were bad. The department is efficient and pragmatic in their operation of Chem 1.

Year & Semester of completion: 2012, Semester 1

Rating:  5 of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1 [80]

Comments: What a brilliant subject. Straight up, I have to commend this for being the best structured, easiest to follow subject. They have ~1,500 kids in the course which they need to look after, set up timetable pracs, and essentially make the course work for, and you know what? They pull it off with aplomb, much better than the Biology department, which had emails running amok, impromptu assignment boxes, and objectively ambiguous instructions for a slightly smaller and more managable amount of students.

Ok so basically I assume that the only reason anyone would pick this is because it's a pre-requisite for anything, and the only people who would consider picking this would be VCE students/UoM entrants who simply want to know what the course covers. As far as I know, you don't pick Chemistry to complement your other subjects in the same way that you might pick Calculus or Data Analysis to do so, with the only exception coming to mind being Biology. I therefore think that people wouldn't choose Chemistry on a whim; I can only imagine that someone who picks Chemistry would study it in it's own right and plan to major in a Chemistry discipline, or perhaps for a Biology discipline. For those reaons I'm not going to do a pros/cons of picking Chemistry - you either will or you won't, depending on what you want your course to do. Rather, I'll just explain what's taught.

You cover, in a nutshell
1. Organic Chemistry (Less on the reactions/polymerisation side of things, and more into understanding molecules in 3D. You'll cover a bit more nomenclature relating to alkenes, a new type of nomenclature relating to stereogenic molecules, and you'll cover (although still introductory material in the world of Chemistry) a LOT more detail into atomic orbitals than you could have ever imagined yourself doing, much less understanding in first year Chemistry)
2. Thermodynamics from VCE level with a physics based understanding (more on predicting whether a reaction will be exothermic/endothermic, rather than just using the informations that it is or isn't)
3. Entropy (understanding where Equilibrium Constants come from; objectively the hardest part of the course. This deals with WHY endothermic reactions CAN be spontaneous, even though VCE says 'generally, they won't be, but there's some exceptions'. This is where fundamental understanding is critical to answering exam questions correctly. There are two approaches here; the first is to memorise all the formulae and learn how to apply them with no inherent understanding of what is happening, or alternatively blow your brains out trying to understand how probability applies to atomic particles in the three different states and using your knowledge of (primarily real/ideal gases) to figure out a lot of crazy conceptual stuff intuitively
4. A whole heap of arbitrary shit relating to Chemistry 1/2 (Electronegativity, Sizes of atoms/ions, Acids and Bases including pH/pOH and Buffers {what is simple in VCE becomes rather challenging}, Metallic Character, and the new stuff covers magnetism, certain chemicals (you're at an advantage if you studied the production of H3PO4 of H2SO4 in Unit 4) and their production, Structures of Ionic/Metallic Lattices (Very complicated)), and exceptions to the Octet rule (explains structures of molecules like PCl5 and XeF4)

In summary: You do all the same shit, but the new topics are:
1. Organic Chemistry: Stereogenic centres (mirror image molecules) / Geometric nomenclature (naming alkenes) / Understanding bonding and applications of understanding bonding
2. Thermodynamics is almost the same but is more physics based; if you've done physics, you'll have a laugh here. If you hate physics, it'll take some study.
3. Entropy is entirely new and is more of a headfuck than anything introduced in VCE. It's to do with equilibrium constants and how people came to them in the first place, and is heavily based around energy. Good luck to anyone who hasn't done VCE physics because I wholeheartedly believed it helped a lot.
4. Lots of Chem Unit 1 stuff expanded which will likely be the foundation for a lot of the stuff in Chemistry 2.

Now tutorials are not compulsory and I found them useless. You can teach yourself the same and more than you would learn in a 1 hour tutorial using YouTube in 30minutes and have a far more fundamental understanding of it. Sure, they work through problems, and by all means they teach one or two problems. However the person delivering the tutorial won't have time to get around to your problems; he'll stand at the front and deliver a lecture to a smaller group of people than a regular lecture and you won't be able to ask what you need to ask. If you have problems, EMAIL the people in the Chemistry department; they actually get back to you and are incredibly flexible with organising times. I also therefore recommend against buying the "compulsory" tutorial book. I  didn't touch mine and wasted all that money on it.

By all means, minus the tutorials, this subject was incredibly enjoyable, the pracs interesting (liquid nitrogen, c'mon! Even polyiodide salts and synthesis of aspirin from 4-aminophenol is damn fucking interesting), and the lecturers clear.

P.S. The better you are at converting between units of magnitude (i.e. nanolitres to kilograms with a given density in the units tonnes per microlitre), the more prepared you'll be for the exam. It's something that you should start doing on your holidays before coming to UoM and taking Chemistry 1, because they always drop a few direct conversion questions on the exam.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Starlight on June 26, 2012, 05:57:14 pm
Subject Code/Name: BIOL10004 Biology of Cells and Organisms

Workload:  3 x one hour lectures per week, 36 hours of practical activities pre-laboratory activities and computer workshops (independent learning tasks), averaging 3 hours per week and 6 one-hour tutorial/workshop sessions during the semester.

Assessment: A 45 minute multiple choice test held mid-semester (10%); work in practical classes during the semester, made up of a combination of written work not exceeding 1000 words, assessment of practical skills within the practical class, or up to 5 short multiple choice tests (20%), completion of 5 independent learning tasks throughout the semester (5%); a written assignment not exceeding 1000 words (5%) a 3-hour written examination on theory and practical work in the examination period (60%)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes

Past exams available:  One sample exam given just before swotvac.

Textbook Recommendation:  Prescribed text is 'R B Knox, P Y Ladiges, B K Evans and R Saint, Biology, An Australian Focus 4th Ed, McGraw-Hill, 2009' however you can easily get by with lecture notes alone.

Lecturer(s): Rick Wetherbee, Andrew Drinnan, Geoff Shaw, Stephen Frankenberg, Mark Elgar

Year & Semester of completion:
2012, Semester 1

Rating:  4 of 5

Your Mark/Grade:

Comments: This is a subject that most science students undertake as part of the prerequisite requirement for a variety of majors. I thought that the content covered was very interesting and the lecture notes were reliable to count on. In addition, the exam at the end of semester was incredibly fair for most students, provided they had put in the hours studying when finishing up the semester (i.e. not just during swotvac). There was a fair amount of content to cover, however this is as to be expected from biology. This is from a student who did not do well in VCE biology (C on one exam), and it just shows that putting in the hours in studying for this subject really pays off. What I didn't exactly like about this subject from personal experience is that sometimes it felt as though my work was being marked quite harshly, for example during one prac losing a couple of marks for not 'elaborating on the results' i.e. providing an average to the results written up in the result table, which was not asked in the particular prac. I didn't think the tutorials helped a great deal, considering we had only 1 per 2 weeks and what was discussed during these tutorials was often not mentioned in the lecture slides, however was expected to know. The mid semester test had quite a few hard questions in there that I didn't remember being fully covered in lectures, however studying for this earlier would have ensured better marks. The 5% assignment we are required to complete was once again also harshly marked, and 1/2 of this assignment was based off writing a correct citation, where we received some resources to help us out with this, however even in following the exact rules of these pieces of information, I still managed to lose about 45% of marks from the assignment. At the end of the day, I did enjoy this subjects and most of the time the lectures were enjoyable too.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: jeppikah on June 26, 2012, 08:30:06 pm
Subject Code/Name: CHEM10006 Chemistry for Biomedicine

Workload:  3 x one hour lectures per week, 1 x one hour tutorial per week, 6 x three hour lab/workshop throughout the semester, 3 x ILTs.

Assessment:  A 30-minute on-line mid-semester test (5%); practical write-ups from labs (20%) and a 3-hour written exam (75%). Must pass labs and ILTs to pass the subject.

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available:  Yes, exams with solutions available from 2008. Also, there are answers for relevant questions in exams prior to 2008 but I couldn’t find the questions. Perhaps in the Ballieu library as hard copy?

Textbook Recommendation:  Prescribed texts are McMurry’s Organic Chemistry and Zumdahl’s Chemical Principles.
I bought both books but, in hindsight, I didn’t really need them and wouldn’t get them again. I only used Zumdahl for the last ILT with content that wasn’t taught in the lectures but that stuff is easily Googled. The lecture notes are enough for the exams; the textbooks were more for if you enjoyed chemistry and wanted a more thorough explanation for some things. These books come with the molecular model kit that can be brought into the exam if bought together at the book shop. But really, it’s fun to play with for 5 minutes but otherwise useless and unnecessary.

Lecturer(s): Craig Hutton, Spencer Williams, Brendan Abrahams, David McFadyen.

Year & Semester of completion: 2012, Semester 1

Rating:  5/5

Your Mark/Grade: H1 (94)

Comments: Personally, I really enjoyed this subject. I found it interesting and it wasn’t one of those 100% rote learning subjects. Some people found it challenging but I think it’s only a small step up in content difficulty from VCE chem. I think it’s just that there is double the content to learn in half the time so you have to be organised with your time.

The lecturers for this subject are quite good and enjoyable to listen to. The subject coordinator who took the orientation week presentation was horrible and monotonous so thank god he didn’t take any subjects. (A/Prof Hutton’s New Zealand accent amuses me. Dr. Williams reminds me of Dexter from Nickelodeon. A/Prof Abrahams reminds me of Tweedle-Dee or Tweedle-Dum. A/Prof McFadyen mentions “Prof Abrahams” once a lecturer so I think they’re BFFs. #irrelevant)

Simple VCE chemistry things like significant figures and unit conversions often pop up in ILTs, the MST and the exam. One of the ILTs had questions that were completely irrelevant to the exam but it was pretty easy to get by reading the textbook or just Googling. ILT content is examinable and there is at least one question related to molality or the freezing/boiling point change stuff, which A/Prof Abrahams mentioned only 22% of the cohort got that question right in 2010. There was also these ChemCAL tutorials that are unassessed but recommended but personally, you don’t need them and they are a waste of time.

Heaps of people disliked pracs because of their demonstrator but I got a great demonstrator who was very helpful with questions so I found it quite easily to score highly in the write-ups. (Just a heads up, you lose marks for getting a lower-than-expected boiling point.) Tutes are not compulsory but I found them helpful.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Starlight on June 26, 2012, 09:09:37 pm
Subject Code/Name: LING10001 The Secret Life of Language 

Workload:  Weekly: 2 x 1 hour lectures, 1 x 1 hour tutorial

Assessment:  Problem-solving assignments totalling 2000 words 50% (due throughout the semester) and a 2-hour examination 50% (end of semester).

Lectopia Enabled
:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available:  No.  A sample exam was made available, and as Stone Cold previously mentioned on his SLL post was easier than the actual exam.

Textbook Recommendation: Once again, the course manual must be purchased. It contains tutorial exercises and complements the lecture notes well.

  Associate Professor Janet Fletcher (Introductory lecture, morphology, phonetics/ phonology, language variation, historical linguistics), Maureen Saclot (syntax, semantics), Dr. Susan Douglas (the brain and language, first language acquisition), Dr. Carsten Roever (second language acquisition and bilingualism)

Year & Semester of completion: 2012, Semester 1

:  3.5/5

Your Mark/Grade
: H2B

Prior to taking this subject, I was interested in learning a little bit more about linguistics since I quite enjoyed VCE english language. This subject did just that, it brought me to concepts in linguistics I hadn't come across before. I thought the lectures were well planned during the semester and the tutorials helped to 'fill in the gaps' about anything that was left ambiguous in the lectures. In addition, the lecturers also gave us the opportunity to attend a 'make-up' tutorial during the Anzac day holiday week, which I thought emphasized further how well constructed this subject is. The only issue I had with this subject was, and as stone cold mentioned in his post on the secret life of language, was that the exam didn't cover certain lectures in the semester (e.g. the brain and language and very minimal on language acquisition) and wasn't a general overview of the subject's workload as such , but rather we were given more detailed problem solving questions (harder than those given on the assignments and the sample exam given out wasn't exactly a great indication on the difficulty of the exam). I thought the assignments through the semester were fair and helped to consolidate topics covered. This was a good subject for anyone really, whether they had done VCE english language or not, and is a good breadth for anyone who has no idea what to choose.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: stonecold on June 26, 2012, 10:47:40 pm
Subject Code/Name: LING20006: Syntax

Workload:  2 x 1 hour lectures per week, 1 x 1 hour tutorial per week (starting in week 2)

Assessment:  2 x Assignments (25% each), 1 x Take home exam (50%)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.  Still useless though because the lecturer often writes on the board.

Past exams available:  No, but if you ask nicely I guess they might give it to you.

Textbook Recommendation:  Analyzing grammar: an introduction'. Paul Kroeger. 2005. Cambridge University Press.  This textbook is good, but not great.  It covers some of the stuff you learn well, and other stuff not at all.  Probably not worth buying, but luckily it can be found online pretty easily.  There is also a very crappy reader for the subject available from the bookshop.  You probably have to buy it because it will have 1 or 2 useful pages, but it mostly has stuff in it which is already in the lecture slides.  Thankfully it is cheap.

There are also a whole bunch of very badly organised readings on the LMS.  Don't read them unless the lecturer tells you to.  There was one really useful one which pretty much told you exactly how to answer an exam question, because it used the same example.  The lecturer made an effort of putting it up a couple of days before the exam so it was pretty obvious that you should read it.

Lecturer: Brett Baker

Year & Semester of completion: 2011, Semester 2

Rating:  4/5

Your Mark/Grade: 97 H1

Comments: Firstly I will start by saying that this is not an easy subject.  If you have no interest in linguistics, English, languages, grammar or problem solving, then stay well away.  Although the workload is pretty light, if you have no idea what is going on, then there is a fair chance that you will fail.  This subject is pretty much like maths.  If you get what is going on, it is wonderful.  If you don't then it might as well be Chinese.  It is recommended that you have done some prior LING study (i.e. Secret Life of Language) to do this subject.  I would probably agree that this will make your job a whole lot easier, especially for the first 3 or 4 weeks.  It would be very challenging if you have not done any linguistics or at least VCE English Language beforehand.

That aside, what you learn in the subject is pretty much the principles of sentence structure and grammar in both English as well as in other languages.  To be honest, the assessment focuses mostly on English stuff and it is this stuff which gets rather hard and complex.  When you do other languages it is usually less complex and slightly easier because I guess they are being more lenient seeing as it is a foreign language.  You don't have to know any languages other than English to do this subject.

The lectures for this subject were average and moderately useful.   The tutes were also average but you definitely need to go along because firstly, attendance is compulsory and less than 75% will result in a fail.  Secondly, the tutes teach you how to solve all the stuff which is important for the assessment, so make sure you go, participate and write everything down.  The lecturer was also decent in that he said he didn't care if we collaborated on assignments, so long as we all wrote out our own work.

The first assignment was pretty straight forward.  2/5 of it was just getting given English words in a sentence and then using evidence to argue for whether the underlined words were verbs, nouns, adjectives etc.  The rest of the assignment involved analysing a foreign data set with NO translations (ours was an Aboriginal language) and then grouping the words into lexical classes (verb, noun, adjective etc.) and giving reasons.  Whilst this sounds hard, it really isn't that bad and they show you how to do it in the tutes.

The second assignment on the other hand was much harder.  The whole thing was about analyzing English sentences, and drawing tree structures for these sentences and then arguing for the tree you draw.  This assignment is mainly about something called the complement/adjunct distinction.  You get given phrase structure rules to help draw your trees, but it is not so formulaic because the sentences that they give you are often ambiguous and therefore require you to think very hard about the structure which you assign them.  You also should draw your tree diagrams on the computer.  I found a program called 'Tree Form' very helpful for this.  At the end of this assignment there was also some sentences which did not follow the given phrase structure rules, and you had to explain why.

Both of the assignments had a nasty trick in them.  It is pretty obvious as to what the trick is, as it will most likely be the part of your analysis which doesn't really make sense or fit in with the rest of the data.  You pretty much just have to keep working on it and you'll eventually work it out though.

As for the take home exam, I cannot really remember much of it, other than it being rather difficult and having only 4 days to do it.  I also had 2 actual exams in these 4 days, so you need to manage your time well.  The take home exam pretty much addressed only the final topic, which was complex sentence constructions.  This is the hardest topic and requires a fair level of understanding.  Still, if you can do the tute problems you should be fine.  I remember a particularly annoying question about subject/object raising and subject/object control on the exam, so make sure you understand this well.  Complement clauses and relative clauses are also an important part of this topic and came up on the exam.  You just need to work through the paper until you have solid evidence and reasoning to argue for your answers.  If you can do this, you can be sure you have the right answer.  If not, then you probably have the wrong answer.  I was really scared by the take home exam and wasn't sure if I had done it right, and ended up with 49/50 on it, so just make sure you back yourself and fully answer the questions.  Also, just note that the lecturer was really anal about people NOT collaborating on the take home exam, and seeing as it is a small subject, there is a fair chance you'll get caught, so don't do it.

As for this subject on the whole, if you get what is going on, then it is somewhat of a bludge.  You don't really have to learn anything by heart as there is no true exam.  Just make sure you are familiar with everything and you can look up specifics at your leisure.  I did minimal study, and just spent countless hours on the assignments and exam, because this is all that really matters.  There's no point learning the extra stuff unless you're really into it.  If you really enjoy analysing things and solving problems, then this is definitely the subject for you.  If not, then steer clear!
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: cibicl on June 28, 2012, 04:07:22 pm
Subject Code/Name: ECON10004: Introductory Microeconomics

Workload:  2x1 hour lectures per week, 1x1 hour tutorial per week

Assessment: Multiple choice online exam (5%), two assignments, one worth 10%, second 15% (25% total), tut marks (10%), exam (60% non-hurdle)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture. All streams by the same lecturer.

Past exams available:  Yes about four, with solutions.

Textbook Recommendation:  The textbook used is 'Principles of Microeconomics' by J.Gans, S.King & N.Mankiw. When buying the book you also get a case studies book by Jeff Borland which I never used but is supposedly good. The textbook however I did use every week for readings and it is really good. Really reaffirms the central things we learn - definitely recommend buying it. Older editions are fine too!

Lecturer(s): Mr Gareth James - pretty cool lecturer, explains well, tries to crack the occasional joke and seems approachable.

Year & Semester of completion: 2012 Semester 1

Rating: 4 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1 (86)

Comments: Personally, I quite enjoyed the subject. The first half of it is quite a breeze and the topics are fundamental but relatively easy: cost-benefit, supply & demand, elasticity, welfare, international trade etc. Make sure you understand the whole supply and demand models and that you can draw them with ease as they are central to this whole subject - be prepared to be drawing HEAPS of these curves. They are pretty easy though. The first half of the subject I found quite interesting too. After week 3 (I think?) there is a short multiple choice test worth 5%. Its easy and hardly worth anything so don't stress and it covers the first few weeks, there are practise tests available too.
Just before mid-sem break the first assignment was due which was mainly about international trade. Even though the topic itself isn't too bad, the assignment was a little challenging, easy to pass but hard to score really well in and requires a bit of thought. The tricky stuff is combining different concepts e.g. international trade and subsidy and welfare all into one diagram.

Didn't enjoy the second half of the subject as much which covers the costs of production, profit maximizing strategies and game theory (I did like game theory though!). This is however possibly due to my own fault haha, as I think I lost concentration early on when we covered costs of production and found myself a bit lost. Fair bit of graphing which is annoying, but I recommend just not falling behind and you will be perfectly fine! Assignment 2 was easier then the first one I thought as well! And the very last topic is covered in about 3 lectures I think - Game theory which is pretty cool and easy actually - think everyone enjoyed it!

The exam wasn't too bad from memory, and if I had studied sufficiently :P would have been pretty easy! Only worth 60% and non-hurdle, so I'm pretty sure barely anyone would fail this subject! Do the practise exams though, they are similar and the tut qs are really good too!

This is a compulsory subject for commerce kids, although I heard quite a few kids pick it as a breadth. I'd recommend it, its quite interesting, logical and relatively easy, and so long as you put the work in, should score well! Goodluck :)
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Hancock on June 28, 2012, 04:35:27 pm
Subject Code/Name: MAST10006 Calculus 2 
Workload:   3 x one hour lectures per week, 1 x one hour practice class per week

Assessment:  3 assignments, worth 3.33% each. One mid-semester test, worth 15% and final exam worth 75% (hurdle).

Lectopia Enabled:  Nope, pretty sure no math lectures are?

Past exams available:  Yep, +10ish

Textbook Recommendation:  Calculus 1 & 2 (Hass, Weir, Thomas, Adams and Essex), Pearson, 2010. Do not buy any books. They are not needed when the lecture notes are fairly good.

Lecturer(s): Norm Do (don't know about the others).

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1, 2012

Rating:  5 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1 (97)

Comments: Honestly, probably my favourite subject this semester. It started with some pretty boring limit stuff which always comes up on the exam and the 'tricks' to solve them are always the same. Moved onto hyperbolic functions and complex numbers which were ok, but the real meat of the course was applications and modelling of differential equations which was by far the most interesting. Applications involved spring-mass systems, concentration in tanks and electric circuits. The assignments were an easy 10% if you pay attention in lectures, and if you want to go well in the MST, make sure you do the questions in the green question book because they are almost identical. The exam was very similar to those of past years which made it very beneficial to do practise papers.
All in all, a very good subject, run very well, were you knew exactly was expected of you. Enjoyed it immensely.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: curious111 on June 28, 2012, 05:04:49 pm
Subject Code/Name: MAST20026 Real Analysis With Applications 

Workload:  Three 1-hour lectures and two 1-hour tutorials per week

Assessment:  Ten assignments worth 20% and One 3-hour exam worth 80%

Lectopia Enabled:  Not in my semester, but it varies from semester to semester depending upon the lecturer (there is a link to 2011 lectures in this subject here)

Past exams available:  Many are available, lecturer posted answers to both 2011 exams. It should be noted that course content changes a lot from lecturer to lecturer so older exams may have many irrelevant questions

Textbook Recommendation:  There was no prescribed textbook, a few were recommended:

Lecturer(s): Dr Richard Brak

Year & Semester of completion: 2012 Semester One

Rating:  5/5

Your Mark/Grade: H1 [84]

Comments: Basically, this is an introductory subject to what some might call "proper math" (for non accelerated pathway students). If you thought Linear Algebra was pedantic, then this subject will take it to a new level.

The main idea of the subject is to discuss concepts that you will be very familiar with (eg limits, differentiability, integral calculus), but discuss them in a much more rigourous way than before. The other overriding theme of the subject is PROOFS. You will learn various techniques for proving (usually simple) claims such as proof by contradiction, proof by induction, e-N and e-delta proofs. Just looking through the exam, about half of the questions are "prove that..." type questions. The subject is structured quite well in the respect that you will spend a lot of time in lectures and tutorials covering proof techniques so if you're willing to put the effort in then you won't find the proofs aspect of the subject so daunting. Having said that, if the rigourous proof-based aspect of mathematics doesn't appeal to you then you should probably think twice before taking this subject (unless you need it for something like physics). There are some simple mechanical concepts covered such as evaluating if a series converges or diverges and basic predicate logic using truth tables, but really most of the subject is proof-based. We were supposed to cover Fourier Series but disappointingly it got condensed to one haphazard lecture at the end of semester.

I found the tutorials were a good way of building knowledge in this subject. Often the lectures flew right over my head and it wasn't til the tute that the concepts started to stick. This subject is unique in the sense that there are two tutes a week, which personally i thought was really helpful.

Assignments were weekly from the second week, and there were usually 1-2 questions. They might look hard when you first get them, but spending some time thinking about them will usually result in you being able to nut out the main idea. And even if you can't then it doesn't really matter as I found the tutors were quite lenient in marking them (i got 10/20 for one assignment where the whole idea of my proof was COMPLETELY on the wrong track).

There wasn't a question book handed out like the first year subjects, but there was a problem sheet for each topic of the course. Annoyingly the lecturer left out many answers on the answers handout.

Lecturer is knowledgeable, but has near-illegible handwriting and often messes up when writing things out. You probably won't have him anyway as it seems to change each semester. It should be noted that as the lecturer in this subject changes, so does the content. Eg this semester we covered predicate logic which hadn't been done before in this subject.

Personally, I loved the content and thought the subject was organised quite well. But it isn't for everyone.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Starlight on June 28, 2012, 05:39:40 pm
Subject Code/Name: CHEM10007 Fundamentals of Chemistry

Workload:   3 x one hour lectures per week, 6 x three hours of practical activities during semester, 1 x one hour tutorial/workshop sessions per week, 6 hours of computer aided learning during semester, 8 hours of independent learning tasks during semester.

:  Three 45-minute on-line mid-semester tests (15%); ongoing assessment of practical work throughout the semester (20%); a 3-hour written examination in the examination period (65%). Satisfactory completion of practical work is necessary to pass the subject. Independent learning tasks need to be completed in order to pass the subject. .

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available:  Plenty available, about 10 or so have solutions (answers only, no fully worked solutions)

Textbook Recommendation:    S S Zumdahl Chemical Principles, 6th Ed, Houghton Mifflin, 2008. Just borrow from the library or get a pdf or something, it's important to do the questions in the textbook after lectures (extra revision besides tutorials).

Lecturer(s): Dr. Colette Boskovic, Penelope Commons, Associate Professor Jonathan White.

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1, 2012

4.5 of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1

Comments: Great introductory subject! I thought it was taught incredibly well to those who had not completed VCE Chemistry. I suppose they do move a little fast but after all it's supposed to be VCE chemistry in one semester. I urge any of you who wish to do this subject to regularly attend tutorial sessions, it's just not enough to look at the solutions provided on the LMS, and also go to see the lecturers in the learning lab in the chemistry building (I went there every tuesday 1-2 pm) where Penny Commons answered any questions we were having difficulty with the subject. So this subject aims to introduce the basics of chemistry for example mole calculations, and even though all this stuff has to be taught in one semester they don't just bombard you with all this difficult chemistry, you can easily score well in this subject provided you do the work. So by doing work, I suggest you do the following:

* Tutorials regularly
* Lectures (if you don't understand a specific lecture, i'd lectopia it that night when I got home so I understood it right away)
* Email the tutor if you have any chemistry problems
* Go to the learning lab to get any help, or even just listen to problems other students have, which can just be revision for you anyway
* There are a few chemcal problems you are able to do, i'd do those too
* Make sure to do the zumdahl textbook questions after each lecture (I didn't do the readings, but I think it would be a better idea to refer to those aswell)
* DO AS MANY PAST EXAMS AS POSSIBLE. I can't stress this enough, and if you don't understand a question, go to the learning lab!

I didn't particularly like the practicals in this subject, I found my particular demonstrator to be a little hopeless in actually outlining what to do in the pracs. A few classmates on the other hand told me they had great prac demonstrators though, so I guess it's just the luck of the draw. Topic tutorials would also be of great help in this subject, there were a few topics that I didn't automatically understand and wished I could have brushed up on, but I guess that's why they have the learning lab. If you commit to the subject, the subject will reward you with a decent mark.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: jeppikah on June 28, 2012, 10:51:19 pm
Subject Code/Name: UNIB10009 Food for a Healthy Planet

Workload:  2 x 1 hour lecture per week, 1 x 1 hour tutorial per week. There is a 75% minimum attendance for tutorials so attendance is taken.

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture. Forums are not recorded.

Past exams available:  Past exams available to 2008. No solutions are provided. Past mid-semester tests also available.

Textbook Recommendation:  No textbook is required but there is a student reader available for purchase from the bookshop. Not completely essential in my opinion because most of the tutorial readings from the reader is also put on LMS, although not all of them. The reader has extra material that may help you with your research essay but I suppose you could survive without it if you want to save ~$30.

Lecturer(s): Mohan Singh, Richard Roush, Frank Dunshea, Snow Barlow, Mark Hargreaves, Bill Malcolm. Forum speakers were Peter Gresshoff, Jennie Brand-Miller and Kerin O’Dea. Nanette Esparon takes all tutorials.

Year & Semester of completion: 2012, Semester 1

Rating:  3.5/5

Your Mark/Grade: H1 (91)

Comments: I chose this subject because I genuinely thought I would be interested in the content, but there were only few moments where I was actually interested while the majority of the time I was completely bored.

The subject covered a broad range of topics that mainly focused on solutions needed to feed the world in the future and climate change affecting food security. Other minor topics included GM food, nutritional strategies for athletics, obesity, famine, economics of food security, environmental effects of agriculture, etc. There were many different lectures for all the little topics so the subject content felt slightly disjointed. I was interested in the nutritional side but that was poorly taught and only a minor aspect of the subject. If you’re like me, be prepared to put up with a lot of other stuff.

The lecturers for this subject were terrible. Most of them were so monotonous and hard to hear. Some concepts were not explained probably. In hindsight, watching the lectures on Lectopia would probably be better in most cases just so you can hear them properly.

The only exceptions were the forums with reasonably good speakers and interesting content. These forums were not recorded and a forum report was expected a week later but 500 words was pretty quick to do. Make sure you cover all of the main aspects of the report or be prepared to lose marks.

You have a timeframe of about 2 months from when the essay questions are released. Try to start early to give yourself time to do wider reading, which will significantly improve your mark. Also, do yourself a favour and learn how to use EndNote; it makes referencing less of a hassle.

The mid-semester test uses recycled past questions so make sure you do them and know the answer to each one. Same goes for the exam. For the exam, you can take in one double-sided summary sheet of any font which takes out huge portion of rote learning.

In the end, this subject was pretty easy and not that time-consuming to complete and study for with the exception of the research essay.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: bridger on June 29, 2012, 12:32:33 pm
Subject Code/Name: PHYS30005 Muscle and Exercise Physiology

Workload:  Three lectures per week

Assessment:  Two tests = 15% each, Assignment = 10%, Exam = 60%

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:  Yes

Textbook Recommendation:  -

Lecturer(s): Gordon Lynch, Mark Hargreaves, Rene Koopman, Kristy Swiderski and various others

Year & Semester of completion: 2012, Semester 1

Rating:  4.5/5

Your Mark/Grade: H2A 78

Comments: Overall I found this subject really interesting and enjoyable. The subject was a great learning environment and you could really see the coordinators had gone out of their way to provide a subject that taught students about the latest cutting-edge research in the area. There were two main lecturers for the subject, Gordon Lynch and Mark Hargreaves, who taught muscle physiology and exercise physiology respectively. Muscle physiology covered topics such as muscle injury and repair, growth promoting agents for muscle and adaptations of muscles to training. Exercise physiology covered topics such as the various fuels (carbohydrates, fats etc.) used during exercise and responses to exercise. There were various other lecturers covering other topics in the field, with many presenting information on the research they were conducting. These were really interesting and really gave insight into what doing honours in physiology would be like.
I really enjoyed this subject and found it really interesting. Extremely glad I chose this subject as it was the the main reason for me switching from a Human Structure and Function major to a Physiology major. Highly recommend this subject.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: acinod on June 29, 2012, 05:19:07 pm
Subject Code/Name: ECON10004 Introductory Microeconomics 

Workload:  Two 1-hour lectures and a 1-hour tutorial per week (3 hours in total)


Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available:  Yes. There's heaps. Solutions are also posted online.

Textbook Recommendation:  Principles of Microeconomics by Gans, King and Mankiw. There are several versions of this textbook as well as an American version just by Mankiw. However they are all exactly the same except for the formatting like the font and pictures. Definitely recommend it as it was the only textbook out of all my subjects that I actually used for assignments and learning stuff. There's another case study book by Jeff Borland but I never used it despite buying it.

Lecturer(s): Gareth James. Quite boring due to monotonous and slow voice. I fell asleep on countless occasions both in lectures and at home whilst listening.

Year & Semester of completion: 2012 Semester 1

Rating: 5 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1 (92)

Comments: This is a brilliant subject. For those that have never done any commerce or business related subjects like me, this is a great introduction to economics.
Most important thing about this subject is to GO TO TUTORIALS. Not only do you get a free 10% to your mark, but it also helps you understand a lot of the content. Pre-reading the textbook was also something that helped me a lot to understand concepts. The topics were also quite interesting, especially Game Theory. The exam is very similar to previous exams and if you know the basic topics well, you should do fine.
Do note that if you are majoring in actuarial studies that this is a subject for accreditation, so as long as you don't try to fail, you should be good to go.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: acinod on June 29, 2012, 06:16:05 pm
Moderator note: This review was written before the subject was revised. The lecturer's thoughts on the subject can be found here

Subject Code/Name: ACCT10001 Accounting Reports and Analysis 

Workload:  One 2-hour lecture and a 1-hour tutorial (3 hours in total)


Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available:  Yes. There's heaps. Solutions are also posted online.

Textbook Recommendation:  Bought it, never used it.

Lecturer(s): There are 3 lecturers:

Year & Semester of completion: 2012 Semester 1

Rating: 4 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1

Comments: If you've never done accounting before, expect to struggle for most of this course. Your first assignment will disappoint you because everything is so new and bizarre. The second assignment is computer-based and it's just about using a program called Quickbooks to apply some concepts. Should be easy if you're good with computers.  Tutorials are once again like most subjects, crucial to learning if everything is new to you. Practice exams are a SAVIOR! The LMS may even be over resourceful as there are so many things to help you prepare for exams. They even have an exam format that tells you what each question on the exam is generally about, making it even more easy to study for.
The reason I didn't give it a 5/5 is because the assignments do not really relate to the exam. They seem kind of out of placed now that I think back.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: acinod on June 29, 2012, 06:33:19 pm
Subject Code/Name: MAST10008 Accelerated Mathematics 1 

Workload:  4 x one hour lectures per week, 1 x one hour practice class per week, 1 x one hour computer laboratory class per week (6 hours in total)


Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available:  There are a few but 2011 is a weird year. Not as similar to past exams as other subjects.

Textbook Recommendation:  Don't need it, lectures are your best friend.

Lecturer(s): Dr. Paul Norbury. This guy is a genius. Though he's sometimes too smart for the students as he often goes on about things where the majority of the class has no idea what he's talking about. Other than that, he's voice strangely sounds like this guy: Despite how hard this subject is, he is nevertheless quite liked by all the students. I shall never forget his abrupt "Let's finish here." at the end of every lecture.

Year & Semester of completion: 2012 Semester 1

Rating: 4 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H2A

Comments: If you think you're good at maths, YOU MAY BE PROVED WRONG once you have a taste of this subject. AM1 is an introduction to university mathematics and trust me it is hard. Countless lectures during the break, where he has gone through several insane concepts and you have no time to absorb it, you automatically turn your head to the person next to you. Of course he also does the same thing and gives you the same look...DAFUQ?!?! If I can relate this subject to VCE Maths, it would be: VCE Maths has a few big topics but the questions are really in depth and really try to test your knowledge. On the other hand, Accelerated Maths 1 is an overload of topics in just a few months, you are required to do an exam which tests you all these topics with quite a few in depth topics. It's really hard to catch up once you fall behind and not even SWOTVAC may be enough. If you want to excel in this subject, make sure you study your ass off CONSISTENTLY. There is no point listening to a lecture and copying down notes if you had no idea what just happened.
Finally, this subject has a few MATLAB classes. It's basically just going into a computer lab and learning how to use MATLAB. Honestly these are kind of pointless and you can learn everything you need for the test worth 5% at the end in like a few hours.
One last word on tutorials, these 'classes' are quite different from your other subjects because you don't actually sit in class and listen. What actually happens is you sit in groups and discuss problems. 
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: acinod on June 29, 2012, 06:51:24 pm
Subject Code/Name: CHIN10003 Chinese 7 

Workload:  Two 2-hour seminars per week. (4 hours in total)


Lectopia Enabled:  No!

Past exams available: NONE!

Textbook Recommendation: Bridge: A Practical Intermediate Chinese Course, Vol. 1
This is the textbook, you'll need it for class.

Lecturer(s): Jia Gao and Cai Shen Shen. Jia Gao is the male teacher that speaks more English than Chinese and likes to ramble and mumble a lot. He speaks very slowly. Cai Shen Shen is the female teacher that is a bit more strict than Jia Gao. She speaks only Chinese and likes to crack jokes. Unfortunately my chinese is horrible so I can't understand them as well :( You will have both teachers, one for each seminar.

Year & Semester of completion: 2012 Semester 1

Rating: 2 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H2B

Comments: This is Chinese school all over again. I swear to god, nothing has changed from this subject and VCE Chinese except the fact that you now go to Chinese school on a weekday and twice a week. Chinese is horrible. There are no past exams, no lectures recorded, and the assessment and exam is just so weird and not much preparation given. With Chinese, you basically have a textbook and for Chinese 7, you learn half of the book. Half of the book is basically 8 stories/essays/pieces of ~1000 characters each and overall, you will need to learn ~450 phrases.
The mid semester test is basically just memorizing the textbook. That's it. It is basically a few sentences from the textbook translated into English, and then you are required to translate it back to Chinese. WITHOUT A DICTIONARY.
The oral is pretty chill, just a basic general conversation with a partner of ~5 minutes.
The essay you have to hand in is also pretty annoying. Make sure you don't hand it in late otherwise you will lose a lot of marks since it is worth 15%!
The exam. Ok...the exam is can I say... There is a potential to get 100% so easily and I was so stupid to not realize how easy it was to prepare for this. Exam consists of 4 sections:
These 4 categories are just ridiculously easy to prepare for. The first section, although there are 450 phrases that you have to potentially need to know how to make sentences for, it is really predictable to know which ones will be in the exam. It's basically all the conjunction and joining words. The second section is the same as the mid semester. If you remembered how easy it was to prepare for that you should realize it's the same deal here. The third section is EXACTLY THE SAME as a comprehension work sheet that was handed out in the middle of the semester for homework. Exact same article, exact same questions. Finally the essay we have to write is once again EXACTLY THE SAME TOPIC as one that was given out for homework in the middle of the semester. You just had to memorize it and you're set!
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: stonecold on July 02, 2012, 07:01:01 pm
Subject Code/Name: BIOM20001: Molecular and Cellular Biomedicine

Workload:  6 x lectures each week, 1 x workshop each week, 3 x CALs (computer aided learning) throughout semester, 3 x practicals throughout semester.

Assessment:  2 x 30 min MCQ mid-semester tests (10% each), 2 x 2 hour exams (35% each), 5 x CAL/prac assessments (2% each).

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, including screen capture.

Past exams available:  Both 2010 exams are available from the library website.  Only the short answer and fill in the gap questions were provided from the 2011 exam.  None of the 2011 MCQs were given.  Also, make sure you annoy the coordinator to put up the 2010 and 2011 MSTs because he wouldn't want a repeat of what happened this year, with people just going and getting them off the third years and some people missing out and others not.  The coordinator also refuses to give out any sort of answers or marking schemes for anything.  Exams prior to 2010 are not available, but the old subject "Integrated Biomedical Sciences" has lots of past exam papers available.  I didn't do any of them, but having a quick look at them now they certainly still look relevant so if you want some extra writing practice, they may be worth looking at.

Textbook Recommendation: 

To be perfectly honest, you probably don't need any of these textbooks to do well.  That having been said, luckily they are all available online so you can access them at your leisure if you know where to look.  The two most helpful are Alberts, which is a general Cell Biology book that covers a lot of the course, and Kumar, which covers Pathology.  Seeing as pathology is taught woefully and IMO is the worst part of this subject, it is probably worth reading the relevant parts of Kumar for the topic.  Luckily, Kumar is available online from the library website, so again, no need to buy.  I wouldn't be able to tell you about the other textbooks because I never even looked at them once, despite having them all on pdf.  In reality, all you are ever going to get assessed on in this subject is either what is on the slides, or what the lecturer says.  If you have all of this down, you're sure to do well.


Each topic has had 2 lecturers in previous years, but a lot of lecturers have dropped away recently.  There were also a  couple of guest lecturers in the Genetics and Pathology topics.  All in all, I thought the majority explained their content well.  It doesn't necessarily mean that I liked them all, but I don't really care as long as they are clear.  Dawn and Alex have a tendency to get their stuff confused.  Vicki Lawson cannot go 15 seconds without screwing up her sentence.  Lecture notes across the board were decent.  That having been said, Dawn and especially Roy required you to listen and write down lots of things that weren't on the slides, and believe me, if the lecturer says it, it is assessable.

Year & Semester of completion: 2012, Semester 1

Rating:  4.5/5

Your Mark/Grade: 96 H1

Comments: This is probably the most whinged about subject in the entire degree.  I think most of the criticism that this subject gets is unfair and unwarranted.  We are studying a Biomedicine degree.  I don't really know what people expected to learn, but if you didn't want to learn about this type of stuff, then I guess you are in the wrong degree.  People often complain that the content is over the top, irrelevant and can just be looked up if you ever need it.  Firstly, this is NOT a medical degree, it is biomedical science.  It is expected that you will learn detailed cellular processes.  Everyone just wants to learn things on a macroscopic scale or things which are relevant to medicine.  This is not what a biomedical science degree is about.  Also, sure you can look a lot of these things up if you ever need them, but you should learn them properly at least once and this makes sure that you actually understand them.  Moreover, this subject is somewhat of a 'taste' of what it is like to study medicine in terms of content and study required, so again, if people cannot handle this, then they are probably going to struggle in medicine.  I also understand that topics such as biochemistry and patholgy are actually studied in medicine anyway, so you are just getting an advantage by learning some of it now.  I am also under the impression that content wise, HSF in semester 2 will be far more intensive than MCB.

Looking back (and I say this a lot haha) this subject probably wasn't so bad.  I really enjoyed the first four topics, and could actually see  myself majoring in any of them.  Pathology on the other hand I didn't enjoy.  Whether or not that was because it seemed overly rushed and was badly taught, I don't know.  Initially you will probably find that you will hate everything.  I went back and listened to each lecture after attending, and found it was always easier the second time.  I wrote down all of the relevant points that weren't in the slides and then typed it out into notes.  However you do your notes, make sure you include all of the important pictures and know how to draw them because lecturers love diagrams in the exam.  You don't even have to go to lectures if you don't want to as everything is recorded and I find that I tend to learn better at home or in the library.

Calling these workshops is a blatant lie by the university.  It is an extra lecture spot in case the lecturer runs out of time in their allocated time.  Usually, the lecturer will cover some non-examinable extension stuff or do some revision/FAQs in this time.  The cell biology workshop and immunology workshop however were very important and you had to study them.  The content in these two workshops accounted for nearly one-fifth of what was on our second exam.  The cell bio workshop was on cancer, and considering that is this an overall theme on the course, it was fairly obvious that is was going to be tested.  The immunology workshop was on how pathogens evade the immune system.

Mid Semester Tests
Lots of people seem to do poorly on these for some reason and I cannot understand why.  They are multi choice.  It is a pretty simple equation in the end.  If you put in the time and effort to learn everything, then you should do really well on these tests.  95% of this subject is pure rote learning/recall. I don't really think you can be tricked.  The only two things which we learnt that required any level of conceptual understanding were enzyme kinetics (biochemistry) and the lac operon (genetics).  These tests do not cover the last topic (pathology) and therefore there are extra patholgy MCQs on the exam to compensate.  All in all, this is a straight forward 20% take one or two if you have done your work.  As I said earlier, absolutely make sure you get hold of previous years MSTs one way or another because they could repeat the questions and are good practice.

Around a week after the MSTs, the results are published on the LMS and the relevant lecturers explain the questions to you in a feed back lecture.

This is another easy 10% so make sure you go and don't miss any.  The Biochemistry CAL was annoying because you had to hand up a worksheet at the end which is marked.  Everything else was assessed with online MCQ tests either during or after the Prac/CAL.  IMO it is not worth learning anything from the Biochem/Pathology/Cell Bio CALs for the exam.  It would be wise to make sure you are at least familiar with the pracs though, as in genetics, you need to know how to interpret gels for the exam, and you learn a fair bit of stuff on bacterial classification in the microbiology & immunology pracs which could also arise on the exam.

Exam A
For the first time, this exam was completely electronic.  There were 75 marks of MCQs and 45 marks of fill in the blanks/menu style questions which you complete on the Section B/C Answer sheets.  This exam was ridiculously specific, moreso than the MSTs.  No matter how much you learn, I think some lecturer will always have one annoying MCQ which you never thought would come up.  As always, you can expect a few MCQs which have mistakes and get removed.  Alex Andrianopoulos is also pretty lazy and may slip in a few 2 mark MCQs.

The fill in the blanks section is actually pretty hard for several reasons.  Firstly, you can always rely on a lecturer to give you a tiny diagram which is unclear and almost impossible to see.  Secondly, you get next to no marks for each blank (0.5 marks each).  So when you have 14 blanks to complete in just 7 minutes, it is not so easy.  Thirdly, it is so easy to screw up the answer sheet when you are putting in your answers so I urge you to double and triple check the circles you colour in.

You really want to be doing well on this exam to buffer against the written paper.

Exam B
This exam was also for the first time entirely composed of short answer questions and extended response questions.  I like the way they structured the exams this year.  It was far less confusing than in previous years where you had a mix of electronic marking and written answers on the same exam.  This exam was around a week after the first exam.  This is supposed to be an integration exam where lecturers get together and integrate their topics.  This is another lie.  It is very obvious as to who has written what questions, and there was little continuity between lecturers who had 'supposedly' written their questions together.

This exam is not easy at all.  It requires a really good understanding of everything, good memory, fast recall and also the ability to write very fast and also to draw diagrams.  There are lots of heavily weighted questions worth 10, 12, 13 marks on this section.  You get a few simple 3-5 mark questions as well though.  Just make sure you that you absolutely spend no more minutes than marks per question, otherwise you will not finish.  Once you think you have written enough to get the allocated marks, it is probably wise to move on, even if you have more to say.  You can always come back and add in more at the end, time permitting.  For the 10 mark questions, you absolutely must fill the page with writing.  Similarly, the 12 and 13 mark questions probably expect around 1.5-2 pages of writing (font and back) by the time you add in diagrams.  To indirectly quote the lecturer himself, "lecturers love diagrams and diagrams are always appropriate".  That having been said, don't waste ages drawing flashy stuff.  You have to ensure you finish the paper.  I finished the exam with about 8 mins to spare.  When I did the 2011 as a trial, I had literally 2 mins to spare.  You will be very pressed for time so make sure you have a watch and time everything perfectly, right down to the minute.  Your responses can be either in paragraphs or dot points.  Do whatever you feel is best going to address the question in the time you are given.  For some unknown reason I tend to randomly switch between writing paragraphs and dot points in different questions.

I thought that this exam would be really bad for me but in the end it was actually pretty good.  I kind of miss being able to actually demonstrate what you know rather than just filling in circles, so take this exam as an opportunity to impress the lecturer and demonstrate what you know.  They have a marking scheme, but at the end of the day, going into more detail about a process or giving examples is guaranteed to pick you up extra marks.  Also, make sure you write at least something for every question.  Lecturers are pretty lenient and like to give out marks where they can.  Ultimately, this exam is just like any other.  You just have to work out what lecture(s) the question is testing, decide what is relevant and then splurge it onto the paper.

The final lecture in the subject addresses the exams, giving you a breakdown of marks and telling you who has been allocated to write questions with who.  This is useful and allows you to try and predict the integration questions.  For example, we all knew that the 'integration' between cell biology and genetics would be about cancer...why else would the cell biology lecturer spend a whole workshop discussing cancer?  You can work out so much of what you need to know, just from listening to the things which the lecturers say, and even from the way they word questions.  Another example was a lecturer who never made the definitive statement (i.e. only, must etc.) the right option.  This tends to be the case for most MCQs.

Overall tips
There is so much I could tell you about this subject, but I'll try to be concise here:



Cell Biology


Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Slumdawg on July 19, 2012, 01:27:35 am
Subject Code/Name: PSYC20006 Biological Psychology

Workload:  2 X 1-hour lecture per week, 1 X 2-hour tutorial every fortnight.

Assessment:  20% Essay, 20% Laboratory Report and 60% final exam (120 MC questions).

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available:  No past exams available, however 60 practice multiple choice questions were available.

Textbook Recommendation:  Do not buy the textbook, waste of money. The lecture notes are sufficient.

Lecturer(s): Dr. Anderson (4 weeks), Dr. Howe (3 weeks), Dr. Humberstone (1 week), Prof. Trinder (2 weeks), Dr. Nichols (2 weeks).

Year & Semester of completion: 2012 Semester 1

Rating: 3  Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1 (85)

Comments: I was quite disappointed with this subject, the organisation was not great, the lecturers were mostly not great, the exam questions were not great and the cohesiveness of the subject was absent. I didn't feel like much of what was taught actually had much relevance to other parts of the course, it was like they just took a bunch of random topics and clumped it together to make "Biological Psychology".

The course is broken up into 6 components: Memory (Dr. Anderson), Brain Research Techniques (Dr. Howe), Statistics (Dr. Humberstone), Sleep & Emotions (Prof. Trinder), Neurophysiology/Psychopharmacology and Affective Disorders (Dr. Nicholas).

The only lecturer I really enjoyed was Dr. Howe who taught the brain research techniques: EEG, TMS, fMRI. All the other lecturers weren't very engaging unfortunately. I felt that Dr. Anderson's lecturing style was the most bland and unenthusiastic, whilst Prof Trinder who lectured sleep, ironically, put a lot people to sleep.

The two assignments were manageable if you spent quite a lot of time researching properly for them. The first essay was kind of stupid I thought, it was basically the introduction section of a lab report but really long. There were 4 hypotheses to be tested, and many other things that weren't really constructed well. The second assignment was a full lab report in 1000 words which is quite difficult to cut down to, however I felt it was more thought through than the first assignment. It's very important to get good scores on both assignments otherwise it'll be quite hard to get a H1 overall.

The exam was pretty poorly written, Prof. Trinder, Dr. Nicholas & Dr. Humberstone's questions were all fine. However, Dr. Howe and Dr. Anderson's questions featured a bunch of poorly worded questions with multiple errors such as "Al of the above" and "Either A nor B" (This was meant to say "Either A or B" but it got removed due to the mistake). The exam had 2011 written on the front, so it was obvious they recycled the exam considering they never release past exams. I was shocked to see so many errors. There were 24 lectures all up, and 120 questions so each lecture had 5 questions allocated to it. Some questions were very simple, but others were more challenging not because they tested your knowledge more in-depth but rather they were poorly worded.

Tutorials in this subject are alright, luckily I had a great tutor - Jared. Definitely try to get into his tutorials because he's really enthusiastic and did undergrad at Harvard! There was one question on the exam in the memory section based on a video we watched in the tutorial, so make sure you go to tutes! I think it does help understand the clinical applications of the things you learn, e.g. watching real life videos of people with epilepsy, Alzheimer's, sleep disorders, etc. However, the majority of the videos you watch are from the 80s, which is kinda disappointing cos surely there would be much better videos out there nowadays.

Overall, even though I love psychology I think this subject did a pretty good job of screwing it up. I don't regret taking it, I learned some interesting information in the course but I think this subject could be so much better if it were run by different lecturers who put more effort into the subject. I would say the content isn't too difficult, but they do assume quite a lot of prior psychology knowledge so it can be difficult to understand what they're taking about if you've never done psychology before. However, if that's the case I think you can still ace this subject even without having done psychology before if you just work hard. It is very memory and recall based in the final exam, although I think some questions were just so poorly worded having the lecture notes and a textbook would not help at all. If you wanna try psychology out, then don't do this subject it'll put you off the field I'd say.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Slumdawg on July 19, 2012, 01:55:02 am
Subject Code/Name: PSYC30012 The Unconscious Mind 

Workload:  1 X 2-hour lecture per week, 1 X 2-hour tutorial per fortnight.

Assessment:  10% Take Home Short Answer Questions, 45% Essay, 45% Final Exam.

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available:  No past exams and no practice questions were given beforehand!

Textbook Recommendation: There is no textbook.

Lecturer(s): Prof Haslam, Dr. Carter, Prof Macmillan, Prof. Saling, Assoc Prof. Boldero, Dr. Fine, Assoc Prof. Hulbert.

Year & Semester of completion: 2012 Semester 1

Rating:  4 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1 (84)

Comments: Overall I did enjoy this subject, I took it as my breadth which was probably not the best choice considering most people choose bludgey breadths whilst I chose a third year subject (silly me). But the topic really interested me, and I think the teaching approach of the subject was quite interesting. Each lecturer focussed on a different aspect of the unconscious mind, e.g. neuroscience, history/freudian theories, neuropsychology, social psychology, marketing, clinical psychology and ethics. No topic was taught for more than 2 weeks, the lecturers regularly rotated which was good. I really enjoyed Dr. Fine's lectures on marketing and ethics, as well as Dr. Carter's neuroscience lectures and also Assoc Prof. Boldero's lectures on social psychology.

The coordinator Prof Haslam is a top bloke and was constantly answering questions on the discussion board and was really approachable. He was just filling in for Prof. Kashima, who normally coordinates the subject and you're lucky he does because he gives out the short answer questions before the exam! My year wasn't as lucky, as Prof Haslam didn't think it was appropriate to give them out before the exam, which is fair enough I also thought it was kinda strange but heck I wasn't gonna complain. Although I do see why they were given out beforehand, I felt like most of the short answer questions could have been better answered by researching proper research articles.

A major disadvantage was that we had no practice questions whatsoever, all we knew is that there would be 48 multiple choice questions (4 per lecture) and 6 short answer questions. The exam ended up being quite fair I thought, there were a few tricky multiple choice but the hardest part was definitely short answer as the questions were quite broad so it was hard to know exactly what they wanted you to discuss.

The tutorials were completely pointless, I think it's hard though to run tutorials for a subject like this because every week the topic is completely different and the tutors were generally only experts in one field (mostly social psych). So they didn't really know that much when it came to advanced neuroscience, clinical, history and marketing lectures. There was also a lot of assigned journal articles and each tutorial we would need to go through them, these were extremely difficult to read as they were describing quite advanced concepts and ideas.

The final essay was worth 45% and is 2000 words, so if you did poorly it'd be a real uphill battle to salvage a good mark. This was really worrying because psych tutors are generally quite frugal with giving out high scores on essays, they'll take marks off wherever they can. There's two topics provided by each lecturer so there's 14 topics to choose from. I chose to do mine on the marketing topic as the lecturer was great and I think there was heaps to discuss. The topics did vary in difficulty but it was good to have the option of writing on whatever area you liked best.

I would recommend this subject to others but I will say that you definitely need to have some prior experience with psychology otherwise it will require a lot of work to keep up. I did like the fact that many different specialities were combined to give you many different perspectives on the role of the unconscious mind. Some I enjoyed more than others but I think this approach was quite good. If you're looking for an easy subject then definitely stay away, it requires quite a bit of work as the concepts described are quite advanced and it's not all multiple choice assessment in the final exam like second year subjects. All in all, a rewarding subject that definitely gives you a new perspective on how our mind operates.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: ReganM on July 27, 2012, 09:37:00 am
Subject Code/Name: PHYC10005: Physics 1: Fundamentals

Workload:  1x3 Lectures a week, 8 pracs, 1 hr tutes a week, and HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENTS every week.

Contact Hours: 3 x one hour lectures per week; 1 x one hour tutorial per week; 28 hours of practical work (8 x three hour laboratory sessions and up to 30 minutes of pre-laboratory activity) and 10 weekly assignments of 30 minutes each during the semester. (from handbook)


Ongoing assessment of practical work during the semester (25%); ten weekly assignments (10 x 1.5% = 15%); a 3-hour written examination in the examination period (60%).

Satisfactory completion of practical work is necessary to pass the subject (i.e. attendance and submission of work for at least 80% of workshop sessions together with a result for assessed work of at least 50%).

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with with screen capture. However, the second lecturer (Christopher) said he "hated" using Lectopia, and would walk around the lecture theatre as he talked (without the mic), pretty much screwing over anyone who had a clash or wanted to wag.

Past exams available:  Yes, but some were outdated. I think they tend to change the subject around a bit each year, but I'm not sure.

Textbook Recommendation:  R Knight, B Jones and S Field, College Physics: A Strategic Approach, 2nd edition, Addison-Wesley, 2010.

However, I looked for a torrent online and downloaded the eBook. Depends on how much you want to use your book really, I know many people who didn't get it at all. I felt that the book was better at explaining some concepts than the lecturers.

Lecturer(s): Martin Sevior and Christopher T. Chantler.

Year & Semester of completion: 2012, Semester 1

Rating:  1 of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H3

Really disliked this subject. I did it because I didn't do VCE: Physics and you need to do Physics 1: Fundamentals as a prerequisite fr Vet Science if you haven't done 3/4 Physics (Yes, this will fulfill the prereq). In my opinion it consisted of 45% people who wanted to do a Vet course, 45% people who wanted some Physics knowledge for GAMSAT, and 10% (or less) people who were actually interested in Physics.

I'm not much of a maths nut, but I did alright in mathematics in VCE. I found this subject to have lecturers that sucked at explaining new concepts! They didn't seem to understand that most of us had NO PHYSICS KNOWLEDGE. The slides themselves were scary, with copious amounts of formulas with little or no explanation. They moved pretty quickly, but like any Fundamentals subject, they were trying to teach us 2 years of Physics in 1 semester. The only good thing about the lectures were the demonstrations, and there was like, one every lecture. I guess the lecturers did explain the demonstration to explain to us why they were showing us the demonstration, but sometimes I felt like they were wasting time and that time could have been better used to explain the core concepts.

Every week there's a tute, and my friend and I (who had different tutors) found that out tutors also sucked at explaining the new concepts. Maybe everyone had a high expectation of what Physics we were supposedly taught in Year 10? By the end of the semester the 20 or so people in my tute class had dwindled to maybe 5 or 6 people. The tutors do show up at the Physics First Year Learning center, and they're actually really helpful there. There are all sorts of tutors that show up there, so unless you set a time with your tutor, you'll probably see tutors you don't know there, however they're still happy to help out.

The pracs aren't too bad actually, they were at least semi-interesting and helped me to understand what we were learning, the pracs were not too hard to understand, and if we were stuck our demonstrator was happy to help us (and with the correct prodding give us answers). They lasted for mostly the whole 3 hours, which sometimes did feel like the longest 3 hours of my life, haha.

Now the homework assignments, man, there's one every week. I struggled with these, or at least I did with the first half. I felt like I hadn't learned enough to be able to apply the concepts and formulas to the questions they were presenting. The program they use to present the homework questions was pretty good, it would give you hints which kind fo started from the basics to help you out, however you'd lose marks for using them. You got more marks by completing a question first go etc etc. There's also an assignment you have to do, which was easy compared to the weekly homework tasks, I got 37/40 for it. You're basically given scenarios and asked to explain the Physics concepts behind them.

The exam was 3 hours long, and I wasn't feeling well pre-exams so I didn't do much study, however there were practice exams available to do. The exam itself is no multiple choice, it's essentially all short answer, and you write your answers into a little booklet.

Overall, this subject was really hard and really boring. I was so glad that I got a pass so that it fulfilled my pre-req. The best thing about this subject was that I made some great friends solely due to our mutual dislike for Physics.

On the flip side, my other friend who did Specialist Maths and Physics 1/2 got a H1 in this subject. Part of the reason why I got 65 was that I was completely overwhelmed with new uni stuff in first semester, and I didn't do questions from the book (which I felt could have helped). However, he did still find the subject boring, I guess he just worked harder at Physics than I did.

Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: yearningforsimplicity on November 12, 2012, 01:39:53 am
Subject code/name: LING10002- Intercultural Communication
Workload: 2 x 1 hour lectures and 1 x 1 hour tutorial per week
-> 1500 word “Address Terms” assignment – 35%
-> 1500 word “Narrative Inquiry” assignment – 35%
-> End of semester 1 hour Multiple Choice Exam – 30%
75% attendance at tutorials is hurdle requirement – you can afford to miss out on 2-3 tutes :)

Lectopia enabled: Yes
Past exams available: We didn’t have any but future years might?
Textbook recommendation: Language and Culture, Claire Kramsch; Oxford Introductions to Language Study (1999) – a small cute book which is not essential to buy but sets out the content nicely :)
Lecturers: Celia Thompson, Janne Morton, Hyejeong Kim (takes one lecture), Sara Cieseleski (takes one lecture). Tutorials are taken by Hyejeong, Sara, Eleanor and Janne.

Year and semester of completion: 2012, Semester 2
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Your Mark/Grade: 83 (H1)

Comments: A very interesting subject which pretty much looks at how language ties into culture and how culture ties into language. This involves looking at main approaches to language & culture study as well as looking at some case studies concerning language and cultural intersections. The first assignment involved us technically eavesdropping on people’s conversations and noting them down so we could analyse the “address terms” used in these conversations and what effect they had. It was a pretty straightforward assignment but make sure you clear up the structure of the assignment with your tutor beforehand otherwise you’ll struggle. Also, for assignments listen to your tutor over the lecturers, as your tutor is the one grading you in the end. The second assignment involved interviewing someone in the Intercultural communication course (either from your tutorial or from another tutorial) and trying to elicit some “critical event” experiences from them; as well as any narratives about language, culture, travel experiences, anything! And then tie these to language and culture studies covered in the course and explain the effect of these narratives and analyse the narratives and excerpts from them. Also, you’ll need to explain narrative inquiry studies as a whole. I found the second assignment a lot more obscure than the first and different tutors seemed to have different expectations about what the assignment should be so it seemed a bit confusing. The second assignment followed the same structure as the first for us so that made things a lot easier. The end of semester exam was quite straightforward if you’d at least had a basic knowledge of everything covered in the semester :) It was 30 MCQ’s and 1 hour duration (though many people finished it within 15-30 mins). Overall, I thought this subject was quite interesting; the lectures were well organised and the tutorials complemented most of the things covered in lectures (e.g. in tutes, we’d go through worksheets and Q’s pertaining to lecture content). I recommend this subject to anyone interested in linguistics and the ‘socio-cultural’ side of it :)
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: yearningforsimplicity on November 12, 2012, 01:44:03 am
Subject Code/Name: UNIB10009- Food for a Healthy Planet
Workload:   2 x one hour lectures per week, 1 x one hour tutorial per week
-> 3 Forum Reports which are each worth 5% and must be submitted 1 week after the forum lecture has been held.(15%) Forum lectures are held throughout the semester
-> Mid-Semester test which covers lectures 1-10 and goes on for 1 hour (15%)
-> Research Essay of 2,000 words from a list of topics or you may choose your own topic related to content studied in class nd get it approved by tutor (25%)
-> 2 hour Exam which has multiple choice and extended answer questions for which you are allowed to bring in one A4 sheet of information (back and front) (45%)
Also attendance is a hurdle requirement and you've got to show up to 75% of tutorials - i.e. you can miss out on two or three :)

Lectopia Enabled?  Yes, but forums are not recorded (though forum lecture slides are put online)
Past exams available: Yes, past exams from 08 were available as well as mid semester tests from past years.
Textbook Recommendation: No actual textbook but there is a (quite thick) subject reader. I didn't buy it though and some of the readings are put up online
Lecturer(s): Mohan Singh, Frank Dunshea, and the forum speakers. Nanette Esparon is the head tutor

Year & Semester of completion: 2012, Semester 1
Rating:  5 Out of 5
Your Mark/Grade: H1 (93)

Comments: I loved this subject and found it to be really interesting :) My review is a bit biased since I find health/food & nutrition interesting in any case, but I think it is a really worthwhile subject - I don't want to say it's an "easy H1" but if you put in a bit of effort, it's a great subject where anyone can score highly :) It's obviously based a lot around food! So the world food situation, how the food we eat affects us like in terms of nutrition and metabolism, energy production from food in terms of athletes etc, carb loading, global warming and impact on food production, how sustainable current food production methods are, advances in food technology, nutrients, whether current technologies can feed future populations, current problems facing agriculture and food industries, GM foods, etc. I thought the subject was pretty well coordinated although the lectures could get a little dry sometimes. The forums were great and attendance is 'compulsory' though I actually didn't make it to the last forum so I just depended on the forum slides for that - surprisingly got the same mark for that forum report as the ones I had attended so; if you have a super emergency that doesn't allow you to attend a forum, the forum slides should suffice! The tutorials were very productive I think and Nanette was lovely and always willing to help :) I think my FFHP tutorials were really useful compared to other subjects tutorials and complemented the lectures well. The mid-semester test wasn't too hard, given that you studied a bit. It was a mix of MC's and short answers but I did feel as though 1 hour wasn’t enough…so probably write your answers as quickly as possible! The forum reports were quite straightforward and could be done while travelling to uni because they were only 500 words! That said, it is quite difficult to condense the whole forum into 500 words (about the size of this comment review LOL). Tips for forum reports are to use very simple and plain language and explain everything equally rather than excessively focusing on one thing.  Also don’t bother with fancy and extended introductions – be as concise as possible in terms of your intro and conclusion. Research essay wasn’t too hard (the researching though was quite daunting as we needed to draw content from 10 references). The writing up wasn’t too bad though :) I chose my own topic after running it through Nanette and it was based around something that was studied in FFHP (eating disorders). A tip for the essay is to try to get recent academic journal articles rather than really old ones – they put up readings online so best to use recent ones from there. I think, in general, they weren’t tight with the marking scheme in ffhp assessments. The Exam was good and we were allowed to bring in an a4 back and front info sheet so it helped a lot because I just wrote down whatever content I was finding hard or couldn’t be bothered studying on there (thank you size 7 font) :P I finished my exam early but this was mainly because I was rushing due to fear of not finishing on time like in the mid sem test haha..but your hand does die a little because there are a few extended essay type questions – so make sure you practice at least 1-2 essay type Q’s before you go for your exam, otherwise your hand won’t be used to it haha.  All the best for FFHP! :)
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: yearningforsimplicity on November 12, 2012, 01:50:51 am
Subject code/name:  EDUC10050 – Understanding Knowing and Learning
Workload: 1 x 1 hour lecture and  1 x 2 hour Tutorial per week (for the first 5 weeks)
Note though that for the first 5 weeks, your tutorials run for 2 hours. For the 7 weeks after that (when you’re settled into your tutoring arrangement), the tutes run for 1 hour.
-> 1500 word essay about your tutoring/learning situation informed by your tutoring experience – a quite reflective essay with no references (35%)
-> 2500 word essay (with references) about your philosophy of learning informed by your tutoring experience and past learning experiences as a student (65%)
-> Hurdle Requirement: 80% attendance at tutorials. Also MUST complete 7 sessions of tutoring a student (of any age) and fill out each session on the “Tutor Record” sheet. Also must obtain a Working with Children Check card prior to tutoring.

Lectopia enabled: Yes, lecture slides are available and lecture audio recordings can be accessed.
Past exams available: This subject has no exam component.
Textbook recommendation: No textbook was required when I did this subject – the lecture slides were enough I thought. However, if you really want to get a textbook then I’d recommend this one: – my tutor was always carrying it around  and promoting its greatness haha though no one bought it :P
Lecturers: John Quay; Amanda Burritt and Viviana Ferrari take the tutorials :)

Year and semester of completion: 2012, Semester 2
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Your Mark/Grade: 81 (H1)

Comments: This was my breadth subject and I must say that it’s a really relaxed kind of subject (if you like the idea of tutoring/teaching someone for 7 weeks). A lot of people (myself included) were quite mislead by the 2012 handbook entry of this subject because it failed to mention that we’d have to actually tutor someone for 7 weeks – we thought it’d be all theory based. A lot of people were put off by the tutoring arrangement component of this subject. I didn’t mind it though because I want to be a teacher in the future so it was quite a valuable and enjoyable experience :) The first 5 weeks you get an introduction into how to tutor and different introductory theories regarding learning (such as Plato, Locke, Gestalt, constructivism, etc). The first 5 weeks of tutorials run for 2 hours. From weeks 6-12, however, the tutorials only run for 1 hour (to give you time to conduct your tutoring outside of class). The tutorials pretty much just went over whatever the lecture had covered and could sometimes get repetitive or drag on (especially in the 2 hour tutorials) – we’d make up scenarios and assess how learning theories could apply or not apply to such scenarios, evaluate learning theories effectiveness, etc.  There was a lot of group discussion which was quite engaging most of the time :) In weeks 1-5, you’ll have to get your WWC ready (do it in the first week so your card comes in time). The tutoring arrangement gives you 2 choices; you can either tutor at a homework club (a club where you’ll get one student or a group of students and have to show up there every week or so to tutor them – you’ll get a list of homework clubs around Melbourne so dw about searching them up) and you’ll have to call them up and make the arrangement. OR you can tutor a student privately like I did. The private tutoring arrangement is good if you’ve got siblings or family friends who would benefit from tutoring; e.g. I tutored my little sis in Maths. The two assignments are based around your tutoring situation – the first one involves you talking about and reflecting on your tutoring situation (e.g. the setting, where the tutoring takes place, tools involved at what time it takes place and how these impact your student’s learning). It’s written in first person and no references so can be done in a jiffy. The second assignment is more extensive and worth a huge 65% and involves you explaining your ‘philosophy of learning’ (what you think learning is) and evaluating which learning theories did/did not adhere to your philosophy of learning in the tutoring situation. Overall, I found this subject to be quite interesting and great as a breadth subject if you don’t want to put in too much effort or are interested in teaching/education in the future :) However, remember that the tutoring sessions outside of class are a hurdle requirement so you should be prepared for that when deciding to take on the subject. All the best with UKL! :)
Edit: Also, at the end of the subject the coordinator will send you a certificate for contributing to the tutoring of your student(s) which you can attach to your resume :)
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: VivaTequila on November 15, 2012, 07:33:28 pm
Subject Code/Name: CHEM10004: Chemistry 2

Semester 2 Only
Weekly: 3x 1hr Lecture, 1x 1hr Tutorial
Throughout the Semester: 6x 3hr Laboratory Practicals

75% - Exam
20% - Laboratory Practicals (note that each practical is worth 3.3%! That's substantial!)
5% - Online Mid-Semester Test

Lectopia Enabled:  No.

Past exams available: Yes, there is no lack of past exams available and solutions are provided.

Textbook Recommendation:
Must Buy:
Laboratory Manual (or retain from Chemistry 1; it's the same book for both), and therein, you'll need a lab coat and some protective glasses.
Do not need to buy:
Tutorial workbook (E-Copy provided on the Learning Management System [LMS] so if you have a laptop, don't buy it)
The prescribed textbooks. There's one for general Chemistry (Zumdahl) and there's one for Organic (Mc. Murry). They are both EXCELLENT textbooks, and will no doubt be highly useful for you. But, on the flip side, they are both highly expensive. Do a cost benefit analysis - I did have both of them but only because I got them new for half price. I probably wouldn't have bought them both if they were full price, because I didn't use them all that much.

Professor Richard O'Hair - Organic Chem
Professor Carl Schiesser - Organic Chem
Associate Professor Trevor Smith - Quantum Chem
Associate Professor Michelle Gee - Kinetics (she's awesome)
Dr. Paul Donnelly - Redox Chemistry and Coordination Chemistry

Year & Semester of completion: 2012 - Semester 2

Rating:  4 of 5

Your Mark/Grade: Will update when results come out.


Despite everything you are about to read, I just really like Chemistry, and the subject was pretty well coordinated - the Chem department has done a good job of picking topics that are highly applicable and relevant to studies in Chemistry. The way the tutorials are structured is great. The Learning Lab is also fantastic. Really, there's not much to complain about. But I did have some major disagreements with the way in which some of the topics in this subject was taught. So what you'll read is mostly negative, but rest assured that this IS a good subject - I just want to voice my opinion.

Okay so basically, in contrast to Chemistry 1 which mainly elaborated on aspects of the VCE course, Chemistry 2 covers 5 topics - 4 of which are (for the most part) brand new.

The topics, in order of instruction, are:
1. Organic Chem (2 lecturers)
2. Quantum Chem (1 godawful lecturer)
3. Kinetics (1 awesome lecturer, such a chiller)
4. Redox Chemistry, and;
5. Transition Metal Chemistry (one lecturer for both and he's a pretty cool guy too)

So I'll elaborate on each and every topic, just to give prospective students a feel for what you can expect.

Organic Chemistry

Organic Chemistry was all about teaching us different mechanisms of reactions - where the electrons go, and some qualitative explanations for why they do so. Now the lectures for this section of the course weren't bad - the lecturers were clear, and the material made sense - but that was only in the lectures. Outside of the lectures (i.e. in SWOTVAC), the material became grossly complicated when nobody had any idea what the heck was happening in Organic.

A few things led to this problem.

The first was that lectures were not recorded. The second is that there were no lecture notes for Schiesser's part of the topic. The third is that there were very limited resources provided to learn the material. But, probably the biggest problem of all is that they didn't teach us anything surrounding the reactions; we learnt the reactions - then next thing you know, we're studying quantum. Nobody was there to teach you how all of these reactions led to organic syntheses, or indeed, dynamic problem solving when you get things wrong. There was no "This reagent probably should be used in preference to this one because of reasons x and y" - it was simply reaction mechanisms, so when it comes to guessing what's happening in the syntheses during the exam, it was literally just best guess.

You had to learn an odd 15-20 functional groups (no problemo) and then understand how and why they react in the ways that they do. In the examination, they normally give you a series of steps in a synthesis, and you need to identify missing reagents and structures in order to figure out the parts that they aren't giving you, based on what you are supplied with before and after. THIS WAS NOT TAUGHT IN THE LECTURES.

Whilst Organic Chemistry could have been very interesting, what was assessed was completely unfair; it was not taught, so they shouldn't be allowed to examine it. Hopefully this changes in future years.

The next topic was Quantum Chemistry.

And it was a shitstorm of useless information.

Now before I get slammed for launching a baseless polemic against the Chem dept, I want to use an analogy to show why I believe the university's methodology in teaching Quantum was fundamentally flawed.

My analogy is this: you don't need to know how a combustion engine works in order to drive a car. You don't need to be able to understand it's internal mechanisms in order to behold, utilise, and appreciate the result - that is, a highly useful outcome of being able drive a car.

This will apply in what what you're hopefully about to read. Still here?

Quantum Chemistry is concerned with understanding the development of atomic theory and our model of the atom. The outcomes are undoubtedly useful - energy is quantised, just as energy levels are quantised. The wave equation allows us to solve many things about the atom; for instance, the mathematically derived (and now well understood) shapes of orbitals that form chemical bonds and account for the chemical properties which you've (until now) taken for granted.

So it's all good and well to study Quantum Chem. But unfortunately, the way it was presented to us was completely redundant and superfluous.

The fundamental problem with it is that they tried to explain the trials and tribulations of the academics of yesteryear - those chemists who were debating the nature of the atom and establishing the groundwork of quantum mechanics - to first chem students without philosophical doctorates in particle physics. It's just not going to work.

In fact, there isn't a snowball's chance in hell that first years are going to be able to understand what is wrong with Quantum Mechanics. It actually is impossible for this to occur without an appreciation of much more sophisticated theory.

Now why is this a problem? Because they tried to teach it to us under the pretense that we'd be able to understand. What do I mean?

Well, the subject was basically taught to us as a chronological progression of the historical evolution in atomic theory. First there was Democritus and his infamous cronies, and it all made sense up to the Bohr Model. They logically explained every shift in thinking and the experiments which disproved the previous versions of the atom.

And then what happens? Quantum Mechanics. Why? Neither the lecturer, nor the textbook(!!!) made us privy to the answer. To paraphrase the textbook, the transition from Bohr to Planck/Quantum Theorists basically said at the start of the chapter "It was becoming apparent that the Bohr model was incorrect."

And that was all that was said on the matter.

The rest of Quantum continued in a similar fashion - learning abstract equations which held little relevance to a first year Chemistry student (and indeed, rote learning for the sake of salvaging a Chemistry 2 score), and it was shit all around.

Now back to my analogy:
If the farmer who earns his dosh from his tractor can utilise the end result of the scientific revolution that was the combustion engine without much understanding of it's internal mechanism - then great, the world is a better place. Let me liken the farmer to the first year chemistry student. The farmer has no way of knowing, living rurally without an education, how the combustion engine works, just as the philosophical doctorate deprived first year chem student doesn't have the groundings to understand how quantum mechanics is going to work. There's simply no way in hell that either of our two friends are going to understand it. So what are the options:

1. You can teach them from the ground up how it works, or;
2. You can show them the end result and how to utilise it without understanding how or why, because it will still yield a useful outcome.

The university went in between both of these options. They tried to teach us everything from first principles, but there were gigantic Grand Canyon sized gaps in understanding. It was taught to us under the pretense that it all makes sense to us, when really we didn't have a chance of getting it. This has special significance for the next topic, because Michelle Gee did in fact realise that her audience of first year's didn't have a chance at understanding some of the material she was to present to us, so she went with the second option.

Finally, Quantum was shit because the lecturer couldn't explain anything. The infamous "Photoelectic Effect" was elaborated on and explained over the duration of about 4 weeks in VCE Physics, and given less than a 1hr lecture in Chemistry 2 - and even then, it was OBJECTIVELY ill-explained. I was paying special attention to the lecturers explanation of the Photoelectic effect, and he didn't adequately explain it at all - everything he said was ephermeral and incomplete; there was no logical introduction to what it was, how scientists arrived at the conclusion, and what the implications of it were - yet it was still assessed in it's finest detail (most definitely not covered in the lecture or the lecture notes) by the lecturer. Thank you, VCE Physics, for allowing me to have some chance at guessing the Multi Choice for this topic.

But I'm ranting heaps - let me progress onto the next topic, which was Kinetics.

Kinetics was relatively well taught - simply by virtue of the fact that the lecturer was switched on to her audience.

Kinetics is the branch of chemistry that is concerned with how fast reactions progress due to their intricate mechanisms - which are often much more complicated than they seem thanks to Collision Theory. She taught everything so well from first principles that EVERYTHING was left making sense.

Now, Kinetics has a fundamental prerequisite of differential equations - something not touched on in VCE or Calculus 1. This meant that 90% of her audience wouldn't have had the faintest clue of what she was actually doing when it came to integrating what's known as rate laws. You could copy exactly what she did, but it didn't mean you understood it.

Now, she recognised that it was beyond the scope of the course to learn differential equations and differential integration. So what did she do? Well, she couldn't have gone with the first option and taught it from first principles. So she just decided to give us the answer to the problem and yield and utilise the ultimate result - formulas that come from differential equations. Students were given 6 formulas to remember if they couldn't derive them - which was perfectly fine. One, apparently, does not need to understand how differential equations work in order to calculate useful rate information about chemical reactions. This is like our farmer friend who doesn't need to understand the combustion engine that propels his tractor in order for him to do something useful. It was fantastic that she actually realised this, unlike the Quantum lecturer. Kinetics was an eye opener and highly enjoyable if you like Chemistry - it's the only real section where algebraic calculations came into play. I'd liken the problem-solving aspect to Stoichiometry - you need to analyse what you've got to figure out how to get what's asked for in the question using similar techniques.


...was highly enjoyable. What was monstrously difficult in VCE actually becomes quite easy in Uni. There's only a few advancements, like concentration cells and the establishment of the Nernst equation (should have been taught in VCE IMO) which really rounded off the idea of galvanic cells. Would have loved to see some electrolysis, but they skipped over it.

Transition Chemistry
MgCl2 -> Mg2+ + 2Cl- is a lie.

Introducing Ligands and what metal ions actually do when in solution. This was a real eye-opener and it explains a hell of a lot - like how rust removers work, and how biological systems interact. The lecturer is highly educated, not only in science but also in arts and philosophy, and it was a pleasure to listen to him. Nothing to say here - just great lecturing in a brand new topic that really opens your eyes.

So with that.... Advice for doing well in Chemistry 2
- Get on top of your Organic reactions early; make exhaustive notes on everything and generally focus your attention to this subject when it's being taught because it will come back to bite you on the ass in SWOTVAC if you leave it too late
- Go to tutorials to learn what Quantum is all about because the lecturer is hopeless. Get your questions answered from tutors at the Learning Centre often.
- Actually strive to do well in the Chemistry pracs because they're worth a substantial amount. A great way to improve your yield in first year is to find any similar-coloured white powder that you've been trying to produce and simply add it to your bag at the end. Worked for so many people, so many times - and an extra mark or two on each practical really adds up.
- With Organic, spend less time learning all of the introductory Organic - focus more on the redox aspects and how to identify redox organic reactions because they take up the majority (60% on organic redox alone) in the exam.

Wow, this ended up being a lot longer than I initially intended.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Starlight on November 15, 2012, 09:37:40 pm
Subject code/name: LING10002- Intercultural Communication

Workload: 2 x 1 hour lectures and 1 x 1 hour tutorial per week

-> 1500 word “Address Terms” assignment – 35%
-> 1500 word “Narrative Inquiry” assignment – 35%
-> End of semester 1 hour Multiple Choice Exam – 30%
75% attendance at tutorials is hurdle requirement – you can afford to miss out on 2-3 tutes :)

Lectopia enabled: Yes (with screen capture)

Past exams available: No, see my comments on why this may be the case when I discuss the exam.

Textbook recommendation: Language and Culture, Claire Kramsch.

Students probably have some conflicting opinions as to whether it's essential that you buy this book.

The reasons why I regretted buying the book are as follows:

- It didn't cover much of the assignment-based content and hence I didn't use it as a reference.

- There was literally one question on the exam that was related directly to the book, thus 98% of the exam was lecture- based.

- You're paying about $30 for a book that contains like 100 pages.

Lecturers: Celia Thompson, Janne Morton, Hyejeong Kim (takes one lecture), Sara Cieseleski (takes one lecture). Tutorials are taken by Hyejeong, Sara, Eleanor and Janne.

Year and semester of completion: 2012, Semester 2

Rating: 3 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1

Comments: I have quite a few things to say about this subject, so i'll just split what I found enjoyable and what I did not.

What I liked about the subject:

Lectures: Not too content heavy, just the way they should be. It turned out to be pretty relaxing away from the BsC course.
                        The information followed a sequential order, where the lecturer on Tuesday might have discussed the topic Socialization and identity 1 for example, and then Thursday's lecture was Socialization and Identity 2, so essentially you got two different perspectives on the one topic.

The Exam: In my opinion, the exam covered the most basic concepts that were discussed during the semester so it was more that you understood the concepts as opposed to memorizing slabs of information. It was one hour long and was quite straightforward (multi-choice), I assume that past exam questions are recycled.

Tutorials: I found extremely helpful mainly in reference to the assignments. We were able to address our tutor (and the assignment marker) on some ambiguous instructions that were outlined in the assignment description and marking guide.

What I did not enjoy about this subjects

Assignment marking:

Assignment 1:
Initally, I thought the tutors were pretty generous with their quite detailed explanations on what could be improved on assignment 2, so I wasn't overly concerned with missing out on a H1 since it was only my first year and I was still learning some things about how to write up a proper assignment, for example using the appropriate APA reference style.

Assignment 2:
I had improved 0.5 marks from my last assignment.

This was a let down.


-  I treated assignment 1 as a learning experience. I had looked at where I lost marks for the previous assignment and had made sure not to repeat the same mistakes

- I had followed the marking criteria that was outlined for assignment 2. During lectures and tutorials the teachers consistently explained that the marking criteria was the best indicator for getting a good mark, for both assignments I found this hard to believe. I just felt as if no matter how hard I tried, the marks didn't pay off. I checked in with my tutor for both assignments and both times I was given a response something like "That's great, you're on the right track, I look forward to reading your assignment".

However this may not always be the case:
Of course, it's subjective. It seemed to me as if assignment marking had poor inter-rater reliability, and had I been assigned to a different tutorial class than perhaps I may have received different marks. I don't want to sound all bratty about not receiving a H1 for either assignment, but it honestly felt this way.

Ultimately, as a student you pick subjects that you believe you can do well in. Having studied English language during VCE I thought I had some of the tools to really get a good grasp of this subject, but a lot of the time it was incredibly ambiguous in how it was you could actually excel academically.

The bottom line: Having completed two arts subjects as breadth units this year, I have been swayed into pursuing a university breadth subject in future. I would recommend this subject to anyone who was thoroughly interested in linguistics, has some background knowledge in the field and would be content in receiving marks that were lower than expected at some times (and it doesn't help that arts subjects are marked on a bell curve).

Thanks to: Yearningforsimplicity, haha as you can see I stole some components of your review.

Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Starlight on November 17, 2012, 07:50:57 pm
Subject Code/Name: PSYC10004 Mind, Brain and Behaviour 2

Workload: 3 x 1hr Lectures and 1 x 2hr Lab session/ Tutorial


-  Laboratory assignment(s) of not more than 2000 words to be submitted during the semester (+ - 10% rule applies) (35%)
- Laboratory class participation during a lab report presentation of a class-conducted experiment (5%)
- One three hour examination comprising multiple-choice questions (60%)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available: No, Sample exam questions are given out by the lecturers during the semester (for example for 2/6 topics, the exam questions were identical which were social psychology and quantitative methods. Note that these have no solutions so i'd advise joining a study group or checking the posted solutions by students on the discussion board. The other 4 topics had questions that mainly gave you an indication of how they would be worded or some possible content to study for ahead of the exam)

Textbook Recommendation: Essentially you won't need a textbook for this subject. One of the topics (social psychology) had a few questions from the textbook that were on the exam, but you can probably just consult with a study group about those particular answers.


In order of presentation

Dr Judi Humberstone: Developmental Psychology (8 lectures)

Professor Yoshi Kashima: Social Psychology (8 lectures)

Christopher Groot: Quantitative methods (3 lectures)

Professor Nick Haslam: Personality Psychology (9 lectures)

Professor Nick Allen: Clinical Psychology (8 lectures)

Orientation lecture: The first lecture was just an introduction to the subject, given by Dr Simon Cropper who from my understanding took some of the lectures for MBB1.

Year & Semester of completion: 2012 Semester 2

Rating: 4 of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1

Comments: This was my first glimpse into the world of Psychology, having never studied the subject during VCE nor semester 1 (MBB1). There were maybe one or two times where I felt a little disadvantaged, for example Quantitative Methods, and for these cases I consulted the staff on the discussion board (where lecturers and the head tutor regularly check in to answer students questions), and my problems were solved :)

I'll be honest, for most of the time I didn't really enjoy the subject, I just found a lot of it to be full of content that was completely irrelevant to the exam so they could have condensed the content in the lectures. The parts I did enjoy were: Social Psychology, Personality Psychology, Quantitative Methods and just research in general on the essay (essay topic was based on social psychology it may change next year).

The Assignment:

2000 words. The topic (No Man Is an Island) was a little ambiguous at first since I had no idea where to start but after the lab session which was based on an introduction to essay writing helped clear up a lot, and gave some direction. I guess I was pretty lucky to be assigned to a class where the average was H1/H2A, I know for some of the other classes this wasn't the case though. You are given a LONG time to write the essay (like a month and a bit), so if you work efficiently it's not too bad :)

Lab sessions

These were 2 hour sessions held each week from week 2. A lot of the time, I thought what was discussed was a little disconnected to the lecture content (for example we looked at children's display rules which was literally a lecture slide during developmental Psychology). However there were also times where I thought the tutorials were very helpful, for example outlining different ways of measuring personality and the disadvantages/ advantages of each which was based on one of the lectures.

The Exam

About 50% of the exam was based on multiple choice questions which were assigned by the two lecturers from social psychology and quantitative methods, so definitely check the discussion board for student posted solutions or form a study group for discussion.
I thought the questions that were given from clinical and developmental psych were a little difficult however.

All in All: Having done this subject I know that Psychology is not something i'll be pursuing during my future studies, however other people may enjoy this subject. I thought it was fairly well organized and the staff were always helpful, hence my rating :)
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Guo on November 20, 2012, 01:04:17 pm

Subject Code/Name:PHYC10001

Workload: Weekly: 3 x 1 hour lectures, 1 x 3 hour practical (8 of the 12 teaching weeks)

Assessment: 10 x Mini Weekly Assignments, 1 Major assignment, 8 Practical reports and final exam

Past exams available:  Yes. With solutions

Textbook Recommendation:  Physics for Scientists and Engineers: A Strategic Approach with Modern Physics, 2nd edition, Addison-Wesley, 2008  - Very helpful - You should really buy it!

Lecturer(s): Dr. David Jamison - This guy is awesome, Dr. Robert Scholten - He is alright

Year & Semester of completion: 2011, Semester 1

Rating: 5/5

Your Mark/Grade: 96% H1

Comments: If you are really good at physics and problem solving, then this subject is right for you. However, it is very fast pace compared to all the other subjects I had due to it being the advanced stream. But if you want a challenge, then choose this subject
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: QuantumJG on November 20, 2012, 05:42:18 pm
Subject Code/Name: MAST90011 Modelling: Mathematical Biology

Workload:  1x2hour lecture per week, 1x1 hour practice class

Assessment:  3 assignments (worth 25% each), 1x2hour exam (worth 25%)

Lectopia Enabled:  No

Past exams available:  No

Textbook Recommendation: 

Edelstein-Keshet, L. Mathematical Models in Biology. McGraw Hill, 1987.
Murray, J. D. Mathematical Biology. Springer Verlag, 1990 (or the new 2 Volume Third edition, 2003).
Britton, N. F. Essential Mathematical Biology, Springer, 2003.
Dr Vries, G., Hillen T., Lewis, M., Muller, J. and Schonfisch, B. A Course in Mathematical Biology. SIAM, 2006.

These are only recommended for learning a bit extra on the material.

Lecturer(s): Kerry Landman

Year & Semester of completion: 2012, Semester 2

Rating:  5/5

Your Mark/Grade: Will release once results are released


I thoroughly enjoyed this subject. Kerry is a great lecturer and you get a taste of what mathematical biology actually is, and what it tackles.

Mathematical biology is a relatively new field of maths, and in this subject you'll look at:

- population growth
- epidemic modelling
- biological invasion
- pattern formation
- tumour modelling

At the start you look at discrete models (e.g. the discrete logistic equation )

To be expanded on
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: QuantumJG on November 20, 2012, 06:00:56 pm
Subject Code/Name: MAST90069 Introduction to String Theory 

Workload:  4x1hour lectures

Assessment:  2 assignments (worth 20% each), 1x1hour exam (worth 60%)

Lectopia Enabled:  No

Past exams available: No

Textbook Recommendation:

Lecturer: Omar Foda

Year & Semester of completion: 2012, Semester 2

Rating:  2/5

Your Mark/Grade: Will release results upon release (maybe)


This subject is not for the faint of heart. I come from a physics background, but I found the subject difficult from the first lecture.

You're introduced to tensor notation that (I found) is difficult to grasp, and the problem lies in not having masters level physics subjects as prerequisites (i.e. General Relativity and Quantum Field Theory). The lecturer tries to get around this, but (in my opinion) it didn't work.

Due to the difficulty of the content, the assignments were changed to summarising the lecture notes and expanding on calculations given in Tong's notes (and a chapter from a textbook).
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Starlight on November 20, 2012, 07:06:57 pm
Subject Code/Name: BIOL10005: Genetics & The Evolution of Life

Workload: 3 x 1hr Lectures, 1 x 2hr Tutorial every second week, 1 x 2hr Practical every second/first week (depending on whether you are group B or A)

--> Group A's have their pracs earlier

-A 45 minute, multiple choice test held mid-semester (20%)

-work related to practical classes during the semester (25%)

Including  pre-and post laboratory activities

Prepracs: As the name suggests, these are short tests (10 questions) that are to be completed on the LMS. They aren't timed and most of the content refers to the practical workbook, amongst the information relating to the specific prac. They are usually 1 mark but may be worth 2 marks out of the 10 marks allocated to your prac.

Postpracs: Timed 15 minute tests opened for 24 hours after your completed prac (open usually an hour after the prac). These just relate to content covered during the prac, and can be worth anywhere from 4-7 marks out of the 10 marks allocated to your prac.

In addition:
Completion of 5 Independent Learning Tasks throughout the semester (5%)

Note: This year the staff decided 10 ILTs that made up the 5%, the main reason was to reduce the number of questions for each one (used to be about 18 now it's 10), there is one pretty much every week, so when you pass an ILT you get 0.5%

- an assignment not exceeding 1000 words (5%)
- A 2hr 30min examination on theory and practical work in the examination period (60%)  (Where 98% of what is examined refers to lecture material. )

N.B: After looking at the 2013 handbook for BIOL10005, the assessment that I have mentioned above has changed. See:

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available: Like Semester 1, one sample exam is given. This Semester the content was much more similar to the actual exam than last sem.

Textbook Recommendation: Subject handbook recommends R B Knox, P Y Ladiges, B K Evans and R Saint, Biology, An Australian Focus 4th Ed, McGraw-Hill, 2010

(No you don't really need it: It's for further reading, clarification etc.)


In order of presentation

Dawn Gleeson: Genetics and population genetics (Lectures 1-16 , lectures 33-36)

Rick Wetherbee: Botany (lectures 17-24)

Theresa Jones: Zoology (lectures 25-32)

Definitely the most enjoyable for me. Basically it's VCE genetics but a little more in-depth.

For example,

* Learn how to calculate the map distance between two genes on a chromosome, alleles in cis/ trans arrangement etc.

* How is it that blue eyed parents can have a brown-eyed baby? Well it's possible!
* Learn about genes that contribute 2 or more alleles.

Recessive/ Dominant Epistasis
How one allele at one locus can mask the affect of an allele at another locus, hence affecting genotypic ratios

The VCE stuff: Includes similar genetic problems such as complete dominance (monohybrid, dihybrid crosses), incomplete dominance, co-dominance, lethality (recessive and dominant), pedigrees, DNA replication, PCR, DNA manipulation and techniques, transcription/ translation

Then there's population genetics
Learn about allele frequencies/ genotypic frequencies etc. assuming and without the Hardy- Weinberg Principle

* There was some things that were repeated from last semester e.g. seed plants, flowering plants, primary and secondary endosymbiosis.
* The lecture material that was presented was clear.

The least enjoyable part of second semester bio IMO.

We literally were under the impression we had to learn about the characteristics of five major phyla including number of germ layers, fate of the blastopore etc. It was a whole lot of ROTE- learning that did not have to be done since it was barely covered on the exam. There was also a whole bunch of other classes and phyla that were presented and we didn't have to know.

However, vertebrate evolution and the hominid stuff relating to VCE was the most enjoyable. The Prac complimented the Zoology component of the subject.

Year & Semester of completion: 2012 Semester 2

Rating: 4 of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1


Just a few comments on what was assessed:

Mid Sem Test
25 multi-choice questions, about 7 were worth 2-3 marks and required mostly understanding genetic problems. The questions that weren't marked as high were ROTE learning.  They give you a sample MST and although the questions aren't the same, I thought the content that was on that was pretty similar to what was on the actual test.

Doesn't appear to be on the 2013 study design so I won't discuss this.

Definitely harder than semester 1 but similar format (Section A multi choice, Sections B and C fill in the blanks, section D 3 essay type short answer questions)

Overall: I became much more interested in the genetics component than VCE and the lecturers were mostly clear in how they presented their material. The Prac classes were pretty interesting and the mid sem test was fair.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Starlight on November 22, 2012, 08:39:32 pm
Subject Code/Name: CHEM10004: Chemistry 2

Workload:   3 x one hour lectures per week, 1 x 3 hr practical per week (started from mid semester this year), 1 x 1hr tutorial per week

- A 30-minute on-line mid-semester test (5%) (covered organic chemistry, i.e. Weeks 1-4)
- ongoing assessment of practical work (20%)
- a 3-hour written examination in the examination period (75%)

Note: - Satisfactory completion of practical work is necessary to pass the subject
                   -Independent learning tasks need to be completed in order to pass the subject.

Lectopia Enabled: Only the kinetics (6 lectures) were recorded. Why they didn't record the other lectures baffles me.

Past exams available: Yes, years prior to 2004 are not representative of the current study design.


In order of presentation

Professor Richard O'Hair (Weeks 1 & 2)

Professor Carl Schiesser (Weeks 3 & 4)

Associate Professor Trevor Smith (Weeks 5 & 6)

Associate Professor Michelle Gee (Weeks 7-8)

Dr. Paul Donnelly (Weeks 9 - 12)

VivaTequila covered a lot about the lecturers but i'll expand on some stuff I found quite difficult.

Weeks 1 & 2 Organic Chemistry
In general, the lecturer seemed genuinely interested in what he was teaching which always makes it easier for students.
Most of what was taught eased us into the major components of organic chem that was covered in weeks 3 & 4, Richard covered the following topics:

- Factors affecting acidity/ basicity in organic compounds, such as electronegativity, sp_ hybridisation etc. and how it relates to the stability of these compounds and how they perform as a nucleophile/ electrophile

- Introduction to organic mechanisms and curly headed arrow notation (movement of electrons)

- Role of the nucleophile (electron rich species) and electrophile (electron deficient species) in organic reactions

The main issue I had was how the lecturer decided to encompass some aspects of Chemistry 1 organic chemistry (this was evident in past exams from about 2008-2012). These included Newman Projections, Chair conformations and showing mechanisms of reactions with certain reaction types. I had completed Fundamentals of Chemistry in Semester 1 so naturally I found this difficult to teach myself from scratch and I think a lot of other students were a little surprised with how they were expected to still know this stuff.

- Reaction types: SN1, SN2, E1 and E2.

Weeks 3 & 4 Organic Chem
Lecturer was great except it was a little hard grasping his short hand curly- headed arrow notation for reaction mechanisms.

What was covered:

Major reaction types: Nucleophilic Addition, Nucleophilic Addition + Elimination, Grignard Reactions, Oxidation, Reduction

There was a bulk of memorisation for organic chemistry, we were expected to know the mechanisms/ results of what felt like an endless amount of reaction types (they decided to spare us with Oxidation reactions though).

Weeks 5 & 6- Quantum Mechanics
Without a doubt the most difficult topic of Chem 2 and I think most students would agree. Lecture Material was insufficient and he essentially just told us to read the textbook. The Exam essentially related to the quantum mechanics section of the textbook.

Weeks 7 & 8- Kinetics
Without a doubt the BEST topic in chem 2. I found it really interesting and dare I say it fun. The lecturer was great and would always ask the students if we understood something or whether she wanted us to go through a specific problem.

Weeks 9-12- Inorganic Chemistry
The first 4 lectures were essentially a recap of VCE oxidation/ reduction reactions and electrolytic/ galvanic cells. We learned about concentration cells, Kas, Ksps etc. with the nernst equation. I thought the stuff on Ksp wasn't adequately covered in the lecture notes though. Then you go on to learn about batteries, transition metals, metallic complexes...

The lecturer was pretty good for this component too :) 

Year & Semester of completion: 2012, Semester 2

Rating:  3.5 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1 

Comments: The major issue I had with this subject was some of the material (quantum mechanics) was poorly introduced to students and also the organic lecturer deciding to add in some chemistry 1 content to the exam. I think most students (including me) expected to never have to learn newman projections/ chair conformations again and it would have been beneficial to revise these concepts in Chemistry 2.

My advice to do well:
- Visit the learning centre regularly (chemistry building)
- Complete all allocated questions from the textbooks (Mcmurry Organic chemistry, Zumdahl)
- Use Chemcal, there's a whole bunch of feedback tests, online tutorials etc.)
- Try to complete the tutorial questions before the tutorial
- Try to keep calm and don't stress. This was somewhat of a difficult subject.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Plan-B on November 25, 2012, 12:56:42 pm
Foundations of computing COMP10001 

Workload:  Three 1hr lectures and one 2 hr workshop per week.

- Three projects 30%
- Mid semester test 10%
- Workshop (IVLE) assignment 10%
- 2 hr exam 50%

Lectopia Enabled:  I cannot remember.

Past exams available:  Yes. O mid semester test and one end of year with solutions provided. Many more on e-library.

Textbook Recommendation:  Do not buy. Waste of money unless you are hardcore about this subject.

Lecturer(s): Tim Baldwin. He was a very enthusiastic lecturer for what could have been a very very dry subject. He loved anime and sounded like Mr Bean. Haha. He knew his content well and did his best to engage the audience through guest lecturers, his humor, in lecture prizes (bags, toys, books and candy!) and well written assignments. However, I am unsure if he is lecturing in 2013.

There were many guest lecturers from top companies such as Google, Twitter and the Australian Government (security department or something) who came to gave insight into possible careers for others. Whilst I skipped many of them to sleep in, they would have been great for others keen in pursuing such a career. They do not aid your assignments one bit, but do come up in the exams as theory questions.

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1

Rating:  Out of 5
Objectively: 4/5
Subjectively: 2/5

Your Mark/Grade: H1

Comments: This subject is an introduction to I.T. You will learn basic programming in Python (for decision making) and HTML (for presentation), and use this to apply many data extrapolations, presentations and statistical/probability simulations. Objectively, this subject was very well coordinated. Assignments were superbly written with the last assignment actually being quite interesting. We had to create a program that could play a card game that would then be played against every other student, tutors and lecturers. Top scoring students would receive the higher marks. This may seem daunting, but the way in which your skills in this subject slowly developed ensured you had the tools and capabilities to do well.

The tutorial worksheets was essentially a free 10%. We basically created output the worksheet asked us to do. They were not difficult, but rather a source for exposing thought processes and basic python and html syntax.

The exam and midsem in itself were not super difficult too, but did require some form of preparation to pass and score. There is in paper coding coupled by a lot of theory questions that came from guest and theory lectures. You are expected to be able to deduce, interpret and apply basic Python and HTML syntax for the exam. The theory questions were what caught most students (including myself) off. But looking back, appropriate review of lecture slides and tactful BSing would be sufficient.

Subjectively, this was the very subject that made me switch from Science to Commerce. You have to be interested in programming to push through  and to be willing to learn beyond the lectures to be able to complete the assignments. Depending on your problem solving skills and intuition with programming, assignments can take excessive amounts of time to complete.

Furthermore, the online IVLE system in which programming code and weekly workshop sheets (worth 10%) are submitted is infuriating. I, amongst a handful of other students had a buggy account that prevented us from typing code past 200 lines of code. Whilst this forced us to be more efficient, it was in a sense, an unfair disadvantage. One would expect that an I.T subject would provide adequate I.T standards for all students. -_- That being said, we were in a very small minority, and the lecturer and tutors did try to help (to no avail).
A further note, perhaps specific to this lecturer is that they do not accept late submissions. I happened to be one day late on an assignment and lost 10% immediately. This did further sour my mood of the subject despite my own error. Luckily, it was not a hurdle.

This however is supplemented by a more comprehensive online tutor/forum where questions, ideas and fun topics posted by students can be answered and responded by tutors, lecturers and other students. This was a good environment and the right step for promoting learning within a subject. This should be a learning tool considered by other subjects in science and commerce departments.

In summary, do this subject if:
- You enjoy patterns, problem solving and devising solutions
- Enjoy I.T (more or less a necessity imho)
- Pursuing a computing major
- you have the patience to troubleshoot your assignments and code
- you have the  ability to self learn beyond course material
- you want an eye opener to the sheer power and vast possiblities that have been created by information technology.

Do not do this subject if you:
- are going to choose this subject because you can't think of one
- are lazy and may be late on assignments
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Elnino_Gerrard on November 30, 2012, 11:34:21 am
Subject Code/Name:ELEN20005 Foundations of Electrical Networks

Workload:  Weekly: 3 x 1 hour lectures, 1 x 2 hour workshop

Assessment:  5 problem solving assignments totalling 10%. 5 workshop quizzes based on past 2 weeks workshops worth 10 percent. Being able to finish the  workshop tasks was worth some marks as well totalling another 10 percent.
The assesments were every alternate week. i.e. If an assignment was due one week,the quiz was the next. So basically we had something every week.
Ofcourse exam worth 60 percent.

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture. 
Past exams available:  Yes. No solutions though. However solution to the past sample midtest was given.

Textbook Recommendation:  The course manual must be purchased from the uni bookshop.  It contains the course lecture notes which are extremely thorough and brilliant.Voids the need to buy the textbook.

Lecturer:  Dr. Brian Krongold.

Year & Semester of completion: 2012, Semester 2

Rating:  5/5

Your Mark/Grade: 86% H1

Comments: By far,the best subject I have done at university. Not only due to the interesting content,but also due to to the fantastic lecturer and the workshops where we wired up circuits on a breadboard.
The lecturer explains concepts like none I have come across before (He's American,Ive noticed all American lecturers Ive had are brilliant). He also works really really hard and it only encourages u to work hard.
For example,every week he'd email us not only the important announcements but also a detailed summary of what was covered in the workshops/Lectures this week,along with a preview of the next workshop. The lecture notes,mind you are smashing and dont need you to buy the textbook at all. I dint even look at the textbook once.They were my *only* source of reference. 
Also the lecturer made a visit to almost all of my workshops,either helping out people/ resolving any doubts..which I thought was a great touch. You can see he puts his teaching ahead of his other work.

Now to the workshops : Incredibly enjoyable. The first session involved wiring up circuits that we sussed out on the prelab  on an software called orcad. Subsequent sessions,involved actually physically building the circuits analysed by on the prelab on breadboards. Got really exciting during the digital session,specially with the daancing lights etc. Getting to see the various logic gates in action was pretty cool too.

The workload : Lets be honest,even though not the most difficult subject theres a fair bit to do. Pre labs every week. Assingent/quiz every week. But looking at the effort the lecturer puts in,I dint mind it.

Definitely recommend this subject. Smashingly coordinated,amazingly taught,I had fun too.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: bridger on December 08, 2012, 05:54:17 pm
Subject Code/Name: ANAT30008 Viscera and Visceral Systems 

Workload:  3 lectures per week and 1 three hour practical

Assessment:  1. 2 MCQ tests of 30 questions (10% each) 2. Written Examination 50% 3. "Practical" MCQ Examination 30%

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes

Past exams available:  No, only practise questions provided

Textbook Recommendation:  An anatomy atlas (I used Netter's), anatomy textbook (Gray's Anatomy, Clinically Oriented Anatomy by Moore)

Lecturer(s): Jason Ivanusic, Jenny Hayes, Chris Briggs, Erica Fletcher and various guest lecturers

Year & Semester of completion: 2012, Semester 2

Rating:  4.5 of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 78 H2A

Comments: Overall I enjoyed this subject. Found it to be more interesting and better organised than Locomotor Systems. We studied anatomy of the thorax, abdomen, pelvis and perineum, head and neck. The actual anatomy wasn't too hard to grasp and the assessment was fairly straightforward. Class averages for the two MCQ were around the low H1/high H2A range. As in first semester there were two exams, one with six written questions aswell as multi-choice on anatomy covered through the course and the other a MCQ exam consisting of questions relating to pictures of dissections and also questions based on the "practical" classes (questions such as "if you were to make an incision at the point what structure would be lying directly underneath). The course was well organised and the lecturers this semester were fairly engaging. Practicals were structured the same as first semester (however you were able to organise your own practical groups in Viscera), with groups being guided by an instructor through dissections of the thorax, abdomen and pelvis/perineum. All in all a good subject to do if you want to continue with some third year anatomy
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Slumdawg on December 31, 2012, 12:13:21 am
Subject Code/Name: PSYC20007 Cognitive Psychology 

Workload:  1 X 2 hour Lecture per week, 1 X 2 hour Tutorial per fortnight.

Assessment:  50% Lab Report, 50% Exam

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available:  No, about 30 practice True/False questions were provided.

Textbook Recommendation:  Do NOT buy the textbook unless you're really desperate during semester, I never used it.

Lecturer(s): Meredith McKague (Nature of Cognition, Psycholinguistics), Daniel Little (Memory, Stats, Learning, Knowledge, Categorisation), Phillip Smith (Attention - Object & Spaced based models, etc). We had each lecturer for 4 weeks.

Year & Semester of completion: 2012, Semester 2.

Rating:  5 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1 (88)

Comments: This has to be my favourite subject at uni to date! It was bloody brilliant, easily the best Psychology subject you could ever do. It's hard, it requires real understanding of the theories and experiments because the final exam questions really did test your understanding rather than rote recall. I found all of the lecturers to be brilliant, some of the best the Psychology department has to offer! I found Dr. McKague's lectures the most difficult to grasp, not because she was a bad lecturer (she was in fact really great!), but because the concepts she discussed were really advanced and required some careful consideration before you can fully understand them. For the entire first 4 weeks I was really concerned because I found the content really quite difficult, but after reviewing it at the end of the year all together it really did come together so well and I felt I really understood her material from there on. It makes you really appreciate her lecturing and content, because if you spend time on it you'll realise you've learnt some pretty powerful stuff in just a few short weeks.

Daniel Little the coordinator is awesome, one of the best coordinators ever! He's always on the discussion board answering questions, you can tell he's 110% committed to making sure the subject runs really well. He's a really good lecturer as well. He starts off each lecture with an interesting story and eventually links the content of that particular lecture back to the story he began with. You can tell he put a lot of thought into his lectures! He does have a lot of content though. This is where Meredith and Dan differ, learning their stuff is difficult but the difference is that Meredith usually only has about 30-40 slides in a 2-hour lecture whereas Dan usually has double or triple that amount. Meredith's material was more challenging conceptually, but Dan's was more challenging because there was a lot of it.

Phillip Smith covers attention for 4 weeks, that may seem a bit over the top, but he covers so many interesting theories. I thought they might be a tad dry to begin with, but I eventually came to really love this section of the course. Attention is such a critical part of our lives so it was interesting to see how many theories have attempted to accurately describe it and yet there are still limitations. I felt like each lecture was really well constructed by Phillip and I could clearly see why he decided to include certain experiments. This all leads to his final lecture with some neuropsychology on spatial neglect which I found extremely fascinating since it really furthered my knowledge of the very interesting neurological condition.

The lab report is probably the only thing I don't like about this subject. Not because lab report's are ridiculously hard or anything, but you can easily get a mean/harsh tutor marking your paper and automatically you can get a grade lower than you deserve. This is particularly annoying when the lab report is worth half your entire grade and can practically snatch away any chance of a H1 in the blink of an eye. Our lab report was on eyewitness accounts with police lineups, it was a really great topic but also quite challenging. Each year the lecturers (usually the coordinator) set a new lab report topic so if you do the subject next year you'll get a different topic.

The exam is all multiple choice (96 Questions in 2 hours), but don't let that fool you. This subject is difficult and thus the questions are also quite difficult. I have to say though, unlike every other Psychology exam I've ever sat (from VCE to the other Uni Psych subjects I've done), this is the ONLY exam to not feature a single dodgy/ambiguous/unfair question. The only reason why the exam was written so well is because the lecturers were so great and clearly cared a lot about the subject so they made sure the exam questions were well thought out. I think most people found Meredith's section the hardest, simply because she had a lot of questions that had option D as "Both B and C", where option B and C were two very close answers where one could easily be wrong but both seem semi-plausible. So those questions really tested whether you truly knew your stuff, those who didn't wouldn't have done well at all with those questions. I personally found Daniel's questions the hardest though because they really required you to have quite detailed knowledge of the experiments and theories he mentioned, but if you studied well you'd be fine.

For those people thinking of trying this as a breadth subject with no prior psychology experience, you may feel like you've dug yourself a great big hole during the semester because it will be very difficult initially. But be consistent and work hard and you'll probably do well. I wouldn't say you're severely disadvantaged, but having a psychology background is definitely most important for a tough subject like Cog Psych. Maybe try an easier psych subject beforehand, but if you're committed to working hard on it then go ahead!
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Slumdawg on December 31, 2012, 12:51:25 am
Subject Code/Name: Personality and Social Psychology 

Workload:  1 X 2 Hour Lecture per week, 1 X 2 Hour Tutorial per fortnight.

Assessment:  Lab Report 40%, Exam 60%.

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available: No, but 3-4 sample questions were provided for each lecture.

Textbook Recommendation: No textbook and you wouldn't need one anyway.

o Simon Lahem (Social Psych - Morality, Social Influence, Intergroup Conflict, Evolutionary Psychology) - 4 weeks
o Garry Robins (Stats - Correlation & Regression) - 2 weeks
o Luke Smilie (Personality - Intro & Explanations of Personality) - 2 weeks
o Jenny Boldero (Social Psych - Attitudes, the Self, Self-Regulation, Relationships) - 4 weeks

Year & Semester of completion: 2012, Semester 2.

Rating: 4 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1 (85)

Comments: This subject is pretty good, some topics were definitely boring and others were definitely extremely interesting, I enjoyed it overall but the subject definitely had its limitations. I really liked all of Jenny's lectures and Simon's - basically all of the social psychology stuff. But I really didn't like the stats and personality psych components. The tricky thing about Simon's lectures is that he mentions about 30 different experiments in each of his lectures, and you need to memorise all of them! When you combine that with the experiments other lecturers mention you're memorising close to 150 experiments all up, that's a heck of a lot if you're trying to cram during SWOTVAC!

The lab report was okay, the topic was moral judgments but the hypothesis and method we used were really quite confusing and you really had to understand the terminology of moral psychology. Just like any other lab report it required a lot of research and reading on the discussion board. Make sure you put in a lot of effort to ace the lab report because it can save you for the exam!

The final exam has only 90 MCQs, to be completed in 2 hrs (nearly everyone finishes in 1 hour). There are 30 questions each from Simon and Jenny and 15 each from Luke and Garry. The exam was NOT well written at all and that's why some of these university psychology subjects are really rather disappointing. The only sections that were well-written were those by Luke and Jenny (although 1 or 2 of Jenny's questions I thought were a tad dodge). Garry and Simon's questions featured multiple really dodgy questions with a few things we were never taught in lectures, so that was very annoying.

Overall I did enjoy this subject, despite the dodgy exam. You'll learn some really cool stuff, such as you're more likely to be distant to your paternal grandfather than your other grandparents due to paternity uncertainty, imitating others subtly makes them like you more, 50% of your personality is inherited from your parents, and opposites generally don't attract (contrary to popular belief) except in circumstances where there is a dominant/submissive relationship. I found all of these insights quite interesting, and you'll be taught many more cool things like that along with the experiments that support them in this subject :)
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: stonecold on January 22, 2013, 03:07:05 am
Subject Code/Name: MIIM20002: Microbes, Infections and Responses 

NOTE: As of 2013, this subject is available to BOTH Science and Biomedicine students and has replaced the Experimental Microbiology stream previously in place for Science students.  This subject is a prerequisite for all students looking to major in Microbiology, Immunology or Defense and Disease.

Workload:  3 x 1 hr lectures per week, 6 x 3 hr practicals throughout semester

Assessment:  5 x pre-prac online quizes (1% each), 4 x prac reports (5% each, only the best 3 are used), MCQ mid-semester test (20%) and MCQ/written end of semester examination (60%)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.  It is a very good subject to lectopia.  My attendance rate in this subject was woeful.

Past exams available:  No.  There are review lectures during the semester where practice questions are given out and addressed by the lecturers.  The teaching staff also gave us some written questions at the end of the semester to practice on.

Textbook Recommendation:  Don't buy them.  They are not required.  The slides and lecture material are all that is needed in this subject.  The teaching staff themselves said they are only examining what is covered in the lectures.

Lecturer(s): Sandra Uren (Co-coordinator), Helen Cain (Co-coordinator), Lorena Brown (Co-coordinator).
Damien Purcell, Roy Robbins Browne and Tim Stinear also gave a lecture each.

Year & Semester of completion: 2012, Semester 2

Rating:  5/5

Your Mark/Grade: 95 H1

Comments: I will begin by saying that this is the best subject that I have taken at university to date.  The coordinators are all fantastic and ensure everything is very well organised to guarantee that this subject is an enjoyable experience.  They were always friendly, enthusiastic and had the best interests of students at heart.

Going into this subject, I wasn't sure whether I would like it.  I have never been fond of practical work and was mainly taking the subject to keep my options for Micro/Immuno and Genetics majors open (as many biomeds do). I found the practical work to be thoroughly enjoyable.  The demonstrators were all very helpful and it never felt rushed or poorly explained.  The pracs tied in directly with the lecture material and helped to reinforce the lecture content.  I personally enjoyed the way the each of the pracs were set up as case studies and involved finding the cause of an infection given a patient's symptoms and samples.  Practical assessment was also pretty good.  The pre prac quizzes are free marks.  The prac reports on the other hand are not and take some work.  Still, you are given a proforma for how you should structure your report and also given information on the material which you should be discussing in your report.  If you follow this closely, averaging H1 on the reports shouldn't be a problem.  Getting above 9/10 on a report is very difficult because it is just about impossible to address everything in the 700 word limit and I guess demonstrators are just picky about small things and unless your report is close to perfect in their eyes, you will lose marks.  Nonetheless, we did get our reports back with feedback written on them to help us improve on our future reports.

Moving onto the lecture material, I would say this subject is somewhat similar to MCB, for those who have done it.   There is lots and lots of content to get through and a lot of stuff to remember.  For a 12.5 credit point subject, I would say it is one of the tougher ones.
Like all subjects, it starts off easy.  The first 2 weeks are spent revising and extending on basic microbiology and immunology learnt in first semester, covering topics such as bacterial structure, virulence determinants, manipulating the immune response and vaccination.

The middle block of this subject is where the content becomes very intensive.  This block lasts about 8 weeks during which you cover three different types of infections and their common causes, mainly the bacterial and viral ones, but you also might look at a few parasites as well.  Firstly you cover gastrointestinal tract infections.  Here you learn everything from the organism, symptoms, molecular basis for pathogenesis/replication, immune response, treatment and lab testing/diagnosis.  As you can imagine, there is a hell of a lot to remember and lots of names are similar (e.g. you have bacteria known as EPEC, EHEC, ETEC).  My suggestion is to make tables because it helps to cut out unnecessary content and makes things a lot easier to memorise.  The other types of infections covered are respiratory tract infections and sexually transmitted infections.  The layout of these lectures is similar to the GIT lectures, although there was less of an emphasis on knowing the specific molecules involved here which made it a bit easier.

In this block there is a lot of integration.  You have a lecture or two on basic lab techniques for identifying bacteria and also a lecture on culture media.  These are helpful for prac class.    There are some lectures on the role of the mucosal immune system and natural flora.  These were very interesting but also difficult and important.  They also throw in some lectures on epidemiology, disease spread and management of the various types of infections.  These more 'random' lectures are usually only addressed with MCQs.  Nonetheless, learn them properly because the MCQs always try to confuse you and they may still ask for some of it in the written component of the exam.  I suggest you do learn the epidemiology lectures properly because although they seem unimportant and like they are common sense, knowing the examples discussed will make your life much easier in an exam rather that having to make stuff up.

A lecture on antibiotics was given which was basically about the mechanism of action of various antibiotics and their names.  There was also a lecture about vaccine development and non-protein antigens.  These seemed really important and are worth paying close attention to.

The final part of the course addresses health care associated infections (HCAIs).  It covers content such as hospital outbreaks and management, causes, antibiotics resistance, spread and transmission, sterilisation/disinfection, phylogentic analysis, more epidemiology, opportunistic pathogens and immunocompromised hosts.  It was one of my favourite parts of the course because it was very clinical and all based around a health care setting.  Again, a lot of this stuff was common sense but it is important that you actually learn it the way it is presented in the lectures because that is how they expect it written in an exam.  Be sure to learn the chain of infection and the various ways in which interventions can be made at each link, because this was heavily emphasised and came up on the exam.

In terms of assessment, the MST was 40 MCQs and covered roughly the first half of the course.
The exam had 50 MCQs (60 marks) and 5 short answer questions (5 x 12 marks = 60 marks). 
Each SAQ was broken down into smaller subparts (e.g. a) 6 marks, b) 4 marks, c) 2 marks) and overall each SAQ covered one of the 5 topics:
-Immune system
-GIT infections
-Respiratory tract infections

This exam structure forces you to learn just about everything which is presented to you.  You have to answer all questions and parts.  The exam is very fair.  It is clearly written based on the lecture material and if you have done your work it is very straight forward and there will be no nasty surprises.  I will reiterate that this subject is like MCB.  There is a lot of work to get through, but if you do it, it is not bad at all.  If you don't work regularly and slack off, then you are going to struggle.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: stonecold on January 30, 2013, 01:08:48 am
Subject Code/Name: BIOM20002: Human Structure and Function

Workload:  6 x 1 hr lectures per week, 4 x 2 hr anatomy practicals throughout semester, 1 x 3 hr physiology practical throughout semester

Assessment:  2 x intra-semester tests (10% each), Physiology Practical Report (10%), Anatomy end of semester exam (35%), Physiology/Pharmacology end of semester exam (35%)

Unlike for Science students, there is no percentage or formal assessment attached to the PRS clicker questions used in physiology lectures.  Lecture attendance is not recorded and attending lectures is optional.  I therefore suggest you save yourself the $10 or $20 clicker rental charge at the beginning of the semester.  They will try to scare you into renting one in the first lecture but I honestly suggest you don't get it.  They are nothing more than a stupid novelty and if you lose or don't return it, you pay for a new one otherwise your results are withheld.  I can guarantee that your learning experience will not be hampered by not getting one.

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:  Yes, all papers since 2009 when the subject began are available from the library website and LMS.  The anatomy past papers were all very useful and similar to the actual exam.  Seeing as a new coordinator has taken over in 2012, the physiology component of the assessment has completely changed and the past physiology papers are basically all useless because the new physiology coordinator does not use essay style questions whereas the previous one did.  The past pharmacology questions however are recommended as they too were repeated on the actual exam.

I strongly recommend you look at past Human Physiology (PHYS20008) papers for physiology practice, as this is more along the lines of questions which you will be asked.  There are probably over 50 of them available on the library website, although they may be under the name 'Principles of Physiology'.  If you would like more anatomy practice, then you would probably have to contact students in science studying Principles of Human Structure (ANAT20006) for extra work.  Likewise, contact Pharmacology: How Drugs Work (PHRM20001) students for additional pharmacology resources.

Textbook Recommendation:

Unfortunately, there is no getting away with it.  You must have access to the two books in my opinion.
General Anatomy: Principles and Applications is co-authored by anatomy lecturer Chris Briggs and covers the general anatomical principles only.  It is therefore useful for only about a week but the lectures given have all the content/images taken from this book, so you pretty much need it.  Try not to buy it though.  It is overpriced and only necessary for about 7 lectures.  Either borrow it from the library or perhaps a science student who no longer requires it.

As for a textbook which covers regional anatomy, none is recommended.  The lectures are usually sufficient and cover the content which you need to be aware of.  This is probably a good thing because as someone else has mentioned in an anatomy subject review, reading and trying to learn anatomy from a textbook is both overwhelming and excessive.  Nonetheless, occasionally you may need to look something up.  Gray's Anatomy for Students is the most popular anatomy book.  Clinically Oriented Anatomy is also decent.  In terms of diagrams of muscles, bones, organs, joints etc., I found Netter's Interactive Atlas of Anatomy (CD-ROM) to be very good.  All of these resources are available online.  The good thing about anatomy is that Google is your friend and you can often look up diagrams and basic info without even really needing a book.

The Anatomedia USB Stick is a little hit and miss.  The layout/design/user interface is terrible.  However for ~$18 from the uni bookshop, I guess it is still worth it.  It has some decent diagrams of dissected cadavers and has a lot of the answers to many questions posed in past exams and ADSL (Anatomy Directed Self Learning) tasks.  Again, it is more of a 'look up' resource for when you need to find small bits of info or get a diagram clarified.  Certainly do not waste your time reading through the entire program, as it will take you an eternity and is both overwhelming and pointless.

Human Physiology: An integrated approach by Silverthorn is 110% required as the prescribed pre-reading for all physiology lectures comes from this book and the pre-reading is indeed examinable.  Thankfully, the 5th edition is available online if you look around.  You don't need the 6th edition.  Everyone I know used the 5th edition and was fine.  This book is not that great in my opinion.  The explanations are often indirect and tend to use silly analogies.  The diagrams are good though and they often come up on exams with spaces missing.
I also used another book for physiology called Human Physiology: From Cells to Systems, 7e by Sherwood.  Most of the time I found I preferred the diagrams and explanations in this book.  They seemed much more direct and to the point.  This book is also available for download online. Between these two physiology texts, I think you have all the physiology content covered.

In terms of Pharmacology, the department recommends Rang and Dale's Pharmacology.  I found an e-text and had a quick read through it.  I personally found it woeful and confusing.  The pharmacology lectures and slides should suffice.  If not, then as mentioned above, get additional resources from students studying second year pharmacology.





Year & Semester of completion: 2012, Semester 2

Rating:   2.4/5 (Overall)

I have split it up by department and topic to be a bit more objective.  For mine, the overall coordination and physiology lectures/practical made this subject a complete which I never want to re-live again.

Your Mark/Grade: H1 93


I will make some general comments before commenting on each topic area.

HSF has been the least impressive subject which I have taken in this degree and in my opinion undermines the whole point of having a biomedicine degree.  It is a subject which combines anatomy, physiology and pharmacology.  In theory it sounds great but in practice it does not really work.  Firstly, there is no integration whatsover between the topics.  One department comes in and lectures their part (e.g. anatomy of the kidney) and then another department comes in after and lectures their part (e.g. physiology of the kidney).  So far this sounds great.  The first part of the problem is that the lectures are not tailored for the biomed course.  They are the EXACT SAME as the lectures in science which really makes you question the point of the whole exercise.  On top of this, about a dozen anatomy/physiology lectures get ripped out of the course to make way for the pharmacology component.  You miss out especially on important physiology lectures to make way for some ordinarily taught pharmacology, which creates even more confusion.  The most pointless part of the whole subject is after making a half assed effort to try and "integrate" the topics in the lectures, the anatomy and physiology exams are separate anyway.

...the point is that this subject is little more than what you get in science, except taught, coordinated and examined very poorly for the most part. /end rant

I found the anatomy component by far the most enjoyable and best taught part of this subject.
Chris Briggs is a legend and Jenny Hayes is basically the Anatomy version of Sandra Uren from Microbiology.
Jason Ivanusic is okay, although he absolutely hates answering questions by email.
I think the key to anatomy is to get over the initial phase, especially the 'Principles' lectures. 
These are boring and somewhat confusing.  Luckily, all of the content from these lectures is taken from the textbook so it is worth having access to a copy.  Once you begin learning about actual bones, muscles and specific organ systems, it becomes a lot more interesting.  A key theme with the anatomy content seems to be relating things back to diseases, so it is worth basing some of your learning around this.

I will try to be objective here, but I absolutely hated physiology.  This was all mainly due to the lack of any kind of quality teaching.
The main lecturer would never finish his lectures and would waste copious amounts of time reiterating the same point and rubbishing on with PRS.  The best part is that he expects you to know all of the content in the prescribed readings, so you will need some form of the textbook and on top of this you are going to actually have to read it.  Stephen Harrap and Mary Wlodek were fairly decent, but as they are minor lecturers, they have basically no say with what ends up in the exam.  Joel Bornstein... words cannot describe how bad he is so I will not even bother to try.

Seeing as the lectures in HSF and Human Physiology are usually the exact same (as are the exam questions, but I will get to this later), my best advice is to get a hold of some of the Human Physiology lecture recordings given by Charles Sevigny.  This guy is an absolute legend and teaches everything clearly, quickly and best of all he is very entertaining.  He is the only reason I got through this subject.

There is not a lot to really talk about here other than to say that if you are concurrently taking the second year pharmacology subject, then you have a bludgy 10 lectures whilst if you aren't, you will have your work cut out.
Graham Mackay is a really nice lecturer and explains things very well and concisely.  His content is also good in that you can shrink it down into a couple of tables which you can then just memorise.  No one seems to like Alastair Stewert very much.  Granted, he is somewhat boring, but he is actually good at explaining things.  Michael Lew on the other hand seemed very disinterested and almost like he didn't want to be there.  He was more interested in going off on tangents and telling pointless stories than he was in lecturing.
Best of all, he explained a concept completely wrong so watch out in case he makes another confusing blunder.  Overall, I liked pharm but found that it was taught poorly and this will always leave a sour taste in your mouth.  The department recommends 'Rang and Dale's Pharmacology' however I found that this did not help at all.  It is probably best to focus on the lecture content and try to ask questions if there are things which are unclear.

The anatomy pracs are optional and there were four of them.  They are more of a learning aid than anything else.
They are cool though so it is definitely worth trying to make the effort to go.  Some of the demonstrators are good and others are not so good so try and find one who wants to teach rather than just leaving you there to work stuff out for yourself.  The anatomy pracs are not assessed in any way.

The physiology prac is a nightmare.  Our prac was on the cardiovascular and respiratory response to exercise, something which was never addressed in the lectures.  Once you have done the prac and gotten your data (which is train wreck and makes no sense), you then have to write up a discussion and explain the results.  The fact that the content is never taught and the data is inconsistent makes this a major drag.  We were left trawling through textbooks, journals etc. trying to make sense of everything. 
It is best to work with friends on this because it is the only way you will come up with a semi-decent discussion and get some of the right answers.  I also believe that the prac content changes each year so this may be good news if you are taking this subject in the future, because you may get something that was actually taught.

Anatomy Exam
Thankfully, this exam is rather straight forward.  It has MCQs, fill in blanks and essay questions.  Our year however did not have any choice with respect to essay topics and we had to do them all.  The good thing with this exam is that it only addressed the lecture content and better still, many of the MCQs and some of the essay topics were the exact same as from past exam papers.
The prac content and ADSL worksheets were not assessed, but these would make for good revision if you had the time.

Physiology/Pharmacology Exam
This exam contains combined Pharm (25%) and Physiology (75%).
The Pharm component is really good and relatively straight forward.  Again, there is a lot of recycling questions from past papers so if you are familiar with these and know the lecture content well, then this part will be fine.

Ever since the new coordinator has come in, the past essay style physiology questions are ABSOLUTELY USELESS.  Do not waste your time on them.  This new coordinator prefers to test 'concepts' and hates marking long essay questions so he is unlikely to put them in the exam.  He has introduced new menu style/fill in the blanks questions.

Anyway, with this exam, it did not even cover all of the content taught.  The coordinator decided that because Renal Physiology was already tested in the MST, he did not test it again in the exam.  Instead, he took a random question from the Human Physiology exam and gave it to us.  Likewise, he could not be bothered writing a new cardiovascular question so he took that from the Human Physiology Exam as well.
Better still, the digestion and reprodution questions were also taken from the Human Physiology exam.
If you are wondering which exam I am talking about, it is the exam which the Human Physiology students sit in the exact same exam period.

Therefore, the moral of the story is to make friends with Human Physiology students because firstly, they actually get taught the lecture content properly and this is what the exam is based this is what I recommend you focus on.  Secondly, the HSF exam is likely to contain copious amounts of ripped off questions from the Human Physiology paper, so you can potentially know a lot of what you are going to get asked by simply finding out what was on this paper, assuming it is before the HSF paper.

Honing in on the questions which are likely to get asked on this paper, basically, David Williams is obsessed with questions where you are given a bunch of scenarios and then have to choose whether a parameter will increase/decrease/not change or whether there is not enough information.  He has done this with neurophysiology and also with respiratory physiology.  These questions are an absolute pain.  It requires you to think like him.  Sometimes you are allowed to make assumptions whereas other times you are not and the correct answer is 'not enough information'.  Good luck trying to work this out because only he knows what is going on in his mind. 
Also, it is very much worth going through past Human Physiology papers.  There are literally over 50 on the library repository.
The neurophysiology and reproductive questions on our exam were taken from these.
Again, focus on the ones which require filling in tables, one word/line answers, circling stuff etc.

Basically, in case you haven't noticed, physiology is a nightmare and you will have your work cut out in this subject trying to work out what you need to know, mainly because very little of it is taught in the lectures.  The best chance you have of succeeding in this subject is to collaborate with friends and together try and work out some of the ridiculous answers to some of the questions which will be asked on the exam.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Sinner on February 07, 2013, 04:48:07 am
Subject Code/Name: ANTH10001: Anthropology: Studying Human Diversity 

Workload:  1 x 2 hour lecture and 1 x 1 hour tutorial each week)

Assessment:  An ethnographic observation exercise of 1000 words (25%) due week 5, a 2000 word essay (50%) due in week 11, and a one hour (1000 word) test (25%) due during the examination period.

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, a couple of links to external material now and then.

Past exams available:  No.

Textbook Recommendation:  None.

Lecturer(s): Andrew Dawson

Year & Semester of completion: 2012, Semester 2

Rating:  3 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 77

Comments: Being a science student, I chose this as a breadth subject for reasons I have forgotten. I can't exactly say I enjoyed the subject, but it gave me time to cool my head off compared to the workload of the other Level 1 Sciences. I might have chosen another subject instead, but at least this didn't turn out bad.

For each week you have readings (a couple PDF files containing about 16-30 novel pages) that you have to read as the content will be discussed in the lectures and tutorials. The readings of each week focus on a different area of anthropology, such as kinship, cannibalism, ethics, etc.

I'll admit that I often skip the lectures and look them up later on lectopia. From the lectures I listened to and the ones I went to, the lecturer, Andrew Dawson, had his lectures rather well done with the aid of supplementary materials such as videos. Sometimes he does offer his own opinion of the topics in discussion, so don't fear if you don't agree with what he says. You may offer your own opinions in assessments and discussions, as long as they are backed with reasoning, evidence, and don't go overboard.

The tutorials were good and complemented the readings and lectures well, as well as clarifying some concepts and definitions of anthropology. My tutor, Maria Melo, was great to say the least. She was easy to approach, kind, and did not display any bias or spite to anybody.

As the assessment of the subject is wholely based on assignments and tests, I'll go over each of them briefly with short tips.

- Ethnographic Observation Exercise (25%): Basically a 1000 word essay on a certain everyday action, habit, or custom. (e.g. Family dinner, slumber party, etc) Your goal is to explain why they are doing it; the purposes of the action(s) in question, with anthropological topics such as materialism. It is important that you pay attention to details (observation exercise) of the event and explain them. Just keep the flow smooth and don't go over 1000 words + 10% words

- Test (25%): I question myself again on why they call this a test, because it's not really a test in the sense we are familiar with at all. All you have to do is take 10 of the readings, summarize them, and write a cumulative 1000 word (recommending 100 words each) summary on the readings. With preparation you can pretty much ace this. Just pick 10 readings you interpret the best, summarize them (I find writing/typing them down in bullet points greatly helpful), and type out summary paragraphs of each and make sure they don't go over 1000 by much. Now you have an idea of what to write, your job on the test date is just to write this down on paper! Easy stuff, this preparation also saves you time in the real test.

- Research Essay (50%): So you have a list of questions on different anthropology topics, and you're supposed to write a 2000 word paper on them. Sounds easier said than done, especially with the test date not being far from the essay due date, which during the exam period. Just your standard Uni essay procedure. Check out books, cover lots of material, use examples, you know the drill.

For the essays, try to use a lot of citations as that's also part of the rubric. Additionally, making drafts and having your tutor look over them always helps.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: nubs on February 21, 2013, 07:31:55 pm
Subject Code/Name: ENGL10002: Literature and Performance

Workload: Two 1-hour lectures and a 1-hour tutorial per week.

Assessment: A text-based exercise of 800 words worth 20% (due early in semester), an essay of 1200 words worth 30% (due mid-semester) and an essay of 2000 words worth 50% (due in the examination period).

Lectopia Enabled:  No

Past exams available:  There are not any exams for this subject.

Textbook Recommendation: 
W Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, Oxford Worlds Classics
W Shakespeare, Othello, Oxford Worlds Classics
D Lynch and J Stillinger, eds. The Norton Anthology of English Literature Volume D: The Romantic Period, Norton
J Austen, Pride and Prejudice, Oxford Worlds Classics
C Dickens, Great Expectations, Oxford Worlds Classics
C Bronte, Jane Eyre, Oxford Worlds Classics
H Ibsen, A Doll's House (Four Major Plays), Oxford Worlds Classics
A Chekhov, The Cherry Orchard (Five Plays), Oxford Worlds Classics
And a subject reader

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1, 2012

Rating: 3 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 74 (H2B)

What they don’t tell you is that VCE Literature is assumed knowledge, which made it much more difficult for me.

Every student in the subject I had encountered had done Literature in VCE, which made the first essay very easy for them, and the poetry part of the course much more manageable, as it was no different to what they had encountered in VCE Literature.
I was very lazy. I don’t believe I read a single novel or play that semester, and for the last essay (a research essay on your choice of two novels) I only used summaries from the internet and some expert essays, so this subject is quite manageable, especially if you are willing to put in the work and have done VCE literature.

I found the lectures quite interesting and they went into far more detail than you ever would have experienced in VCE, so if you enjoy language analysis this subject is probably going to interest you a lot. That being said, more often than not the content in the lectures did not relate to what we did in the tutorials and what the essay prompts were asking for.

If you haven’t done VCE Literature but were quite good with the Language Analysis section of VCE English, then you won’t have much to worry about. Most people I knew had gotten similar or lower scores in this subject than I did anyway, so if it interests you and you are willing to do a lot of reading (which I wasn’t) then you will definitely do well.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: nubs on February 21, 2013, 09:41:37 pm
Subject Code/Name: PHIL10003 Philosophy: The Great Thinkers

Workload:  3 (2x 1 hour lectures each week and 1x 1 hour tutorial for 11 weeks)

Assessment:  Three short papers: 2x500 words (12.5% each), and 1x1000 words (25%) due during the semester, and a 2-hour, closed book, written exam during the end of semester examination period (50%).

Collin decided for 2012 that he would let people do a regular essay instead of sitting the exam if they had a satisfactory reason. It could just be that you perform terribly in exams. All you had to do is tell him that and he would let you do a take home essay instead, giving you approximately two weeks to write it. Unsure on whether or not he is going to give this option again.

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:  No, but a huge list of potential questions were given. I was told every question on the exam had come from the long, long list.

Textbook Recommendation: 
Subject Reader

Lecturer(s): Dr Collin Marshall

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2, 2012

Rating: 3.5 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 87

You may enjoy ‘recreational’ philosophy or you may have an interest in history. That does not mean you will enjoy studying it at university.

To succeed in this subject you need to be able to present arguments fluently and back them up with solid logic, as well as making compromises for viewpoints you simply don’t want to acknowledge.

I was not a huge fan of this subject, Descartes especially was incredibly painful to study. Hume and Kant on the other hand were somewhat interesting, as was Plato. Contrary to what the handbook says, we do not study Marx and Machiavelli.
Plato tackles the issues of piety and the subjectivity of knowledge, while Hume and Kant focus on morality and reason.

So far Collin has been one of my favourite lecturers, second to only Professor Lamb (Chemistry). The tutorials were also very refreshing and a great way to break up the predictable and repetitious science tutorials. We’d just sit in a circle, be asked a question by the tutor and discuss it at length. They were definitely the highlight of the course.

Coming from a Maths background supposedly made the concepts much easier to grasp while a number of the Arts students were failing to comprehend the trail of logic and ‘rational’ thought that was applied by these philosophers in explaining their theories.

That being said, the essay tasks we were given were dreadful when they were on theories you disagreed with completely. For my essay on Descartes, Hume and Kant, I was asked to explain one of their theories, present an objection to them, and then give a counter objection on the philosopher’s behalf. Arguing for a theory you disagree with wholeheartedly was not an easy thing for me. The hardest part would be to find a counter objection. You try to use logic to contest a viewpoint, and then you need to find a way to contest that objection which should have been perfectly logical in the first place.
More often than not I would find gaping holes in the counter objections I gave which just infuriated me more. Yeah I’m pretty OCD like that.

I enjoyed the first two lectures on Descartes, then it all went downhill very, very quickly.
Although I thoroughly enjoyed Kant and Hume, I disagreed with them on a number of points, which, I reluctantly had to argue for.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Hancock on February 22, 2013, 01:13:41 pm
Subject Code/Name: ENGR10003 - Engineering Systems Design 2

Workload:  3 x 1 hour lectures per week, 1 x 3 hour workshop per week

5% attendance for workshops (0.5% per workshop provided you completed pre-workshop on LMS),
30% compromising of 20% homework tasks, 6% from 4 tests, and 4% from in-class assessment (the 30% is split equally between Mechanics, Programming and Digital Circuits sections),
5% Online Student Questions forum (answer 30 questions and contribute 3 questions)
60% End of Semester Exam

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture (I think, honestly never watched a lecture online if I missed one)

Past exams available:  Yes, ~3 from the library and 1 (I got the 2011) provided at the end of the semester.

Textbook Recommendation:  Dr. Buskes has complied a book from from different authors which is surprisingly good. You definitely do not have to buy it, but it will come in handy for ENGR20004 - Engineering Mechanics and FoEN - Foundations of Electrical Networks (not that you'll need it for FoEN with Brian's notes). The golden rule is that you should not buy university books in first year. The notes provided are, in my opinion, sufficient to score well in any subject.

Lecturer(s): Gavin Buskes (Electrical Engineering), Rao Kotagiri (Programming), Andrew Ooi (Mechanics - Civil and Mechanical Engineering)

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2, 2012

Rating:  4.5 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1 (93)

With ESD2, you begin your technical electives at the University of Melbourne. This subject covers the principle of digital circuits (electrical engineering), programming and an introduction to statics (through structures) and dynamics (through modelling aerodynamic affects on projectile motion, torque around a point among other things). Succeeding from a very boring subject about ethics and Chem Eng in ESD1, ESD2 really did ramp up the difficulty a bit and was much, much more interesting that it's predecessor.

Digital Circuits: Electrical Engineering

We'll start with digital circuits. In this topic, you learn about the abstraction of analog circuits to create digital ones, and how these logic circuits behave. You start off with number system and bases, with particular reference to base 2 (binary), base 8 (octal) and base 16 (hex). The Hamming Code and other error correction techniques and their implementation is taught in detail, and is covered as well in workshops where you program a PLD to implement it. You'll be learning how to represent digits and letters in ASCII code and how to transmit them efficiently. I found this part of the course pretty easy, but make sure you master the basics (especially in Hamming Code) otherwise you'll get lost.

Logic gates (AND, OR, NAND, NOR, XOR, NOT, XNOR etc), their truth tables, Karnaugh maps and Boolean Algebra is covered and taught how to create larger combinatorial circuits with those. I found that this section of the course started of incredibly easy, but then ramped up towards the end when they started creating larger circuits such as 4 bit comparators starting from first principles. Boolean Algebra was a little weird to start off with, but now, after doing it in ESD2 and FoEN, it's become almost second nature after you've mastered truth tables and memorized Boolean laws. The rest of the course, for EE, is used on design principles and how to tackle problems in order to find the "best" solution.

I found that the assignment questions for EE, especially towards the end of Assignment 2 and Assignment 3, quite difficult and requires you to be proficient at the lecture topics. They are true design problems, such as creating a large (I mean, large) combinatorial logic circuit in order to meet the specs. Make sure you pay attention in workshops because these questions usually end up on the exam.

Matlab Coding: Software Engineering/ Computer Science

This is by far the worst portion of this course. Learning how to code using lectures just failed in my opinion. The best way that I learned how to code was by getting MATLAB myself and practising. This portion of the course runs through operators, function, input-outputs, branching, loops, iterations, "games", cryptography and algorithms. The MATLAB assignments, like the EE assignments, we're pretty difficult if you did not have MATLAB yourself. YOU NEED TO PRACTISE CODING. GOING TO LECTURES WILL NOT BE ENOUGH! The programming question on the exam is quite easy, and just relies on you being able to use imbedded functions and how to write functions. No need to stress if you are finding the long-winded assignment questions hard.

Structural Analysis and Aerodynamics: Mechanical/Civil Engineering

Probably my favourite part of the course. We started off by doing a recap on springs, both linear and non-linear and parallel/series equivalents. Non-linear analysis was run through, but not in depth. Resultant forces in vector notation is run through quickly, including a recap on addition of vectors and via cosine and sine rules. Rigid bodies come in now, where the application point of the force must be taken into consideration. The principle of transmissibility (PAY ATTENTION IN THIS LECTURE) is taught and how to use it is vital. Moments, torques and couples are covered, and various methods of finding moments about a point is discussed. Resultant forces are brought back and covered in more depth, specifically to the x and y- intercepts of the resultant force via moment calculations. This is something I always took for granted. Even if you sum up the force vectors, where does that vector R start and finishing in order to get the same torque on the body.

Structural analysis begins after all of this, and we start by looking at different reaction forces due to different types of contact. The method of joint and sections for structural analysis is run through in depth and buckling forces and ultimate stress failure is covered. The assignment about struss analysis with wind forces applied at an angle of -90 < x < 90 was by far the coolest MATLAB analysis I've done at university.

The Mechanical section covered Euler's method of solving differential equations via MATLAB which is very useful for later assignments and subjects (or so said my tutor). You basically create a replica function for the ode45 (D.E. solving in MATLAB) and discuss how to apply it to projectile motion with air resistance and pendulum problems with the string length changing (think Spiderman swinging and pulling in his web as he does). These type of D.E.s are quite difficult to solve because they are coupled differential equations, so I found this section and method very interesting and applicable to engineering problems. Dynamics is recovered quickly and advanced. I found that the lecturer tried a little too hard to be funny and didn't teach enough, and I wasn't the only one with that opinion. Regardless, when he did teach, he did it well.

Digital Circuits: Electrical Engineering - 9/10
Matlab Coding: Software Engineering/ Computer Science - 3/10
Structural Analysis and Aerodynamics: Mechanical/Civil Engineering - 9/10

If you're an Eng. Sys major, you have to take this class. It's pretty good, I'll admit, but some aspects did suck hardcore (programming). Hopefully you enjoy it as much as I did.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Hancock on February 26, 2013, 01:54:18 am
Subject Code/Name: PHYC10004 - Physics 2: Physical Sciences and Technology 

Workload:  3x1 hour lectures per week, 1x3 hour practical per week (total of 10 practicals, leaving Week 1 and another free), 1 hour "Problem Solving" Class

Assessment:  25% Practical/Lab Work, 15% Homework Tasks, 60% Final Exam

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes

Past exams available:  Yes, ~4 for PHYC10004 specifically. Look up Physics B for more (dating back to 1999). They are essentially the same subject.


Lecturer(s): Roger Rassoll for Quantum Physics (Part 2) and some other guys that escape me for Electromag (Part 1).

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2, 2012

Rating: 3.5-4.75 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1 (93)


So, Physics 2. This is where you'll basically see a cohort of 70% engineering majors, 5% Mathematic majors and 20% Physics majors. Don't get me wrong, I found this class incredibly interesting and enjoyable. However, the lectures lacked information that was found (and needed) in the book, and the labs, like all first year Physics labs, weren't integrated into the lecturer curriculum well.

The course begins with basic electromagnetism, beginning with Coulomb's Law and beginning Maxwell's equations for Electromag in Lecture 2. Gauss's law is covered through the concept of an electric field from various charge distributions, including but not limited to: spheres, infinite rods, infinite planes, point charges and disks. Electrical conductors and the electric potential (better known as voltage) is discussed at length, using calculus to define both.

Electrical device's come up next, where capacitors are looked into detail along with their practical applications. Kirchoff's laws of current and voltage are run through extremely quickly, but that's ok because they are pretty easy. Magnetic fields and how they arise are next, where the Biot-Savant Law and the Lorentz force law will be taught. Pay attention to these because they are necessary. The magnetism portion of the subject completes the 4 Maxwell Equations. REMEMBER THESE EQUATIONS OFF BY HEART. The will be used to derive many expressions in exams and tutorials. They are also pretty neat.

As a general note for the Electromagnetism portion of the course. This course uses surprising large amount of calculus for modelling. I know that mathematics is the language of Physics, but a lot of students, including myself, was not expecting this. Line integrals and setting up integrals for Gauss's law and the Biot-Savant Law are extremely common. Finding the electric field due to a charge distribution is elementary compared to finding the voltage (electric potential) parallel to a rod at a distance r from each differential charge dq of the rod (this uses summation/integration).

This is the reason I advocate buying the book. The book covers the calculus behind the physics extremely well, with many examples that are too long for the lecture to include. I whole-heartedly believe that this book taught me extremely well in terms of how to tackle each problem and what the relevant physics and mathematics to use were.   

After the electromag portion of the subject, there is 1.5 weeks of Fluids and Thermodynamics. This doesn't really get covered in depth, however, it would be good if you could read the chapters in the book as the assessed material was harder than the lecture material indicated.

The quantum portion of this subject isn't taught very well. I'd like to say that it has nothing to do with the lecturer, but it does. And it's not because the lecturer was bad, it is because the material is just weird to explain for 1st year undergraduates (I believe) (IE: WTF is an infinite potential well of energy?). Many equations will be rehashed from Year 12, however, in a tad more detail. Once again, this is where the textbook shines as it explains all of the topics in much more detail and provides a much better understanding for future classes and the exam. Buy it, and study all the chapters. I still have this book and I'm proud that I could finish all of it through two Physics courses at UoM.

All in all, a very good subject that has interesting topics. However, it could be taught more throughly. This is mediated by the purchase of the prescribed text book.

With the book: 4.75/5
Without the book: 3.5/5
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: nubs on February 27, 2013, 03:27:03 am
Subject Code/Name: PHYC10005: Physics Fundamentals

Workload: 3 x one hour lectures per week; 1 x one hour tutorial per week; 28 hours of practical work (8 x three hour laboratory sessions and up to 30 minutes of pre-laboratory activity) and 10 weekly assignments of 30 minutes each during the semester.

Assessment: Ongoing assessment of practical work during the semester (25%); ten weekly assignments (10 x 1.5% = 15%); a 3-hour written examination in the examination period (60%).

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes

Past exams available:  Yes

Lecturers : Martin Sevior and (I think) Christopher Chandler. I’m about to make some pretty negative comments on the lecturers for this course, so if Christopher Chandler wasn’t actually one of the lecturers please let me know so I can remove his name

Textbook Recommendation: 
R Knight, B Jones and S Field, College Physics: A Strategic Approach, 2nd edition, Addison-Wesley, 2010.

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1, 2012

Rating: 1.5 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: (H1)

This subject is for students who did not do VCE Physics, and is intended to cover much of the content in the VCE course, as well as going into much greater depth so you are ready for the second semester subjects. As a result, this subject is much harder than VCE Physics would be, and by the end of it you should know nearly as much as the students in the regular Physics stream. The only difference between the two subjects is that the regular stream uses more calculus.

The Lecturers were not great to say the least, I don’t think there was one student in that course that would disagree with that. They made the subject incredibly boring, ripping out all the interesting parts and leaving us with an incredibly mind-numbing teaching method. Motion was my favourite part of the Specialist Mathematics course. These lecturers made me HATE motion as well as every other topic they taught. Seriously, these guys were terrible and they don’t ever deserve to teach students again. Or even talk to them. They shouldn’t look at them either.

We were basically taught, or forced, to memorise rather than understand. When either of them did try to explain something, it wasn't done very well.

All this subject really is, is a bit of theory and knowing how to apply the theory using a bunch of different formulas. Some of the kids found the subject really difficult because of a lack of experience with maths and the lecturer’s inability to explain the theory well enough so that students could effectively apply it. The tutorials on the other hand were much better and helped significantly.

That being said, the homework assignment answers can all be found using Google, and it is entirely possible to get above 100% on each of them. My average for the semester was something like 102%
The practicals were also pretty easy to get through (with my instructor anyway). They could be somewhat enjoyable if you had good partners, but not always relevant to the course. Most people got 9s and 10s for all of them, so they’re pretty easy to score well in.
So, yeah, if you do well on those two parts of the course, then you only need something like 20%  on the exam to pass the subject.

My exam also included a lot of questions from the tutorials and (from what I was told) past exam papers. A very boring subject for your average maths student, and a very easy subject to do well in if you make somewhat of an effort (i.e. typing assignment questions into Google). Only take it if you need to, I can almost guarantee that you won’t find it very interesting, and you’d be better off learning it on your own if you’re only doing it for interest’s sake, or for the sake of your GAMSAT preparation.

If you've done well in Specialist Maths but haven't done Physics in High School, you're allowed to (with permission) to do Physics 1 instead of Physics 1:Fundamentals. There really isn't much of an advantage of doing this, because like I said, there isn't a huge difference between both the courses, just that Physics 1 uses a bit more calculus, and Physics 1: Fundamentals explains the things that are sometimes assumed to be assumed knowledge for the Physics 1 stream.

That being said, you wouldn't be at significant disadvantage if you were to do Physics 1 without doing Physics. You'd have to teach yourself a lot of the content throughout the semester so you're prepared for lectures, but you virtually have to teach yourself everything anyway for the Fundamentals stream. The lecturers are that bad.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: ReganM on March 20, 2013, 11:17:30 am
Subject Code/Name: BOTA20004 Flora of Victoria

Workload: Contact Hours: 21 hours of lectures and 33 hours of practical work, including excursions full-time over two weeks in early February
Total Time Commitment: Estimated total time commitment of 120 hours

Essentially 2 weeks of class. 2x 1h15m lectures in the morning, 1x 3hr prac in the afternoon. 2 excursions (one a week).

Assessment: Mini assignment on one of the excursions (10%?), written assignment due start of sem 1 (25%), exam (65%)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture (I think?? I never used Lectopia, I went to the lectures).

Past exams available: Some practice exam questions provided.

Textbook Recommendation:  Some recommended books but no need to buy (it's only 2 weeks man).

Mike Bayly - Main guy, super interested in the topic, was really great to listen to. Was also practical demonstrator guy.

Other assorted lecturers who were "guest" lecturers. Can't remember all their names. ): Made it really interesting, one or two were pretty boring, but overall they were pretty good.

Year & Semester of completion: Summer Semester 2013.

Rating:  5/5

Your Mark/Grade: H1


Going to divide this up.

Time Commitment
Honestly one of my favourite subjects I've taken. It only took up like 3 weeks (incl. 1 week of exam period) of my summer, and it was super enjoyable! I didn't study *too* much but I'd go over notes on the train before I got to uni etc. Since there were 2 lectures and a prac nearly everyday it was pretty essential to stay on top of things. Was draining to go to uni from 9-4pm every day, but since it was only for like 2 weeks I was fine with it.

Well set out, wasn't too complicated. Our lecture content was really about plants in Victoria. Included topics like fire adaption, where they grow, variation, etc. We also had lectures on regions of Victoria such as the Mallee and also lectures on grasslands and conservation. Really good mix of topics. Also not too many "new" words so I felt like I understood everything without having to do pre-reading.

The lectures were a bit longer than normal ones, about 75 minutes each one, and there was a 15/30 minute break in between (I forget, LOL).

They took attendance. No need for lab coat, but a dissection kit is handy (although they have supplies). Mostly the pracs were on identifying features of a plant as well as identifying plants themselves (trying to figure out what family/genus it belongs to). It was pretty fun actually, I thought of it as "Choose your own adventure" except with plants.. since you used a key to figure out what plant it was, haha.

They didn't last the full 3 hours, it was pretty relaxed. The practicals didn't have a test but the content was examinable. My friend and I often left like 30-45 minutes early.

Lots of knowledgable demonstrator/tutor people too.

We had two, one for each week.

One was too Anglesea, near the beach (but we didn't go onto the beach itself). We looked at plants, walked around a forest etc.

Other was to Mt. Macedon and a mallee type area. It was cold that day so I wish I had worn more layers! LOL.

Anyway, for one of the excursions you are given an assignment, normally the first one (Anglesea) but if you missed it you could do an assignment for the second excursion. It was like a double sided page to fill in, haha. I recommend you go on these and try and get into Mike's group because he has unreal knowledge of plants (although all of the group leaders did).

Listen to the group leaders since what they say is also examinable, content on the exam included what kind of plants were dominant in those areas.

Super enjoyed this subject! Although I am a biology nut and I was vaguely interested in plants to begin with (ie. I didn't find the botany pracs in year 1 that boring).

Seriously, if you're interested in this topic, lighten your workload for a semester and do this for 2 weeks in the summer!
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Shenz0r on June 13, 2013, 06:36:50 pm
Subject Code/Name: BIOL10002: Biomolecules and Cells

Workload:  3 x one hour lectures per week, 18 hours of workshops (1 hour of theory workshop and 2 hours of practical workshop per fortnight)

Assessment:  A 45 minute multiple choice test held mid-semester (10%); work in practical classes during the semester including assessment of practical skills and written work not exceeding 1000 words (30%); completion of 5 Independent Learning Tasks throughout the semester (5%); a written assignment not exceeding 500 words (5%); a 3hr examination on theory and practical work in the examination period (50%).

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available:  Sample exam provided with answers. I feel that the answers were a bit dodgy though. Do the sample exam, because one of our Section D questions on the actual exam was just ripped off the sample.

Textbook Recommendation:  The prescribed textbook is "Life" by Sadava et al, which I found quite useful while writing all of my summary notes (I referred to it most of the time, in conjunction with the slides). The lecturers sometimes copy slabs of the textbook and paste it on a powerpoint (I found a whole paragraph just ripped off the book in one of the lecture slides). It's got good diagrams, and it's pretty easy to read. I found a lot of the stuff in the textbook that was relevant and useful in getting a bit more background knowledge and understanding towards the lecture material. It's good supplementary material, but you should know how far you should go into the details from the lecture slides.

Lecturer(s): Prof. Geoff McFadden, Prof. David Gardner, Dr. Matthew Digby, Assoc. Prof Laura Parry (reminded me of Julia Gillard), and Dr. Stephen Frankenberg. All of the lecturers are good and very passionate about what they teach. Prof. McFadden focuses on cell biology, and likes to use videos and diagrams so you'll have to annotate a lot on his slides. Prof. Gardner also likes to use diagrams and the occasional video, and is a pretty funny and nice guy. I mean, he showed us his stress sperm and sperm USBs. He mainly focuses on digestion and reproduction/development.  Dr. Digby focuses on the endocrine, nervous and immune systems. He was a good lecturer I thought, but a few friends thought he was just reading off slides. Prof. Laura Parry focuses on the cardiovascular and renal systems. She really likes to use the textbook and her slides are full of text, so you don't really have to annotate much with hers. Dr. Frankenberg takes taxonomy, homeostasis and cell tissue; he isn't bad as a lecturer but the material is a bit stale.

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1, 2013

Rating:  4.5 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1 (91)
Comments: Coming into university, there's a lot of material to digest, but it's Biology so it's to be expected. You will struggle at retaining all the information if you don't regularly revise and summarise though; there's a constant bombardment of new information. If you liked Year 12 Biology, you will love this subject because it is basically a more in-depth combination of Unit 1 and Unit 3 of VCE Biology. It is very focused on the animal side of Biology, so you learn nearly nothing about plants, apart from the fact that they have chloroplast and have cell walls.

The first third of the subject focuses mainly on cell biology, which is generic Year 12 stuff with a bit more to it. The majority of the subject focuses on the systems of the body; mainly digestion, circulatory, respiration, endocrine, nervous, renal, and immune systems. The lecturers like to hammer in the fact that you're in what they call "the highest density of Biomedical research in the southern hemisphere", and you'll get lectures about stem cells and animal models in biomedical research too. Taxonomy is the last bit of the course, and generally the most boring part that everybody hates. The material for taxonomy isn't hard if you summarise it, but people will struggle to understand it (it's not the most interesting aspect of Biology, really!). For taxonomy, I made a list of mneumonics to cram remember the species in each phyla and the general order of evolution (i.e, when you're looking at domain Eukarya and travelling down to the mammalian line, symmetry is the first divergence, then the number of germ layers, then blastopore development, then jaws...etc).

So while the subject material is very good, I have to say, workshops and tutes were not too useful. Attendance in workshops steadily decreased as the semester went by. The workshops sort of function as a mini-lecture and usually one supervisor will just talk to you about the lecture material, and make you do worksheets from the workbook. Kinda pointless. I only found one workshop useful. Tutorials are held just before your pracs and rather than clarifying information, it's more focused on explaining the practical you're about to do next. My tutor also got us to do worksheets when there was nothing to add on for the practicals.

The practicals are very good, and relate to the material very well. Each practical is worth 10 marks. You get one mark by passing the pre-prac test, 5 marks for assessment during the prac, and 4 marks on your post-prac test which must be done within 24 hours after completion of your practical.  Each practical is composed of "Activities", some of which are assessed and some of which that aren't. The first practicals you do consist of looking at cells through your microscope, making all these drawings, and then the fun begins. You'll dissect a mouse and look at it's digestive system, then it's reproductive system, and you'll also dissect a sheep's heart. Just a warning, the Biology department doesn't supply gloves.

The assignment is really a joke and the take home portion requires less than an hour to do. They give you a news article which has something to do with medical research, and then you have to find the original journal publications the article was based on. You then have to cite all the authors using APA and Harvard referencing correctly. In one of your tutorials, you'll finish up the assignment by writing an "essay" on a topic they give you (i.e, Describe the structure and function of a particular organelle).

The MST consists of 25 MC questions and, given that you've studied, it isn't too hard to do well.

ILTs aren't that hard either. You get something like 1% for each ILT you pass, and there are five of them. Very easy way of getting 5%. They consist of an online tutorial and a quiz. You can easily full-mark them if you have both the tutorial and the quiz open at the same time.

The exam is very fair. Section A consisted of 65 MC choice, of which Q32-65 were worth two marks. Section B and C are kinda like "fill in the gap" questions, where they ask you to slot in words in a paragraph they've written for you, or they'll make you label a diagram. Section D has three "essay" type questions and is the hardest part of the exam. I made up a list of practise Section D questions for each lecture and just wrote practise essays at home, which helped a lot coming into the exam.

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this subject and it was very well-taught. Try to stay on top with all of the content if you can!

(Also, this is the subject in Biomedicine that is primarily responsible for the sucky 8AM starts three days a week. But I think it's worth getting up to listen to the lectures first-hand, anyway.)
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Shenz0r on June 13, 2013, 07:18:11 pm
Subject Code/Name: LING10002: Intercultural Communications 

Workload:   2 x 1 hour lectures (repeat leactures will be available) and a 1 x 1 hour tutorial per week. There will be no tutorial in the first and last week of semester.

Assessment:  Two 1500-word research assignments 70% (due mid-semester and end of semester), a 1-hour examination 30% (during the examination period). The first assignment is on the use of Address Terms, and the second one involves interviewing a person from your tute and eliciting a "critical event" from them. These assignments have to be written out like a research paper, so you need Introductions, Literature Review, Methodology, Findings, Discussion, and Conclusions (your Appendix and References aren't counted in the final word-count). The exam is relatively straightforward if you've gone through the lecture slides. It consists of 30 MC questions, to be completed in an hour.

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture. However, some lectures had no audio recording.

Past exams available:  No past exams. They give you a few "sample" questions in the last lecture, and then the rest of that lecture is spent making up sample questions of your own and quizzing other students.

Textbook Recommendation:  Kramsch's "Language and Culture", which you will use for like the first or second weeks and then forget about it. I did use it for reference in my assignments though. The lecturers upload readings but honestly, unless you have a real interest in it, you don't need them.

Lecturer(s): Dr. Celia Thompson and Janne Morton for the majority of your lectures. Dr. Hyejeong Kim and Dr. Amanda Bayliss each take one lecture.

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1, 2013

Rating:  3.5 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H2A (75)


There isn't a lot of material in this subject, and I didn't regularly revise. It's very manageable and a good relaxation from science-based subjects. The assignments are important because they're worth more than your exam, so try do well in them. A lot of people tend to do badly on the first assignment (even Masters students), mainly because of structure. Clarify it with your tutor, as they'll be the one marking your assignment. In fact, show up to their office with a sort of draft and just ask them if it's ok to talk about this and that, which is what I did for assignment two.

I didn't bother going to the lectures and I don't think you need to. A lot of the time the audience will do group activities (which don't really help) and the lecturers will go off on interesting tangents that are sort of related to the material, but are really more of a personal anecdote. Listening at home is sufficient, and you can skip all of the tangenty parts.

I think this subject is marked on a bell curve, so try do better relative to other people.

Tutorials are compulsory and attendance is recorded. I found that the tutorials just consisted of an endless avalanche of questions about the coming assignments. We would spend the whole hour clarifying the assignment.

If you're interested in the soci-cultural side of linguistics, I think that this subject would be a good choice.

EDIT: Echoing El2012's sentiment, the assignments are difficult to score well in and it's a pain in the ass to improve on your scores. My tutor said that my second assignment was a very big improvement from my first assignment...and only gave me one mark more.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: VivaTequila on June 15, 2013, 01:46:59 am
Subject Code/Name: CHEM20018 - Reactions and Synthesis


3 Lectures/week
1 Tute/week
NO PRACS. NO PRACS. NO PRACS. DO NOT EXPECT CHEM PRACS. I feel this is important - yes, there is a chem subject without pracs.

Assessment:  20% Online Tests, 80% Exam.

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, screen capture works, but on that note the chem lectures are forced into the only room on the entire campus that doesn't use the conventional lectopia. It still works through ECHO, but there are often glitches, and the some lecturers are unsure of how to work the system.

Past exams available:  Sample exams can be found on the digital repository, but they don't provide solutions for they believe students should revise using tute questions. Here's a quote from a near-exam period LMS announcement:
Quote from: Subject Coordinator
Several students have requested solutions to past CHEM20018 papers. School policy is that beyond 1st year, past exams solutions or exam tutorials will not be provided. In higher years, it is expected that students should be able to prepare for exams with the support of the extensive online notes, CA tests, and tutorials with solutions. You should attempt the past exams then consult with the lecturers for each part of the course.

Textbook Recommendation:  Don't need to buy anything, just borrow the various books from the library as you need them.

Chronological order as semester progressed:
Organic Chem - Jonathan White (no problems)
Thermodynamics - Ken Ghiggino (no problems)
Inorganic Synthesis: Enthalpic and Entropic Drivers - Stephen Best (major problems, this guy shouldn't lecture, most students found him hard to understand)
Inorganic Synthesis: Coordination Chemistry - Paul Donnelley (stellar lecturer)
Option 1: Theory of Advanced Materials - Angus Gray Weale (I can't vouch for his lecturing in this subject because I didn't elect to do ToAM, but he is a great lecturer regardless)
Option 2: Biological Organic Chemistry - Spencer Williams (another great lecturer)

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1 2013

Rating:  4 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: Will update when results come out


This subject is used by plenty of people going into various majors.
People pick CHEM20018 to:
- major in chemistry
- major in medicinal chemistry
- major in chemical systems for chemical engineering (coincidentally last chemistry subject they need to do with the chem major students)
- some people who major in pharmacology (depends on how they set up their major; some 3rd year subjects require chem)
- others who decide they like chem and pick it as an elective

The subject difficult, in that it is incredibly fast paced. Expect a big step up from first year - here, if you aren't studying each lecture properly (for at least 2+ hours until you understand everything in it), then you're not doing it right and will probably fail. And given that it's an 80% exam, your really will probably fail.

First up - the lectures. The lectures are not bad, but they are very fast paced. I can honestly suggest that if you're on top of your game, you really owe it to yourself to pre-read. I found myself constantly 1-2 weeks behind in this subject because it would take me longer to learn the lectures than the lectures were actually happening, and I could only catch up when cramming for assessments. It was definitely my hardest subject, and by a ridiculous margin as well - the workload is really massive, and they get the ball rolling from Day 1.

The lectures cover a wealth of material; it starts with organic chemistry where you learn everything you possibly could about C=O, reaction mechanisms, and bond formation and breaking. Then it progresses into thermodynamics where you are expected to start using integrals - everything in this is basically physics and maths, and it's essentially the study of physical chemistry and why it is important. You will find this section a lot easier if you properly read the relevant info in the textbook; in my opinion, the lecture notes are too brief and you'll end up really confused if you don't try to learn this properly. From there, you use all of the information in this unit as pre-requisite information in the next which is inorganic chemistry, and it's probably the worst taught component of the course.

I'm going to give inorganic chemistry it's own little paragraph, because I really feel like I ought to explain why it's shit. It's shit because the lecturer is shit (in the sense that he can't communicate the information very effectively), the parts of inorganic chemistry he selected to teach us are shit (he could have picked much better topics), and the assessment (which is based on the shit topics he selected) is also shit (in that it tests very pedantic pieces information). It's no surprise really that it was the section people did worst on for the Online CAL tasks (which I will discuss). You learn about oxide/peroxide/superoxide formation (of all fucking things, great, useful, and helpful right? not.), then you move onto lattice energy and enthalpy of hydration and just generally learning really well how to work with Hess' law. The second half isn't so bad, because it is interesting. I'll give it that. But it still is super shit for the random things that you are expected to memorise.

Then, you move onto coordination chemistry, which, being taught by Donnelley, is a pleasure as always. Super clear lectures, super interesting stuff. You learn obviously about metal complexes and revise a whole bunch of first year stuff, but you actually move a little deeper into redox. By the end of inorganic, you'll have a generally good understanding of how chemistry works - why reactions happen and linking everything to everything. Linking salts dissolving in water to energy transformations to pH to redox to transition metal chemistry. It's a pretty good outlook. Except for pourbaix diagrams - that shit's hard.

Finally, there's an option!. You get to pick from two different topics - biological organic chemistry or synthesis of advanced materials.

I picked biological organic chemistry, which was great. It's a pity it was the last topic in the course, because it made me realise I should have picked Biochem over physiology. You learn about the major groups of molecules - sugars, fats/polyketides, and proteins. It's incredibly eye opening and if you have any interest in expanding on the general structures of organic molecules that you learned in Year 12 chem, then this is really a good pick, and I'm sure it would complement any subject (it helped with Physiology for example because I was able to see how a couple of hormones, like prostaglandins, were actually synthesised). Note: I think there MUST be overlap with biochem, because from what I've seen of my peers' biochem work, it was pretty similar.

I'm fairly sure that Synthesis of Advanced Materials is about getting you to be able to look at anything and tell you everything about what it's made out of. E.g. you look at all of the macroscopic properties of materials - stretch, density, reactivity with atmosphere, how easy it is to fracture, etc. I'm not so sure, but that's the general gist.

Now for the CAL tasks:
There are 5 topics and there are 5 CAL tasks, but only your top 4 grades count towards your 20%. That means that your top 4 out of the 5 CALS are worth 5% each. It's not as easy to get 100% in the CALS as in other subjects, but you get two attempts at each one and the questions do not change, so anyone technically SHOULD be able to do it. I did get 100% for all of the topics except one - can you guess which?
that's right, fuckin' inorganic
. The questions are mostly fair and model the lectures and tutes pretty well. Which is good.

I think the best part of taking this subject was that it actually links all of the main ideas in ways you've never before seen; you begin to think about the world in terms of thermodynamics and whether processes will or will not happen and you also begin to understand connections between phenomena you always thought were unrelated, like pH and redox stability and energy transformations and enthalpies of just about any process you like. The other good part about this subject is it leaves you reflecting that you have learned so much, but you realise that you've only scratched the surface of what Chemistry really is - a lot of the mechanisms you learned are simplified (and still incredibly hard), and a lot of theory still needs to be covered.

The worst part of the subject were
a) inorganic
b) the workload

Might edit this a bit later for readability / might feel like adding stuff
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: yearningforsimplicity on June 16, 2013, 07:23:10 pm
Subject Code/Name: EDUC10057 - Wellbeing, Motivation & Performance

Workload:  1 x 1.5 hour lectures and 1 x 1 hour tutorial per week. Lectures/Tutorials run for all 12 weeks.

AssessmentOne 1500 word essay due early in the semester (35%) about Positive Psychology and application to daily life through a Positive Psychology Intervention. One 2500 word essay due at the end of semester before exams (65%) about Positive Psychology principles, connections to practice in a particular field (either Hope, Gratitude or Character Strengths) and how knowledge and principles of PP can be applied to communities and individuals to enhance wellbeing.

Lectopia Enabled: Yes

Past exams available:  N/A

Textbook Recommendation: The prescribed textbook was "Positive Psychology: The Science of. Happiness and Flourishing (Compton and Hoffman)". I'd say although it was "prescribed", it really was more of a "recommended" text - I didn't buy it and neither did most of the other people in my tute. The lectures were quite detailed anyway and if you want further info, there's always the readings (and ted talks and youtube vids Natalie weaves into the lectures), So I'd say you don't *need* the textbook as such! :)

Lecturer(s): Professor Lea Waters and Natalie Brain

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1, 2013

Rating:  5 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1 (85)

I LOVED this subject! Basically this subject is for anyone who wants to learn about positive psychology :) We mostly learn topics regarding PP, such as the different ways in which we can change negative mindsets to positive ones to broaden our thinking and build our skills in life - you'll be drawing on many theories and positive psychology principles, such as Hope, Gratitude, Motivation, Flow, Joy, etc and understanding how you can apply PP principles in life to achieve better outcomes. I thought I could always apply stuff I learnt and the content itself is quite easy to grasp and link together (so helpful when it comes to the essays!) and makes you look at things in a more positive light :)

The lecturers were amazing! Especially Natalie, who was also my tutor. She was just the most kindest and helpful tutor you could have and soooo enthusiastic too haha :D Tutorials were also really engaging and the fact that this subject's tutes were 1 hour (instead of the normal 2 hr tutes in Education subjects) made it feel less dreary (I did an education sub last year and the 2 hr tutes were way too long for the content covered!) so this subject has done well in avoiding that :) In terms of lectures, each lecture is 1.5 hours and there are recordings so even if you have clashes (like I did) you can always listen to the recordings and they'll suffice :)

The assessment part of this subject was also really organised! Before each assessment we had about 30 mins of the lecture dedicated to some guy coming down from Academic Skills Unit and giving us a sort of briefing about how we might structure our essays and how to use APA format correctly and avoid common mistakes. Although this lecture wasn't specifically content based, it did help to make things clearer by means of referencing and paragraph/sentence structures. Both essays do have a reflective component, where you need to personally assess and gauge the effect of PP and its principles both on your life and the implications it could have for communities and society. You do not need to be an "Arts" student to do well in the essays because the essays are more based on how you show your understanding of the content and use APA referencing correctly. If anything, the essays had more of a "scientific" edge (with the use of graphs and data in essay 1) and analysis of experiment research methods in the study about Hope/Gratitude/Strengths in essay 2.

Basically, WMP was a really well taught and organised subject. The use of resources such as youtube videos, TED talks and readings were really selected and inspiring and really linked up to what we were learning. As a Psych major, this subject really showed me a "side" of Psychology that I hadn't been exposed to before in much depth :)
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Shenz0r on June 19, 2013, 04:42:22 pm
Subject Code/Name: MAST10016: Mathematics for Biomedicine 

Workload: 3 x one hour lectures per week; 1 x one hour practice class per week

Assessment:  Ten written assignments due at weekly intervals throughout the semester amounting to a total of up to 50 pages of written work (25%); an oral presentation due during the semester (5%); and a 3-hour written examination conducted during the examination period (70%).

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture I think.

Past exams available:  No. Sample exam was just exercise sheet questions with an exam layout.

Textbook Recommendation:  No textbook prescribed.

Lecturer(s): Dr. Steve Carnie. Apparently Dr. Anthony Morphett is taking over next semester.

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1, 2013

Rating:  3.25 of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1 (80)


This is a brand new subject for the Biomedicine degree. It is viewed by many students in the same vein as Statistics and Physics - many students did not like this subject and I can see why. However, that being said - given that you study for the subject, you will find the subject not being as difficult as people initially make it out to be.

The subject covers three areas; population genetics, chemical system kinetics, and epidemic disease modelling. Along the way you will find a lot of new parameters, differential equations, and difference equations. You'll use these to model allele/genotype frequencies, how [A] changes with respect to (s) with time, and how much of the population you have to vaccinate in order to prevent an epidemic. The material itself sounds ok, right? You'll learn about the effect of selection on allele frequencies and genetic drift, you'll learn about Michaelis-Mentin kinetics, you'll learn about why we have epidemics. I think that this subject does fit into the Biomedicine degree more than a Calculus subject would. It's more relevant, I'll give it that. However, it was very hard to understand the maths that was going on in the background.

The lectures, I have to say, were not good. Most of the cohort would sit there and the information would go in one ear and out the other. The lecturer would spend a lot of time showing how equations for this and that are derived, and you're not expected to know how to derive them anyway. They're insanely hard to follow, and everybody is too busy writing to absorb information. It just confused the hell out of everybody and when he finally reached his main point, everybody was just too much in "DAFAQ" mode to absorb it. However, I think what I should've done after a lecture was to go over the slides again, perhaps in the consultations, because after actually battling through the exercise sheets, most of the lectures made more sense and were actually less confusing then people made them out to be.

The tutorials were the only time where I actually did understand what the hell the lectures was about. My tutor was very helpful and clarified a lot of questions for me, even if I didn't know how to do every single question on the tutorial sheet. The maths tutorial isn't like your typical high-school classroom; you work through the tutorial sheet in groups and write on the whiteboard. The tutorial sheets provided also had the necessary formulas which you had to know (AND MOST OF THE TIME WERE THE ONLY THINGS YOU HAD TO KNOW), and it just made a lot more sense without the unnecessary derivation.

Now, the workload. There's no textbook for this subject. The only questions you can find are from the tutorial sheets or the 12 exercise sheets they make for you (which are harder than the exam questions!). The exercise sheets can be quite difficult and annoying. I recommend consulting the lecture slides while you do the exercise sheets, because they also ask you on concepts not found on the tutorial sheets. There are a lot of "show that" questions on the exercise sheets, which gets very annoying and frustrating when you flip to the answers at the back and just see "Proof required" on the answers.

You also get weekly assignments, which are just a bunch of questions that you have to hand in every week. All of them are relatively straightforward and can be done in 1-2 hours. There is a mixture of questions that force you to do maths by hand or with the computer programs they give you. All in all, it's a pretty easy 25% to achieve.

There is an oral assessment which I feel was pretty much just a waste of time. You are each assigned topics about things that happen to relate to what you're studying, and you just talk about it for 5 mins in one of your tute. The topics are divided into maths and history-related categories. Some people had to talk about their working for the equilibrium solution of a first-order difference equation. On the other hand, I just talked talked about Sewall Wright and expanded on a bit of his personal life, as well as the contributions he made to population genetics.

The examination is not too bad; I thought it was fair in my opinion. A lot of us were struggling with the subject and the lecturer made it so it would be harder than the tutorial sheets, but easier than the exercise sheets. There were questions which were basically free-marks, and questions which you would have only been able to answer if you were really prepared.

A lot of people struggled and battled with this subject throughout the semester, me included. What I cannot emphasise enough is that if you have a question or are just feeling too overwhelmed by the subject, is to go to the consultation sessions. You can look up the timetable for the consultations on LMS. The consultation sessions are run by Dr. Carnie and Dr. Morphett, and they pretty much just answer any question you have. I don't think a lot of people made full use of the sessions throughout the semester, due to demotivation and lack of interest really.

I'll just provide a brief syllabus from the top of my head:

Population Genetics
HW equilibrium
First-order difference equations (linear and non-linear) - lots of equilibrium stuff!
Linear Stability Criterion
X-linked alleles
Moran Model

Chemical kinetics
Mass Action kinetics
Systems of Ordinary Differential Equations
Michaelis-Menten Kinetics
Hill kinetics
Phase line diagrams
Phase plane diagrams

Infectious Disease Modelling
(By this time, you've already learnt all the relevant mathematical techniques - it's just applying them to the context of infectious diseases)
SI model
SIS model
SIR model
Models with demographics
Critical vaccination thresholds

My advice for this subject is to seek help when you need it (and you may need it a lot), and continue working through all the exercise sheets even if takes you a very long time. You should do all the exercise sheets, tutorial questions and assignments at least twice before your exam, as there are no other resources to help you. It will take a while for your head to wrap around the concepts, and the "show that" questions are very annoying - but very good practise too. Once you actually get knuckling down on the questions, the maths behind everything is not so bad and things will begin to make sense - however, getting the motivation to continue with the questions is difficult when you don't understand any question in the first place. Overall, this is a subject that's very easy to lose motivation on, but the material itself isn't actually that bad when you study for it.

I would probably add that the content in the course was modified halfway through the semester (Week 6) in response to a negative feedback by the cohort (a very high proportion said that they were confused with the subject). Our cohort had a Facebook group dedicated to Mathematics for Biomedicine - where we all lamented and vented out our depression in this subject. Try to get into study groups for this subject - the more help, the better.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Shenz0r on June 20, 2013, 04:41:51 pm
Subject Code/Name: CHEM10006: Chemistry for Biomedicine

Workload:  3 x one hour lectures per week, 1 x three hour lab/workshop per week, 1 x one hour tutorial/workshop session per week, 6 hours of computer-aided learning during the semester, 8 hours of independent learning tasks during semester.

Assessment: A 30-minute on-line mid-semester test (5%); ongoing assessment of practical laboratory (20%) and a 3-hour written examination in the examination period (75%). Satisfactory completion of practical laboratory and workshop activity is necessary to pass the subject. Independent learning tasks need to be completed in order to pass the subject.

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available:  Past exams are available from 2009-2012. The solutions for the 2009 and 2010 exams are posted up before the mid-semester test, and the 2011 exam solutions were posted up during SWOTVAC. We weren't given solutions for 2012 because we had to use the "Exam Wiki", where people in the cohort have to kinda come up with the solutions and discuss them.

Textbook Recommendation:  Organic Chemistry by McMurray and Chemical Principles by Zumdahl. You don't need the books, download them if you really want to. The only time I ever referred to a chemistry textbook was to understand hemiacetal/acetal formation. You do need to buy the Tutorial Workbook and the Laboratory books though (and add a lab coat and safety glasses with that too).

Assoc. Professor Craig Hutton (Organic Chemistry)
Assoc. Professor Spencer Williams (Organic reactons)
Assoc. Professor Brendan Abrahams (Redox and inorganic chemistry)
Assoc. Professor David McFayden (Bio-geo-chemical cycles, DNA)

The lecturers are very competent and wonderful to listen to. I couldn't hope but notice that each one has a unique voice. Professor Hutton has a kiwi accent, Professor Williams sounds like he's from television. Professor Abrahams and McFayden both have voices that sort of make you have epiphanies. Professor Abrahams was in particular a very good lecturer (he got SO passionate about cooperativity in haemoglobin - it was pretty funny) and he provided us with a "checklist" of what we needed to know from his lectures for the exam.

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1, 2013

Rating:  4.5 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1 (87)


I will start off by saying that the Chemistry department is very organised and competent. The lecturers are really good, the tutors are really good (particularly Penny Commons), and there is always plenty of support available if you don't understand something. The learning centre is open 1-2 everyday where tutors come in and answer your question, and there are some additional help classes specific for CHEM10006 every Tuesday and Wednesday, which I highly recommend going to regularly.

Looking back, the subject is not too hard, which you'll only realise at the end of your revision. Of course, while we were learning it, it was just hard keep up understanding a new concept right after another. There's obviously a whole chunk of information they're throwing at you, but this is not a rote-learning heavy subject. Focus more on understanding the mechanisms and concepts that the lecturers try to teach you, because the exam is all about application of knowledge, really.

Most of the assessment you do over the semester comes in the form of practicals, which are worth 20%.  Here's the only bad thing about this subject really. The chemistry practicals aren't boring, but they are irrelevant to the material that CHEM10006 students learn. You'll be doing the same practicals as Chemistry 1 and Chemistry 2 students, so the content of the practicals are suited more to what they learn.  I think the only relevant practical I did was Galvanic Cells. You must do a ChemCAL pre-lab before every practical in order to be allowed into the lab, and you'll have to write up your entire practical report during the laboratory. I recommend doing as much as you can before the practical itself, so have your aim, procedure, and result tables all done. 

There is also a MST which consists of a 15 MCQ online test. Most people colluded for this test and you would often see a crowd of like 5-10 people around a single computer in the library.

As for the stuff you learn, I found it quite interesting and stimulating, but there were definitely some aspects of first-year chemistry that had to be left out (as its impossible to cram a year's worth of chemistry in a semester!). Professor Hutton will walk you through an introduction into organic chemistry, focusing on stereoisomers and nucleophiles/electrophiles. Professor Williams will begin taking you through organic reactions, pathways, and carbohydrates. I highly suggest rewatching his lectures online and DON'T copy the pathways while you're actually in the lecture theatre - you won't have time to absorb the information. (MAKE SURE YOU KNOW THE MECHANISMS FOR ORGANIC REACTIONS - apart from when you get organic reactions with reduction/oxidation!)

Professor Abrahams will take you through biominerals, redox chemistry (so you'll learn stuff like the field of stability for the oxidation/reduction of water, as well as how to use the Nerst Equation, and predicting what is biologically available). He then moves onto solubility, coordination chemistry and finally to proteins. Make sure you remember the general overview of the protein structures and the coordination environment.

Professor McFayden focuses on Lewis Structures initially before moving onto the Bio-geo-chemical cycles. Most people get confused with how much they're supposed to know at this stage, because he just tells you to "appreciate the chemistry". What he really means is that  he don't expect you to replicate the whole cycle, but you will have to know which statements based on the cycles are true/false based on deductions made from lewis structures and redox half-equations. All the cycle questions are generally part of MCQ. He then moves onto Acid-Base chemistry, in particular, buffer solutions. For some reason a lot of people struggle with buffer solution questions on the exam papers. He'll then proceed to chemistry on DNA, and you've finished the course, whoo. (This was just a very brief summary from the top of my head btw) (On a quick note - make sure you know your periodic table up to Element 30, because you'll be needing to count valence electrons while drawing lewis diagrams and they won't provide a table for you!)

Tutorials are optional but I highly recommend going to them. You'll be going through the tute book, and the questions in it are generally very good. You can learn a lot out of them. I often went to two tutorial sessions a week because I was keen so I could have more time to understand the material. You should also go to the learning centre frequently if you're falling behind. There are also ChemCAL tutes but seriously, don't waste your time on them.

The ILTs are insanely hard to do because obviously you don't even know wtf they're about until you google them. I was quite lucky in my ahem independent learning and managed to find some ILT notes on google...which kinda saved my ass during the exam time to be honest. The last three questions on the exam MCQ are always based on the three ILTs, so make sure you know the necessary formulas and stoichiometric techniques the ILTs cover.

The exam was quite fair, not too hard but not too easy either. Our exam consisted of roughly 51 MCQ and 5 short answer questions. The past exams provide a good "taste" of what's to come - you'll see the same pattern of questions throughout the years. You can also bring a model kit into the exam but seriously nobody does that. The model kit comes with one of the textbook and my friend literally used it once, thought it was pretty cool, and never used it again.

To cap it off, I did enjoy this subject and I think it was superbly organised. In order to do well in this subject, it's crucial that you understand the concepts and mechanisms they teach you - don't just rote learn, because they're testing how well you can apply your understanding to new situations! That being said, it takes time to understand the concepts and you'd be better off revising in a consistent manner rather than leaving everything to the last minute.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: aaackk on June 24, 2013, 01:17:56 pm
Subject Code/Name: BLAW10001 Principles of Business Law 

Workload:  1x 2 hour lecture, 1x E-tutorial to be completed in your own time (takes approx 1-2 hours to complete)

Assessment:  3x 15% Skills Tasks, 55% Exam. All MC Q

Lectopia Enabled:  No

Past exams available:  Not really. There was only one E-Tutorial that had 4 case scenarios for practice.

Textbook Recommendation:  First Principles of Business Law + E-Tutorial registration code (comes standard if you purchase the textbook new). If you purchase a second hand textbook and don't want to fork out $80 for a code, the Law Library computers has the tutorials installed.

Lecturer(s): Tanya Josev

Year & Semester of completion: 2013 Semester 1

Rating: 5 Out of 5

The subject is fairly interesting if you have any slight interest in laws etc. The way the class structure works (with no formal face-to-face tutorial) means you will need to be organised and find time to do the E-Tutorials in your own time. The E-Tutorials are quite helpful, and some questions even reappeared in a different form on the exam. I have a few friends who got by the skills tasks without completing the E-Tutorials, but I personally found them very helpful.

Tanya is a very engaging lecturer and this helped keep the 2 hour lectures interesting. The lectures consist of 2 halves - first half is new content and theory, and the second half involves applying it towards a fictitious scenario.

The exam is very similar to the three skills tasks - all MC Q, and a combination of theory, cases, and scenario/scenarios with accompanying questions. There are a lot of cases to be familiar with for the second and third skills tasks, and the exam (~80 cases). It is not necessary to memorise every detail of the case, only the main details and the ruling etc. I found that it took me a while to rote learn the case names in order to confidently recognise in a list of MC Q options.

Overall, I enjoyed the subject.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Starlight on June 24, 2013, 02:28:02 pm
Subject Code/Name: CHEM20018 - Reactions and Synthesis 

Workload/assessment: See vivatequila's post on this subject

Lectopia Enabled: Just thought i'd make a note that the biological chemistry part of the course is not conveyed well on lectopia. If you end up going to lectures, definitely go to these. The lecturer will use his laser pointer to analyze carbohydrates/ fats/ polyketides etc. so you will probably be a bit lost if you don't go.

Past exams available:  Although there are no solutions for the past exams, still worth practicing them. Because of the fact that no solutions a rep provided, you can expect that the tutorial content for the subject parallels quite strongly with that of the exam (except some tutorial questions seemed a bit out of the scope of the course).

Textbook Recommendation:
Mcmurry is pretty good for biological chemistry (carbohydrates, lipids) for nomenclature in particular, and there are a few reaction mechanisms there. The textbook for thermodynamics was alright for the adiabatic stuff but you don't really need it. All in all, you don't need to rely on the textbooks to do well.

Lecturer(s)/ comments:

JMW: Organic chemistry- One of the top two lecturers for the subject. His teaching methods make organic reaction schemes seem a lot more simple than they are conveyed on paper. Also was the tutor for most of the organic section and his willingness to outline a reaction mechanism for a particular problem before getting to the correct answer made things a lot easier. Easy to approach after the lecture if you have any questions.

Thermodynamics - Ken Ghiggino. He was pretty good. Thermodynamics is a matter of applying formulas/ integrals. If you understand these processes and the tutorial questions, the lectures are more of a supplement. He was willing to edit the tutorial solutions at one point to make them clearer when I couldn't understand something.

Inorganic Synthesis: Enthalpic and Entropic Drivers - Stephen Best.
Definitely the worst part of the course. You'll be happy when it's over. The fact that we had a replacement lecture for anzac day made it even more draining. For some reason, I missed out on the tutorials for the first half of his course which made it even more confusing. When I did go to the tutorial for the last 3 lectures of his material the content was definitely conveyed in a much clearer manner. Glad I don't have to see another born haber cycle again.

Inorganic Synthesis: Coordination Chemistry - Paul Donnelly. Probably the most interesting part of the course and a great lecturer alongside JMW. We looked into coordination complexes and their applications to real life situations e.g cancer treatment. The exam content for his part of the course was the most simple. Just a minor point that sometimes I felt I had to step away from the lecture notes and find out some more information on some stuff like d-orbital splitting diagrams (I guess it was assumed knowledge).

Biological Organic Chemistry - Spencer Williams. A pretty good lecturer. Except he had a tendency to compact a lot of reaction mechanisms which made it sometimes difficult to follow. Towards the end of the semester it gets just that more stressful that you have to know how a reaction mechanism works only being given a short hand diagram. This stuff mainly relates to the last 3 lectures of this component, which was probably the hardest. Lipids/ polyketides/ carbohydrates were relatively simple.

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1 2013

Rating:  2/5

Your Mark/Grade: H3
The reason I chose this subject initially was because I had a keen interest in organic chemistry. However, as the semester progressed I realised just how big of a step up the subject was from first year, and it made it just that more difficult that I hadn't done chemistry 1 (only fundamentals). For this reason the parts of the course I found most difficult were inorganic with spb (to be honest I never really improved in that section) and thermodynamics (although I understood later on that it seemed a lot worse than it was). I hadn't completely excluded the prospect of choosing chemistry as a major, however now I realise that it's not for me. However, that doesn't mean to say that i've lost all interest in the subject, I guess i'm just selective for a lot of the topics i like/ don't like.

I firmly agree with vivatequila's stastement that it is incredibly fast paced. It's not a subject that is "easy to do well in/ get a good gpa", you have to put in the hours to see results. I also tended to fall behind 3/4 lectures for the subject until the online tests came up.

Another quote from vivatequila:

"they get the ball rolling from Day 1". This guy knows what he is talking about.

Just thought i'd make a note regarding biological/ organic chem. The exam questions are more based on finding the "major product" for a particular reation, and less so on reaction mechanisms. However, do understand these reaction mechanisms because they make things so much more easier for you.
Inorganic chemistry is draining. I'll just state that this is the topic you will probably find the hardest. I didn't find one person that found this part of the topic easy.

With respect to vivatequila's quote:

"I think there MUST be overlap with biochem, because from what I've seen of my peers' biochem work, it was pretty similar".

Basically biochem provides you with the basics of carbohydrate chemistry required for reactions and synthesis. Doing biochem alongside chem helps out for this reason because when you start biological chem in reactions and synthesis you already know how to transform a fischer projection to a haworth and know some content about a, b glycosidic linkages. The biol chem course however goes a lot more in depth, you learn about how to apply keto/ enol tautomerism to carbohydrates, learn a lot more about hemiacetal/ acetal groups and whether a carbohydrate is a reducing sugar etc.

I don't have much to say on the advanced materials part of the course since I didn't take it and didn't have a clue of what they were testing. From the exam questions it seemed quite math based and also an extension of the laws of thermodynamics (sort of like newtons laws I guess where you analyse each one). I heard of quite of a few people during the semester stating they wish they had taken biological chemistry though, so take that from you will. It seemed like for the average chemistry student that biological chemistry is just a lot more approachable than inorganic chemistry.

The online tests:
Pretty simple and straightforward. In saying that I only got 100% for one test, the rest were in the 80s % wise. I'm convinced that they have the "4 out of 5 cal marks contribute to your final mark" because they know that we'll perform worst on the inorganic section. These tests are easier than first year because you can go back and change your answers for the second attempt (as VivaTequila previously outlined). You have 90 mins to complete each attempt which is more than enough (except for inorganic, it's just plain hard and confusing). The tests did take a lot of time out of my studies for other topics because of the whole second attempt thing. Just thought i'd make a note that your SECOND mark counts for the final mark. No matter whether your first or second attempt had the highermark, the second one contributes. You do not have the possibility of seeing if your response for a question is correct/ incorrect the first time.

Just a side note that there is no sort of "help session" like there is in first year at the learning centre. I really think they should open this up for 2nd year students because I know that a lot of students would have benefited so much from that. However, the tutors were approachable and you could meet them during office hours to cover lecture/ tutorial content.

And another comment (on the exam):

The exam is worth 80% so I think that's an important factor on your choices to do/ not to do the subject. Some people cope well with assessments during the semester, others manage to gun their exams so keep that in mind.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Chrissyy on June 25, 2013, 11:09:47 am
Subject Code/Name: GENE20001 Principles of Genetics

Workload: 3x1 hour lectures per week, 1x1 hour problem class per week

Assessment:  There are 3 online multiple choice tests staggered throughout the semester worth 10% each, there is then a 2 hour multiple choice exam

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:  Yes, roughly 8 practice exams were available on the LMS.

Textbook Recommendation:  There is a textbook prescribed that is really only useful for Alex Andrianopoulos' lecture material on phage genetics as it explains things quite a bit clearer than he does.

Lecturer(s): Ronald Lee (3 weeks): Mendelian genetics
Alex Andrianopoulos (4 weeks): Bacteriophage genetics
Chris Corbett (1 week): Extrachromosomal (non-mendelian genetics)
Phil Batterhan (4 weeks): Population genetics
Steve Hardy (Problem class presenter)

Year & Semester of completion: 2013, Semester 1

Rating:  4/5

Your Mark/Grade: -

Comments: This subject was really well coordinated and I found that all of the lecturers were engaging and this was bolstered by interesting and approachable content. I found Ronald's lecture material the most difficult to understand as it is a really big step up from first year genetics and involves complex genetic problems including inversion mapping/translocation mapping/advanced genetic problems involving multiple loci with epistasis/lethality and the material in the problem classes is also really difficult in this section. I found Alex's lecturing style really fantastic - he was definitely the most enthusiastic and easy to listen to and although I was not really interested in phage genetics by the end, at least he was engaging. This section of the course was most easily supplemented with the text book so I suggest you at least loan it out at the library if you are having trouble understanding what is quite a complex/unfamiliar area of genetic analysis. I understood Phil's lecture material the most out of all of the lecturers despite thinking that I would absolutely hate it. At the beginning of his sequence he sends out the exam formula sheet which basically looks like a mess of about 20 or so mathematical formulas related to population genetics. Do not fear! All of these are explained by Phil and he is really easy to understand and a really great lecturer. My only criticism of this subject is in the weighting of the exam - like many science subjects 70% of the assessment was reliant on a good exam result, the online quizzes (bar Ronald's) were easy to score above 80% in given that they are open book but I would have honestly preferred a closed book MST under exam conditions to rid myself of his lecture content for the exam. Ronald is a really great guy but I found myself struggling a lot with the difficulty of some of his problems throughout the semester! The exam was not very well written and luckily for me around 7 whole questions from Ronald's section were stricken due to a printing error. Phil's section is the easiest to do well in as it just involves plugging in numbers to what look like really daunting (but are actually quite simple) equations. Alex's exam questions require a little more thought but they were not unreasonable. Anyone that is interested in genetics should do this subject - I had a love/hate relationship with it throughout the semester given that it was a big step up from first year problems but overall it was quite enjoyable. Make sure you attend the problem classes as many of the online quiz questions are recycled from the problems discussed in these classes and answers to these questions are not posted online!
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Chrissyy on June 26, 2013, 11:46:52 am
Subject Code/Name: PSYC20008 Developmental Psychology

Workload:  2x1 hour lectures per week, 1x2 hour tutorial every fortnight.

Assessment:  2x1000 word lab reports: in the first assessment piece you need to write the Introduction + Method of a lab report, in the second piece of assessment you need to write the Results + Discussion + Abstract sections of a lab report as well as resubmit your Introduction + Method based on any corrections.

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen captures.

Past exams available:  No, each lecturer gave a small series of question (between 10-30) to practice with.

Textbook Recommendation:  The textbook for this subject is really unnecessary, unless you're having difficulty with the content don't even bother.

Lecturer(s): Katherine Johnson (Biological Development/Theory of Mind/Autism)
Bob Reeve (Theories of Development/Infancy)
Fiona Reynolds (Development of Language)
Heidi Gazelle (Social Development/Family/Attachment)
Judi Humberstone (Quantitative Methods: Chi Squared)

Year & Semester of completion: 2013, Semester 1

Rating:  3/5

Your Mark/Grade: -

Comments: I had a love/hate relationship with this subject. I'll say this from the beginning: the content in this subject is very easy to grasp for the most part, it does not require you to learn any complex ideas about development and it is far less scientific than its Biological Psychology counterpart. If you're looking for a Level 2 Psychology breadth, choose this subject as the assessment isn't too difficult and little extra reading is required to do well. HOWEVER, the administration in this subject was absolutely dismal. There appeared to be a lot of inconsistencies between head tutor requirements and the requirements of individual tutors for their marking and as such a lot of students suffered because of miscommunication. There were differences between classes in terms of the style of reporting (how to report p values, how to report graphs, where to put the 'Design' section of the lab report, whether to include DOIs) and the tutors (well, at least my tutor) was very fickle about small things that were correct in APA 5th formatting style but not in APA 6th style. This was despite instruction from the head tutor that APA 5th style was acceptable. The tutorial component/assessment of this subject was ultimately a disaster. When we were told to write up our Results section of the lab report we were brought into the computer labs (with many students quite unfamiliar with SPSS) and pretty much told to make our own way through the reporting despite most of us having no idea what to do. This really made me despise the subject and a lot of students were in a similar position.

Now, on to the lectures. This was the only real positive of the subject - they were really interesting and all of the lecturers were so engaging and fantastic. I loved all of their presentations styles and you could easily tell that they were all enthused about what they were talking about. In the exam most of the multiple choice questions were quite fair and reasonable and only a few questions out of 30 were regarding explicit memory of readings (which I didn't bother to actually do unless they were explicitly mentioned in the lectures). The exam involved 30 MCQs and then 2 essays to be completed in 2 hours. They suggest dedicating 40 minutes to each section although you can normally smash through the MCQs in about 20 minutes or so and have the rest of the time for essay writing. I thought that the essay topics in this exam were mostly quite average and I'm pretty sure Katherine's questions (which were the most reasonable and approachable) will receive the most responses. Maybe if she receives an overwhelming number they'll make sure that the other questions are a bit easier next time. Overall, the content of this subject is quite manageable it was really just the administrative side of things that really ruined what could have been a really beneficial experience!
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Starlight on June 26, 2013, 12:54:50 pm
Subject Code/Name: ANAT20006 Principles of Human Structure

: 3x1 hour lectures per week, 4 x 2 hour practicals scattered through the semester

- 10% ADSL tests (there are 8 of these, each worth 1.25%)
- 2 x mid semester tests (approximately held at the end of week 4 and the end of week 9, 15% each)
- End of semester exam (60%)

Lectopia Enabled: 
Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:
No, but you can access past BIOM20002 Human Structure and Function exams on the library archives. Some of the content in these exams is similar.

Textbook Recommendation:  Handbook lists "Eizenberg N, Briggs C et al: General Anatomy: Principles & Applications, McGraw-Hill 2007". I didn't use it and I don't think you need to. Internet is all you need.

Dr Varsha Pilbrow (the principles lectures incl. muscles, the skeletal system)
Dr Peter Kitchener (nervous system)
A/Prof Colin Anderson (embryology)
DR Simon Murray (back and vertebral column, upper and lower limbs)
Dr Junhua Xiao (Ribcage, lower respiratory tract, gastrointestinal tract: first part of the series)
Dr Jenny Hayes (the heart, gastrointestinal tract: second part of the series)

Year & Semester of completion: 2013, Semester 1


Your Mark/Grade: H2A 


If you're a rote learner, you are going to love this subject. There is a whole lot of content which is covered, and is to be expected considering its anatomy of the human body.

The lectures:
Basically in your lecture notes, there is a whole bunch of pictures. I felt as if it was not a case of whatever is on the lecture notes is examinable but what the lecturer says is examinable. Writing my lecture notes for the subject took up a lot of my time (2-3 hours sometimes e.g. for the limbs section) because I didn't know what level of detail we had to go to. You'll come to find that they expect you to know such pedantic things like a whole bunch of numbers corresponding to dermatomes and myotomes for muscle movement. All in all I found the nervous system and upper and lower limbs the most interesting.

Mid semester tests were okay. I never felt like there were many trick questions there, so as long as you're prepared you should be ok.

These are online tests that are held pretty much every week in the semester. You can submit them as many times as you want until you get 10/10 for them. So they are an easy 10%, just make sure to check the "my grades" centre to check that you are consistently getting 100% for them.

The material that accompanies them "ADSL tutorials" are extremely important to go through. As Varsha mentioned, they are very much centered on the amount of detail you have to go to with lectures, and I wholeheartedly agree with this. Oh and the diagrams they give you? Yeah pretty much 3/4 of the diagrams on the exam were from these adsls, so get familiar with them! Make sure you get an early start on looking at the diagrams too and add the adsl stuff in addition to your lecture notes for memorizing for the exam, unlike me who tried cramming all the diagrams in the last 3 days until the exam.

Multichoice section on the last 3 weeks of the semester, fill in the blanks section relating to pictures, four extended response questions in response to pictures (ER questions are like a series of short answer questions). As I mentioned before, lots of ADSL stuff in there.

Preparing for the subject:
My rating reflects the fact that there was such little practice materials we could use for assisting us in the subject (except for ADSL type stuff). There are no actual past exams for the subject, let alone any practice mid semester test stuff. In addition, once you have done your mid semester tests, they don't go through the content with you and analyse them after.

I'll get straight to the point, you look at prosections of cadavers. I found the pracs pretty interesting I guess, except I came out every time more confused than I was before because the demonstrators kept telling us "make sure you know this, that, that oh and that too". It became overwhelming because I was always thinking "man we have to know all this stuff in addition to the lecture notes?". I guess the demonstrators were just trying to prepare you well for the exam. They mark your attendance and you are expected to attend  around 75% or something, but there is no actual assessment that contributes to your final mark for them.

I guess what I liked about the subject was the fact it was extremely interesting. Hence, it didn't seem as much of a task to rote learn everything unlike other subjects.

Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: kaybee94 on June 26, 2013, 06:48:11 pm
Subject Code/Name: BIOL10002 Biomolecules and Cells
Workload:  3x1 hour lectures per week, 5x 2hr practicals with 1 hour tutorial beforehand throughout semester, 5x1hr workshops
Assessment:  50% Exam, 5% ILT (5 ILTs), 10% Mid Semester Test, 25% Practical Assessment, 10% Assignment
Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture
Past exams available:  No past exams are available. One sample exam uploaded onto LMS but didn't reflect the style of the exam.
Textbook Recommendation: Life by Sadava is recommended. It complements the lecture notes and ads more depth to your understanding. If there was one textbook to buy in 1st year biomed it would definitely be this one since it is also used in second semester. Beauty of uni is some of the prescribed textbooks are American so you can easily torrent them  ;) Also require a lab workbook and microscope slides and cover slips plus a lab coat.
Geoff McFadden - Biomolecules and Molecular Biology
David Gardner - Digestive System, Reproductive System, Developmental Biology, Stem Cells and Animal Research 
Laura Parry - Cardiovascular System, Respiratory System, Renal System
Matthew Digby - Endocrine System, Nervous System, Immune System
Stephen Frankenberg - Homeostasis, Cell to Cell Signalling and Animal Taxa
Year & Semester of completion: 2013 Semester 1
Rating:  4.5/5
Your Mark/Grade:  H1
Comments:   Having never done biology before this is a great introduction to the subject. This subject does require time and effort to be put in since there is quite a lot of memory work. Subject would have been 5/5 if we didn't have 8am starts but luckily it is recorded if you do happen to sleep in or don't take any info into your brain that early in the morning. Assessment is pretty fair overall. We're expected to complete 5 ILTs which involve an interactive tutorial and then a 10 question quiz (5/10 needed to pass) and you receive your 1% which means 5% in the bag already. MST was held a fortnight after Easter break which consisted of 25 multiple choice in 45 minutes. Don't be fooled by the practice MST they give you since it is more difficult but it's still fairly easy. A lot of people score full marks - the average of the cohort was around 21/25. 10% Assignment was what I really did not like. 5% of this is directed towards finding and referencing a biology research paper. The other 5% is for a extended response type of question about cellular biology. The marking depends on how lenient your tutor is. If your tutor is a harsh marker unfortunately you have to make up the lost percentages on the final exam. And trust me if they tell you to write 100-150 words in 10 minutes just go way over, you're better safe than sorry. The practical component was quite enjoyable. We got to dissect a mouse twice as well as a heart. 1 mark is awarded for completing a pre prac test and 4 marks for the post prac and also 5 marks for in prac assessment. The one downside to this subject is the scheduled tutorials and workshops which are blatantly pointless (however this may change in the future). One hour tutorial before practical is spent on doing worksheets which you could easily do in your spare time and workshops are just a tutorial in the lab. Definitely a waste of time and the answers to the worksheets weren't even given to us!
Lecturers were very good overall and the content was stimulating and interesting. We cover cell biology and biomolecueles including prokaryotes, eukaryotes, proteins, enzymes, cellular respiration, cell division, carbohydrates, nucleic acids and a bit on endosymbiosis. Having never done VCE bio before some of this was overwhelming especially cell division and cellular respiration but it ended up being alright. For the rest of the course we cover almost every major body system and the content is by far the most interesting you'll do in any of the subjects imo. Animal taxa was the only bad topic in an otherwise stimulating course. Exam consisted of 65 multiple choice questions worth 100 marks. 50 marks were devoted to fill in blanks/label diagram from a given list of words and 30 marks for 3 extended answers. Exam is fairly straightforward but make sure you know your stuff. Things like animal taxa had around 8 marks on the exam. Diagrams such as the one for inflammation in innate response or maybe a kidney diagram shown by a lecturer should be learnt since they may come up. I found myself around a dozen lectures worth of notes behind so the best tip I can give you is really try to stay on top of bio! It is definitely a very enjoyable subject and you'll find that the lecturers are sometimes pretty amusing too :)   
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: kaybee94 on June 26, 2013, 09:17:25 pm
Subject Code/Name: CHEM10006 Chemistry For Biomedicine
Workload:  3 x 1 hour lectures per week, 1 x 1hour tutorial per week and 6 x 3 hour practicals throughout the semester
Assessment:  3 hour written exam 75%, Online Mid Semester Test 5%, Practical Work 20%, 3 x ILT (hurdle requirement)
Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture
Past exams available:  We were given 4 past exams. 3 of which had brief solutions. The most recent exam (last year's 2012) had no answers but instead an exam wiki was posted on LMS for students to contribute to and lecturers went over all answers in a 2 hour tutorial during swotvac
Textbook Recommendation:  Organic Chemistry by McMurray and Chemical Principles by Zumdahl are prescribed texts. You definitely don't need either one. Biomed only has one semester of chemistry in first year so it's definitely not worth the money. If you want them on pdf they are available to torrent online but you'll rarely ever look at it anyway. Also required to buy(or print out) tutorial workbook and buy the lab prac manual. Safety glasses or goggles and a lab coat needed in all pracs.
Craig Hutton - Organic Chemistry
Spencer Williams - Organic Reactions and Carbohydrates/Sugars
Brendan Abrahams - Redox reactions and electrochemistry, Solubility (Henry's Law, Solubility Product), Transition Metals, Metal Proteins
David McFadyen - Main group chemistry, acid-base chemistry, DNA chemistry and intermolecular forces   
Year & Semester of completion: 2013 Semester 1
Rating:  4/5
Your Mark/Grade:  H1
Comments: The subject consists of organic chemistry in the first 6 weeks and then focuses on inorganic and physical chemistry in the last half of the course. I found that throughout the semester that chemistry was a bit of a drag. Whether it was because it was the 3rd lecture of the day and by 11am we had enough or just sometimes you question if you're learning anything at all. By the end of semester when I did my revision I started to realise that this subject is probably more enjoyable than what my impression throughout the semester. The exam is actually pretty straightforward and the lecturers tend to recycle their questions but tweak it a bit. But there re always one or two tricky questions as always! The exam varies from year to year but the recent trend has been approximately 50 multiple choice questions and 5 extended answers.
For me personally practicals were boring and draining. Since chem for biomed is a mixture of science's chem 1 and chem 2 we only do 6 of the 12 experiments that they do. Honestly probably only one or two related to the content that we were learning. Most of the time we just wanted to hand the damn lab report up and get out of there. A tip for future biomed kids is to prepare for pracs by writing a procedure (if it's an organic synthesis reaction) or just drawing up the tables or a pre written results and discussion etc. It will save you plenty of headaches.
We have 3 ILT tasks that we complete and they're fairly simple. 3rd ILT was the most difficult since it involves learning completely new content - properties of solutions. Google and Zumdahl textbook are your friends. One multi choice from content in each ILT will be on the exam.
The lecturers themselves were very passionate about what they taught and usually made it fairly interesting. I think the only criticism that I have is sometimes they did start ranting on about something pointless that was unrelated to chemistry but other than that they were very clear about what they were teaching. Chemistry is a fairly hard subject to teach so I think they did a decent job. A word of warning is to learn pretty much everything they teach. I know for a fact that myself and many others became complacent with this subject and didn't pay attention to Professor Abraham's material but it is all vital for the final exam. e.g. carbonic anhydrase, ferritin, siderophores such as enterobactin, transferrin etc. He does give a list of stuff we need to know for the exam which is nice of him :) . Tutorials aren't compulsory and you get solutions to the tutorial problems before MST and during swotvac for revision but it's in your best interest to go since you do learn a great deal and the tutors usually go through how to answer problems. Overall the subject has been pretty enjoyable and the workload really isn't a lot. A lot of the content we cover come from VCE units 1-4 witha  slight extension but you get 3 hours in the exam which is more than enough time to do well in.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Starlight on June 28, 2013, 12:02:53 pm
Subject Code/Name: BCMB20002: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Workload:  3 x 1 hour lectures per week, 1 x 1hour tutorial (lectorial, i'll explain what I mean) per week

Assessment:  3 hour written exam 70%, Mid Semester Test (multichoice) 10%, Continuing computer based assessment 20%

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture (tutorials were audio recorded, so attend those because they often use the whiteboard)

Past exams available:  Given around four practice exams, three of which had multiple-choice answer solutions.

Textbook Recommendation:  Nelson and Cox, Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry, 5th edn., 2008 (I think it's 6th edition now). Lecture notes will probably suffice, depends what type of learner you are.

Irene Stanley- DNA, RNA (molecular biology part of the course)
Paul Gooley- Proteins (up to tertiary structure)
Alana Mitchell- Proteins (quaternary structure), enzymes, enzyme kinetics
Paul Gleeson- Lipids, carbohydrates
Graham Parslow- Metabolism

Year & Semester of completion: 2013 Semester 1

Rating:  3.5/5

Your Mark/Grade:  H1


On the lecturers

Irene Stanley
No problems. Some of the questions set in the exam were quite tricky, if there was one topic you had to be confident about in biochemistry, i'd pick DNA/ RNA. Know it back to front, and use lehninger if you have any queries.

Paul Gooley
Pretty good lecturer and knew what he was talking about. Had a tendency to set some tricky exam questions though.

Alana Mitchell
Tendency to make quite a few errors RE: Enzyme Kinetics, probably good to use the textbook again to clarify just to make sure everything is correct. Except she had a willingness to answer student queries and address them in tutorials so I commend her for that. Be aware that the exam structure is different to previous years for her component because she was not the previous lecture (in fact I think the exam had become slightly harder this year because of it)

Paul Gleeson
Pretty good lecturer. Wish he could have expanded a bit more on drawing hydropthy plots though! Apart from that he set exam questions that were fair.

Graham Parslow
Best lecturer for the subject. Always told you what was good to know RE the examinable parts of the course so what was on the exam was pretty much expected. Probably my favourite part of the course just because he was always genuinely enthusiastic and made the best analogies to address something tricky (expect him to say "now when your predators are chasing you" quite a few times)

Overall I found this subject quite dry during the semester. I just don't understand how anyone could find learning 20 amino acids and the 10 steps of glycolysis (including enzyme names, chemical structures) all that interesting.

Sometimes I didn't find the tutorials particularly helpful, like for the DNA part of the course we never tended to finish the actual tutorial sheets. Part of the reason this may have been is because the tutorials were held in lecture theatres (there were three streams a week) and so the tutorial class sizes were really like a lecture class size. So evidently it's going to be quite difficult for a lecturer to silence the class.

The mid semester test was just ok for me. I got something like 66% for it, and it was a bit harder than expected. I was just unsure of what I had to study for. For example, there are a whole bunch of figures you should have a rough idea of e.g. diameter of a dna double helix (a type, b type, z type), number of base pairs per turn etc. So I guess try going over everything as opposed to selectively choosing topics you think will probably come up, this works for some subjects but not all.

The computer assessment task consist of cals and online quizzes. The cals are marked for participation, there may be a few quesitons that come up in them but they don't count towards you mark. So an easy 10% there.

For the online quizzes they give you a practice quiz where the real one will have 10 or so questions taken from the practice one. So you get a chance to submit all the answers and see if they are correct/ incorrect before you see the real one. It all sounds alright but it was incredibly time consuming! So yeah you can get 10% for them but it can take a big chunk out of your study time.

The exam.. eh I don't know. I stuffed up big time on the kinetics stuff just because the content was so different (and a bit more difficult) compared to last years ones!! The format for previous years consisted more of multiple choice type of stuff where this years ones had some extended response type stuff! They really should have outlined the changes they were making to that part of the course.

For me the best parts of the course were metabolism/ lipids. The content for that part was quite fair if you revised it well enough.

Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Lado on June 29, 2013, 01:53:23 pm
Subject Code/Name: MULT10011 Introduction to Life, Earth and Universe

Workload:  3 x one hour lectures per week, 1 x three-hour pracs for nine weeks (sometimes the pracs finished early and you might finish after, say, 2 hours)

Assessment:  Ongoing assessment of pracs (totalling 25%), two 20-minute tests during the semester (5% each), a poster (5%) and a 3-hour written examination (60%).

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available:  Yes, four (2009-2012)

Textbook Recommendation:  No required texts; 'Life in the Universe' by Bennett & Shostak is recommended but you'd be better off borrowing it from the library.

Lecturer(s): Rachel Webster (Physics/Astronomy), Stephen Gallagher (Geology) and Geoff McFadden (Biology)

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1, 2013

Rating:  2.5 of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H2A

Comments: As an Arts student who never touched Biology or Physics at school, this subject probably wasn't an ideal one to pick. I was in it primarily for the Astronomy part, which was certainly interesting, but the pracs completely lost me. They lost much of the class too, including the second-year Science and Biomed kids who picked this as an elective.

The subject is split into three parts: Physics/Astronomy, Geology and Biology. The undercurrent of the course, which each of these disciplines address respectively, is life – what it is, how it began, requirements for life, the likelihood of finding life on other planets, etc.

The lecturers were fairly good – you'd be wise to turn up to Stephen Gallagher's lectures though, as he has quite an explicit dislike of people who don't attend lectures. That being said, he makes the lectures quite enjoyable so it isn't a chore to turn up or anything. His PowerPoint slides are quite minimal when it comes to information, but plenty of resources are provided on the LMS so it isn't too bad. Rachel Webster and Geoff McFadden's slides are more comprehensive.

The Biology part I sensed was relatively easy for those who had studied Biology previously – I haven't, so it was quite bit to get my head around. Again, this wasn't so much a problem with the subject itself as with my suitability for it.

I think the biggest problem with this course were the pracs – there were nine of them, which ran for three hours. For a breadth subject, it just wasn't worth the contact hours. The pracs weren't terribly well-organised either, and the Physics pracs were simply painful – though she tried, the tutor wasn't great at explaining things and what was advertised as 'simple' maths was actually barely comprehensible, at least for me.

The assessment during semester included two separate tests worth 5% (which was somewhat irritating) and a poster worth 5% (extremely irritating), as well as pracs (for the Biology and Physics pracs you completed a hand-out for assessment, whilst for the Geology pracs you completed a short multiple-choice test at the end of each prac). The 3-hour exam was worth 60%, and is definitely do-able if you've gone over past exams properly – they tend to repeat many of the questions every year.

Overall the subject was okay – though the content was mostly interesting, I just wasn't suited for it, the pracs and assessments were unpleasant, and I would only recommend it as a breadth to students who have some background in Biology and Physics. Otherwise, it's more of a pain than a breadth should be.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: kaybee94 on June 29, 2013, 06:56:45 pm
Subject Code/Name: MAST10011 Experimental Design and Data Analysis 
Workload:  3 x 1 hour lectures per week, 1 x 1 hour tutorial per week, 1 x 1 hour computer lab session per week following the tutorial
Assessment:  3 hour end of semester exam 80%, weekly online quizzes 10%, assignment 5%, computer test 1 2%, computer test 2 3%
Lectopia Enabled:  Yes with screen capture. However Ray tends to not show the projector screen on the lecture capture as an incentive to actually attend or reward those that do go.
Past exams available:  Three past papers with solutions were given. Revision sets in the back of Ray's reader are mostly old exams.
Textbook Recommendation:  Biostatistics for the Biological and Health Sciences by Triola & Triola. You definitely do not need this book. My heart goes out to those who did accidentally purchase it.  All you need is the reader which is about 300 pages thick from co-op. If you really don't wanna fork out the cash Ray eventually uploads all the chapter text as he's doing the course and everything is on LMS. Recommend saving your valuable time by just purchasing it.
Lecturer(s): Ray Watson
Year & Semester of completion: 2013 Semester 1
Rating:  3.5/5
Your Mark/Grade: H1
Comments: Other than maths for biomedicine this is the other subject that cops a lot of criticism in 1st year biomedicine course. The subject really isn’t that bad if you do concentrate and be attentive. I do admit that Ray has a tendency to stutter and stumble a lot and a lot of the lectures you sit there thinking what is he going on about but the most important thing is to sit down after lectures or maybe during the weekend and go through it again. Statistics is one of those things where you do need to look at it about 4 or 5 times before it becomes clear in your head. Ray does take the entire semester’s worth of lectures and I found him to be quite a nice lecturer and seems very approachable in person too. Also he tends to have his microphone volume either turned on low or it’s not close enough to his mouth so maybe sitting somewhere near the front will help. Especially with a subject like this sitting at the back allowed me to zone out a lot more and I wouldn’t know what’s going on by the end of the lecture. 
Topics we cover include experimental design, data analysis, probability and its applications, probability distributions, estimation, hypothesis testing, comparative inference and regression & correlation. First four topics tend to be fairly easy but this builds on to the crux of the course which is estimation, hypothesis testing and comparative inference. If you don’t understand this then there’s a big chance you might fail. Regression and correlation are kind of a standalone topic much like experimental design and it’s not too difficult.
I recommend trying to find Sharon Gunn’s tutorials since she has the most experience in statistics and she’s very nice too. She’ll explain things clearer than Ray most of the time. Tutorials are mainly just discussing a few problems Ray has written up and maybe doing some text problems. The computer labs usually follow right after the tutorial and these use the Minitab program. It’s to get you used to using the program since the 2 computer tests and assignment are based on analysing data and answering questions using the computer program and interpreting output. Tutorials and labs aren’t compulsory. Tutorial solutions posted up on Friday afternoon every week and computer lab sessions are posted up on LMS when semester commences.
Computer tests and assignment aren’t meant to be hard but usually a lot of people struggled with it so make sure you collaborate with friends. With practice exams Ray has given us about 3 of them and you can find heaps on library site with no solutions but I wouldn’t recommend it. The revision sets in the back of the reader are old exams. The multiple choice of the old exams are actually put onto the weekly quizzes every Tuesday so it’s good practice. For the weekly quizzes you get 3 attempts with your best mark being your final but should be an easy 10%. Try to do the problem sets of all the chapters since they are either old exam questions or similar style with numbers tweaked around etc. Hopefully by the end of the semester you’ll see that this subject really is not all that difficult. Memory work is minimal since we get given all the formulas on the summary notes provided in the exam. The subject does get a bit dry but it doesn’t mean that it is difficult. Although around 95% of people struggle with the subject there is no reason to since you have plenty of resources available to you. I’ll reiterate that some concepts will be difficult to grasp and it requires you to look over it several times (especially all the power curve stuff and sample size determination etc.). Subject isn’t exactly enjoyable but workload isn’t really stressful either. You have 3 days to complete the weekly quiz and computer assignments vary from 1-2 weeks.       
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Starlight on July 01, 2013, 10:08:53 pm
Subject Code/Name: PHYC10005: Physics 1: Fundamentals

Workload:  3 x 1 hour lectures, 1 x 1hour problem solving class (both per week) , 8 x 3 hour lab sessions throughout the semester.

Assessment:  10 weekly problem solving assignments + one written assignment towards the end of semester (totals to 15%), practical work (25%), 3 hour exam (60%). You must pass the practical component to pass the subject.

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, but they are slack with using the projector for handwritten solutions of problems

Past exams available:  Yes about 5 with answers. (No complete solutions, nor written explanations provided, just basic answers)

Textbook Recommendation:  R Knight, B Jones and S Field, College Physics: A Strategic Approach, 2nd edition, Addison-Wesley, 2010. I'd say it's pretty essential you get this.

Martin Sevior- mechanics
Chris Chantler- Optics

Year & Semester of completion: 2013 Semester 1

Rating:  1/5

Your Mark/Grade:  - (not even sure i'll write it here because I think it's going to be crap)

Edit: 76 (H2A) I guess the subject is scaled a lot? :l


So you've probably heard some things about physics fundamentals being the worst taught subject from a number of students, and what would I say in response to that? LISTEN TO THOSE PEOPLE. They know what they are talking about. I don't even know where to begin on ranting describing the subject, so i'll just have to split it in components.

For the most part I found mechanics to be ok in terms of grasping the basic components. However, there were certain topics e.g. Hooke's Law/ conservation of energy that they just DID NOT explain to the level required for the exam.

Optics was a massive let down. Some of the components I had learnt during my vision subject in first year and I think it just shows how a teacher/ lecturer can really influence your perception on the topics at hand. The lecturer would constantly go off tangent to the material asking questions like "So who here wants to be a vet?", "how many of you here think you're going to pass the subject?". (By the way the answer to the second question was that only half or so of the class put up their hand).

For both lecturers, they would constantly be behind in their material. Basically I had tried to self-teach my self with the textbook all semester. Lecture notes were insufficient.


My own demonstrator lacked professionalism on numerous occasions. He would often swear if students did not read the prac manual before the prac began. Of course it is good to read the prac but towards the end of the exam period we do have other priorities. The pracs were ordered horribly and we would often be doing the prac before it was "covered" in the lecture, as a consequence we lost marks.


For me personally not helpful. We never managed to get through more than half of the tutorial questions and some of the questions were just utterly hopeless such as "describe how nasa was able to land their spacecraft safely" etc. etc. (or something along those lines). For the most part it's important to be familar with the questions because ones similar will appear on the exam. Probably best to attend as many tutorials as possible for the fact that apparently they will consider your attendance if you score say 49% and then bump up your mark to a pass. The tutorials made me more confused than I was before attending them.

The exam

I went absolutely terrible in the exam due to studying the wrong concepts. Often you can sort of predict the main topics but it just seemed everything I didn't study adequately appeared such as the human ear, phase shifts etc. I can honestly say though that a lot of the material on there was NOT directly related to lectures e.g. the torque questions/ phase shift questions were significantly harder.

Edit: It's common sense but make sure to include your working for all the questions even if you aren't sure if it's correct!!

The weekly assignments
I'll just redirect you to nubs' post RE the written assignments.

All in all I tried my best for the subject and by the end of it my folder for the subject was massive. The worst part of it all was that the content itself wasn't that bad it's just that the staff did not give it justice. Basically I wouldn't consider the subject unless it's a prerequisite for your future studies (and no that does not include the gamsat, i believe you will be far better off to study it from scratch and not take the subject so that it does not have to contribute to your GPA). I felt as if the subject had a lot of disorder to it e.g. we never even got our mark back for the written assignment at the end of the semester. Think hard before taking this subject, I know I should have.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: golden on July 02, 2013, 07:05:25 pm
Subject Code/Name: UNIB20007 Genetics Health and Society

Workload:  2 x 1 hour lectures a week, 1 x 1 hour tutorial (starts in week 5).

Assessment:  3 x in-semester online tests (MC): 5%, 10% and 10% respectively. 1 x group assignment - construct a Wiki based on a book/movie and present it in a tutorial: 15%. 1 x exam: 60%.

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available:  None, but they provided you with sample questions. The quizzes and tutorial sheets could also be used as revision. It's not really about doing 100 questions for revision, it's just about how well you can construct a response that will address the issue at hand (more on this later).

Textbook Recommendation:  None prescribed.

Lecturer(s): Have many lecturers/speakers for this subject, it’s a collaboration of lecturers from different departments giving talks on their take on genetics health and society.

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1, 2013.

Rating: 4.5 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1

Comments: As with any subject where there are many lecturers from different departments giving lectures, it will be a subject that many students may feel like there is no direction or cohesion. But on reflection, it’s held together and integrated really nicely. Perhaps you will not realise this until later in the year because you’re too busy studying for BIOM20001.

The lecturers are practically all great communicators and are of high status in the community. As many students discovered, as they were spending time during the lectures Googling the lecturer, you are essentially being lectured by super pros in the field. World renowned, often in the media. Fundamental researchers to what we understand today. The big guns.

Starting off with the first few weeks, it’s all about nature and nurture. The fundamental biological concepts are introduced, and reproduction is explored. Ideologies are uncovered about what we view the world today in terms of nature and nurture. Twin studies, GWAS and epigenetics were touched on. Remember, this subject isn’t all about the details, it emphasises on the concepts. I found this was introduced really well, and the questions that were on the first test corresponding to it was at a level that a large amount of people got H1 on, as once again, it was mainly fundamental details.

The second slot was about personalised medicine, economics, clinical and non-clinical uses of genetic testing. Also, thinking in general about genetic testing with regard to ethics, morals and psychology were undertaken. The test was once again fundamental concepts. Probably on par with the first test in terms of friendliness. Once again, brilliantly taught.

By now, many people have locked in 15% plus minus 1-2%. Then, the course gets fired up to differentiate people.

The final slot was about genetics and the law, paternity fraud, race, visible differences and art/blogging. Once again, good diversity. Many found the law lectures enjoyable. The test for this is quite hard, because it starts to get more specific and the questions more ambiguous. So bulk up is what I am saying.

The tutorials as already mentioned start in week 5; the tutor I had was fantastic. You go through a bunch (4-6 usually) of discussion questions which is often based off a reading or readings that you were provided with earlier and were expected to have read. Because there are relatively few tutorials in total, you cannot afford to miss many.

The Wiki assignment was quite dependent on all members, as most of the time you will all get the same mark (unless someone does no work or a very disproportionate amount of work where they may be separately penalised). There was no guideline as to how much information you could put into it if I am not mistaken. If the group holds together, an H1 should be attainable. There is somewhat an emphasis on creativity.

Alright, by this time I have been relatively positive, with how the lectures, tutorials and overall the subject is great. Let me add to that the pace was just right for me. But there must be things that the subject could change right?
1.   There was easily an emphasis on some lectures (or even portions of lectures) more than others in the testing/examination. You could have studied some lectures that you believed they emphasised on in detail and none of the others and probably do better than the person that did everything but in a bit less detail. Whilst this perhaps is very hard not to do, perhaps some lectures still should have had at least a somewhat more significant contribution to the questions than almost nothing or maybe nothing itself, given that there are relatively few lectures as well (22 direct content lectures, one introduction to the subject, one ties it all up).
2.   Whilst there was nothing significantly wrong with the actual Wiki project itself, the Wiki system that is set for some reason appears to have had many issues, and hence many emails were sent. The mark we got back didn’t have any feedback, nor the scores we obtained for each of the criteria.

Overall, if you’re mildly interested in genetics, you’d find this subject interesting. I know I did. It was just an introduction but to get the viewpoints from the many lecturers opened up a new world away from textbook based questions. It was more applicable to real life coming in from all directions. But if you’re the type that prefers more definite answers, or more specific details, or perhaps even want a subject where you know more for sure where it is going and what is expected of you, then maybe this subject isn’t for you. You will get tested in the exam with many open ended questions, asking things that may not be clear to you. Just imagine something like*:

Someone just found out their niece had a disease x, what do you think they will make of this? What should they recommend to the niece? What can be done? Etc.
Hard to split students? Perhaps. Do they need to split students? Probably. Just hope for the best in how you'll end up being split.

Please note that this was not a question they actually gave, but is somewhat similar in style. I am not allowed to specify the actual questions because the paper is not lodged in the Baillieu.

Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Hancock on July 02, 2013, 07:32:16 pm
Subject Code/Name: MAST20029 Engineering Mathematics

Workload:  3x1 hour lectures, 1 hour tutorial per week.

Assessment:  3 x 5% assignment, 15% mid-semester test, 70% final exam

Lectopia Enabled:  No

Past exams available:  Yes, ~8 from the library if I remember.

Textbook Recommendation:  Don't need to buy any books, just the lecture notes

Lecturer(s): Assoc Prof Marcus Brazil, Dr Christine Mangelsdorf

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1, 2013

Rating:  3.5-4 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 92 [H1]

Comments: As an engineering major, this should be your last required mathematics subject in your Bachelor's course. If you're doing Electrical Engineering, you'll need to take "Probability and Random Models [PaRM]" in fourth year, but that's another issue. The problem with this subject (and why I've given a mathematics subject at 3.5 instead of a 5) is because it's approach is very formulaic and their isn't much creativity with the content. Basically, my friends and I agree that once you've done one problem, you should be able to do all of the same type, given you have the formula sheet and what not. Coming from Calculus 2 and Linear Algebra, this was a little disappointing, which is why I stopped going to lectures around week 2 and just learnt from completely notes on my laptop (queue socially awkward penguin meme right now).

In the first lecture, the lecturer basically said that your Calculus 2 mark has a large correlation to the way you will perform in MAST20029. This is because ALL of the knowledge from Calculus 2 is extended, so if you, and I quote "just passed Calculus 2, you'll have to put in a lot more work that those who achieved a H1". Another issue with this subject, and why I like the Monash approach to this mathematics subject is that all engineering discipline undertake this course. That means that some mathematics that is more required in Elec Eng, such as complex analysis and fourier transforms, are taught to Civil students who, to the best of my knowledge, would have little use of those techniques. Splitting this class into Mech, Civil, Chem and Elec, Comp, Biomed would be a little better in my opinion, but that's another topic of discussion.

In this course, you'll cover 6 topics:
- Vector Calculus (extension from Calc 2)
- Ordinary Differential Equations (extension from Calc 2)
- Laplace Transforms (new topic)
- Sequences and Series (new topic for those who completed Calc 2 pre-2013)
- Fourier Transforms (new topic)
- Second Order Partial Differential Equations (new topic)

The topic I found people had the most issue was PDEs and Fourier Transforms, both of which are towards the end of the semester. PDEs had around 4 lectures on them, and it was worth 20/120 marks on the exam. Da fuq? All in all, it was an ok subject, however it got very formulaic very quickly and lacked some of the creativity that was found in first year mathematic subjects. 
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: vox nihili on July 02, 2013, 09:07:50 pm
Subject Code/Name: SPAN10001 Spanish 1 

Workload:  2 x 1.5 hour tutorial per week, 1 x 1 hour tutorial per week

    2 written assignments (600 words each) during semester [30%](15% each)
    Oral presentation (equivalent to 400 words) during semester [10%]
    Online work (equivalent to 400 words) during semester [10%]
    1 Oral exam (equivalent to 800 words) in week 11 [20%]
    2-hour final written exam (equivalent to 1200 words)during exam period [30%]

Past exams available:  No, though the exams are modelled on the assignments

Textbook Recommendation:  Exploraciones (Blitt/Casas). You do need to buy this textbook new. Part of the assessment predicates itself on having access to the online form of the book!

Year & Semester of completion: 2013, semester 1

Rating:  4 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1 (94)

Comments: Overall, this was a pretty fun subject. The most attractive element of it was the class dynamics. There was a really strong sense of belonging to a class, which is a nice departure from the way science subjects are run if you choose to take this subject as breadth.

Studying Spanish at University level is certainly very different to high school languages. The content was covered much, much more quickly and there wasn't as much time for revising the content. Strictly speaking, there wasn't actually time for revision, rather, skills previously learned were revised in the context of a new skill. This was a particularly refreshing way of doing things, as it allowed the content to be covered quickly and thoroughly.

The assessment was fairly basic. Almost all of it allowed you to use your textbook, save for the exams of course. The online activities were easy, with answers provided so you can put them in on your second attempt anyway (they were mainly there as a home revision exercise—a useful one too!). The tareas (assignments) were somewhat more challenging, though with the textbook at hand it was relatively easy to attain a good mark. The oral presentation was in English, and so was just a matter of actually getting it done properly. The oral exam and the exam posed the biggest challenge. The oral exam consisted of a role play, an interview component and a description of an artwork. This certainly posed a challenge to most students, though the tutors were quite fair in their marking. As mine remarked "you have only been learning Spanish for ten weeks, we don't expect you to have all that much to say". The exam was exactly like the tareas, but posed quite a challenge because a dictionary wasn't available to students taking the exam. It would be fair to say that it was probably everybody's weakest piece of assessment.

For students who hadn't studied a language before (probably about 50% of everyone), some of the grammar topics were ridiculously complicated. The biggest criticism I have for this subject is how some of the grammar was approached. Everything was explained very technically, with no pauses to explain what any of the terms meant. Even after having taken French to year twelve, I found it really difficult to follow what the tutors were talking about at times in terms of the grammar, as their explanations were very jargonistic. This put a lot of people off-side, including myself at times, and made things necessarily complicated. Another criticism I would have is that the tutors didn't seem particularly interested in developing the lower band, or the middle band of students. They were particularly focused on making the best students better. This certainly turned a lot of people off the subject, and in an area of study that can be made a lot easier with a bit of confidence, this complicated things a lot for some students. The fact that there were 20 classes for Spanish 1 in 2013, but will only be 14 for Spanish 2 does say something!

At the end of the day, Spanish is relatively straight forward. If you want good marks, you have to be committed to the subject but more importantly, committed to learning a language. There is certainly a feeling that learning the language was more important than doing well on exams, which was particularly refreshing! The class size and camaraderie was a highlight, but at certain times, the way things were taught invited justified frustration.

All in all, a good subject, so give it a go!

¡Adiós!  :)
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: qqla on July 03, 2013, 12:42:34 am
Subject Code/Name: ACCT10001 Accounting Reports and Analysis

Workload:  2hr lecture a week

Assessment:  Group assignment worth 20%, Tute/weekly online tests 10%, Exam 70%

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes with screen capture

Past exams available:  One sample exam from the summer of 2012, but I'd expect more for the future exams.

Textbook Recommendation:
Accounting: Business Reporting for Decision Making, 4th Edition by Birt et al, 2012.
Recommended for new accounting students, not recommended for VCE accounting students.

Lecturer(s): Hoggan, Dyki, Davern

Year & Semester of completion: 2013, S1

Rating:  2/5

Your Mark/Grade: H1


I know Matt Dyki actually browses these boards, so my opinion will be as honest as possible if it is actually used as feedback for improving the current course.

First and foremost, ARA is a very taxing and demanding subject for non-commerce students. This is due to the fact that so much 'assumed' knowledge is required, especially during the first few weeks of financial accounting. Davern and Dyki star as the lecturers for the first weeks of financial accounting, and introduce income statements, balance sheets etc in the matter of weeks. Fundamentally speaking, there needs to be LESS coverage (less topics) but MORE precision (that creates solid understanding) in the consistency of teaching in each of the subjects.

How do you get a H1 in ARA? Don't do the readings, spend your time revising select questions from tutorials, and base your learning of lecture slides. Don't waste your time doing the sample exams. Don't waste your time by taking the weekly quiz seriously (it's worth so little). The rest comes down to luck. Some tutors mark incredibly harshly, where some mark a lot more fairly. Keep in mind that they are in charge for practically 100% of the entire course (assignment is tutor marked, exam is MOSTLY tutor marked, as dyki and hoggan mark 'harder' parts of the exam), so you can definitely bet that luck comes into play, and could cause anywhere from a 5% to ~10% swing in your overall mark.

Lectures were okay, despite the amount of heads I saw nodding off or leaving in the middle of lectures. Hoggan tries to be more engaging, which is commendable due to the dry content associated with management accounting and Dyki, despite looking pissed off the majority of the time, conveys the course material effectively.

Tutorials for this subject are an absolute godsend in comparison to other resources in the subject. The majority of 'learning' and 'applying' will apply in tutorials. The tutor mix for 2013 is exceptional, with most of my mates commending their tutors (one of them noted on a group's assignment "i'm !!!!" in response to its group name: "zyzz"). However, I believe a pinksheet/blue sheet system should replace the current online test system. Weekly online multiple choice tests for this subject were pointless. Not only were they a poor way to enforce understanding (as students could easily cheat their way through with answers for their peers), but the sheer lack of direction in question setting was striking. Lazy assessment, really. Either completely cut the wiley test mark (10%), or introduce two smaller assignments to pinpoint subject areas.

Although I undertook VCE accounting back in 2012, I found ARA to be more time-consuming than VCE accounting, to my surprise. The amount of pointless readings (the textbook acted as a nice haven for me to sleep on) was enormous, and towards the end of the semester, I entirely quit readings and just worked off the lecture slides at my own whim. I strongly suggest future students to only refer to the textbook when in dire need of understanding a concept, as there is a lot of 'filler' material that really should've been pinpointed by the lecturers. The reading guide practically wants you to read the majority of the textbook which is rather unproductive, considering the dry nature of readings.

The problem with such an approach is that an incredible amount of jargon is thrown at students, terms such as: reserves, retained earnings, creditors, debtors, owner's equity which require a very focused effort in order to truly understand each part of each report, in a minimal time frame. When lecturers are asked about a slightly raw concept, students are told to look at the textbook. This is poor teaching, and I realize that Dyki and company want to achieve 'many things in such a short time', but condensing the course into 'bite-sized' sections and LESS actual content, will not only solidify a firm foundation for students, but cut down on subjectivity and discrepancies in marking. Cut out performance evaluation (financial) and perhaps performance reporting (management) and you have yourselves not only a much more concise course, but a more consistent and objective marking scheme to work with.

One of the parts that I heavily disliked about ARA was the enormous focus on judgment/agency theory. This is due to the extreme amount of subjectivity in responses and answers that is exposed in an exam situation for this topic. Despite the fact that Dyki continues to labour on the fact that 'numbers mean nothing', while screaming 'I DON'T CARE WHAT YOU GET' in lectures, and that 'there is no right or wrong answer in accounting', in an exam situation, this spells disaster. I'm sure that if Dyki was reading this, he would see that the answers for Q1 (Agency) for the latest 2013 S1 exam would've be statistically disappointing.

This brings me to what I believe was the worst part of ARA.

The assignment is an absolute joke. Ratio calculation that involves plugging numbers into formulas repetitively? Analysis that is incredibly subjective in nature, that cannot be effectively graded or marked? This may sound like I'm bitching simply because of a poor mark in the assignment, but the fact that SO MANY students complaining about a desired remarking of the assignment that even prompted Dyki to write a full-blown response on the LMS is enough evidence to suggest a scrapping of such an assignment. You simply cannot accurately 'grade' performance evaluation. You said so yourself Dyki, 'there is no right or wrong answer' in accounting, yet select groups were unfairly rewarded with sub-par marks in comparison to less-spectacular groups. I don't care if the average mark was 100/150, everyone should be getting close to full marks if you truly desire students to possess 'complete understanding' of a topic, which frankly speaking, is impossible to grade.

I know a lot of the above may seem like I'm bitching about marks lost and such, but do keep in mind that I (thankfully) scored quite well in ARA. Hope I've provided a honest insight that I'm sure is shared by many of the past students of ARA.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: LeviLamp on July 03, 2013, 01:48:56 pm
BIOL10004: Biology of Cells and Organisms: BIOL10004 Biology of Cells and Organisms

Workload:  35 lectures, 5 practicals (and one additional introductory prac), 5 ILTs and 6 optional workshops. This adds up to about 60 hours of course delivery time.

Assessment:  I'll outline each component of assessment in a little more depth below.

ILTs: A very easily obtained 5% buffer to add to your final mark. You read through all the information the ILT presents and then take a final test on the content. To the best of my knowledge, the ILTs are examinable (but make up a very minor component of the exam), so it might be a good idea to read back over them and try to internalise their key points. The test can be done with the ILT readings/activities open in a separate tab, so you can score well on these (not that it matters, you get the 1% for passing each ILT) simply by looking back at the material covered by each task.

Pracs: Worth a substantial 25% of the final subject mark, it is in your best interests to try and do well in these! The pracs in 2013 involved an introductory (no marks awarded, but sadly this was a hurdle requirement) microscope use prac. It only goes for one hour and is incredibly simple to do well in. You should be made to take an online prelab for this prac; use it to become acquainted with the style of online testing the Biology department uses. The ASSESSED pracs included one on cell structure, one on photosynthesis and leaf structure (isobilateral and dorsiventral leaves are important for some reason, so make sure to not mix them up on the post-prac), water movement in plants (which forms the basis of the 10% assignment), heart and lung structure and function and the analysis of a mouse's digestive system. Please note that first year Biology will allow alternative provisions to be made for those who conscientiously object to dissecting animal remains, though I am unaware of exactly how the department compromises.
Pracs are, on the whole, very slow in pace and often quite dull, though I enjoyed the first, fourth and fifth pracs well enough. Make sure to complete the assessable portion of the prac first; there are always a number of activities set for each prac block and there's never enough time to finish all of them, but as most of them are non-assessable you should be fine ignoring them (though they may come up on the postprac if you're unlucky, you can always read through the prac notes and reason your way through any relevant questions). Prac demonstrators can be kind or harsh with their marking, but if you show that you know your stuff (and listen to what they say in the pre-lab tutorial!) then you probably won't be penalised much. Also, MAKE SURE TO COMPLETE THE PRE- AND POST-PRAC TESTS! Together, they account for 50% of each prac mark, or about 3% of your subject mark, which is -substantial-. The password for the post-prac will be given at the beginning of each practical. If you miss a prac, do NOT get the password for the post-prac off another student and do it to scrounge some marks, as the Biology department is very likely to get mad at you.
Overall, pracs are a rather annoying but fairly easy way to gain marks for these subjects, if you're careful with the post-prac questions and read the prac notes before the prac (something I occasionally failed to do, to my own detriment).

What a load of shit. Worth 10% of your final grade, this is the reason the subject gets 4.5/5; it's dreadfully designed, incredibly harshly marked (and inconsistently too, depending on your tutor), and far too short even for people attempting to be concise. The department have stated they won't be changing the assignment because it gives them such a nice grade distribution, and the staff are too nice to get angry at, so you're stuck with this annoying thing whether you like it or not. Be INCREDIBLY pedantic with your referencing, make sure your spellcheck doesn't change potometer to pedometer (and other similar errors), USE a reference in your introduction even if you don't need to read anything to present the information. Use italics for the name of the plant, say "leafy shoots" and not "leaves", subscript for the 2 in CO2, that kind of thing. If you don't, you will lose marks, and it adds up! I still managed to scrounge 8.25/10, but this assignment ruined many people who thought they'd done fantastically. BE AS ANAL AS YOU CAN POSSIBLY BE, and you might find that you're reasonably successful.

Mid-Semester Test
This test covers all of Rick and most of Andrew's lectures, with the unfortunate side-effect of having fewer easy cell biology questions to answer on the final exam. If you study and complete the provided sample MST, you should be fine. I did a fairly modest amount of study for this and still managed to get a 22/25 (the average was 17 or 18, which is quite high!). Don't exhaust yourself studying for this, but at the same time do make the time to go over all the past lectures, lecture summaries and your own notes. This is a fairly easy way of obtaining 8-10% of your final mark.

I really do have to commend the Biology department for their production of such a fair and rewarding final exam. I'd made a few minor blunders over the semester, and this exam really helped me make up for those (I got about 95% on the exam, and I suspect my dodgy extended response answers were to blame for most of that lost 5%). There are FOUR sections on the exam. Section A is comprised of a number of multiple choice questions which total to give 60/180 marks on the exam. For the most part, if you've studied adequately, these won't be too hard, but may occasionally require you to think about a given problem. There were a few tough ones there to differentiate the students that really paid attention and those who were kind of winging it using their VCE Biology knowledge, so don't get complacent. These are not free marks, and I'd say Section B was far easier to complete.
Sections B and C are both "fill in the blanks" sections, where you pick a number corresponding to a specific word option and fill in the gaps to complete biologically focused sentences and paragraphs, or to accurately label a diagram. Sections B and C can cover pretty much any concept, so be prepared, but there are usually only a few sensible options to choose from for each blank, if it's not completely obvious, so there's lots of room for educated guessing. Mark Elgar's B and C questions are weird in the sense that he prefers to have you form grammatically tidy sentences rather than fill in scientific terms, and Geoff Shaw evidently LOVES sex, but other than that, a very fair component of the exam, and also very heavily weighted. Again, if you studied well, you'll be A-OK (though one or two of the answers may be difficult to get, the VAST majority are quite mainstream in terms of content and shouldn't push you too hard). Section D is the big gamble, but thankfully is only worth 16%. You get NO QUESTION CHOICE, so don't be fooled by the sample exam like much of the cohort (who clearly didn't read the front page :V). They can ask anything they like over these three questions and you need to be able to answer their questions in a logical and coherent manner. There's no way 2013's content will be the same as 2014's, so I won't go into the questions themselves, but PLEASE think about how to clearly write out your answers and make sure you can apply some basic practical skills (there was a prac-style question in the ER worth 10 marks). One thing I will say again; Geoff Shaw LOVES sex. Never before have I written the words "penis", "vagina" and "period" on an exam together, let alone labelled and/or drawn four diagrams of reproductive tracts and systems.
In terms of who sets the fairest questions, Rick's section will make you happy if you put some time into learning his things during the semester, and Andrew's parts were all very fair (though not as easy as Rick's, there wasn't anything to fault and a wide range of topics were examined). Geoff's questions covered a lot of the nitty-gritty details that you wouldn't think would crop up, but they did (alongside many very simple questions, I should add) and so I'd say his exam questions were the most challenging for students. Stephen's were quite easy, though he did try to cause some headaches with less clear-cut questions in Sections B and C. Mark Elgar's questions are very strange, and you will need a decent grasp of English grammar to successfully complete his Section B/C questions, whether or not you remember his examples. On that note, DO learn all his examples, because you WILL need to know them. However, his questions were really very simple if you knew what you were doing.
Really, a very fair exam with few faults or gripes, and I think it did a great job of assessing who knew their shit and who had no clue what was going on.

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, but occasionally Geoff Shaw forgot to properly set up the recordings. His lectures are better for voice-based note-taking anyway, so it shouldn't be a problem. That said, I strongly encourage you to go to the lectures as well as watch them/listen to them again on Lectopia.

Past exams available:  One sample exam. The difficulty is similar to that of the actual exam, and the style of questions each lecturer uses is also quite similar. There was one (maybe?) recycled multiple choice question I noticed on the exam itself, worth 2 marks, so don't expect to blitz the exam because you did the sample exam - STUDY THE CONTENT THOROUGHLY and you will mow down the exam. If you don't revise all the lecture content and rely on having done well on practice tests and online assessments the exam will mow you down instead.

Textbook Recommendation:  R B Knox, P Y Ladiges, B K Evans and R Saint, Biology, An Australian Focus 4th Ed, McGraw-Hill, 2009.
The textbook is useful, but don't do what I did and attempt to answer questions from it (if you must, draw the line at short answer) because it'll only make you confused and feel like you don't know any of the content. Probably worth a buy if you're continuing with biology in first year, and especially if you're planning on taking BIOL10001 in the subsequent semester.
The Biology department also publishes a loose leaf subject manual that you MUST buy, new, from the university's Co-op store; all practical assessment is completed and marked (!) in this book, and it contains a plethora of useful worksheets, tutorial sheets and other such things if you feel like completing them (hardly necessary but probably useful!) Binding it is a good idea to avoid it becoming crumpled up paper mess.

Lecturer(s): I'll discuss the lecturers individually below.

Rick Wetherby - Life's Origins and Cell Biology
Friendly lecturer, very clear and well-paced with fairly comprehensive notes and useful lecture summaries (provided on LMS). His voice is fantastic. At the end of his teaching stint he'll email you a list of things to revise for the MST and exam. He seems to love the phrase "no trick questions!". VERY keen on endosymbiosis.

Andrew Drinnan - Respiration, Photosynthesis and Plant Science
Perhaps not favoured by students as people tend to dislike or be averse to plant science, but I quite liked him. To get everything out of his lectures, I strongly suggest going home and listening to what he's saying, then taking notes based on that. He moves a little too fast to write down everything important, but rest assured most of what he says IS important. Fairly interesting, his content was interesting as well, save for respiration (don't kill me, I LIKED plant science). Strangely obsessed with marijuana.

Geoff Shaw - Circulatory and Respiratory Systems, Homeostasis, Reproduction and Animal Development
Sex-obsessed old man who really lights up your day. I doubt I'll forget him in a hurry! Covers perhaps some of the trickiest concepts of the course, and also says many important things that aren't covered by his slides. A joy to listen to; I'm sure you'll get a few laughs out of his course segment even if you find the content dull or challenging.

Stephen Frankenberg - Animals and Their Interactions With Their Environments
Rather slow voice, but this is made up for with fantastic pictures and videos. You can tell Stephen is enthusiastic about the course, but he's a little too socially awkward to bring his enthusiasm out. What he covers is fairly simple if you pay attention in lectures. Don't miss anything - the concepts he covers are easier to understand if you have the whole picture. Strangely endearing man who looks nothing like his lecture slide photograph.

Mark Elgar - Evolutionary Mechanisms, Ecology and Animal Behaviour
Fairly pretentious and stuffy, and maybe a little slow with content delivery, he seemed to be most peoples' least favourite lecturer, but even he wasn't terrible, more mediocre and too preoccupied with his research colleagues. He'll tell you he dislikes assessing specifics, but all his specific examples are assessable and will be assessed, so please learn them! What he teaches is very simple and will likely be a welcome break to an intense semester. He really loves lions (and his colleague Melissa ;) ).

Year & Semester of completion: 2013, Semester One.

Rating:  4.5 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1 (91)

Comments: BIOL10004 was a fantastically well-rounded introduction to, well, the biology of cells and organisms! It covers a wide range of topics concisely and quickly, but in enough depth to give you an appreciation of how organisms function and exist on our planet. If you did VCE Biology and REMEMBER the content (I didn't remember a single thing, so this subject was like learning biology from scratch all over again), most of this subject should be fairly easy to study for, despite the different methods of content delivery. Lecturers were, on the whole, great and good at teaching their content (though Mark is a little pretentious and Stephen a little dry-sounding) and the tutors and demonstrators tried to turn each prac and workshop into something interesting. The course was easy to study for, easy to take notes for, and not terribly boring, either. Workshops are definitely not compulsory, and if you find yourself bored to death, don't go - I went to two, and while those two helped, I was totally fine without them. Pracs can be boring but might be interesting or enjoyable depending on your prac group. I actually made a few friends through pracs, so if you're feeling lonely, try being outgoing during the prac classes and see where it gets you! The staff also seem to care about students despite the incredibly large number of jaffies enrolled in the subject, which does make you feel a little bit more welcome at uni. I don't really know what else to say other than that this subject will reward you academically and personally if you put in the hours, and that if you enjoyed biology in highschool then there's nothing to regret about choosing BIOL10004! If you've never taken biology before or don't remember anything/much from highschool, expect this to be quite content-heavy, but not particularly challenging. Good luck!
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: vcestudent94 on July 03, 2013, 10:20:11 pm
Subject Code/Name: FNCE10001 Finance 1 

Workload:  2 x 1-hour lectures and a 1-hour tutorial per week

Assessment:  Assignments not exceeding 2000 words (20%) and a 2-hour end-of-semester examination (80%).

Lectopia Enabled:  No (Although might change in the future)

Past exams available:  Many past exams available on the library's website although only one exam's solution is given near exam time.

Textbook Recommendation: Handbook says otherwise, but it is a custom textbook made by the University that is a combination of multiple textbooks. (Don't need it, Lecture notes and Internet are sufficient)

Lecturer(s): Don't know as I never went to a lecture.

Year & Semester of completion:  2013, Semester 1
Rating:  4 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1 (87)

Comments: Well if your an Engineering/Science student looking for a mathsy breadth that eats up hardly any time then this is the one for you. The exam is structured so that roughly half of the marks are for calculation questions and half are theory - so thats 50% "in-the-bag" for competent maths students.

 The other 50% is quite accessible if you pretty much go through the lecture notes week by week, googling any definitions/concepts that you don't understand (the lecture notes are pretty brief-although they might've been expanded upon in the lectures). So if you're not comfortable doing independent study and research then it would probably be better to go to the lectures and tutes.

The tutorial questions and solutions are posted on the LMS so I was able miss every tutorial (I didn't want to look like a fool in front of all the commerce kids). This allowed me to pretty much do all of the tutorial sheets during exam period and check where I went wrong in calculation questions. They also provided comprehensive answers to common theory questions that come up in exams, so I suggest understanding *cough*memorising*cough* most of them.

The 2 assignments are due around mid April and mid May and they are available on the LMS so you have a while to complete them. They don't require much of the actual content to complete, just independent research and knowing how to reference properly-although beware: they will be more lenient for referencing in the first assignment than the second (I'm saying this because I referenced the same way for both assignments although only lost marks for the second one) so better take some time to learn it.
So over all a very good breadth subject (or non-breadth if your in commerce) would have given it a 5/5 if it was recorded. The content starts off a bit dry and confusing with "introductions" to things like Financial Institutions and Financial Markets but it gets more interesting when you reach things like Bonds, Foreign Exchange Markets and Shares.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: mc1316 on July 04, 2013, 12:15:21 am
Subject Code/Name: BIOL10004 Biology of Cells and Organisms

- 3 one hour lectures per week,
- 5 two hour practicals
- 1 one hour tutorial or workshop per week (not compulsory)
- 5 prelabs, 5 postlabs and 5 ILTs, supposedly 36 hours worth (in reality much less)

- Mid-Semester Test (10%); 45 minute, multiple choice
- 5 Practical Task (25% total); each practical worth 5%, a mark out of 10 is given, 1 possible mark for getting 50% on a prepractical, 4 possible        marks for for 4 questions in a post-practical exam and a mark out of 5 given for work you do within the practical (you can figure exactly what gets you 5 marks from the practical workbook)
- Written Report Relating to one of the Practicals (10%); maximum 1000 words, detailed criteria is given
- Independent Learning Tasks ILTs (5%); 5 online tests on the LMS without time pressure worth 1% each, getting 50% on a test gets you that 1%, if you get less than 50% you get another try
- End of Semester Exam (50%); 3 hours, covers everything top to bottom although borad, exam consisted of 40 multiple choice questions, filling in the blank questions, and three 10 mark extended responses making up a total of 180 marks; almost no practical is assessed in the exam

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes

Past exams available:  One Exam Provided on LMS Before SWOTVAC, they attribute providing only one exam to content changing every year (I don't buy it).

Textbook Recommendation:  Prescribed text is 'R B Knox, P Y Ladiges, B K Evans and R Saint, Biology, An Australian Focus 4th Ed, McGraw-Hill, 2009'. It really isn't necessary, there is enough supplementary information on the web. However a practical booklet has to be purchased from the co-op book shop.

Lecturer(s): Rick Wetherbee, Andrew Drinnan, Geoff Shaw, Stephen Frankenberg, Mark Elgar

Year & Semester of completion: 2013, Semester 1

Rating:  4.5 of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1 (87)


Recommendations (this are just things that worked for me)
1) Download every single lecture onto you computer from lectopia if possible and watch each lecture more than once. If you don't feel like going to a lecture thats completely fine, happens to everyone, just make sure you watch the lectopia version.
2) Place little significane on the notes given by the lecturer as it is way to general, make you own notes mainly from watching repeats of the lecture. Dont use a computer (preferably not ipad either) to take notes, its bad for recall.
3) For some (or most) of the stuff you just have to sit down (or pace if you are like me) and repeat and repeat until its memorised. This is be done to some capacity near exam time.
4) If you dont understand a concept try first then the textbook, especially for anything to do with respiration and photosynthesis.
5) Tutorials/ workshops are a waste of time, they sometimes even star giving additional material that will never be examined. The questions done are from the practical/ tutorial booklet which you can just do at home. There is also a really bad staff to student ratio for this subject. Time is better spent doing your own notes and revising or sleeping.
6) Me and a LOT of other people tend to forget about prelabs, postlabs and ILTs, not just for biology, but for chemistry, physics etc aswell. So I recommend making a checklist that you fill in every week, so there is no way you miss them.

First 8 lectures were done be Rick Wetherbee and covered basic cellular biology, specifically prokaryotic/ eukaryotic cells, mitosis/ meiosis, macromolecules (i.e. lipids etc.). Rick's lectures almost exclusive featured in the mid semester exams, which consisted of 25 multiple choice questions. So really knowing the 3 most important points from each lecture was enough to get anybody full marks. Almost everyone found this surprisingly easy, I think average was around 75%. Rick's lecture content and delivery are as good as its going to get in biology.

The next 9 lectures were done by Andrew Drinan and covered a bit of cellular biology, but mostly plant biology. This included, respiration, photosynthesis, plant nutrition, water and solute use/ xylem and phloem, plant hormones, plant reproduction, plant defence and plant growth and development. These series of lectures was the most content heavy and focused mostly on relatively arbitrary memorizations, in other words lack of conceptual flow. The content was also quite tedious. Attendance fell of dramatically over the course of his lectures (not because of Andrew but rather the content).

The next 7 lectures were done by Geoff Shaw and covered some basic animal and human physiology, including cardiovascular system, pulmonary system, homeostasis, nervous system, endocrine system and his specialty the reproductive system. Geoff tried to take a different approach to lecturing, he moved (ran) about the lecture theatre trying to get the audience involved - asking questions etc. Some people really liked him, but personally I felt it was a bit too distracting. His ability to explain concepts was lacking and some stuff he went over too fast. This section by far had the most interesting concept, but the delivery wasn't great.

The next 5 lectures were done by Stephen Frankenberg and was a continuation from Geoff's animal physiology lectures.The digestive system, nutrition, regulation of bodily fluids (including excretory system), thermal regulation and defences were covered by Steven. Steven exemplified the monotone standing in one place and reading from the slide technique of lecturing and frankly he was my favourite lecturer. The way he presented the material resonated with me and absorption was relatively easy. He presented the material in a logical manner and it is an established fact that if new material is introduced in a logical manner their is greater probability to recall.

The last 6 lectures were presented by Mark Elgar. He covered the topic of evolution in his first three lectures and animal behaviour in the next three. The content I though was very interesting, especially the platera of examples/ case studies he gave. His style of lecturing was pretty solid. However his voice was sort of annoying and he seems to be a angry man (best not to have conversations during his lectures). Mark's section was not extensively examined in the final examination, in fact I did not attend or watch his last two lectures (not recommending this).

Practical and Written Report
The problem with any practical for any subject is the people marking it. People will get slightly different marks depending on the marker. For the postprac test which is almost half the marks make sure you listen to the instructor when they are speaking as some answers are given from their talks. I missed some marks from not listening. For the report following the criteria to the letter (like its a piece of legislation and you are a lawyer) and you will get a damm near perfect mark or the report.

The Midsemester Test and Final Exam
The midsemester test is relatively easy and going to each lecture and being active for the duration of the lecture is enough to get a person close to full marks if not full marks. Even if you don't know one of the answers its pretty easy to guess. However, succes in the MST is by no stretch of imagination guaranteed success for the final exam. The final exam starts with 20 one mark multiple choice following by 20 two mark multiple choice. Then it goes through a series of about around 10 passages each on a different topic consisting of fill in the blank type question. The last section is somewhat of a extended response as mentioned previously. The entire exam does cover almost everything, so you really have to know everything to get yourself a good score. However the extended response section can only have so many topics - as the topic has to be major and from at least two different lectures. It will also likely test concept rather than memory (i.e. transpiration-cohesion theory or homeostasis or respiration over listing defences of plants or nutrion requirements for animals).

This subject is made great by the inherent nature of its content. Not matter how bad or unsuited for you the lecturer or system is there is a certain threshold which the subject can't go below simply due to the content. For this to apply though you have to love the subject.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: ShiCarnt on July 04, 2013, 08:26:22 pm
Subject Code/Name: ENVS10006 Mapping Environments

Workload:  2x 1 hour lectures and 1x 3 hour practical class

Assessment:  5x Group Assignments (15%) and Online Quiz (25%)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes

Past exams available:  No exam

Textbook Recommendation:  None

Lecturer(s): Cliff Ogleby

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1, 2013

Rating: 5 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 86

Comments: This is the greatest subject at the uni if you don't worry about wasting your money. There is basically no content in the subject, and there's no point in watching or reading lectures, let alone attending them for the sake of doing well in the subject. You can learn the content you need for the online quiz in a good hour or two on the day. It is worthwhile going if you have an interest, the lecturer is funny and charismatic; but you aren't missing anything otherwise.

The group assignments are not the pinnacle of complexity nor of difficulty. It involves writing a maybe 1000-2000 word report about some mapping activity, going into depth on topics such as the materials and equipment used in the prac, any acknowledgements and any problems your group encountered. Note that these fortnightly assessments are worth 15%, and that is one report per group. The practical tasks themselves are fairly fun in the sense that you can go and do stuff, whether doing some physical surveying or just making a map. These tasks usually take a good hour or so (less for some of the entirely electronic ones) to complete and you are given the six hours of prac classes to finish them. That means that the rest of the practical class is spent screwing around, with many people playing games on their laptops; pro-active groups can easily complete the report in that time. Well, that is if you turn up. Generally people will arrive between 5 minutes to 2 and a half hours late to the classes. There is an online group appraisal system where you can punish the group members for not pulling their weight, but it's not like there is much weight to pull.

As I mentioned before, there is an online quiz on the last teaching week. You put your name down for a time and go in and do it. It consists of 50 very short and easy questions; as long as you're familiar with the nomenclature and have a general idea of what's going on (you'll learn everything you need to know doing the pracs anyway), the quiz will not cause any strife. You get an hour but you realistically only need about ten to fifteen minutes to complete it. If you are so inclined, you don't need to do it (it's not a hurdle requirement).

All in all this subject works out very well. For those with a genuine interest in mapping and related fields, it is a fun and interesting subject where you get to play around with some equipment at your own pace, and for those less interested - you don't have to do anything. The staff are great, really approachable and friendly, and have a real interest in the field so you can talk to them for ages.

If you don't know what subject to do, do this.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Sinner on July 04, 2013, 09:32:25 pm
Subject Code/Name: BCMB20005: Techniques In Molecular Science 

Workload:  12 lectures, 8 pracs, 11 tutes. Each prac takes up to 3 hours each week except the last one, spanning up to 9 hours over 3 weeks.

Assessment:  Reports, "homework experimental records", assignment (50%), 40 min midsem (5%), practical exam (10%), 2 hour theory exam (35%)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes

Past exams available:  Yes, 3-4

Textbook Recommendation:  No textbooks, although you need to buy a lab manual online through the LMS and collect them before the pracs start.

Lecturer(s): Amber Willem Jones, Alana Mitchell, Mike Griffin

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1, 2013

Rating:  4.5 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 75/H2A

Comments: I figured we needed a new review for this subject as according to my tutor (who's aware of some of the going ons at uni), the curriculum for this year has undergone some changes under Amber's lead. Anyway, this is a practical subject that must be completed if one wishes to major in Biochemistry or Pathology, and is rather well coordinated. Before you continue, I'll admit that I rarely go to the lectures or tutes, but don't judge me  ::)


Just your standard 1 hour lectures per week in the Microbiology theater. Most of them concern the principles of the labwork to be done during that week (Or an assignment such as the pH Biosciences one, will come back to it later) and are mostly given by Amber. There are a few that were given by other lecturers who are more specialized in those areas, such as Alana Mitchell for enzyme kinetics and Mike Griffin for Proteomics. If you miss the lectures, there's no biggie as they are not hard to catch up to and comprehend. Contrary to Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, you do not need to know the full details of "examples" such as the GLUT proteins, but only the principles and techniques involved in the different processes such as DNA cloning, sequencing, or proteomics. There's a list labelling stuff you need to know at the end of most lectures as well, so that's quite handy.


Weekly 3 hour pracs in the afternoon from Monday to Thursday. So first part: pre-prac. Before going to a prac, make sure you complete the experimental records and read the prac beforehand and finish the pre-lab questions for the prac you're attending as you attend. Also, don't be late! If you're 5 minutes late, you get marks taken off your participation score; if you're more than 15 minutes late, you won't be permitted to enter as they can't be bothered going over the stuff again. Also bring your experimental record/homework questions you completed for the last prac in as well. You'll also need to bring the lab manual, goggles, a lab coat, and wear closed shoes.

After you've handed in stuff at the beginning, everybody in your group (A bunch of 8-12 ppl) will have a pre-lab discussion before starting things. Try to participate in these, as you actually get marks off if you don't, as well as being incompetent with the procedure or equipment. (There's a rubric for participation on the LMS btw). The pracs aren't too hard to do but try not to mess things up, especially during the report pracs. You'll get a partner that you have to work with 3 hours every week, so get along. You'll also have a post-lab discussion before you leave, and once again, participate.

You'll need to write reports for some of the pracs; mine concern restriction mapping, enzyme kinetics, and protein purification. They count for a large percent of your grade, so do well in them! (One could count as 7% or even 12%) There'll be a LMS rubric to guide you as well as the lab manual, so it shouldn't be too hard to do well in them if you put in the time. And as always, they are submitted via Turnitin 5 pm one week after the prac. The grades should be released exactly one week after.

I initially feared the thought of 3 hour pracs every week, but it wasn't bad as I expected. Though DNA and gel electrophoresis were argurably the bane of the subject, the protein pracs were rather interesting and insightful. The demonstrators I got were also quite kind (Kim and Stella, in case any of you get lucky :D) and helpful especially during small talk for prac report stuff. Preparing myself for each session wasn't a hassle either.


1 hour tutes every week in the Medical building. Mostly add-on stuff to the lecture content such as practice questions, as well as stuff like analyzing scientific papers, although you don't really need the latter at this level. Amber herself said that you wouldn't need to know it now, but for people thinking of doing Advanced Techniques (Level 3). I only went to 2 of them and made it through. On one week there will be no tute but the midsem instead.

Other Assessments

The assignment is avaliable to you from the start but was to be completed by Week 7. It's a little tricky, but not hard after you read the information packet that came along with it.

The midsem was done sometime during Weeks 4-5, this mostly concerns the concepts of the earlier lectures as well as calculations involving stuff such as stoichiometry and the Beer-Lambert law. I went without much preparation on the numbers part and messed it up bad. 30% of the people failed it, but if you practice the early tutes' questions then you'll be fine

The prac exam isn't anything much. It's simply you having to carry out an experimental procedure that you've done before, but this time you analyze and give the results to the demonstrators for assessment. You'll be told the topic before, so you should familiarize yourself with the method once you do know. This semester's was on enzyme kinetics

The theory exam itself concerns mostly theoretical principles and a little bit of calculation such as on protein purity and fractional charge. You've got 2 hours to complete 4 separate sections (Roughly: Analyzing a paper, theoretical short answer questions, multiple choice, and diagrams + theory). There were a load of questions this semester, and I only finished seconds after the clock. Make sure you look at the "What you need to know/expected of you" parts of the lectures and study those well. Drawing diagrams might also be expected of you.

All in all a well-coordinated subject. I only have complaints about the fact that the midsem's content was one that was not really needed during the course of the subject as much as others. If you love labwork and macromolecules, this is the subject for you. I do recommend doing this concurrently with Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. The content only lightly overlaps each other (lac operon, enzymes), but they complement each other quite well, and I find it much easier to comprehend stuff from one that's been covered upon in the other.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: ferrsal on July 04, 2013, 10:15:53 pm
Subject Code/Name: ECON10004 Introductory Microeconomics

Workload: 2 1-hour lectures a week and 1 1-hour tutorial per week

Assessment:  10% tutorial participation, 5% MST, 10% Assignment 1, 15% Assignment 2, 60% End of semester exam

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes

Past exams available:  Yes, there were 4 (2012-2009). Do them, they help!

Textbook Recommendation:  "Principles of Microeconomics" by Gans, King and Mankin is definitely necessary. It's also good to clear up on certain topics (such as the firm theory, which I found a little difficult)

"Microeconomics: Case studies and applications" by Jeff Borland.  Read this in the first week, but then never touched it again. It was actually a pretty interesting book but I don't think it was worth spending time and money on.

Lecturer(s): Gareth James

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1, 2013

Rating:  4.5/5

Your Mark/Grade: H1 (81)

As someone who never touched any economics, this subject was actually very interesting and at most parts enjoyable. If you've done economics in year 12, I'm pretty sure there are parts that you will already be familiar with, but nevertheless, in my case I didn't feel disadvantaged in any way.

Gareth James was the lecturer for this subject, and I found him to be pretty good, however I never showed up to lectures after week 1 because I thought it was more productive to download the lecture at home and listen to it with 2x the speed, because he tends to speak pretty slowly. Nearing the exams and at the review lecture, he went over certain concepts (price discrimination, tariffs and import quotas) which were actually on the exam, so I would definitely attend/listen to the review lecture because he gives a good indication of what is to be expected.

Tutorials were a good way to brush up on concepts and do practice questions. It varies from tutor to tutor, but mine was very strict with the whole "10% participation and attendance thing", so make sure you actively participate in discussions and answer questions in order to easily gain that 10%. Your tutors also mark your assignments.

The assignments were probably the downfall of this subject. Assignment 1 was all about reading real-life articles related to economics and answering questions by applying what you have learnt. I found the articles to be vague and unclear, so I kind of bombed that assignment (I got ~60%). For assignment 1 I recommend discussing the questions with friends (just not copying obviously lol, thats what my tutor said...) The second assignment was more easier I found, and it is worth more. The important thing is to choose something individual, because you get marked on creativity.

The MST was worth 5% and was quite easy. There were practice tests provided which gave good preparation.

The exam was lengthy in my opinion, so don't take your time too much. However, it was quite fair, there were no surprises, everything there was covered in the lectures. Some people say this subject is an easy H1, but I don't agree 100%. There were easy parts in this subject (game theory was the most enjoyable imo) but there were also tricky parts that took me a while to wrap my head around them (firm theory). There is an online tutor that answers questions, and this was VERY helpful. I highly recommend using this as he answered questions very well, and sometimes gave slight hints for assignment questions (not too much obviously).

This is a good breadth subject, and I definitely recommend it, and if you really enjoy it, you can even go on to do macroeconomics.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Hehetymen on July 05, 2013, 03:37:25 am
Subject Code/Name: ANCW20019: Rise and Fall of the Roman Republic

Workload: 1x 1.5 hour lecture per week, 1x 1 hour tute per week.

Assessment: Written essay (2500 words) worth 50% due somewhere mid semester, final exam (40%), and 10% from tutorial attendance.

Lectopia Enabled:  No.

Past exams available: Not sure. We were given a list of the final exam questions though so there is no need for past exam papers.

Textbook Recommendation: The readings for the tutorials are all from "Ancient Rome: From the Early Republic to the Assassination of Julius Caesar" but the book itself isn't strictly needed. It can be a useful secondary source for the essay though.

Lecturer(s): Frederik Vervaet

Year & Semester of completion: 2013, semester 1.

Rating: 4 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1 (82)

Comments: After the census date passed I pretty much thought I screwed up choosing this subject. Having never done a history subject before, it seemed to me that there was a hell of a lot of stuff to remember (dates/names/places etc). Everything went better than expected though. The lectures are not recorded so I went to every single one. In retrospect, there was not much point given the format of the exam. The tutorials are once a week and contribute to 10% of your final grade so you should make sure to attend. At the end of each tute you have to hand in an attendance sheet with whatever notes you wrote for that session. I just wrote random stuff he said to other people's questions/skimmed the book beforehand. These tutes involve a round the table discussion of something you found interesting from the current week's lecture or readings. I.e. if you skim the lecture notes or the readings beforehand you can easily find something to talk about without having really done either. This also means the book itself is not necessary although it is useful for the essay. The readings are from the book but the tutes are a Q&A by the student to the teacher so you don't need to know the answers to anything at all.

The written essay was new and exciting, worth 50%. On the plus side, it used to be like 3500 words. On the downside I was unused to the format. Before I forget, it's important to read the course syllabus. It lists the due dates of everything but also tells you how to write the essay and some tips on citation etc (Fred doesn't tell you to start writing your essay/explain it, it's expected that you've read the syllabus and thus already know the details of the essay). The essay involves choosing between a pair of like 10-12 people and then comparing them in a "Parallel Lives" (Plutarch) manner. You can compare their virtues (fides, virtus etc) or their upbringing, political strategies etc. Alternatively you can discuss a specific theme from the Ancient Rome book (in which case you'll have to buy the book) such as women in Rome, slavery, religion etc. Citation isn't too bad. Fred gave us like four sample essays from previous students who did well. Since I had no clue how to write a history essay I picked the ones that were similar to my topic and copied the format and also their citation style. One thing is to use at least 3 secondary sources. I only used one and lost marks for that. Also for the virtues don't only focus on similar types of virtues. I chose virtues mostly to do with military which lost me marks (no religion etc). If you need primary sources there are plenty of free translations on the web.

The exam is worth 40%. What's wonderful about the exam is that 10% is essentially guaranteed (although pretty sure I messed up lol). This 10% involves a blank map of the Mediterranean and a list of 10 cities/rivers/places that you have to locate and label. You can google the maps (ancient Rome) or just look through the lecture notes (which is what I suggest). This is a good buffer if you didn't do so well on the essay. The other 30% is an essay. Prior to the exam you will be given two lists of 10 questions. One set consists of period specific questions and the other set is broader, involving how something affected Rome in the long term. This is good for people who prefer to focus on one topic or like getting a general idea of things. Out of these 20 questions, one question from each set will be chosen for the exam. If you only focus on one set you can ignore the other 10 questions entirely. If you have a good memory you can cram without having gone to any of the lectures. I suggest you still attend some though because certain things in the lecture notes may seem vague. Reading the readings for the tutes is completely unnecessary unless you're genuinely interested in them. Far too detailed for the exam. Note that the essay cannot exceed 3 pages or it won't be read.

Frederick himself is an excellent lecturer. You can tell he is genuinely enthusiastic about his subject. He is also the sole lecturer/tutor so getting your essays back might take a while. The lack of lecture capture kinda sucked but one lecture a week isn't that hard to attend unless you had a late night out. Overall this is a pretty good breadth subject and provided you put in some effort getting a decent grade shouldn't be too hard.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: djsandals on July 05, 2013, 02:49:28 pm
Subject Code/Name: MUSI10023 Music Language 1: The Diatonic World

Workload:  2 x 1 hour weekly lectures, 1 x 1 hour weekly tute.

Assessment:  10 weekly assignments totalling 70% (they begin at 5% a week and go up 1% every fortnight, ie first two are worth 5, next two are worth 6 etc.), one hour listening test at end of semester (10%) and a one hour exam at the end of semester (20%).

Lectopia Enabled:  I think so, but I never used it.

Past exams available:  No, but the exam is similar to assignments you are given.

Textbook Recommendation:  Recommended text: Harmony and Voice Leading.  You can get by without buying this but it helps if you do, it pretty much covers everything you'll need to learn so can be helpful if you want to do some extra reading etc.

Lecturer(s): Elliot Gyger.

Year & Semester of completion: 2013 Semester 1.

Rating:  4/5

Your Mark/Grade: H2B (74)

Comments: Basically covers the theory behind western music from the medieval to classical periods.  Includes study of counterpoint/4-part harmony/voice leading (if you've done any AMEB theory this should mostly be a breeze). 

Assignment tasks include an analysis of a piece (easier but less interesting) every other week, and a composition task every 2nd week (harder but more fun).  The first few will have you tearing your hair out but, the deeper you go into the subject the easier it gets.

The end of semester listening test involves you sitting in the lecture theatre and being played 10 works.  The first 9 are from a list of 30+ works given to you at the beginning of semester/available on the LMS.  You need to identify the period, composer, work and movement.  Given that some of these go for over 10 minutes and aren't necessarily played from the beginning it definitely pays to get started on this early.  The final work will be something you are not expected to know, and you have to guess the period and make some musical observations about the piece.

The end of semester exam is fairly straightforward: an analysis of a piece and you have to harmonise a chorale (about 6 bars) in 4-part harmony. 

My advice to those doing this subject is DO NOT overlook the listening test.  No one studies for it and ends up doing really badly because the lecturers and tutors don't make a big deal about it, but that 10% can be really important.   Do a bit of listening every week to stay on top of it.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: djsandals on July 05, 2013, 03:14:36 pm
Subject Code/Name: MUSI10025 Writing About Music: Australian Issues

Workload:  1 x 90 minute weekly seminar.

Assessment:  Five assignments totalling 90% (2 x 10%, 1 x 25%, 1 x 5%, 1 x 40%), attendance and participation 10% (I know, right?)

Lectopia Enabled:  Don't think so.

Past exams available:  No exam for this subject woooooo

Textbook Recommendation:  Reader available at bookshop at beginning of semester.

Lecturer(s): Sue Robinson and Shelly Hogan.

Year & Semester of completion: 2013 Semester 1.

Rating:  In terms of usefulness, 3/5.  In terms of enjoyment, 1/5.

Your Mark/Grade: H2B (78)

Comments: Considered by almost every music student to be the worst subject in existence, WAM certainly leaves a lot to be desired in terms do I put this...not falling into a coma when in class.

But in all seriousness, the first few weeks teach you important things like how to footnote and do a biblography correctly, as well as how to use sources in the library.  I'd try to focus as much of your attention as possible on these first few weeks (a struggle, I understand) and then you can do what you want in the latter weeks.

The first assignment is writing a 100 word summary of a particular topic.  The writing of the summary is piss-easy, finding the sources can be painful.  Just make sure you pick a topic with a lot of reliable sources and use the ones they expect you to find.

The second assignment involves footnoting.  As I recall it was explained really badly and everyone did badly, so badly that they had to change the marking scheme on it.  Don't be afraid to ask your teacher for help if you're unsure of what to do.

The third assignment is similar to the first one, but longer.

The fourth assignment isn't even an assignment, just a prelim to the final assignment.  You just need to find sources and put them in a bibliography.  Just make sure you pick good sources and format the bibliography correctly.

The fifth assignment is a bit of a bitch, you have to write a 1200 word persuasive essay on an ambiguous topic, but thankfully they're relatively lenient on the marking (I crammed it the day it was due, 200 words below the word count and still got 80%).

This subject isn't really funtaims but it's not a lot of time and effort either, so just grit your teeth and bear it for a semester, it'll be over before you know it.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: djsandals on July 05, 2013, 04:45:45 pm
Subject Code/Name: MUSI20008 Music Technology 

Workload:  1 x 1 hour weekly seminar

Assessment:  25% Minor Assessment, 50% Major Assessment, end of semester exam 25%

Lectopia Enabled:  No.

Past exams available:  No.

Textbook Recommendation:  Resources given are more than adequate and list more if needed.

Lecturer(s): David Collins.

Year & Semester of completion: 2013 Semester 1.

Rating:  4.5/5

Your Mark/Grade: H1 (81)

Comments: If you have had more than a passing interest in synthesizers, recording, MIDI or Logic, then this is the subject for you.

The subject covers the history and modern applications of technology in music, such as recording techniques, synthesis and sound waves.

The classes are small, hands on and interesting.  The first assignment involves writing an essay on a piece of music describing the use of music technology in it, the second one involves a range of options for you to demonstrate what you have learned throughout the semester.  They range from using the logic sampler/synthesizer to make unique sounds to putting music to a bit of film.

The handouts given at each seminar are very detailed yet easy to understand, which makes revision for the exam a whole lot easier. 

And for synth fans, there will be a pleasant surprise greeting you at the first seminar :).
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: pink0829 on July 06, 2013, 01:19:06 am
Subject Code/Name: CEDB20003: Fundamentals of Cell Biology

Workload:  2 x 1hr lectures per week, 8 x 3hr cal modules according the handbook but we had 7 becuase of public holiday

Assessment:  3 tests during the semester which were quite short. The last two were completely multiple choice. Each were worth 10% and the final 2hr exam worth 70%

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes with screen capture. But the Harold Woodruff Theatre recording is horrible. We had about 2 or 3 lectures that didn't have any screen capture. Just turn up to the lectures, there are only two per week!

Past exams available:  Yes, about 2 (2009 and 2010 I think but I didn't do them). The exam structure is explained in the last lecture.

Textbook Recommendation:  B Alberts, A Johnson, J Lewis, M Raff, K Roberts & P Walter, Molecular Biology of the Cell, 5th edition, Garland Science.- I like the book but you don't need it, the lectures are enough. Most of the images in the lectures are important in understanding concepts so if you don't print out the lectures slides you can always borrow the textbook and take a look at them.

Lecturer(s): Dr Ross Waller - Intro lecture, protein sorting and cytoskeleton structure
                              Dr Jenny Gunnersen - microscopes, cell membranes, cell movement and stuff on neurons
                              A/Prof. Gary Hime - Gene Expression (mainly regulation) and cell cycle regulation
                              A/Prof Robb de Iongh - Signalling pathways (the best part and also a very good lecturer)
Year & Semester of completion: 2013 Sem 1

Rating: 4.5 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 82 (H1)

Comments: The subject is basically all about cells. The structure of cells (the easiest bit), gene expression and how it is regulated, protein transport pathways in the cell, cytoskeleton structure and function, how cells move, mitosis and cell cycle, and cell signalling pathways in cell proliferation and death are topics covered.
This subject was great! The lecturers were pretty good and the subject content was fantastic. This is one of the subjects I think that was easy to get a 100 in. I got 95% for the tests and was expecting to get 100% on the exam but I came in 10 mins into writing time and unfortunately had to go to the toilet twice during the 2 hr. I missed at least 33 marks worth of questions but I was pretty confident that everything I answered was correct so I wasn't really worried and therefore took my time a bit. But I'll tell why later.

So, subject content- To be honest, the content isn't that easy. But I enjoyed it. Which is why I think I did well in them. We started off with basic stuff covered in VCE and first year biology with a few new stuff here and there. But towards the end people found the content like cell signalling difficult to grasp. With those particular topics, you have to be able to look at the big picture before getting to the detail. There is quite a bit of detail covered in this subject which you are expected to know, but if you find it interesting it isn't going to be that hard. My advice is to start early with revision, but don't worry about that because you will be forced to revise and keep up to date thanks to the tests. Believe me, if it weren't for them my SWOT VAC would've been a nightmare. And don't be fooled in to thinking there is less content than other life sciences because of having two lectures per week. There are 8 three hour cals full of stuff that is assessed but more on that later.

Lectures- The lecturers are good and explain everything clearly. I found Jenny and sometimes Ross a bit boring. But they are not unbearable or anything. They all are always willing to answer any questions and are very nice and approachable. When revising lectures I would suggest grouping them in to topics and studying, so that you can see the big picture. I think this is why people actually did not get cell signalling pathways because it was broken up into 5 lectures and so even though Robb gives a little summary at the end of each pathway I knew a couple of people who struggled with seeing how they were connected and all that. I made charts to visualise the pathways, although there were great diagrams used in the lecture from the textbook. It actually helped with revising and made life a lot easier than a bunch of notes. Everything on the lecture is assessable, even the examples they use. Just check with the lecturer if you aren't sure whether you have to know something.

CALs- My favourite part of the week. Each CAL is 3 hrs long. No attendance is taken. You just turn up, log in and do the CAL in the lms. The CALs were very well put together. There was a lot of information to get through in the 3 hours. You have to read pages of information, sometimes watch a couple of videos and answer questions in the CAL and also in the worksheet made available before the CAL. Since the CAL is full of information the worksheets are basically questions provided by the lecturer to give you an idea of what you have to know from the CAL. Answer the questions and take notes from the CAL if you have to. You can always ask questions from the lecturers who attend the CALs. Since attendance isn't recorded many people stopped coming to the CALs. And you can also leave any time you wanted to so some people would turn up but stay for about an hour or two and leave. I don't think people realised this was the best place to ask questions from the lecturers. Its like a consultation time without having to book an appointment or emailing. And the lecturers being so nice would just sit and explain anything you needed to clarify. Its important you understand stuff in the CAL rather than memorise; and I stress this for the last 4 CALs. The reason this subject scored a 4 instead of 5 is because I think the CALs would've been much more interesting if the lecturers interacted more with the students instead of just walking around the class. Since Ross' CALs were sort of prac based (doing a couple of activities online), he did guide us and explain to us what we were doing in certain parts of the CAL. It was really helpful for the CATs (the test in the semester) so I would suggest you go to the CALs.

CATs/ tests- worth 30%, these are mainly based on the CALs. Only a couple of multiple choice questions of CAT 2 and 3 were from the lectures. CAT 1 had short answer as well as MCQ and did cover a fair bit of the lectures, so my suggestion is study both the lectures and CALs. They are very short tests and are done in the CAL time slot for that week. The lectures and CALs that will be assessed is given by the lecturer so make sure you study those particular ones. Like I said, CALs are mainly tested here, so going to the CALs would be a good idea. I managed to get 100% for 2 of my CATs and I attribute it to lecturers clarifying stuff in the CAL (esp. Ross). And also be prepared to know a bit of detail from the CAL. I'm really not sure how many CALs there will be next year (we had only 7 but I think there are 8 ) so I can't really give you an indication of what details you might have to know because the amount of detail you have to know varied for each CAL. Its best to ask the lecturer in the CAL. Since the CALs are spread out during the semester, it helps you keep up to date. I know they are not worth much but put some effort into the CATs because they are quite easy if you have studied, not many trick questions and helpful when revising for the exam because you've covered about 50-60% of the content already.

Speaking of the Exam- I had the worst exam experience so far in my undergraduate degree and I still managed to get a H1 without having to do any special exam. The reason for this was because of the exam structure. I have copied and pasted the following from the lms:
'This 2 hour exam will cover all material presented during semester in CALs and Lectures.  It consists of 3 parts (A, B, C).
Part A (30 min) comprises 20 multiple choice questions (1.5 mark each). All questions should be answered.
Part B (40 min) has 4 questions worth 10 marks each and will directly test material presented in lectures and CALs.  All 4 questions should be answered.
Part C (50 min) provides a choice of 2 questions from 3 options. Each question is worth 25 marks.  These questions will focus on how well you have understood key concepts and whether you can integrate information from different aspects of the subject.  The questions often have a problem-solving aspect to them, whereby you need to outline how a dynamic process or mechanism operates or how to investigate cellular functions and processes.'
So Part A had 5 questions from each lecturer and wasn't too hard or time consuming. In Part B each lecturer contributed one question and some questions were broken up into parts. I didn't have time to finish my answer for one of these questions. And I couldn't do a question in Part C. Which is where I screwed up. I want to kick myself for not starting with part C, because I might have had a chance in finishing the exam. Anyway the first two sections are straight-forward but with extended response, I would suggest breaking the question up into parts and answering them in that order For example one question would be: What requires...? Describe the process... Suggest 3.... and list its features. I would the answer the question by first underlining 'what', 'describe' 'suggest" and 'list' and in the answer space -->
what- (answer here)
describe- (answer here) etc.
Some questions were in parts, but there are other questions where you are expected prose- like answers even though our exam didn't have any. So make sure you give enough detail for 25 marks. Remember to answer the question and don't waste your time writing too much. Robb goes through how to answer the part C and some tips in the last lecture, so pay attention to that.
In summary: good lecturers, the subject content is not too hard and I enjoyed it a lot (but it depends on the person), make sure you are up to date, make the most of CALs, CATs are pretty easy to score on so studying for the exam is no big deal  8)
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: scribble on July 06, 2013, 03:00:34 am
Subject Code/Name: Biology of Cells and Organisms 

3x1 hour lectures per week. 5 ILTs, 6 pracs (one introductory/not assessed)

midsemester test (10%) the test is made up of 25 multiple choice questions and only covered 14 lectures for us so was easy to score well in. You don't find out what you got wrong though which is fairly annoying.
prac work (25%). Each prac is marked out of 10, with 1 mark from the preprac test (multiple choice. you get the mark if you score over 50%), 5 marks being from in prac work, and 4 marks being from a post prac test (4 mc questions, 1 mark for every question answered correctly. there is a time limit). Pre and post prac tests tend to be easy marks. It’s fairly easy to leak some marks in pracs, but as long as you are clear with what you’re saying, (especially with graph labels) you should be fine.
ILTS (5%) The test is multiple choice, you get the mark if you pass. There's a little online activity/tute thing for each ILT that has all the relevant information for the test.
Written assignment (10%)  Very easy way to leak marks if you’re not careful, but if you are, it’s an easy way to get marks also. I lost two half marks out of 20, one for referencing (I said the book was published in Sydney instead or North Ryde), and one for a graph label. They expect you to me more clear with this than on actual pracs. I know a lot of people who lost a ton of marks for lack of clarity though. There's a 500 word limit but they don't mind an awful lot if you go over by a little, as long as everything you say is concise and relevant/you don’t go waffling on about things.

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:  There was a set of sample questions, but no past exams.

Textbook Recommendation:  “R B Knox, P Y Ladiges, B K Evans and R Saint, Biology, An Australian Focus 4th Ed, McGraw-Hill, 2009” I used the textbook at the start of the semester (when I was a hardworking, conscientious jaffy), but you really don’t need it to do well in the subject. Many of the topics covered in the subject aren’t even in the textbook, but it’s good to read if you’re interested in learning things in more depth than lectures. You WILL need the book for the assignment, but you can find it in the biomed library.
There’s also a lab book from the co-op that you will need to buy. You’ll also need to buy microscope slides and a labcoat and shoes that cover the front and back of your foot if you haven’t any (that means no ballet flats for girls)

Lecturer(s): Rick Wetherbee, Andrew Drinnan, Geoff Shaw, Stephen Frankenberg, Mark Elgar.
To be honest I found the lecturers pretty dry to listen to. Rick spends all day talking about endosymbiosis and winning nobel prizes, but puts in a fair effort to make sure you know exactly what you need to for the exam. His slides are good, and have most of the content on them, you don’t need to take down too many notes, and can probably learn straight off them if you wished. A lot of his content is revision from VCE. He also has a funny accent. I can still hear him saying “teeming with life!!”
Andrew Drinnan talks about a lot about marijuana and alcohol to try and build rapport/fit in with the cool kids. He covers a LOT of content in his lectures. He also provides lecture summaries for every lecture (found on the LMS) which is nice because he covers a LOT of content in his lectures. I found I needed to take down a lot of notes for his lectures as he says a lot of stuff that aren’t on the slides which are mostly just pictures.
Geoff Shaw seems to be the most popular lecturer by far, but I was not a fan/didn’t really get his humour. I didn’t actually go to any of his lectures though, so maybe it just didn’t come through the lecture capture. He spends a lot of time trying to be funny/handing out chocolate frogs and not enough explaining biology. His lectures have quite a few of the more confusing topics, and I don’t think he did a great job explaining them. I felt like I needed to do external reading/wiking/animation watching etc to understand them. His lecture slides I didn’t find very good either and he doesn’t really explain a lot of what’s on them. He does provide revision worksheets for every lecture which was nice.
Steven Frankenburg sounded a little shy. His lecture slides are in depth and he spends most of the time in lectures just reading off them. You can prolly get away with just the slides, but I watched all his lectures at 1.8x speed, and then reread over the slides. He, like Geoff Shaw also provides revision worksheets.
Mark Elgar seemed to be quite unpopular. I see why, but I didn’t mind him personally. He gets very irate at people for talking and will stop the lecture to glare at people/make remarks about their rudeness, which is kind of awkward and a waste of time. He also talks painfully slowly; I think going to the actual lectures would have driven me insane. But the examples he talks about I found quite interesting, and I watched his lectures at 2.5x speed so the slowness wasn’t an issue. It also meant I could cover each of his lectures in less than half an hour. 8D

Year & Semester of completion: 2013, sem1

Rating:  3 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1 (91)

Comments: This was probably the least enjoyable subjects for me this year. The lectures I found really dry and studying (for me at least) involved memorising giant chunks of information during swotac/the week before the midsemester test AND THEN FORGETTING ALL OF IT THE NEXT DAY. 8’D Which felt like a complete waste of time to me.
Two of the pracs involve dissections (a heart and a mouse) which I didn’t do for ethical reasons. Dawn Gleeson, the subject coordinator is a sweetheart and was incredibly understanding, and had alternatives set up for me. Though the assessment for the alternatives seemed a bit unfair. For the heart one, I was given a video to watch of a heart dissection and a set of questions, some of which were on things that had not been covered at all (a baby can be born with a hole in its heart, what does this mean, where is the hole usually located and what effects does this have on the baby? wut. ಠ_ಠ). For the rat dissection, I was given pictures of a dissected rat (the same ones as in the lab book) and asked to do the same questions as the rest of the class, including drawing the digestive system. The pictures provided were all pretty bad and you couldn’t really see half of the organs, they were all kind of a big red blob on the screen. I pretty much drew out exactly what I saw, and received a terrible mark for it because the positioning/layout of the organs was bad, despite that being due to the bad pictures they provided. But I mean, fair enough. Imean I didn’t get a better mark because I wasn’t able to answer the questions well because I chose not to do the prac so okay. Oh, and also in pracs, you’re given seat numbers where you must sit, so even if you coordinate classes with friends, chances are you be sitting anywhere near each other.
The exam was pretty doable. Most of it is fill in the blank type questions, and they provide you with a giant list of words so you don’t really need to be familiar with the terminology. Usually seeing it written down is enough to trigger your memory. Our exam had an oddly large amount of content on reproduction though. Which seemed to have caught quite a lot of people off guard. XD I didn’t even learn the reproductive system cause the slides were all filled with pictures of cut up frogs and mice and made me sad. (clearly in the right course/doing the right subjects;;; ). It also had no question on endosymbiosis (!!!!!!) which I’m sure made many people lose bets.
Apart from that, I found the subject pretty easy to do decently in. I found myself behind in 16 lectures at one stage, which is pretty much half the course (I went to one or two of Andrew Drinnan’s lectures, and none of Geoff Shaw or Steven Frankenburg’s. I also missed the first of Mark’s). Had huge shock when I saw Steven for the first time in the revision lecture, I was expecting him to have no hair like on his slide cover pages!! XD) but catching up wasn’t too bad. It did involve a ton of cramming and watching lectures sped up during swotvac though. So even if you find yourself REALLY behind in the subject, don’t even think about giving up. NOT THAT I’M ENCOURAGING CRAMMING GUYS.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: scribble on July 06, 2013, 03:01:54 am
Subject Code/Name: Mast10008: Accelerated Mathematics 1

Workload:  4x 1hr lectures per week. 1 back to back tute and matlab session a week (1hr each)

Assessment:  3 online assignments (6%), 3 written assignment (9%), matlab test(5%), exam (80%)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available:  Yes, a whole bunch of them. As well as a ton of “typical exam questions”

Textbook Recommendation:  “Elementary Linear Algebra, Applications Version (H. Anton and C. Rorres), 10th edn, Wiley, 2010” I used it at first since learning from textbooks is what I’d always done in high school, it didn’t take me long to realise how inefficient it was. Definitely don’t think buying this is necessary. If you feel like you need to look something up, there’s a ton of copies in erc (most are older editions, but it doesn’t matter). There’s more questions in it as well, but chances are you won’t find yourself short on questions, Paul gives out a yellow book full of questions at the start of the semester. (This question booklet is also on the LMS in case you lose it. Don’t eagerly print it before the first lecture unless you want to waste a ton of paper and ink).

Lecturer(s): Paul Norbury.

Year & Semester of completion: 2013, sem1.

Rating: 5 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H2A (79)

Comments: This was my favourite subject this semester, hands down. I never really liked math in high school because I just rote learned everything and never really understood what was going on, and only JUST had the spesh score to get into the subject. But this subject made me really enjoy math which took my by complete surprise. It’s not an easy subject. You will find that you’ll need to put time into it if you want to understand it. But for me at least, doing this subject was really rewarding as I felt like I was actually learning and understanding math for the first time.
The subject is mostly linear algebra, though you also touch on a couple of topics from calc2 and also get a little taste of mathematical proofs. Paul Norbury is a fantastic lecturer. He’s insanely smart and often just talks about things hardly anyone understands. You can get by (and obtain great scores) without understanding half of what he says, but if you re-watch lectures and make an effort to understand everything he talks about, you can actually learn so much and gain such an appreciation of what’s going on.
I also found lectures incredibly entertaining. Paul regularly does some pretty amazing shit in his lectures like working out the square root of ridiculous numbers in his head up to two decimal places in seconds. But more usefully, he likes to try and make you think about things you thought you knew in different ways, which as far as I’m concerned, is pretty cool. Thought you know how to count? Don’t be so sure. And if squaring a number means you multiply it by itself, and cubing it means you multiply it by itself three times, then what happens if you take a number to the power of root two? And even more oddly, what happens if you make the power a complex number? ._____. He also says some fairly abstract stuff that I found quite interesting. Like how you could find the angle between the weights of rocks in trucks if you wanted to and believed it existed.
It also feels like he spends half the lectures trolling us. He’ll say stuff like “the most important thing I want you to take away from this lecture is that 1+1=0” or draw smiley faces or stick figures everywhere to explain concepts so we walk away with a page of mindfucky math notes that look like they came out of a primary school students scrapbook. XD
Amusing lectures aside, the subject itself is pretty good. Although the math that Paul covers in lectures is pretty tough, the actual assessment is not too bad. The online assignments you get three shots at each, and they count your highest mark, so it’s not difficult to get full marks there. The written ones tend to be more challenging and harder to score so well in, and depending on your tutor, you can lose a lot of marks for poor setting out. But they do it so that you learn how to set out things in a way that makes sense, and usually if they take marks off, it is because you’ve said something wrong/unclearly, even if it’s really minor. (though I had a friend who lost a mark because his ∈ looked like an f, which seemed a bit harsh to me)
The matlab sessions are designed to give you a glimpse into the applications of linear algebra. They were pretty confusing though and I think the bulk of people in my session struggled following what was going on. Also because I had a Monday session, more often than not, what we did in matlabs hadn’t been covered in lectures yet, so that wasn’t helpful. But the actual test again, is doable. Paul puts a practise test on the LMS and the actual test is essentially the same thing with different values (This is to prevent people who find out the questions and take the test later in the week from being at a huge advantaged), though there are a couple of add-ons and the “programming” question will be different.
Of course, the bulk of the marks lie in the exam which is worth 80% which is pretty daunting, and quite annoying if you balls up the exam (as I did, woo for housemates fighting at 5am). But don’t be too worried, the exam is made very accessible, with the exception of a couple of marks to separate out the high end of the cohort. The majority of the questions are easier than those that you do in tutes as well. You’re also provided with a ton of exams and exam type questions to do, and if you’ve been going okay with your assignments and what not, you should happily find that you can do most of the questions. (Unless it’s the 2011 paper you’re doing, that paper had a whole ton of ridiculous questions that stumped everyone I spoke to). They also tend to have a fair few “free mark” type questions to prevent people from failing.
So if you’re thinking of taking the subject, but are a little put off because it  sounds hard/you don’t think you’re fantastic at math/you’re scared it’s impossible to do well (as I was), don’t be and just take the damn subject. It’s so much fun, and if you want to, you can take away a lot from it. I’m seriously so, so glad I picked this instead calc2 + linear algebra. And don’t worry if you’re lost in lectures, they’re recorded for a reason.
Also, first lecture ever, I stuck up my hand and asked what the fail rate was and Paul said it was lower than all of the other first year math subjects, so no need to worry, everything will be fine! :P
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: scribble on July 06, 2013, 03:04:01 am
Subject Code/Name: CHEM10003 Chemistry 1 

Workload:  3x1hr lectures per week, 6 pracs, 3 ILTs

Assessment:  Midsemester test (5%), Prac work (20%), exam (75%)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:  Yes, a ton.

Textbook Recommendation:  Don’t buy the textbooks. If you don’t like your money, feel free to donate it to me instead. :) I tried looking at Zumdahl a couple of times for topics I found difficult, but it left me even more confused. =.=;;  They do have extra questions though if you’re eager to do more work. You *may* like to get a molecular modelling kit for organic chem if you struggle to visualise some of the molecules, but for $60, I don’t think it’s worth it. Just grab a bunch of pens and awkwardly try to hold them into a shape that vaguely represents what you want. :’D For pracs you will need to get the prac book (some demonstrators will also insist that you write reports in a duplicate notebook, most won’t). You’ll also need a labcoat, safety glasses and shoes that cover your entire foot if you haven’t any (preferably without heels, unless you’re me and don’t mind having the OH&S guys get mad at you every time). I bought the tute book as well which isn’t completely necessary, but it does have questions that you may like to do.

Lecturer(s): Mark Rizzacassa, Uta Willie, Gus Grey Weale, Brendan Abrahams

Year & Semester of completion: 2012, semester 1

Rating:  4 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1 (91)

Comments: This was a fairly enjoyable subject. The pracs were pretty easy to score very highly in, and are pretty much completely unrelated to what you do in lectures. There tends to be quite a lot to cover in the three hour blocks, and I was almost always pressed for time, but if you want, you can write up half of it at home (my demonstrator actually recommended this) which will pretty much eradicate any time problems. You also get to do some pretty cool shit in pracs, including making super shiny crystals (which my demonstrator wouldn’t let me keep :C ), and playing with liquid nitrogen (!!). There was also a preprac test to do online before every prac, which you needed to score above a certain mark on to be allowed to even go to the prac. Which was annoying because chemcal sucks. I had to do one of these tests like three times before I passed. =_____=;;

As for lectures, organic chem was taught really brilliantly; Mark Rizzacassa is an amazing lecturer and explains everything ridiculously well. He was also engaging, and has a good balance of humour and chemistry in his lectures. I don’t feel like there was too much chemistry to learn in the organic chem part of this subject though, it was mostly just nomenclature. It is important for you to be able to visualise molecules though. If you can’t, build some models with a modelling kit. (I think there may be some in the chemistry building you can play with). Infrared spectroscopy and NMR he went over pretty quickly, but we do it in much more detail in VCE anyways so it shouldn’t be a problem. He also writes a fair bit in his lectures, so you do need to go to or watch his lectures.

Prof Abrahams lectured for a bunch of lectures at the end of the semester. He wasn’t nearly as engaging as rizzacassa, but was just as wonderful if not better at explaining things. He covered a whole heap of stuff, including acids and bases (which was almost the same as VCE) and structures of solids, which I personally found really difficult to visualise, even after looking at models. The questions they ask for that topic are pretty straight forward though, and if you know the idea of what’s going on, not being able to see the exact lattices in your head won’t kill you. He also perfectly explained periodic trends, how to draw lewis structures, a tiny bit on molecular orbital theory, and there were a couple of lectures on some other bit and pieces also. His slides are brilliant also, and you can just learn everything off them, but I watched all his lectures at 1.8x speed anyways because I think it’d be silly to miss his great teaching.
Uta and Gus on the other hand I felt handled their topics quite poorly. Even now I still have no clue whatsoever what was going on in thermodynamics/entropy. Uta spent all her lectures trying to be funny and doing no chemistry/doing very lazy chemistry/not explaining things properly/not even going over half of what was on her slides. “Oh you can just read this at home, now sit while I make some more jokes”. =.= Thankfully, a bulk of what she taught came straight out of VCE (pretty much everything except thermodynamics). Gus had the unfortunate task of trying to teach a bunch of first years entropy, a topic that I imagine you need much more than six lectures on to get a semi-decent grasp of. He tried to make it easier to understand by simplifying it, but I did not see how I was meant to learn chemistry from listening to him flipping coins and watching videos backwards… His notes too I found were pretty unhelpful. In the end, I ended up just memorising a couple of formulas for entropy (and for some of enthalpy also actually) that I didn’t know the origins of (Gus was pretty much like “I’m not gonna explain where this comes from, just trust me that it works”) which was slightly annoying and most definitely not a good way to “learn”, but at this level, I don’t think much more can be done. From asking around/begging people to explain to me what was going on, and having no one know, I’m pretty sure this is what everyone else did also.

The midsemester test was something like 12 multiple choice questions on organic chem. It was a little annoying to do because it was online (and timed), and with organic chem especially, it’s nice to be able to draw on the paper/put marks on the molecule so that I don’t lose count of things. If I had been prepared, I would probably have printed the test, done it on the printout, and then filled the answers in online. Regardless, it’s again is pretty easy to do quite well on, and of course, since you’re doing it online, you have access to all your notes/google/whatever.
Tutes I barely went to because I was way too behind during the semester to know what was happening in them, but of the ones I did attend, I didn’t find them that useful/thought they were a pretty big waste of time. Depending on your tutor, you either sit in tables and work on questions, and then the tutor tells you the answers for them all, or the tutor stands up the top and just does all the questions on a take and you copy the solutions. I do think the tute questions were worth doing though, and I did them all in the last few weeks/swotvac, which was a good thing for me because it meant I could check my answers with ones that they post on the LMS at the end of the semester. If you’re keeping up to date, and want to do the tute questions, you probably will have to go to the tutes, because otherwise you won’t have any way to know if you’ve answered them correctly or not, unless you can get answers of a friend who does go or something like that.

I think I might be odd in thinking this but, Chemcal was something that I actually found quite helpful as well. It has the most annoying soft keyboard in the world which will actually drive you insane, and rounds everything off too soon so marks your correct answers wrong half the time, but if you have the will to deal with it, I found it had some good questions. It also rewards you with really bad puns/terrible encouragement pictures if you get everything in a little section correct.  Also before every activity, it has little explanation which was good for summarising what was in lectures. Unfortunately. it doesn’t have very much on thermodynamics/entropy (the two topics that people seem to struggle with most OTL).

For those interested in cramming. I don’t recommend it, but definitely think that it’s possible to cram for this subject. Just make sure you do prepracs and submit the ILTs. I was a pretty slack student/had a lot going on with life this semester and stopped going to lectures/learning the content pretty much as soon as Uta started teaching (I went to one of her lectures) and did not start again until a little after Prof. Abrahams started teaching which I think was something like week 9. During swotvac, they appoint tutors to hang around the chem building, and you can ask them questions. I pretty much had one *try* explain to me all of entropy at once, though I didn’t really get what he was saying;;;; Prof. Abrahams also came along to a couple which was really nice, and he always had a ton of students asking him questions. Gus came to quite a few of them too because everyone hates entropy. Don’t leave it too late into swotvac though, cause a ton of students will be there with questions near the end of the week.

As for the exam, if you’ve done a couple of practise exams, you’ll realise that they’re all almost exactly the same. It’s not VCE anymore, they’re not there to trick you, or to painfully separate people. They just want to test to see if you know what they want you to know. So have a look at a couple of papers, see what you need to know, and make sure you know it all. Oh BUT, you don’t get a fucking periodic table. o_____o I cannot possibly imagine their reasoning behind not providing one. I figure knowing where things are should eventually come naturally, but forcing us all to memorise where elements are, and having students who understand concepts fine not be able to answer questions because they can’t remember the order of two elements in a question about size or something is just annoying. Also there’s no conversion chart, and you will need to know the conversion between things like nano and pico and milli and whatever. So learn that also. I was lucky enough to guess the right factor on the exam. XD;;
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: scribble on July 06, 2013, 03:08:40 am
Subject Code/Name: FINA10036 The Body: Facts and Fictions

Workload:  1x3hr block every week

Assessment:  1000 word essay (25%) folio (75%)

Lectopia Enabled:  no

Past exams available:  no exam

Textbook Recommendation:  None.

Lecturer(s): Bill, Peter, Sharron

Year & Semester of completion: 2013, semester 1

Rating: 4 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1 (83)

Comments: If you’re looking for an easy breadth, look no further, this is the one.
I’ve always liked drawing people, and have been wanting to do life drawing for ages, but never had the chance to. So when I read about this subject in the handbook I knew I wanted to take it. You go to a three hour block every week which can be a variety of different things. We had two three hour lectures, both of which I understood nothing in. One was on “drawing in the expanded field” whatever that means, the other on “postmodernism” (no clue either). I’m quite sure less than 20% of the group came to the second lecture. So yeah, you can definitely miss these if you want.

Drawing wise, this subject seems to be geared towards creating “contemporary” art. I don’t know if it was just Bill who ran my group (the group is split into three smaller ones for workshops), but we were encouraged to do all kinds of wacky things when drawing such as drawing something that someone else touches (with their eyes closed) and describes to you, or drawing with a giant stick taped to our arm to you can’t bend your arm/would have less control over what you’re doing or picking a random item and drawing the model by tracing the item or drawing over other peoples work and questioning who owns the final piece etc. Pretty much crazy “profound” arty stuff with deeper inner meaning that I really did not get, but even so a lot of fun. XD We were also encouraged to try drawing on LSD/other hallucinogens on multiple occasions;;;; I did not and still managed to get a H1 though!!  :) ;) :D ;D :o ??? ::) :-* :'(

Workshops with a model generally had a little less direction, we’d all just stand with our easels and drew however we felt like and Bill would walk around and make comments, give feedback, tell you what you could fix, etc. He seemed a little opposed to more “traditional/classical” drawing techniques though, which was a bit annoying for people like me.
There were also a couple collage workshops, where we’d swap tutors and then two “group tutes” where we were required to bring ALL our work and stick it up on the walls and we’d all walk around in a group and comment on peoples work and then go to the other groups and look at what they did. If you chose to draw every pose as I did, be prepared to die carrying all this paper to Southbank. Even more so if you have a bunch of classes beforehand and bonus points if one of those classes is a prac. My rolled up pile of drawings was so big I ended up putting it in a coat hanger because I could not find an elastic band big enough to hold it in!

As far as workload goes, it can be as little or as much as you want it to be. Bill regularly says that everyone generally tends to do quite well, and if you look like you’re engaging with the subject, you’re likely to get above 80. Outside of what we draw in class, we’re required to produce a “visual journal” to turn in along with what we do in workshops, and it can be filled with pretty much anything: drawings, text, photos, seriously anything you wanted. As it’s been a busy year for me, I haven’t had the time to draw much outside of class, so I just brought in a couple of old sketchbooks;; I was actually highly tempted to turn in my doodle filled math book (hey, vectors and quadric surfaces can look artistic, right?), but thought that might have been pushing it. I know a lot of people in my group with no previous work to show made the entire thing in a couple of days. So pretty much, if you like to draw, you might put countless hours into a folio, but because you wanted to and not really for the subject, and if you don’t really like drawing, you can whip something up in a couple of hours and turn it in for assessment. And chances are, either way you’ll do well since either they can tell that you’ve put in effort or you’ve handed in a bunch of smears that are expressive and emotional and fit exactly what the markers like.
There’s also an essay. Writing it was painful. Thankfully they changed it from 1500 words to 1000, prolly so they wouldn’t need to mark so much;;; But still. Painful. There’s a reading list as well that you can read if you want. But all the books on it are pretty ridiculous. The one I borrowed had a part about how when drawing, the extending of the arm and hand away from the body corresponds to the gesture that a baby makes during its exploration process when it’s first separated from its mother… (really?REALLY?)  Needless to say, what I turned in was a load of crap. :) Oh and you get the topics at the start of the semester. Do yourself a favour and don’t leave it until between exams to start it as I did. Especially when you still haven’t learned part of the content for your actual non-breadth subjects. OTL

So pretty much, if you like to draw, definitely consider taking this, chances are you’ll enjoy it. And if you don’t but want something bludgy, go ahead and take it as well, pretty much everyone else in the subject is in the same boat. It’s art, no one cares in the slightest about your skill level. No matter what you produce, someone will come up with some kind of meaning to give to it, regardless of whether or not you intended for it to be there. So just run with it. It’s absolutely a subject that you can bullshit your entire way through, so much more so than I expected.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: bubbles21 on July 06, 2013, 06:14:22 pm
Subject Code/Name: MULT10011  Introduction to Life, Earth and Universe

Workload:  3 x one hour lectures per week, 1 x three-hour pracs for nine weeks (sometimes the pracs finished early and you might finish after, say, 2 hours)

Assessment: Ongoing assessment of pracs (totalling 25%), two 20-minute tests during the semester (5% each), a poster (5%) and a 3-hour written examination (60%).

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available:  Yes, lots.

Textbook Recommendation:  No required texts,  'Life in the Universe' by Bennett & Shostak is recommended but as a Biomedicine student, you don't need it. Probably worth getting (there is a torrent for it) for an Arts student

Lecturer(s): Rachel Webster (Physics/Astronomy), Stephen Gallagher (Geology) and Geoff McFadden (Biology)

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1, 2013

Rating:  4 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 90 H1

Comments: So, I figured I would give a bit of a contrasting opinion as a 2nd year Biomedicine student, hence this review. So firstly, for any science student doing this subject, it should be a breeze. But for Arts students with minimal science background (just to year 10), I can understand how difficult this subject could be and maybe its worth having a look at the past exams and assessing the difficulty from there. That said, I'm going to cater this review for mostly Science students.

 Like the other review said. The subject is split into 3 parts or 4 depending on how you look at it. I want to talk about this in detail, so here goes. You start off with 6 lectures of astronomy; how the universe began, synthesis of elements, the synthesis of stars, synthesis of a galaxy, synthesis of solar system and synthesis of planets. The lectures give a VERY BASIC idea of how they formed and do not be fooled into thinking they go into a great deal of detail. If you have come purely for these topics (as i did), I do not recommend the subject, you can easily download the textbook and probably find all the info to satisfy your burning curiosity in there.

Next Geology, probably my most hated area. 9 lectures in total, which are essentially a chronological story of earth and the important details that happened in each period (eg: oceans forming, atmosphere forming, prokaryotes, eukaryotes, dinosaurs etc etc). There are also a lecture or so on climate change. The reason why it is my most hated is because the lecturer, while brilliantly entertaining, has shocking lecture notes and I never feel as if I know what it is I'm supposed to know. That said he does release a summary of his lectures at the end of the semester which is way over the top in the level of detail that you need to know.

Next we get to Biology(about 9 lectures again), brilliantly taught by Geoff McFadden, who is an absolute champ. That said i didn't turn up to 80% of them since I already knew the content from biology. Any first year Biology student shouldn't even have to turn up to the lectures(as they are just prokaryotes, eukaryotes, organelles, energy, natural selection etc, all basic stuff) except the last 3 or 4. The last 3 or so are the really really interesting ones, which are on how life might have arisen from a bunch of organic molecules. That said, you could easily learn it on your own (just look up RNA world hypothesis).

Next we have another 6 lectures on Life elsewhere in the universe(on mars etc). While this was interesting, the basic story of these lectures were "we are really really far away from other planets and so it's really really hard to figure out if they have life..." Essentially you learn a bunch of techniques used to detect life/planets/stars elsewhere in the galaxy.

Briefly about the Pracs, the tutors will always tell you the answer and so you really should be getting 70+ on them if you just attend, ask questions and complete the questions. While i agree the physics pracs, which total about 1/3 of them, were stupid, I think this was more a fault of the horrid tutor I had than anything. The geology pracs were actually really helpful and interesting (you basically just looked at cool looking rocks  ;D

To all science students, it should be an easy H1. I did minimal work in comparison to my biomed subjects, in addition to being retarded at geology, and still got a 90.
Arts students, it will be a lot of work, that said, i think a basis of science is so important for everyone to have so i would actively encourage you to do this subject.
For any other info, refer to the other review.
Personally, For ME(not necessarily you) this was a waste of a subject and i would rather have done something where I didn't already know 1/3 of the content, like PHYC10008, which looks awesome. That said, I did learn a lot from the subject that I would never have known else wise.
I give it a 4 out of 5 because of the physics pracs and the geology lectures.
PM me for any questions. :)
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: bubbles21 on July 07, 2013, 01:52:25 pm
Subject Code/Name: HPSC20021 Critical Reasoning

Workload:  1x 2 hour seminar and 2x 1 hour seminar - ** the seminars are exactly the same as tutes so don't think of it as being lectures.

Assessment:  Ignore the handbook. This is what it comprises of, unfortunately I don't know the exact percentages as they never told us. I'll go into detail about what these are later
Homework tasks - essentially one a week, comprises about 10% probably
MLM(Mastery Learning Milestones) - probably about another 10% (are also a hurdle)
Main assignment draft - 5% probably
Main assignment - 25% probably
Exams - 50%
Again all of these are rough guesses.

Lectopia Enabled:  No, no recording at all

Past exams available:  Not really, though you can easily find similar questions online by just looking up Logical reasoning questions.

Textbook Recommendation:  No textbook, they provide an online one which is part of the homework tasks.

Lecturer(s): Ashley Barnett and Neil Thomason

Year & Semester of completion: 2013, semester 1

Rating: 5 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 92 H1

Comments: First of all, I'd like to prelude that this has been my most enjoyable subject to date, and it's been relatively easy.
What even is critical reasoning? It is essentially, the ability to figure out if an argument is reasonable or not. The type of questions you'll be asked in the exam are basically the same as the LSAT LOGICAL reasoning questions.(not the analytical ones)

Personally I have found this subject to develop my reasoning to a much greater degree than I had before, and I  thought I was pretty good at logical reasoning before. Coming out of this subject, you become naturally attuned to picking out holes in peoples arguments, the flaws and the assumptions needed for their conclusion to be true. It was because of this new skill I have, that I rate this subject 5/5 (it was also quite easy and fun)

Okay so onto what you actually do in the subject...

The whole subject is centered around this argument mapping program(which is free), and you essentially learn how to map more and more complex arguments in this program in the first 6 weeks. This is pretty laborious and easy, and so the first 6 weeks are pretty cruisy. The idea with these 6 weeks is you learn to understand the structure of an arguments (well atleast that's what i got out of it) and also to form a foundation of  the stuff you do in the last 6 weeks. The last 6 weeks being the part where you start assessing other peoples arguments, making your own arguments.

The homework is essentially mapping arguments based on what you learnt in the seminar things and is easy to do, if you get it wrong, he emails and ask you to do it again and again until you get it right. So basically full marks for that
The MLMs are essentially tests based off the homework and you need to get 90%+ on them. However you have unlimited attempts, and no penalty for not getting above 90%. So another full marks for that.
The main assignment is the most time consuming thing and requires a fair bit of effort. The assignment is to map your own argument of your choice and to make it as persuasive as possible. A lot of people for example chose, people should be vegetarians and then had to map a big argument as to why that is true, including objections to some of their arguments and then subsequent rebuttals.

The exam:
Okay, so this was the weirdest part of the whole subject. The first 3 seminar/tute things of the whole subject were exams. One in each seminar. Then, in the exam period you do the same exams (same format atleast) so they can compare how you were before the subject and how good you are now. So yeah, you have 3 exams... then again, you can't prepare for the exams, it all depends on if you do the work in the semester.

Just briefly on the seminars, there are like 10 people in them, and the main tutor guy, Ashley Barnett, is awesome. He's absolutely hilarious and is brilliant at explaining things. The seminars are not in a lecture type format, its more like tutes, lots of discussion and questions.

So just to reiterate, there are no essays or anything, just a lot of mapping arguments. According to Ash, the people who did it in the summer semester didn't do so well so maybe its not worth doing over the summer...
PM me if you have any questions.
I think I've covered everything...
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: mc1316 on July 07, 2013, 04:54:01 pm
Subject Code/Name: PHYC10005 Physics 1: Fundamentals

- 3 one hour lectures per week
- 8 three hour practicals scattered thorough out the semester; each practical has a pre-lab (approximate 20 minutes) associated with it
- 1 one hour tutorial per week (not compulsory)
- 1 assignment per week (minus the first two weeks) - will take approximately one hour.

- 8 Practicals (25%)
- 10 Online Weekly Assignments (10%)
- 1 Task for Written Submission (5%)
- End of Semester 3 Hour Exam (60%)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available:  Yes, 5 exams provided. With solutions to all, but not full explanations.

Textbook Recommendation: 
- R Knight, B Jones and S Field, College Physics: A Strategic Approach, 2nd edition, Addison-Wesley, 2010. (MUST)
- Practical Manual Available from the Co-Op (PDF Available on LMS, but I would recommend that you buy it)

Lecturer(s): Martin Sevior, Christopher Chantler

Year & Semester of completion: 2013, Semester 1

Rating:  3.5 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1 (88)

Comments: I know this will be the fourth review, but I just want to hammer in the point.
Recommendations (what worked for me)
1) BUY OR AQUIRE THE BOOK (very very very important)
2) Read every word in chapters 1 through 10 and chapters 14 through 19 chronologically as the semester progresses.
3) In every subchapter there are problems they work through - do every single one of them and make your you understand the idea.
4) At the end of each chapter there are plenty of questions (try to do at least 50% of those question) - if the asnwer for a question is not in the back, its on google.
5) Do all the tutorial questions (posted on LMS)
6) As final exam time gets near (4 to 5 weeks prior to SWOTVAC) start doing all the past exams.
7) A couple of formulas are not given in the formula sheet and some formula are given, but in forms that I didn't like (e.g. doppler effect and lens equation) - make a formula sheet of all formula that are not on the formula sheet
8) Don't go to tutorials (elaborated below), use the time productively
9) Lecture notes are useless, don't use them as your notes. Notes are not really necessary, but if you want some make them yourself.
10) Use if the textbook doesn't not explain a particular concept well. Then try other websites.
Note that I got (equivalent to) a study score of 29 in high school physics, which is a very poor mark. So I think my strategy did work.

The first half of the course is on particle physics and is given by Martin Sevoir. It covers kinematics, dynamics of one dimensional motion, two dimensional motion and rotational motion, orbits/ gravity, elasticity, momentum/ impulse and energy/ work. I went to the first 9 lectures. Chapters 1 through 10 of Knight's textbook. They started of easy and understandable, but progressively worse. Eventually I stopped going to the lectures altogether. It wasn't anything personal with Dr. Sevoir, but rather his style didn't resonate with me and as I understand lots of other people as well. However I suspect with most other people stopped going to the lectures they weren't doing much to compensate and that is where a lot of frustration for people started.

Unfornately Chris Chantler was much worse. He spoke to fast, didn't explain concept and had a strange interpretation of audience participation. I went to a couple of his lectures, tried to watch a few more, but it didn't work out. As I understand he is quite a good physicist, but I think his capabilities supersedes that of physics fundamental students. His lectures covered simple harmonic motion, wave mechanics, sound, light as a wave, light as a particle and optical instruments (application of properties of light).

The tutorials were less helpful than the lectures. We sat on a table and tried to solve some questions. After which the 'tutor' (a physics graduate student) would solve it on the board. My particular tutor seemed to solve the questions in the strangest ways, very unhelpful. The attendance went downhill pretty fast. All in all I went to about 5 tutorials.

My Mark: 94%
Each practical is out of 14. 4 marks given for 4 online pre-lab questions. 10 marks given by the demonstrator. By a great stroke of luck after my first practical the demonstrator changed. This was a very helpful situation because the worst thing in the course is the practicals. Firstly there are way too many of them - 8. Bio has 5 and chem has 6, physics fundamentals has far too many. Secondly they are very hard, especially the last few. Everyone just stares at each other blankly when trying to answer the questions. I would recommend trying to attempt the questions before going to lab.

Weekly Assessments
My Mark: 89%
This was outsourced to a company called "Mastering Physics," who provide online physics tests for a lot of American universities. They have some good content so I would recommend looking them up. The tests were pretty fair in my opinion. A lot of people got greater than 100%. There are hints available on the question page. My problem was I forgot one of the tests and nearly forgot a couple more. They are due usually by 11:00 pm every Friday so make sure you do before. They can take an hour or so.

Task for Written Submission
My Mark: 78%
This consisted of 4 questions to be answered qualitatively. For us it was from Marin's section. I would say write the first thing that come to your head, don't stress to much. Don't write too many words (500 words for 4 questions should be fine). It will be some sort of application question.

Final Exam
My Mark: 86% (reverse calculated)
I thought the final exam was quite fair. It was out of 180 marks (1 mark per minute). Consisted of about 20 questions (9 or so marks each), 10 question from Martin's section and 10 questions from Chris' section. It covers almost everything top to bottom. The questions were not particularly hard. 3 hours is sufficient to complete it. There will definitely be a projectile motion questions and there definitely will be a dynamics questions, every single past paper had it. Those are pretty easy to practise for, knowing that. The pattern of the exams reamins the same, so I would say get used to the format used in the past papers. In fact there was a repeat for one for one fo the questions.

For GAMSAT Takers
This is pretty comprehensive and surprisingly coherent with the topics assessed in GAMSAT, except the chapters Electricity and Magnetism are not covered in this course. This is as good as it will get for a physics course for the GAMSAT (minus electricity and magnetism). They even throw in a bit of application, such as ears, eyes and ultrasound. Not a bad option if you have never done physics and require it for the GAMSAT.

Overall Comments
This subject can turn out to be a nightmare. There are something done quite poorly, like number and type of practicals and style of lecturing. However with this subject if you put in the hours you will receive the marks. If you cruise through the semester you will end up with at least 80% in the practical/ assignment part of the course. Getting 80% in the exam means losing a maximum of 30 marks, that three full questions. So H1 is completely possible if you follow my recommended steps. Lastly don't do this subject if Physics has no use to you, so if it is not a prerequisite or you don't need it for the GAMSAT, I would recommend staying away from it.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Hancock on July 07, 2013, 05:36:45 pm
Subject Code/Name: ENGR20004 Engineering Mechanics

Workload:  3 x one hour lectures and 1 x 2 hour workshop per week.

Assessment: 5% weekly quiz + workshop attendance (only get marks for quiz if you turn up to your workshop)
                      4 x 7.5% assignments (2 on statics/solid mechanics and 2 on dynamics)
                      2 x 7.5% mid-semester held in Week 6 and Week 12
                      50% Final exam

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available:  Yes, 6 available, however no solutions are provided.

Textbook Recommendation:  I didn't buy any books, although I heard that they are extremely good if you are rusty on solid mechanics or introductory physics. I reckon that the lecture notes provided are sufficient however.

Lecturer(s): Dr David Ackland and Professor Joe Klewicki

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1, 2013

Rating: 5 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 100 [H1]

Comments: Ok, Engineering Mechanics, where do I start? Considering this is a core subject for Bioengineering, Mechanical Engineering and Civil Engineering, this is definitely a fundamental course which teaches you the basis of dynamics and solid mechanics. Given that the last class in Semester 2, 2012 had a fail rate of ~35-40% (from what I've heard), this isn't a class to screw around with. So, let's begin.

ENGR20004 is split into two six week topics. The first major topic is Statics and Introductory Solid Mechanics. The first two lectures cover all the Mechanics material from ESD2 again, things like moments/torques, method of joints and what not. This shouldn't be an issue for most students, however, some Environment students come into ENGR20004 after doing ENVS10003: Constructing Environments so I have no idea what they cover. It should be noted that pre-reqs for Environments students has changed to ENVS10009: Structural Environments post-2013 because many students from the BEnvs degree struggled with the material of ENGR20004 without a solid physics background. Again, just what I've heard, but I can understand that this subject would be heaps more difficult if I didn't do Physics 1.

Workshops are a mixture of assignment work, tutorial questions and experiments. When there is an assignment due, the first hour of the workshop is dedicated to tutorial style questions, and the last hour is dedicated to assignment work with your group. Make sure you choose your group wisely, as you are stuck with them the entire semester. Some of the assignments had practical components, such as using weights to experimentally measure shear force and bending moments in beams, and using an Instron Compression Machine to measure the yield strength and other qualities of 3 materials through compression failure (this was quite cool!). These are also done in the workshop's 2nd hour where applicable.

The Statics portion of the class covered topics such as:
Shear Force / Bending Moment diagrams
Stress and strain (shear, normal, bending) 
Poisson's ratio and superposition
Axial loading and thermal stress
Torsion, twisting, power transmission
Flexure, Combined Loadings
Elastic Curves and Deflections

I especially found that the first 4 weeks of Statics was pretty ok, and then the difficultly ramped up in the last 2 weeks. Nothing that is not overly manageable, but the content did take a swing to the "da fuq" side in my mind for a bit. Most of the material hasn't been seen before (except E = FL/Ad from Year 12 Physics) so you want to make sure you're solid with all of the material after each week. It is incredibly easy to fall behind in tutorial questions so make SURE you do them at home. There is no way you can complete all of the tutorial questions in 1 hour. The mid-semester for Statics was quite straight forward to be honest. My advice is to make sure you can do bending moment and shear force diagrams well, as they are built upon in towards the latter end of the Statics section.

The Dynamics portion of the class covered:
Motion in Rectangular, Polar and N-T coordinates
Constrained and Relative Motion
Particle Kinetics, Work and Energy
Linear Impulse and Momentum
Angular Impulse and Momentum
Impact and Coefficient of Restitution
Equations of Motion and Vibrational Response
Forced Vibration
Rigid Body Motion, Absolute Motion analysis, Relative velocity
Instantaneous centres, relative velocity equation, relative acceleration equation
General Planar Motion

If you had completed Physics 1 with a decent grade, most of this stuff (first 3-4 weeks) should have been seen before, at the very least. The topics are built upon and expanding from first year mechanics, with harder and more ambiguous questions being asked. The difficult topics in my mind were the last 2 weeks again: rigid body motion and general planar motion. Holy shit was this stuff hard on the tutorial questions. Make sure you do all of them, or at least attempt all of them. If I was going to be completely honest, I couldn't complete 75% of the last tutorial sheet because of it's difficulty.

My general advice for this class is to NOT FALL BEHIND. Make sure you do each of the tutorial questions and keep onto of the assignments (which aren't easy) every week. All in all, ENGR20004 was a very fun class, with interesting topics in my opinion. Now, I've just got to choose between Electrical and Mechanical Engineering as a Masters specialisation...
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: vox nihili on July 07, 2013, 06:37:44 pm
Subject Code/Name: BIOL10002 Biomolecules and Cells 

Workload: 3 x 1 hour lecture, 1 hour tutorial fortnightly, 2 hour practical fortnightly, 1 hour workshop fortnightly

Assessment:  (copied from handbook) A 45 minute multiple choice test held mid-semester (10%); work in practical classes during the semester including assessment of practical skills and written work not exceeding 1000 words (30%); completion of 5 Independent Learning Tasks throughout the semester (5%); a written assignment not exceeding 500 words (5%); a 3hr examination on theory and practical work in the examination period (50%).

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, withscreen capture. Though the lectures probably are worth going to, even at 8am!

Past exams available:  No past exams. A sample exam was provided, though it wasn't particularly good.

Textbook Recommendation: Life 10th ed, Sadava et al. Personally, I didn't find it particularly useful. The lecture notes are generally sufficient, and realistically, google is a treasure trove of information. It's also recommended that you buy a biology dictionary. For twenty bucks, this is a good investment. I used it much more than the text.

Lecturer(s): Botany: Geoff McFadden. Zoology: David Gardner, Stephen Frankenberg, Matthew Digby, Laura Parry

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1 2013

Rating: 3.5 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1 (91)



Most people I spoke to found the practical very useful as a way to revise and confirm the lecture content. I can't say that they were particularly fun or stimulating, though they were certainly worthwhile. Everything feels a little more relevant when you're actually doing it in a practical class. Some of the practicals in particular were really good. Personally, I liked the components of the practicals looking at tissue samples. In terms of assessment though, the practicals were a bit annoying. There was a lot of inconsistency between the tutors in how hard, or how "not so hard", they would mark work. What was also frustrating is that there wasn't really a clear definition of what they would like to see or where marks would come from. This was my experience with the assessment, though it should be said that some tutors were a lot more proactive about their discussion of the practical tasks. Mine, however, looked at the work, shook her head and gave a mark.
Make sure that you've prepared yourself for the practicals a few days early. Quite often the stuff is related to the last lecture (particularly if you do it on a Monday like I did), so it's definitely worthwhile preparing properly. Don't forget to do the preprac test, and don't be too cocky with it. You only have to get over 50% to get your marks, but if you're an idiot like I was with one of them—you may not quite make that! There's also a post-prac test that actually makes up the bulk of your marks, so don't forget to do that either. It's timed, though, four questions in ten minutes will give you plenty of opportunity to look up the answers in your prac or the text.
One particular bonus with the pracs is that you're given a seat number, and so you're forced—no matter how anti-social you may be—to get to know the people no your table, which can be a lot of fun!
Lastly, if you're not a big fan of blood and guts, you'll need to supply your own gloves for dissections, as the labs don't have them. The demonstrators seem to take delight in the look on everyone's faces when they say there are no gloves—and rightly so, it can be pretty bloody funny!

Tutorials and Workshops

If you're feeling nostalgic and want to revisit your primary school days, the tutorials and workshops provide a good opportunity to do so. It should be noted first off that not all the tutorials and workshops were the same. There was one particular tutor who apparently ran a ripper workshop, alas, it wasn't mine. Most classes find themselves spending the tutorials doing worksheets, whilst the tutor skims around the room asking people if they have any questions. It is a good opportunity to ask your tutor some questions, though this time is seldom used for that. The tutorials certainly felt like a waste of time. After the first workshop, attendance dropped off dramatically...and continued to do so. The workshops were much the same as the tutorials. They consisted of doing worksheets and playing card games. At the end, the tutor would go through the answers. For most this was a pointless exercise as they had given up on the worksheet half an hour before.


You need to complete the ILTs for 5% of your mark. Thus, they're worthwhile. As an exercise they are also worthwhile. It's a good idea to have your notes ready and have a bit of an idea about the content of the ILT before you start it, so as to get the most out of it.


The quality of the lectures really depended on the lecturer. These are really frustrating to get right (from the lecturer's perspective) as the best lectures are the ones with the least writing, but the best lecture notes for revision are the ones with the most writing.

Personally, I found Geoff McFadden's lectures the best. This was probably a mixture of the fact that his topics were by far the easiest (particularly for those who have done Biol before) and that he was truly a fantastic lecturer. For someone who is so well regarded in his field, it was incredible to see how passionate he was about teaching and how well he could do it. Geoff's lecturing style was very different to the rest as well. He used a lot of videos and a lot of diagrams, where the others tended towards a lot of writing on their slides.

David Gardner was another highlight. He was a bit all over the place sometimes, though he was certainly in his element when he wasn't just reading from his slides. When he allowed himself to talk by just having pictures up there, he was incredibly insightful and easy to follow. Right near the end of semester, when everything was getting a bit ugly, he gave a lecture on Animals in Biomedicine. Perfect timing for it. It wasn't particularly intense, but I think it went a way to remind everyone why they've chosen props to David for that.

Matthew Digby was probably the most excited about being there. He really tried to get to know people and seemed to delight in the opportunity to lecture. He wasn't the most well spoken lecturer and he got lost some of the time, but he made up for that with his enthusiasm. If he hadn't explained something well, he'd always make sure to revisit it in the next lecture. When people sent him e-mails to ask questions, he'd always make sure to address the things that kept popping up in the next lecture. I think everyone really appreciate the effort he was putting into teaching the course, and all in all he actually did a fantastic job of it.

Laura Parry took quite a number of the lectures, and wasn't particularly well received by most people. She started her first lecture by ranting about how she doesn't like people talking during her lectures, and well, that just about set the mood for the rest of her lectures. She also constantly reminded us that "I write your exam, so if I miss out on things because you're talking, bad luck". Another really annoying thing of hers was that she would show incomplete diagrams and incomplete text in her lecture slides, and encouraged us all to "fill in the gaps". Personally, I never printed off lecture slides as I think it's an utter waste of time, so that was particularly annoying when I went home to revise from them off my computer. Furthermore, nobody listened to her because they were spending all of their time frantically filling in the spaces in the notes. For someone who demanded everyone's attention, this was an odd way to achieve that. Laura did start each lecture with exam questions which was particularly handy though!

Last but not least was Stephen Frankenberg. He was extremely monotonous and boring, though he wasn't a particularly bad lecturer if you made the effort to follow what he was saying. Personally, I appreciated his honesty. He really clearly outlined what he expected us to know and told us when things were a bit over the top. He seemed to get that the room was full of stressheads, so that was helpful. He was also particularly funny in the revision lecture, so those who went enjoyed that I think!


Biology is one of those beautiful subjects wherein actually understanding the content leads to good marks. Unlike Chemistry, or maths, or physics and many of the other sciences, there really is no trick to doing the questions. There's no special method, no special formula. If you know your stuff, you'll get a good mark. How you do in this subject will be about how much you manage to remember and how well you can regurgitate that.

If you keep notes, keep up with the lectures and revisit your notes every so often, you should be absolutely fine. Don't fret about doing sample exams and sample questions, because it is unlikely that you'll get any surprises there. Being able to communicate the major ideas, and appreciate the science behind them.
When you're going through things, always look to connect the dots. This is essential in doing well in Biology. There are so many facts, so many terms and just so god damned much to remember in Biology, so if you can connect the dots, find the similarities, this will cut your work down a hell of a lot. Examples are also fantastic. Remembering the science in context is also particularly helpful. In a lot of cases, the examples given on the lectures will also pop up in the questions, so it is worthwhile noting them! In fact, some of the questions asked about details of the examples themselves—so there's a worthwhile hint!

Any questions, chuck me a message!
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Hancock on July 07, 2013, 08:03:27 pm
Subject Code/Name: COMP20005 Engineering Computation

Workload:  3 x one hour lecture and 1 x 2 hour workshop per week

Assessment:  10% Assignment 1, 20% Assignment 2, 10% mid-semester held in Week 6, 60% Final Exam

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture (thank god).

Past exams available:  Only one available in Week 12. Solutions provided in SWOTVAC.

Textbook Recommendation:  Alistair wrote the book and runs the course. The book is absolutely vital to doing well in this course. Please buy it.

Lecturer(s): Alistair Moffat

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1, 2013

Rating:  5 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 89 [H1]

Comments: Given my experiences with programming and computing, I came into this subject dreading the whole concept of it. Surprisingly enough, this turned out to be a fantastic subject that really does introduce you to the language of C and by the end of the course, you should be competent enough to tackle some harder engineering-esque questions that you may face as an Electrical, Mechanical or a Biomedical Engineering major.

This subject is run completely from the textbook. I don't believe that you can learn programming by listening to lectures, and as such, I only went to those ones in Week 12 for the Exam revision, and I watched the rest online while practising programming. This course starts you from the absolute basic of computer programming, assuming no knowledge of any language. However, most students here came from ENGR10003: Engineering Systems Design 2, and as such, should have some MATLAB skill. You learn the topics of selection, functions, arrays, structures and how to effectively analyze a problem and use abstraction to simplify the task.

The assignments in the class are time-consuming. Not that they take ages to code up, (Ass1 was ~320 lines, and Ass2 was ~600 lines of code for me), but the thought process behind what's going on does take a couple of hours, if not days to wrap your head around. Please don't leave this to the last minute, you will have a hard time cramming code. Also note that you cannot copy code from any person in the course. All submissions are cross-referenced against each other and he does catch people.

Make sure you practise programming every week. Coding is not something you can pick up without practise, and many of the students here have never properly programmed anything in their life. Practise makes perfect, and because you did buy the book, you should complete all of the chapter questions there because he only assigns a few for each workshop. On that note, workshops basically run like ENGR20004 - Engineering Mechanics. The first hour you are in the room next to the computer lab and get into groups of 3 to 4. You then discuss problems within the group and the head tutor asks a member of your group to explain some reasoning behind a fragment of code to the class. The second hour is you practising coding on a computer in the EDS6 labs. While these are not compulsory (to the best of my knowledge) you should turn up because practising programming with other people and letting others check over what you are doing with the best way of learning.

The exam this semester was so insanely hard. I was talking to mates out front who are all on 37-40/40 for the semester pre-exam and we all agreed that we got wrecked by it. Alistair posted a practise exam in Week 12 which was sooooo much easier and lulled most people into a false sense of security. He noted that the exam was difficult and that the raw marks were adjusted upwards to reflect that difficulty on the LMS page post-exam. So, that's good for all you Sem 2 COMP20005ers, because the exam will definitely be easier for you.

That being said, while I didn't go to many lectures and watched them online (timetable was so bad that I had to wait 3 hours each time for the only lecture stream of the class) I felt that I should have gone more often because Alistair was a fantastic lecture that was genuinely enthusiastic about programming. He's motto "PROGRAMMING IS FUN" was so ingrained into us that it actually made me realise that programming is quite fun and the thought process and methodology behind tackling a problem is part of the fun of solving it. Also, writing done "programming is fun" on your assignments gave you an extra 0.5 marks if you lost it on something stupid in the Stage 1 Marking. So make sure you do that.

All in all, this was a great class which I highly recommend to all engineering students. Mechanicals: you have to do it sometime before graduating from your M.Eng, why not in 2nd year where there aren't as many interesting classes? Electricals: You need to do this as a co-req for Signals and Systems, so take it in 2nd year. Softwares: It's a core requirement if you want to do M.Eng(Software). So no choice.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: claireb on July 08, 2013, 07:35:36 pm
Subject Code/Name: FREN10006/20001/30003 French 5 

Workload:  2 x 2 hr Tutorials per week

Assessment:  Two written tests - 15% each (the second test is replaced with a 500 word reflection task in English for those enrolled in 20001 or 30003), a debate in a small group- 20%, an exposé (oral presentation on a topic related to studies) in pairs - 20%, a final exam - 30%

Lectopia Enabled:  N/A as there are only tutorials

Past exams available:  No

Textbook Recommendation:  La guerre sans nom - Patrick Rotman et Bertrand Tavernier, Mai 68 raconté à ceux qui ne l'ont pas vécu - Patrick Rotman.

Lecturer(s): Various.

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1, 2013

Rating:  4/5

Comments: Overall, I really enjoyed this subject and it pushed me to improve and become more confident in my French. For me, it was rather time consuming during the semester as there was always homework to complete (including reading sections from the texts) and assessments coming up. I would not call French 5 an "easy" subject, if you're not a fluent speaker it may require a fair amount of work in order to keep up and to do well on the assessments. For these reasons, I would not recommend this subject to those looking for something "easy" or with a light workload. However, if you enjoy French, it's a really interesting and rewarding subject.

This year we studied the Algerian War in the first half of the semester. As a science student whose last experience with history was Classical Studies (Ancient Greece) in year 11, this was a challenge to get my head around as some of the circumstances of the war were (in my opinion) quite complicated. However, we were given extra resources on the lms we could look at to aid in our understanding. In the second half of the semester we studied the events of May 1968 in France including the protests by university students. I found this topic very engaging and preferred it to the Algerian War as I found it easier to understand and more relatable.

In terms of difficulty, the assessments ranged from average to challenging. I found some of the topics we were given to discuss quite complex and a big step up from those encountered in VCE and in French 3 and 4. I most enjoyed the exposé as it allowed me to get to know another class member and the research we did aided greatly in my understanding of the class work. All the work we did in class was great preparation for the assessments and there was plenty of opportunity to practise.

I hope this review helps anyone interested in doing French 5 and gives them a taste of what the subject is like :) I would definitely recommend it for anyone who has enjoyed learning French in the past and is eager to improve and learn about more complex topics.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: stonecold on July 08, 2013, 07:45:52 pm
Subject Code/Name: MIIM30011 Medical Microbiology: Bacteriology

Workload:  3 x 1 hour lectures per week

Assessment:  Online Weekly Quizzes (10%), MCQ Mid Semester Test (20%), MCQ/Written Exam (70%)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.  Dick and Roy tend to start lecturing before the recording begins sometimes.

Past exams available:  None given.  Some lecturers gave some practice written questions at the end of their lecture series.
Most of the lectures also included some learning objectives so you roughly knew what you had to understand.

Textbook Recommendation:  The textbook for this subject (Bacterial Pathogenesis: a Molecular Approach) is pretty useless.  It only covers the first half of the course and even then, a lot of the lecture diagrams are often taken from elsewhere such as journals.  I think I used the textbook once because the lecturer explained an experiment poorly.  All you will need the textbook for is clarifying minor points.  The lectures are self contained and all of the assessment is taken from the lecture content only.  Either find an online copy or borrow it from the library.  It is certainly not worth buying, especially because microbiology is a rapidly moving field and I think a lot of the content in the book is already outdated.

Lecturer(s): Elizabeth Hartland, Roy Robins-Browne, Dick Strugnell, Odilia Wijburg, Tim Stinear & a few guest lecturers.

Year & Semester of completion: 2013, Semester 1

Rating:  4.5/5

Your Mark/Grade: 95 H1

Comments: I will begin by saying that this was probably my favourite subject for the semester.  The subject was very well coordinated and for the most part, the lecture content was interesting.  Moreover, I felt that the subject did indeed live up to its name, with a lot of the content being related back to health and medicine.

As this is a lecture-based subject, it is relatively straight forward.  The weekly quizzes however are kind of annoying.   They are free marks though so I guess this is a good thing.  Sometimes though, the questions on these quizzes IMO were poorly written and had mistakes in them or they were very subjective, especially the true-false questions. (e.g. Salmonella Typhi has a virtually identical genome to Salmonella Typhimurium. True of false?).  Thankfully, this did not extend to the MCQs in the test or exam, which were a lot clearer.

In terms of lecturers in this subject, the stand-outs were Liz and Roy.
Liz is a very good lecturer.  She is clear and to the point, often finishing her lectures early.  She was also happy for people to go and see her to go over some practice questions she gave out, although I never took up the offer.

Roy was my total favourite but I know there are some who don't like him.  I think because I had him last year I knew what to expect.
He tells lots of stories and always keeps it interesting.  His notes are very brief though so you need to write down a lot of content.
His exam questions are relatively easy and just test the stuff which he talks about.

Dick was okay as a lecturer and explained things well most of the time, although he would always start early and sometimes wrote stuff on the board which was annoying.  Thankfully he writes good exam questions.  Odilia and Tim were my least favourite.  Odilia is very nice but was often too brief with her explanations.  Tim is basically just obsessed with genomics and writes really bad exam questions.

In terms of content, this subject starts off at a moderate-high level and this pace seems consistent throughout most of the semester.
There is a lot of content to remember in this subject and it is easy to confuse things so you need to take care both when learning things and also when answering the exam.  The whole subject is basically centered around learning from examples.  Everything is explained using examples, so you need to know them all.

Initially, you begin learning about bacterial structures and virulence determinants at a superficial level.
Then you hone in on specific bacteria and learn the precise molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis and how different bacteria persist (e.g. pili, adhesins, toxins, effectors etc.).  Here you cover the three main niches where bacteria can survive (extracellular, vacuole or lysosome) and learn more examples.  There is a fair bit of cell biology involved in this part of the course.  This lecture series ends with two rather boring lectures on the various secretion systems used by bacteria to export proteins either into host cells or onto their surface.

Following this, you move into more experimental genetics type content looking at things such as how bacterial genes are regulated (e.g. lac operon, sigma factors, slip-strand mis-repair, two-component systems etc.).  This then leads into learning various means of measuring gene expression, identifying virulence genes and touching on how genes are exchanged between bacteria.
In this part, you also learn about the host factors which influence infection and there is also a lecture on microbiota.

My absolute favourite part of the course then follows, which is antibiotics.  Here you learn the mechanism of action of certain groups of antibiotics and then the mechanisms of resistance which bacteria have evolved.  The major groups which we covered were beta-lactams and aminoglycosides, although some others were mentioned more briefly.  Again, you learn about how genetic exchange leads to resistance which is useful because it was explained ordinarily the first time.  You also cover some basic laboratory experiments used to determine antimicrobial susceptibility for different isolates.

There were also some more general lectures about vaccination, diagnostic microbiology and genomics.
The vaccination lecture is mostly about non-protein antigens and conjugate vaccines, which is pretty straight forward because it should have been taught at second year.  The genomics lectures are boring but okay if you have done genetics in the past, although Tim Stinear is obsessed with genomics and spends more time telling stories and going through case studies than he does actually explaining genomic principles.  I enjoyed the diagnostics lectures.  A lot of the content covered in these lectures will have already been taught in second year.  You go through microscopy, staining, antigen capture assays, PCR, microarrays, biochemical tests and serology.

Following this, the course moves into looking at specific genera of bacteria.
Each lecturer likes to put their own twist onto the content which they cover, but you invariably learn virulence determinants, pathogenesis and symptoms.  Then depending on the lecturer, you may cover different aspects of the organism such genomics, lab diagnosis, treatment etc.  The bacteria which were covered this year were Clostridia, Mycobacteria, E. coli, Rickettsiae, Coxiella, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococci and Salmonellae.  There are many more examples of bacteria such as Shigella, Vibrio cholerae and Corynebacterium diphtheriae which are covered earlier on in the course.

The final exam is pretty fair.  The MCQs are mostly weighted to the second half of the course because this was not covered in the MST, although there still are some MCQs from the first part of the course on the exam as well.  The MCQs make up one-third of the exam and the written component makes up two-thirds.  There were 5 (20 mark) questions in the written part of the exam, from which you choose 4 to write on.  Each question is broken down into part a and b, which are worth 10 marks each.  There then may or may not be further sub-parts depending on the question.  The important point to note is that part a and b can be completely unrelated in terms of content, therefore, as you have to answer an entire question, you have to study all of the lecture content because different content can be mixed together within the one question.

Doing well on the exam hinges on manging your time properly.  Use the reading time to answer as many MCQs as possible.  I'd recommend spending at least ~100 mins of exam time on the written questions, substantially more than the recommended 80 mins.  One thing which always seems to come up in the written questions is secretion systems, so make sure that you learn these well, including examples.  The 2013 exam had an entire 10 mark question on drawing a concept map about genomics.  It looked awful and this was part of the question which I skipped.  The genomics lecturer went on and on about concept maps so I guess it wasn't unexpected.  Unlike me, it might be worth practicing some.  There was also an annoying question about vaccines which didn't really make sense, so learn this content well so you will have something to write about should it arise again. :)

All in all, this is a fairly enjoyable subject if you like microbiology.  The important part of succeeding in this subject, aside from memorising all of the content, is to be able to integrate all of the content and relate it back to basic principles of disease.  For example, in a lecture towards the end, you may be taught that an effector is a Type III secreted protein.  Therefore, in a question about that bacterium on the exam, you would be expected to explain not only the effector, but also the secretion system by which the protein is exported.  You should then also be able to explain how it contributes to infection/persistence/damage by the pathogen.
The coordinator puts up the basic aims of what you should understand from the entire subject, so keep these in mind when answering exam questions because it is important to keep on topic! :)
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Sinner on July 08, 2013, 09:15:18 pm
Subject Code/Name: MULT10011 Introduction to Life, Earth and Universe

Workload:  3 x one hour lectures per week, 1 x three-hour pracs for 9/12 weeks

Assessment:  Ongoing assessment of 9 pracs (totalling 25%), two 20-minute tests during the semester (5% each), a poster (5%) and a 3-hour written examination (60%).

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen captures.

Past exams available:  Yes, 4 (2009-2012)

Textbook Recommendation:  No required texts; 'Life in the Universe' by Bennett & Shostak is avaliable in the library. 'A Short History of Nearly Everything' is also very helpful and also avaliable in the upper levels of the library.

Lecturer(s): Rachel Webster (Physics/Astronomy), Stephen Gallagher (Geology) and Geoff McFadden (Biology)

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1, 2013

Rating: 3 of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1 (80)

Comments: A subject which was a last minute decision for me among last semester's subjects. From the viewpoint of a science student, I was struggling to find a Semester 1 Lv1 Science subject to do which would fill up the last slot in my study plan, and this showed up. Anyway, the consensus of this subject is to use different areas of knowledge in astronomy/physics, geology, and biology to touch on the topic of life in the universe, including us and others.


The astronomy lectures were split into 2 parts, 2 weeks during weeks 1-2, and 2 weeks during weeks 11-12. The first part outlines the basic topics of the origins of the universe and the solar system, which is mildly interesting for a start into the subject. The second part outlines humanity's attempts to find evidence of life outside the universe, which may be or may not be interesting for different people, as they don't go too deep into each issue. The lecturer, Rachel, is a decent lecturer who also puts a glossary at the end of the slides; words for you to look up to better understand the content.

You do 3 pracs about astronomy, most of which involves the use of computers and programs, though not too hard to work once you get the hang of things. You'll have to do some math (Usually some big division equation), but you can always ask the demonstrator if you need help. These were relatively dull, depending on your opinion towards maths and physics. You have to print out the worksheets first, complete the questions and hand them in by the end of class.


The geology lectures proceed after the first part of astronomy, spearheaded by Prof. Stephen Gallagher, who is surprisingly entertaining and made the lectures more bearable. Unfortunately however, he has a grudge against people who he call "Lectopians". Once before a lecture, he showed a bar graph showing that people who attend lectures get better results than Lectopians. This is reflected in his lecture notes, which consist mostly of pictures and few descriptions - the content you need to know being verbal. Sometimes he even goes out of way to write things on the board, be it diagrams or key words, so that it won't get on Lectopia. Lastly, he also gives out helpful extra notes during some lectures that Lectopians don't get. The content is fairly interesting, and includes Earth's development from its genesis to around 10,000 BC plus climate change. Either way, I cannot stress this enough: attend the lectures if you can! This is not a part you can pass from simply reading lecture notes, you have to lectopia all of the ones you missed, which is a waste of precious time.

The geology pracs are comparatively more interesting than the astronomy ones, being more hands on with meteorites and fossils loaned from the museum, although it might frustrate some. Here you complete a MCQ at the end of each class. It's open book based on your worksheet, so it should be relatively easy.


Following after geology, this is probably the easiest section in this subject. I'll confess that I never went to the lectures for this section, but the stuff is relatively manageable without lectopia and only the notes, although there are some things that pop up in the exam that were in lectopia, so attending lectures is once again a suggestion. Here you learn about bacteria, the essentials and origins of life on Earth, as well as basic stuff in molecular biology - nucleic acids, macromolecules, and photosynthesis + respiration. The first lectures are comparatively dull, although they progressively get better and more interesting. Quite easy for biology savvy kids to pick up, the required knowledge that overlaps with BIOL10004/5 is even of a lower level.

If you've done biology pracs before, expect little that is new, and they can be dull and confusing depending on how much experience you've had with bio pracs. At least the staff are relatively more cheerful in the larger sized prac, and it does help sometimes to pass the time. Similar to astronomy pracs, you print the sheets out, complete them, and hand them in.


You get two mid sems, one of which happens around the mid sem and one considerably long after. They're both a mix of short answer questions and MCQs, the first one on astro + geo and the second one on bio. There's not a lot of questions, so don't screw them up.

You also have to do a A3 sized poster by the end of Week 12, which might be a hassle depending on your other subjects. A list of topics is provided on the LMS for you to choose from, which can be astro, geo, or bio. Thankfully, you can do this in pairs, and some subjects are ridiculously easy and require only an hour and a bit to complete, such as explaining the essential characteristics of life.

The exam is split into 3 parts that you have to do in separate booklets. Astro, geo, and bio sections all contribute 60 each to the 180 points total. The geo section is a long list of short answer questions that you choose some to write on, while the other 2 sections are a mix of compulsory MCQs and short answers (though mostly the latter). It's better to know a little bit of everything, particularly the "examples" type of information as they are often used in the short answer questions. The exam format hasn't changed in 4 years and it'll probably stay this way.

Overall, this subject had a good potential to be an interesting subject, but this collapsed with the 9 practicals (Seriously? And the lot of them are irrelevant to the main course, content could be added to lectures) that were required as well as the fact that knowledge between the different disciplines were not tied in too well. Nevertheless it remains a decent option for people who want a little bit of everything in science (and by this i exclude math), and one to consider if one simply needs a Lv1 science subject to fill in their study plan, but hates quantitative stuff (physics, chemistry, calculus), this is a subject to consider, as was my case previously.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: anazergal on July 09, 2013, 06:48:27 am
Subject Code/Name: LING20005 Phonetics

Workload: 2 x 1 hour lectures and a 1 x 1 hour tutorial per week. No tutorials in the first and last weeks.


Transcription Assignment 1 (20%): Transcription of 21 Korean words (only marked on the number of correct IPA symbols used for consonants).

Transcription Assignment 2 (20%): Transcription of the consonant and vowel sounds as well as the lexical stress of 15 Gupapuyngu words. Transcription of the consonant and vowel sounds as well as the lexical tone of 10 Thai words.

Transcription Test (10%): Transcription of approximately 14 single symbols and 5 single nonsense words, as well as the intonation pattern of 3 Australian English sentences. No IPA charts allowed. Held during the last lecture.

Production Test (10%): Identification and production of 6 given symbols from the IPA chart, as well as the production of 3 nonsense words distributed approximately 10 mins before the test. No IPA charts allowed. Held during the last tutorial.

Final Exam (40%): Multiple choice and short-answer questions on phonetic theory and speech waveforms. 2 hours, with 15 minutes reading time.

Lectopia Enabled: Yes, but without screen capture.

Past exams available: No, but some sample questions were available.

Textbook Recommendation: "A course in Phonetics" by Peter Ladefoged and Keith Johnson. Probably important, but I personally never read much of it. :-\

Lecturer(s): Mainly Hywel Stoakes, with Joshua Clothier for one guest lecture.

Year & Semester of completion: 2013, Semester 1

Rating: 3.5 of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1

Comments: Frankly, this was the toughest subject I'd ever taken (though I admit I was a lazy arse this semester :-[). On top of the already hefty amount of theoretical knowledge, students are also expected to memorise and produce, both orally and in writing, the entire IPA chart. I found this a bit like learning a new language, and often felt tone deaf and tongue-tied. Tutorials are absolutely essential (a special mention to my tutor Rosey, who was extremely capable and pleasant!), as they mostly consist of going through all the symbols and sounds as well as practising a bit of transcription. Definitely do the homework exercises and listen to the sound clips beforehand, or you might feel lost in class. I didn't find the lecturer that great (I thought Hywel fumbled about a bit too much, and he often ran out of time which impacted the structure and flow of subsequent lectures :-\), but try not to miss too many live lectures as he plays a number of sound clips (which are captured on the audio recordings) and videos (which sadly are not). Expect to put in a lot of work. I didn't and blundered through the entire subject, only managing not to fail because an exam segment on spectrograms (which I completely didn't understand) wasn't marked due to a printing error. ;D (That, and I think they took pity on me during my disastrous production test which ended on the verge of tears.) This subject definitely offers a comprehensive theoretical and practical understanding of speech sounds, but PLEASE don't take it unless you have (or think you have) a passion for it.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: anazergal on July 09, 2013, 09:01:24 am
Subject Code/Name: UNIB20016 Same-Sex Desire: From God to Genes
WARNING: I did this subject in 2012 so my opinions are a year outdated, but I figure that some information's gotta be better than none, right? :P Besides, I took a look at a friend's 2013 course materials and they look pretty much the same, down to the assignments.

Workload: 2 x 1 hour lectures from weeks 1-6, later reduced to a 1 x 1 hour lecture from weeks 7-12. A 1 x 1 hour tutorial from weeks 1-11. The first half of this course involves overviews of various subject disciplines (History, Theology, Genetics, Health, and Law), with the second half covering more detailed case studies.

In even more detail (simply because I can :P), the lecture topics / case studies are:
Week 2 & 7: History and theories of (homo)sexuality / Social movements and social changes
Week 3 & 8: Theology of homosexuality / Sexuality crisis in the Anglican Church
Weeks 4 & 9: Gay genes + Intersex people / Sex tests and sport
Weeks 5 & 10: Health and medical approaches + Same-sex led families / Citizenship and same-sex desire
Weeks 6 & 11: Same-sex desire and law / Anti-discrimination law


Assessment Task 1 (20%): Analysing the arguments and persuasive strategies of 3-4 opinion pieces on same-sex marriage (from a list of some 13 of them). 1000 words.

Online Quiz (20%): Multiple-choice quiz; answers could be found in the lectures. I can't remember if this was timed but it was very manageable.

Final Assessment (60%): This was a take-home exam consisting of two parts:
1. A 1000 word opinion piece on any topical issue except same-sex marriage; AND
2a. One 2000 word research essay on a proposed question different from that of the opinion piece; OR
2b. Two 1000 word essays chosen from a list of 12 reasonably open-ended and controversial questions drawn from a variety of lecture topics.

Lectopia Enabled: Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available: N.A.

Textbook Recommendation: No textbook, just a subject reader.

Lecturer(s): Graham Willett (History), Peter Sherlock (Theology), Andrew Sinclair (Genetics), Ruth McNair (Health), Anna Chapman (Law)

Year & Semester of completion: 2012, Semester 1 (But very similar, if not identical, to its 2013 counterpart.)

Rating: 5 of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1

Comments: I really enjoyed this rather unique subject, and found the interdisciplinary nature of its content engaging and relevant. Most of the lectures are interesting enough, if not in their deliveries then in their material. (I especially liked the theology component, though I found the health and law sections a little dry at times. :-\) While each discipline is covered by a different person, the lecturers try to relate their parts to each other's for a more holistic understanding. The tutorials are heavily steeped in dialogue, so it's pretty easy to pull something out of your arse if you haven't done the readings. I notice no one really quotes or refers heavily to an article anyway; discussions may start from guided questions but usually devolve into heated exchanges full of personal/acadamic opinions. Still, the readings aren't all terrible so do give them a go before class. Assignments are also manageable as there's always something to talk about. This course exposed me to many fresh perspectives and arguments to use for either faction, even if the ground sentiment was usually skewed towards pro-homosexuality (I suppose detractors wouldn't take the subject :P). All in all, I'd recommend trying this if you have an open-mind.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: marr on July 09, 2013, 09:16:38 am
Subject Code/Name: LING30007 Semantics 

Workload:  2x 1 hour lectures and 1x 1 hour tutorial per week

Assignment 1 (25%): Consists of two parts. The first part involves analysing the different meanings of 'like' (after you do this assignment you'll be pulling your hair out everytime you hear the word being used incorrectly - like totally!). The second part involves using event semantics to classify actions as either a state, activity, accomplishment or achievement.

Assignment 2 (25%): Using cognitive semantics draw a radial map of the different meanings of 'side' (I.e: "The 6 sides of a cube", "this is my side of the room", "I sided with her in the argument"). This assignment wasn't explained all that well by the tutor or the lecturer which brought my overall rating of this subject down.

Final essay/research project (50%): A 2,500 - 3,000 word essay or research project on an area within the course. There are a few suggested essay topics if you can't think of something to write about but I'd highly recommend coming up with something yourself in order to get a good mark.     

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available:  There is no exam component in this subject.

Textbook Recommendation: 
Understanding Semantics by S. Lobner - Not crucial but it does help out with the first few topics and with Assignment 1.
A subject reader that can be purchased in the library for $15 - You need to buy this. It contains all the lecture notes and tutorial exercises for the entire semester.

Lecturer(s): Dr. Brett Baker

Year & Semester of completion: 2013, Semester 1

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1

It's a fairly tough subject to begin with but if you're smart you can get through it with minimal work. In a nutshell semantics is the study of the meaning of words independent from context (the literal meaning of something). There are many approaches to semantics that are covered in the course such as event semantics, truth-conditional, prototype semantics, cognitive semantics, componential analysis and a few other smaller topics. These topics are unrelated so it can get confusing when you expect things to link together.

Dr. Baker's lectures are rather relaxed and welcomes questions in the lecture if you don't understand anything. The class itself is fairly small as well (about 60-70 people) with only 3 tutorial classes. You don't have to go to the lectures as they are recorded but I would recommend going to the ones that contain information needed for the assignments. The tutorials are just discussions about the course material with your fellow classmates and there aren't any tutorials in the 1st or last week.

You really need to pick a topic for your final essay early and it can be from any part of the course that you want to focus on. Be warned though, it is very difficult to get a high H1 mark in this essay or any linguistic subject for that matter (unless you're Stonecold ;)). The tutor explicitly told us that to get a H1 for the final essay you need to write something innovative, creative and original (basically say something that no one else has ever said before). This means that unless you can come up with a completely different perspective on one of the given essay topics, it's highly recommended that you pick your own topic so that you can direct your own study. I actually found this part of the course the most enjoyable as it allowed me to write up my own mini thesis (you come up with your own research question, collect the data for it and then analyse it). The other 2 assignments aren't too hard and you can do fairly well in them (you can 100% even because they are problem based questions with objective answers).

Because there is no exam for this subject you don't need to memorise every single part of the course in depth (thank God!). Honestly you only need to concentrate on a few topics to do well - event semantics, cognitive semantics and the area of study that you are going to write about for your final essay. The rest of the topics aren't assessed so you could potentially skip those lectures if you have other subjects that require attention.

Overall I found this subject really rewarding. I admit that I struggled with it at first but like solving a tough maths problem that you've been working on for ages, it's satisfying when everything just 'clicks'. I realise that there might not be too many people interested in this subject as it's rather obscure (some people called it a 'hippie' subject but I didn't think it was anymore 'hippie' than your average arts subject!) and has no real-world application, but it does make you more conscious about your own language use (which is never a bad thing!) You don't need to have done a linguistic subject before, nor do you have to be a wordsmith but there is something that you need - you have to be (or at least want to learn how to be) consciously aware of word meanings. Language use requires implicit knowledge and this subject requires you to make that knowledge explicit. This subject isn't for everyone but if you are thinking about taking this subject try this as a test: think of the word 'rock'. How many meanings can you come up with? Are they related? If so, how? If you enjoy analysing these sorts of questions then you might enjoy this subject.

PM me if you have any specific questions ;)     
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Hancock on July 09, 2013, 02:02:54 pm
Subject Code/Name: FNCE10001 Finance 1 

Workload:  2 x one hour lectures and a 1 tutorial per week

Assessment:  Assignments not exceeding 2000 words (20%) and a 2-hour end-of-semester examination (80%).

Lectopia Enabled:  No, like all other FNCE subjects.

Past exams available:  There are about 20 on the library website.

Textbook Recommendation: I'd say buy the textbook because it's not that expensive anyway. It has some good review notes and what not.

Lecturer(s): Sterla and Carson (I don't know whether I spelt their name's right as they are both Europeans).

Year & Semester of completion:  Semester 1, 2013

Rating:  -1 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1 (88)

Comments: Oh my god, FNCE10001. Don't get me wrong, I loved the lecturers and they did provide some interest into a subject that is drier than dust. I read the previous ATARNotes review (which said it was -3 out of 5) and I thought, it can't possibly be that bad and I was looking for a cruise-y breadth after taking Introductory Microeconomics. So I took the class and it was a really bad decision. While there is some mathematics in it, it is so basic that you don't really need to study that much, GIVEN THAT ALL THE FORMULAS ARE LAID OUT ON THE FORMULA SHEET ANYWAY. Most of this class was basically memorising facts about ADIs (authorised deposit taking institutions) and different characteristics of markets, such as the money market, bond market and the share market. I guess I was hoping for something more mathematically inclined, and I was a little let down with the 2 weeks of dedicated financial mathematics in the course.

The assignments were ok, but it is a joke to give "originality marks" in a finance assignment. 6 of the marks were given for content, 2 marks for presentation and 2 marks for originality. THERE IS NO ORIGINALITY ABOUT FINANCING A HOME PURCHASE. EVERYONE IN THE CLASS CHOSE TO DO A HOME LOAN THROUGH A BANK. It may sound like I'm bitching about lost marks (I am) but this concept of originality marks just seems stupid.

The exam is incredibly similar to past exams, even going to the point where there are questions from the 2004-06 exams on the paper. Do the past papers and you'll be set. Do FNCE10001 if you want a cruis-y breadth, but it's not interesting. You have been warned for a second time.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: jeppikah on July 09, 2013, 05:47:56 pm
Subject Code/Name: FNCE20004 Introduction to Real Estate Analysis

Workload:  Weekly: 2 x 1 hour lectures, 1 x 1 hour tutorials

Assessment:  2 assignments worth 15% each, 1 exam worth 70%

Lectopia Enabled:  No

Past exams available:  No

Textbook Recommendation:  No textbook is required. The lecturers will post relevant readings from various sources on LMS.

Lecturer(s): Rob Brown & Greg Schwann. Rob takes the first 6 weeks while Greg takes the last 6 weeks.

Year & Semester of completion: 2013, Semester 1

Rating:  3/5

Your Mark/Grade: H1 (82)

Comments: So the name of this subject is probably very appropriate: it is an introduction to real estate so really, when you finish this subject you won’t feel like you know very much about real estate at all, rather just a general overview.

The first half of the lectures taken by Rob include topics such as the types and characteristics of real estate, the interaction between demand and supply with construction activity, house pricing, demographics and mortgage finance.  Mortgage finance was my favourite because it’s similar to the mathematical component of Finance 1. Rob was quite good at getting through the material in a timely manner and I found him reasonable to listen to.

The second half of the lectures is taken by Greg and deal with commercial markets (industrial, office & retail), location theory on commercial property, leases and real estate development. Again, I enjoyed leases the most because it was predominantly mathematically based. I hated real estate development because it was very dull and just seemed really wishy-washy. Thankfully there were no  theory-based real estate development questions on my exam. Greg seemed to waffle on a lot which made me lose interest at times, and thus I also missed the relevant points (my fault, I know).

The lecturers post readings for each lecture which are basically where all the lecture content is summarised from anyway. (Or at least Rob did anyway. Greg didn't post them at all even though there were supposed to be some and decided not to release them at the end because he thought it was too late anyway lol.) I found reading them to be good revision but you're not missing out on much if you don't do them at all.

There are 2 assignments in this subject. The first assignment deals with looking at demographic factors of two different suburbs and drawing conclusion on real estate. My advice would be put in as much detail and garble in as possible. Also, do NOT forget to put in graphs, tables and anything else that might make you look like you spent a lot of time and effort into it. My comment on this assignment was that I wrote a very good analysis, however I scored poorly for being too short and not including graphs and tables. The second assignment is written predominantly by Greg. After a while, you realise that Greg makes a lot of assumptions about the students and a few of his questions were quite ambiguous while he seemed to think they were perfectly clear. So make sure you ask him about any questions you’re unsure of because he’s quite helpful and will pretty much lead you to the answer. Greg also thought everyone had taken accounting and most had taken business finance (I hadn’t taken either) and I felt his language doesn’t cater well for breadth students but it’s still quite manageable.

The tutorials always annoyed me because my tutor just answered the tutor questions exactly as how they were written on their answer sheet. There was no further discussion, explanation or engagement with the students. These “1 hour” tutorials rarely lasted longer than 30-40 minutes for this reason. While attendance is not taken and non-compulsory, I still think it’s worth it to go because you will pretty much go through all the answers to the tutorial questions and the tutorial questions are the best indication of questions that you might get on the exam. In fact, one or two exam questions were almost word for word identical to some tutorial questions. All answers to numerical tutorial questions will eventually be posted online but there won’t be any answers to theory questions.

The marks allocated in the exam were split roughly evenly between the two lecturers. Furthermore, each lecturer asked approximately half numerical and half theory-based questions. You will get a formula sheet in the exam so learn what they are for and what each pronumeral means. It annoyed me that in the exam, Greg asked a question that required the present value for a growing annuity formula which Greg neither explicitly taught nor put on the formula sheet. I had to do it the long way which was a pain to write out and put in the calculator, and I probably messed it up anyway, so I suppose it’ll be good to memorise if you can. Definitely learn how to do all the steps in doing SFFA, including knowing all the information and numbers you need. Unfortunately, the question given to us didn’t include a lot of the expected information (eg. LTV ratio, undervaluation by the bank) which was confusing to me. The exam invigilator told me to make up numbers for these and then write down all these assumptions. This annoyed me and I’m not sure how it was marked.

Overall, this subject covered pretty much what you would expect from the handbook. I didn’t feel like it was an easy H1 but at the same time, the workload is probably less than you would find in a science/biomed subject. The mathematical finance side is good but this only accounts for half of the subject so I would only suggest doing the subject if you have some interest in the topics outlined, otherwise you’ll be too lazy to study it and then it’ll be too much to cram for during SWOTVAC!
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: acinod on July 10, 2013, 07:27:51 pm
Subject Code/Name: MUSI20143 World Music Choir 3

Workload: 1 hr lecture + 2 hr rehearsal

Assessment: Participation (40%) + Listening Test (40%) + 2 Written Tests (20%)

Lectopia Enabled:  Audio only

Past exams available: N.A.

Textbook Recommendation: Lecturer wrote the textbook, a must buy for $10! It contains everything you need to know for all the tests as well as the lyrics and score to all the songs you will sing. You can get away without the textbook for the first half of the semester since he'll be handing out spare copies of the songs during rehearsals.

Lecturer(s): Joseph Jordania. THIS GUY IS AMAZING!!! Super friendly and amazingly talented at piano and guitar. He even has his own wikipedia!

Year & Semester of completion: Sem 1 2013

Rating:  5/5!!!

Your Mark/Grade: H1 (82)

HEY HEY!!! Having graduated 2 years ago, I don't normally come back on ATARNotes often but I just feel so compelled to share this incredible hidden subject with everyone. Like many students, I was always puzzled on which breadths to choose. Should I choose something that will help me in the future, or something fun and interesting, or maybe something that I can bludge throughout the semester. I can safely tell you World Music Choir 3 fills all of the above criteria. It's also a Level 2 with no prerequisites!

Let me start with the one hour lectures. These are SO CHILL. You pretty much just go there and listen to music. The best times are when he plays on the piano and Joseph is indeed a brilliant pianist. I will continue to refer to the lecturer as Joseph because this subject would be completely different without him (something that I cannot say about any other subject). It's ok if you miss a few lectures; even if you miss all of them because they are all recorded. The only reason you will ever need to go to lectures is for the 3 assessments (listening test and 2 written tests). This is just awesome because that means 3 of the lectures of the semester and not really lectures but for tests instead!

Next are the 2 hour rehearsals. These are why I look forward to every Wednesday afternoon of the week. Initially, my first impressions of the rehearsals was that a lot of time gets wasted. This is perhaps the most bludgy subject I have ever done. The rehearsals are suppose to be 2 hours but I can tell you they will never reach 2 hours! Joseph always starts a few minutes late to allow everyone to get here 'on time' and then we call stand up. THIS IS THE WARMUP! Honestly, at first, I thought the warm-ups were a joke and I'm sure most will agree. When we stand up, Joseph shouts 'HEY HEY' and we all follow him. We sing a few scales to loosen up the vocal chords and then some octave jumps. Then Joseph tells everyone to close their eyes to do warm up our ears by doing a rhythm exercise. Basically he claps a rhythm and everyone claps it back. After around 10 rhythms, he does a tricky one where he claps once on an off beat which messes with everyone but eventually we all get it by the end of the semester. After the rhythm exercises, we all turn to the side and give the person next to us a neck massage. And that concludes the warmup. After that, Joseph marks the roll (which takes a couple of minutes since there's a lot of us) and then we begin to actually learn the songs. This was incredibly awkward for everyone in the first few weeks but by the end of the semester we LOVED IT!!! Me and my friends looked forward to every warmup session to the point where we were warming up outside of rehearsals!

The songs we sang was quite interesting. Since this subject is 'World Music Choir' we were singing a wide variety of songs from different cultures, which we perform at a concert at the end of the semester. Unfortunately this semester we couldn't sing Hallelujah but this is an example of the type of songs we could sing ( We also sing very traditional songs ranging from the African 'Sombamba' to the Georgian 'Elesa'. This subject is very rewarding because it teaches you to be more open to other cultures. I absolutely loved Elesa it sounded so epic. When we sing, we sing in 4 part harmony so at the start of the semester, you will join either Soprano (highest), Alto, Tenor, or Bass (lowest). Being a bass, we got to sing the deepest part and if you're a guy you will probably be placed in bass. I totally forgot to mention how well this subject helps develop your singing ability. BASSISTS4LYF!

Finally I want to talk about the assessment:

Let me begin with the participation marks which are 40%. DO NOT COME INTO THIS SUBJECT AND BELIEVE YOU WILL GET 40% IF YOU ATTEND ALL REHEARSALS. Attending all rehearsals will give you 20-25%. To really get the most out of these marks, you actually have to participate! This includes singing the limited amount of solo parts in the songs performed. Something I did was stand in the front of every rehearsal. I sang loud and tried my best to make Joseph notice me. Perhaps the best chance to get participation marks is to sing a solo at the end of the semester. I bravely took the opportunity to sing one of the songs solo with the other solo Soprano, Alto and Tenor part and hopefully impressed Joseph. I'm not totally sure but I think for participation I ended up with 30% out of 40%.

The next assessment is the listening test towards the end of the semester. In the last lecture, you will have to do the listening test and it is pretty much the final exam. This is by far the hardest part of the subject and why you might not end up with an amazing mark. Apart from singing, the lectures are there to teach students about the different types of music in the world. You will study two types of music: traditional and pop/rock. The listening test is split into two parts. First, a traditional music is played and you have to talk about the features and musical elements it contains. Then, a pop/rock music is played and you will have to explain whether it is a pop song or rock song. You will do well in this if you read the textbook the night before and go through all the lectures and make summaries of everything he says. The songs played are always those that have already been played and analysed in lectures. I can't believed I crammed for this subject (since it's been so bludgy) but trust me it is worth it. I think I scored around 30% out of 40% for this assessment as well.

The last assessment is the two written tests. If you have any musical background, these would be ridiculously easy given that you don't make any careless mistakes. The first test is basically to form a triad from a note. For example, if you are given A, then you write ACE. You do this for 2 more notes and then you're done! I didn't realise we weren't allowed to start until he handed the paper to everyone but I finished in 5 seconds. We were given 15 minutes so time is definitely not an issue. The next written test is a tiny bit harder, it involves harmonising a couple of notes. For example if you were given A and E, you could write A minor and E major or F major (since the triad FAC has A in it) and A major (since the triand ACE has E in it). Once again this is pretty basic if you know music. Even if you don't know music, it's not that hard because you can learn in from the textbook and he spends a whole lecture teaching exactly how you do it. I scored 20% out of 20% for this section.

Overall, World Music Choir 3 is the best subject I have ever done and if you are looking for a breadth, I recommend you find a few friends and enrol in this fantastic subject. The final rehearsal on the big stage before the concert was actually both sad and beautiful. It was the last time we were singing together with Joseph conducting and to this day I still miss being a part of his choir. Attached is a photo of me, my friends and Joseph which we took during the last rehearsal. I love this subject so much!!!
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Turtle on July 10, 2013, 08:54:05 pm
Subject Code/Name: UNIB10009 Food for a Healthy Planet

Workload:  2 x 1 Hour Lectures, 1 x 1 Hour Tute (per week)

Assessment:  1 x Mid Semester Test (15%), 1 x 2000 Word Essay (25%), 3 x Forum Reports (5% each), 1 x Exam (45%)

Lectopia Enabled:   Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:  Yes, one for each year

Textbook Recommendation:  1 x Reader (Needed for the readings)

Lecturer(s):  Sooooooo many different ones-I can't find all their names, but we had a different lecturer almost every week, and also had 3 guest lecturers

Year & Semester of completion:  2013 Semester 1

Rating:  1.5/5

Your Mark/Grade:  H2B

Comments: I am doing this review to warn people, and hopefully help you to make an informed decision if you are considering this subject  :). This subject is the worst subject I have done at uni, for a number of reasons. Firstly, the content is not interesting. I did this subject because I thought I would be interested in the nutrition side of things. However, this part of "food" was barely covered. Instead, we talked about world food security in terms of economics, genetically modified crops, theories of famine, ect...

The forums (with guest lecturers) not completely boring, but they weren't that interesting either. They are fairly easy to score well in, but it is hard to stay within the world limit of 500 words.

I worked hard for this subject, and even got a 90% essay score, yet I somehow managed to bomb the mid semester test and end of year exam. They give absolutely no indication of how they want you to answer questions for either the MST, or exam. I studied hard, and rote learnt almost everything for the mid semester test, and exam, yet somehow, my answers weren't correct (even though I tried to learn/apply exactly what was in the notes). The only saving grace for this subject is that you get to take a cheat sheet into the exam, which helps a lot with the rote learning. But otherwise, I found this subject to be dull, uninteresting, and there was no indication given on how to answer questions to receive full marks. If you are looking for an easy, or interesting breath (like I was), they I do not recommend this subject.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Turtle on July 10, 2013, 09:25:33 pm
Subject Code/Name: ANAT20006 Principles of Human Structure  

Workload: Per week--3 x 1 Hour Lectures, 6 x 2 Hour Practicals (spread over semester)

Assessment: ADSL Online Quizzes (10%), 2 x Mid Semester Tests (15% each), 1 x End of Sem Exam (60%)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:  No (not really a problem, I don't think they are that necessary)

Textbook Recommendation: 
-Eizenberg N. Briggs CA et al (2008)-General Anatomy: Principles and Applications-McGraw Hill (This book is particularly helpful in regard to the principles lectures in the first four weeks).

Lecturer(s): Dr Varsha Pilbrow, Associate Prof. Colin Anderson, Dr. Jenny Hayes, Dr. Jason Ivanusic, Dr. Peter Kitchener, Dr. Simon Murray,
Dr. Junhua Xiao (New lecturer. Alot of people told me how much they disliked her lectures. However, I loved her lectures because she outlined exactly what we needed to know, and they also only went for 40 minutes which was great!)

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1, 2013

Rating:  5 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 92 (H1)

Comments: This subject is fantastic! The topics covered are extremely interesting. The lecturers do a fantastic job of explaining everything very clearly, and making sure that you know exactly what is expected of you. BEWARE, if you don't like rote learning, then this subject is not for you. Almost everything in this subject is memory based, and you cannot get away without memorizing a lot of information. But not to fear, if you find this subject as interesting as I did, then this will not be too much of a chore.

Mid Semester Tests: Many students hated these, but I thought they were great, in that they forced you to keep revising constantly. These tests were not that hard. If you took the time to revise each lecture thoroughly, then you would get the marks you deserved. There are no trick questions, and basically every question tests your recall of information.

ADSL quizzes: These were an easy 20%. You could repeat them until you get 100% in them. They were accompanied by ADSL worksheets. I did these for the first few weeks, and they took me about 3 hours each. This is why after the mid sem break, I stopped doing them, because they took up too much time. I don't think that they were that necessary, so don't stress too much about not doing the worksheets. However, if you do have the time to do them, they really really help your understanding of information covered in lectures.

End of semester exam: Consists of Multi Choice, Multi Selection Section, and a Short Answer Section. The Multi Choice covers the last 3 weeks of the semester, and if you take the time to revise carefully, and memorize all the information in the last few lectures, then you can breeze through the MCQ very quickly. The Multi Selection Section was the hardest in my opinion. It tests you on fine detail, and you need to label diagrams. However, once again, this is all in the lectures, and if you are careful to revise fine points, and practice labeling diagrams, then this section will not be that much trouble. In my opinion, this section rewards those who know their work most. The final section is a Short Answer Section. Everyone hated this section this year, because it contained a question on the borders of the Inguinal Canal. However, if you took the time to memories this, since it had a lecture slide all to itself, then this question wouldn't have given you any trouble. This section could be hard if you didn't do enough revision, because you can't really bluff your way through it.

Pracs: I found these very interesting, as you get to "prod and poke" cadavers. However, on the downside, they go for 2 hours, and you can't sit down, and therefore they hurt my legs :/ Overall, although they were interesting, they didn't really aid my learning, and just gave me sore feet. There is a 75% hurdle attendance requirement.

I highly recommend this subject. Although most people just do it because it is a prereq for post grad health science courses, I would have done it even if this wasn't the case. This subject helped me to decide to major in Human Structure and Function, because I enjoyed this subject that much! If anyone needs any help with this subject, or any more information about the subject, then just PM me :) I hope this review helps anyone interested in this subject!!
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: LeviLamp on July 10, 2013, 11:45:24 pm
Subject Code/Name: GERM10004: German 1

Workload:  2 x 2 hour tutorials, and probably about the same amount of time per week revising the content if you don't want to do it all in a block before each assessment (which is perfectly doable).

Assessment:  Each component will be covered below :3

5 x Vocabulary Tests (2% each)

Don't be fooled by their low weighting; preparing well for these vocabulary tests will really help with the rest of the coursework/exam, and in addition, if you don't study well, these tests are really quite difficult (despite their simple layout).
Every now and then, you'll be told you have a vocab test during a tute in the upcoming week. These tests cover pretty much all vocab from one of the five vocabulary lists (and may ask questions pertaining to content learned from previously covered vocabulary lists). This includes all the obscure and long nouns, as well as GENDERS of said nouns, and conjugated forms of the given adjectives. Make sure you've learned all the grammar-based content from each week's tutorials as well, because these vocabulary tests focus just as much on that as they do on knowing the assigned vocab lists inside out. A tip to help push your mark into the low H1 range: use the Learn function on the provided Quizlet lists and LEARN THE GENDERS OF EACH NOUN OFF BY HEART (the department uses a picture of a lion to denote masculine nouns, a ballerina to denote feminine nouns, and a drop of water to denote neuter nouns). If you can recall the genders for the vocabulary tests, that's 3-5 marks in the bag as soon as your pen hits the page, thanks to the "der-die-das Genderquiz" section that appears on each test. Make sure you're able to conjugate verbs, use the nominative and accusative cases and modify adjective endings appropriately, recall noun genders, form grammatically correct sentences and (later on) separate certain verbs and alter sentences/words for the various imperative forms. Why am I placing so much importance on these tests? Because if you can score well on these, you should be well-equipped to score well on the other assessments! Don't be disheartened if you underperform on the vocab tests, though; my tutorial group's average for these was a high P, and none of the tute groups (purportedly) scored above an H3 average for these. Also, expect to be given a lot of generous half and quarter marks where you think you've made a mess of things!

3 x Homework Assignments (5% each)

These assignments are your gateway to a free 13-15%, if you're careful and meticulous with correction and put in a little bit of effort. They take an hour or two to complete, but aren't particularly hard if you know what you're doing. Like the vocabulary tests, these cover a veritable smorgasbord of topics and a large amount of content, but focus primarily on grammar and writing, as opposed to vocabulary and noun usage. There are a large number of questions at the beginning of each homework sheet that only require a single word to answer, so if you're careful with your responses you'll probably be able to score very well on these. Towards the end there will be a short writing task, and be aware that FLUENCY IS WEIGHTED FAR MORE THAN ACCURATE GRAMMAR. Be INTERESTING, try and stretch your imagination and think of ways to spice up what is probably the most boring and robotically presented German passage your tutors are ever going to have to read, throw in a noun you haven't been taught if your limited vocabulary is failing you. These writing passages were most people's downfall because they wrote a short, safe grammatically sound passage. Also, if you get an ambiguous prompt, write about a bunch of things relating to any nouns in the prompt and you should get a good mark (speaking from experience).
Overall, these homework tasks are pretty easy to do well on, and you don't have much to worry about (I got 99/100, 59/60 and 55.5/60 and I promise I made more than one mistake on all of them).

2 x Listening Tests (5% each)

Ridiculously easy if you can grasp what the people speaking on the recorded tape are saying. Listen to the textbook CD conversations for a night or two and these will be a breeze. Each one has one somewhat tricky question, so pay attention and think about what the speakers are saying. Everyone seemed to do pretty well on these, and it's legitimately easy to score the full 10% if you're on the ball.

1 x Mid-Semester Test (15%)

Definitely easier than the final exam, but not exactly a walk in the park, especially if you're underprepared or don't remember what you've been taught. It tests everything you've been taught in all the tutes beforehand, including what's on the culture sheets (they can ask you anything from those sheets, but it's about 3% of the MST, so if you're pressed for time, ignore them). Try and complete every exercise from the first three chapters, and do some solid vocabulary revision, and you should be able to pull an H1 on the midsem. Importantly, get your sentence structures down pat - the sentence building on the MST was fairly tricky in some cases, and was also worth quite a lot. The written piece is daunting but fairly easy to score well in if you exhibit competency with the manipulation of the language (as opposed to showing off perfect grammar). This was by far my worst attempt at a written piece and I still did well on it. The MST also gets marked quite generously, so if you've attempted all the questions with some degree of understanding it's not going to be hard to H1. I managed a 62/80 and my MST was seriously covered with mistakes. Don't expect a full mark off for every little error you make (if that was the case I'd probably have gotten about 50%).

Exam! (50%)

I have one thing to say about this exam: RUDE. On first glance it appears quite simple, and they're not exactly asking you to write much, but it's HARD. Probably the most difficult thing I had to do all semester (vocab tests were easy in comparison, I just didn't study well for them at all), and my friends' thoughts echoed mine. A girl I met outside the REB after the exam, who'd gotten something like a 95 for the semester's assessment, was 100% confident she'd failed to get an H1 on the exam. I felt pretty demoralised after the exam as well, despite having a pretty good crack at everything they threw at me and revising my vocabulary and grammar like there was no tomorrow. The paper was really WEIRD, and I don't even know why. Please study hard for this exam if you have the time!
The exam had a number of sections, and was marked out of 100 (I don't think the staff were very lenient with their marking, either).
Tasks included English->German translations to complete a passage, writing a letter (quite difficult, actually), recalling some food nouns (I'd wager the category of nouns they ask for changes every year), lots of conjugations, answering accusative/nominative-based fill-in-the-blanks questions, personal pronoun recollection, passage analysis (T/F questions), manipulation of separable verbs and the conversational past, rewriting English sentences in the forms of certain imperatives (wir, du, ihr, and Sie-imperatives) and answering a menagerie of culture-based questions in German (!!! READ OVER ALL YOUR CULTURE SHEETS, SRSLY). Good luck, this assessment is NOT easy, even if you've studied extensively.  :)

Lectopia Enabled:  No lectures! The tutorials have an 80% attendance requirement, too, so don't expect to be skipping classes like you might for a lecture.

Past exams available:  No sample exams, no exam-oriented revision exercises (save for some random sheets that had nothing to do with the exam), no nothing.

Textbook Recommendation:  Begegnungen. Deutsch als Fremdsprache. Integriertes Kurs- und Arbeitsbuch.
Sprachniveau A1+. Anne Busch and Szilvia Szita. Schubert-Verlag: Leipzig.

This book is basically an all-German workbook, but it strangely works /extremely/ well as a textbook, particularly if you've paid attention in class and look up words you don't know. Use it as much as you can, it'll help immensely. (It goes without saying that the book is also 100% compulsory.)

Lecturer(s): None, but my tutor was Leonetta Leopardi. Very kind woman, and very helpful, but she'll leave you behind in the tutes if you don't pay attention. Also quite generous with marking if she can see that you understand what the question is asking and have some kind of idea what you should be doing. Don't do it on purpose, but if you're late and miss an in-class assessment, she'll probably arrange for you to sit it after the tutorial so you don't miss out on precious marks.

Year & Semester of completion: 2013, Semester One.

Rating:  4 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1 (89)

Comments: German 1 was a very fast-paced but quite comprehensive introduction to the German language. Don't take this subject if you want an easy and laid-back breadth or Arts subject, but DO take it if you're interested in the language of German and area of Europe in which it is spoken, or feel that German could significantly aid your job prospects in the future (apparently useful for people in careers such as business, engineering, chemistry, chemical engineering, music composition/history/performance, literature, classical studies, European history, physics, mathematics and other such things). This course progresses QUICKLY, so be sure to stay somewhat on top of things. I felt that my tutor explained everything well, albeit briefly, and in such a way that the textbook acted as a perfect complement to the taught material. Lots of worksheets, dialogue sheets and textbook exercises were set in class or as homework for practice with the language (though be aware that there is NO oral examination in German 1 despite the speaking practice) and if you actually put the effort in, the following tutorial would usually make sense. Feedback was given on each assessment, so improving and fixing mistakes you had previously made was very easy to do. The only real downside to this subject was the sheer volume of vocabulary that is assumed knowledge and is not taught in class (usually). USE QUIZLET IF YOU WANT TO UNDERSTAND THINGS AND DO WELL, SERIOUSLY. There are about 1200 core words to learn, and a few hundred more if you include those only found on worksheets and throughout the textbook chapters 1-5. Don't neglect the long or obscure words on the vocabulary lists, because they WILL pop up without prior warning and when you least expect them to. Also pay attention to the culture component of the course; 11% of the exam this year was based on culture, as well as a small component of the mid-semester test. Overall, this subject was well coordinated and well taught, but was no walk in the park with its frequent assessments, fast-paced delivery and large vocabulary load. If you stay on top of things, the semester assessments will reward you with good marks, and any problems you have can be easily resolved with the aid of the tutor during tutor-independent work time (during class or via email outside of class). If you're looking for an introduction to the powerful language of Germany and Austria (Switzerland doesn't really count, as you will eventually discover), this subject is definitely for you, but if you're looking for an easy H1, go take something like MULT10011 instead. Viel Glück und auf wiedersehen!
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: ChickenCh0wM1en on July 11, 2013, 01:38:08 pm
Subject Code/Name: JAPN10001 Japanese 1A

Workload:  1 x 1hr lecture, 2 x 1.5 hr seminar (tutorial)

Assessment: 50% final exam, 15% Cultural Discovery Project, 2X 10% oral exam, 3 x 5% vocab/dictation tests spread evenly throughout semester

Lectopia Enabled: Yes for the lecture, good esp since lecturer Jun Ohashi speaks very softly .... :/

Past exams available:  None, exam outline provided.

Textbook Recommendation:  GENKI I: An Integrated Course in Elementary Japanese (used for Japanese 2 as well)

Year & Semester of completion: 2013, Semester 1

Rating:  4 Out of 5

Mark: H1


Going into this subject with absolutely no prior knowledge of Japanese, I felt I was disadvantaged because everyone around me seemed like they had done Japanese in some form or another (High school, primary school etc). The lectures in my opinion, are pretty boring but the good part of Japanese 1 were the 2 seminars held each which which helped me with my confidence and made me step out of my comfort zone in terms of speaking in front a class and interacting with other people in a new language.

Don't expect to be "fluent" in Japanese after this subject LOL.... I'm so far from it....

At the start of each week you have a lecture where the content for the week is introduced. In each of the seminars, you are placed in a class of around 15-20 people.
Seminar 1 focuses on oral/speaking abilities while Seminar 2 focuses on writing/grammar.

The 3X5% tests were fairly basic to be honest. They were marked out of 30 and most people got around 25/30... So aim high cause they probably scale down the marks.
The 1st oral assessment we got was a partner assessment where you work together to produce a dialogue and act it out. This was a little controversial for me as my partner decided not to work with me and did not do anything, leaving me to write the dialogue myself and go into the assessment with insufficient practice.
2nd oral assessment was individual and I felt I had a much better understanding/grasp of what was required.
However on both occasions, I felt the department marked quite harshly for those who put the effort in and too leniently for those who obviously did little/no practice. The highest for both the assessments was around 8.3/10, and the median was around 7.6/10.
Moving onto the Cultural Project, I thought it was a bit peculiar and trivial... 15% is substantial for the overall mark but it was based off the 2nd oral assessment.

The exam was actually much more difficult than I expected it to be as some of the stuff which was examined I felt was not covered sufficiently in the lectures/seminars.

Despite me bitching about the inconsistent marking scheme, I really enjoyed this subject as I learnt the basics/foundations of Japanese language and also aspects of Japanese culture/traditions/norms. Hard work must be put into Japanese outside of class to do well as the pace is extremely fast, and sometimes not enough time is given between assessments.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: tonychet2 on July 12, 2013, 01:54:45 am
Subject Code/Name: Calculus 1]MAST10005

Workload: 3 x 1 hour lecture, 1 x 1 hour prac

Assessment:  80% end of semester exam, 20% assignments

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:  Yes, about six

Textbook Recommendation:  Hass, Weir, Thomas, University Calculus Early Transcendentals 2nd edition, packaged with a differential equations supplement from Hass, Weir, Thomas Calculus, Pearson, 2012.  DO NOT BUY IT. you also must purchase the lecture slides - they are sufficient

Lecturer(s): ? will edit later

Year & Semester of completion: 2013 sem 1

Rating:  3 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 50 PASS


OKAY. If you tried your best got less than 40 in methods (I got 37) and didn't take specialist in VCE, then prepare your....

Anyway, having a free slot on timetable available for breadth, I thought to myself; what do I think I'm good at?  They say do what you're good at and enjoy, so being the fool I was, I thought I enjoyed methods from VCE and did fairly decent so I decided I would take up Calculus 1. I mean it's the easiest standard maths subject available in university, it can't be that bad right? BIG MISTAKE

The lectures are SUPER DRY. They work off lecture slides every lecture by going over questions and concepts one at a time. After the first 2 weeks the attendance went from full house to about 30%. I stayed up until about week 5 and 6 until I realised it was more productive by watching the slides on the lectopia whilst rewinding and pausing, the rate you are forced to learn is very fast and it is easy to dig yourself into a hole.

The exam was definitely not easy, the correct answers required a lot of steps and came out very messy.

Maths at university is definitely no bludge and only for those that are genuinely interested in maths or engineering, I put the same amount of effort across all my subjects and I kept finding myself having to look back and go over concepts again and again, and the worst part is that the  topics are not related to each other.

The textbook is not required or referred to at all - it is useless as they provide you a free book with a list of weekly questions covering each topic

If you're looking to do this because you're not sure what to do as a breadth and want to learn extra maths, stay well away unless you're maths skills are somewhat leet.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: tonychet2 on July 12, 2013, 02:16:00 am
Subject Code/Name: Introductory Microneconomics ECON10004

Workload:  2x1hour lectures, 1x1hour tutorial

Assessment:  60% final exam, 10% attendance, 25% assignments (10% and 15%) and 5% mid sem test

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:  Yes the last 3-4 are very relevant

Textbook Recommendation:  I can't find the name as the LMS is down, but buy the textbook

Lecturer(s): Gareth James

Year & Semester of completion: 2013 Sem 1

Rating: 5 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1


Coming out of VCE with no prior commerce knowledge, this has been my favourite subject. The topics were great, and very interesting as the connection between the theory and applications to real world examples were quite obvious. The lecturer Gareth James was very engaging and enjoyable to listen to as he cracked many jokes (talked about why it is economically beneficial to have more sex etc. lol).

The tutorials were setup in a classroom-style with a tutor going through theories on the board, all you have to do is sit and listen and then do a couple of questions to consolidate your knowledge. T

Overall a great subject for commerce students as it is mandatory and anyone else who may be interested in learning a bit of basic economic theory

The course  followed the textbook and the textbook is quite engaging to read also. Introductory microeconomics was the only textbook all semester that I found enjoyable to read, so much so that I actually read all of it.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: LeviLamp on July 13, 2013, 05:09:37 am
Subject Code/Name: CHEM10003: Chemistry 1

Workload:  3 x 1 hr lectures, 1 x 1 hr tutorial, 6 x 3 hr practicals spread throughout the semester, and quite a lot of hours of independent study ;) (DO THE ZUMDAHL QUESTIONS U GAIZ)


Sonja Horvat is great (and I mean great, what a wonderful woman), but some other tutors are purportedly not good at all. I still think rocking up to tutes is a good idea, especially if you've attempted the tute questions prior.

Assessment:  6 x 3 hr practicals (20%), 1 x online MST (5%), 1 x ~final exam~ (75%)

Pracs! (3.33% apiece)

The chemistry pracs are stressful, and if you're bad at managing time it's very possible that you're going to underperform. Preliminary preparation is an extremely good idea; complete as many of the prac questions/reports as possible BEFORE you enter the labs and make sure you've properly read all the ChemCAL prelabs thoroughly. Try not to get too stressed out during the pracs, though, or you may end up in a pickle that could cost you lots of marks, such as dropping a volumetric flask or incorrectly using the Buchner funnel three times in a row. Demonstrators mark the pracs very unevenly and also vary immensely in the way they brief the prac groups and assist students throughout the pracs. My demonstrator was Dayna, and, while she was willing to help, she was a little scary and marked the pracs quite harshly. My friend had an extremely nice demonstrator who marked pracs extraordinarily generously and she got near to full marks for all her pracs, even when they contained many mistakes. Be especially prepared for pracs 4 and 5; they're time-intensive and involve a LOT of work. Try to be as accurate on prac 4 as you possibly can be, because almost all your marks come from calculations, accurate graphs and data manipulation. For prac 1, also try and wrap your head around error calculations BEFORE you do the prac; this was by far the easiest prac, but the mark I received was my lowest of the semester (14/20) because I had no idea how to do the error calculations that were worth 4 marks (?). Also, DON'T BE CLUMSY. Seriously, if you knock things over or spill them, you could be in trouble, assessment-wise AND safety-wise. If you see a large yellow stain on the floor in one of the corners of the lab, that was me dropping my volumetric flask full of iodide stock solution (and thankfully catching it before it completely emptied, hit the floor and smashed). I'm not really sure what else to say about the pracs because everybody's experiences differed enormously, but be as prepared for them as possible and make sure to work efficiently and meticulously throughout. Also make absolutely sure to wear closed shoes and don't remove your goggles at any point during the pracs, lest your demonstrator gets mad. If you don't wear appropriate clothes, you'll be refused entry to the lab, so BRING YOUR GOGGLES AND LAB COAT AND DON'T WEAR SANDALS. For all that scare talk, the pracs shouldn't be too hard to get an H1 average in if you're on top of things. I had a pretty mean demonstrator, marks-wise, and despite two big screw-ups and constant ruination of the laboratory and my glassware I managed to pull an 83% final average. Most people should be able to average a 15-18/20 for the pracs with some input of effort, but every mark helps buffer your score for the final exam, so keep that in mind!

Mid-Semester Test! (5%)

This is a short (30 minute) online test that covers the organic chemistry component of the Chemistry 1 course, and it's a good excuse to revise and grapple with the concepts covered during the first 4 weeks of semester. Since it's taken at home, you have full access to your notes and textbooks, but it pays to have done prior revision if you want to grab those last couple of marks. Make sure you're confident with stereochemistry and NMR/IR/mass spectrometry before you start the test. I was really, really underprepared for the MST and still managed to score 10/12, so don't be too worried about it, especially since it's only worth 5%, but do put the effort into your revision, because you'll need to know the same things for the final exam, which is worth a terrifyingly large amount of marks.

Big, Scary Exam! (/75%/)

This exam is very fair, and the only key to doing well is to know everything that the lecturers expect you to know. It's all in their notes, really, minus spectrometry/spectroscopy (just spend a little while reading McMurry, doing the syllabus tests on ChemCAL, looking at some old Year 12 notes and/or finding some things to read online and you'll be fine), so if you've done all the set questions and tackled a few past exams, you'll be in good stead for a decent mark on the exam. Pace yourself and avoid nerves, because there are no tricks, only a few questions that require some lateral thinking, so there's nothing to concern yourself with. If you know your shit, you'll be fine. If you don't know your shit, you won't be fine. It's really that simple. DO learn all the little details the lecturers cover for organic chemistry and inorganic chemistry, but try and single out the big concepts/important equations for gas laws/thermodynamics, and do the set questions on these topics to help yourself figure out which things are actually important. I don't really have any more advice to give; provided you've put in a good chunk of time revising for this exam, you're probably not going to be pushed for time or psyched out by the difficult questions. I left knowing exactly where I'd made some of my errors and I was still fairly confident I had a lot of room for further mistakes before my grade dipped below an H1. Revise, revise, revise and start early (I dedicated 9 days to chemistry and a further 2 to both chemistry and biology) and this exam is seriously not going to be that bad. More importantly, try and pace yourself throughout the semester, or try to start catching up no later than Week 9/10.

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture. Things Mark writes down are NOT on the Lectopia recordings, so please make the effort to attend all of his lectures. You can probably rely on Lectopia for Uta and Gus if you really want to.

Past exams available:  Yes, they date back to the early 2000s, but the department recommends not completing past exams published prior to 2004-ish due to changed content. Also, solutions are only provided for three/four of the exams. The previous year's exam will also be put up on the LMS in Wiki format for students to use as a study material.

Textbook Recommendation:  S S Zumdahl and D J DeCoste Chemical Principles 7th Ed, Cengage Learning, 2013. AND J McMurry, Organic Chemistry 8th Ed, Brooks/Cole, Cengage Learning 2012. A laboratory manual and tutorial book are also available for purchase at the Co-op, and you'll need to buy some safety goggles and a lab coat, as well as a lab book if you like, from one of the shops around campus.

I strongly recommend purchasing both textbooks, particularly as a whole slew of them are available at (often drastically) discounted prices via Textbook Exchange. Even if you can't find a single potential seller (highly unlikely), DO buy these books from the Co-op Bookstore. Zumdahl in particular is extraordinarily useful, as the lecturers set questions pertinent to their course content from the book (aside from Mark, who provides a small number of questions in the tutorial book to complement the ChemCAL tutes/test and the tutorial questions). McMurry is probably a good thing to have around when you're stuck on stereochemistry or need to bone up on NMR/IR/mass spectroscopy, and it's used in later years as well (if you decide to continue chemistry), so it can't really hurt to buy it. There are no set questions for McMurry, and no solutions (unless you buy the overpriced solutions manual or manage to find a copy online), so it's best not to rely on it for problems unless you've really got some time to kill. It goes without saying that the lab manual is necessary; you need to pass 4/6 pracs to pass the subject, the pracs comprise a significant 20% of your final mark, and to pass the pracs you're going to need the manual and the ChemCAL slips inside. The tutorial book is also useful as it contains a number of practice questions, some notes and question sets/lists for all the content in the course, minus NMR/IR/mass spectrometry.

Lecturer(s): Mark Rizzacasa, Uta Wille, Angus "Gus" Gray-Weale, Brendan "Tweedledum" Abrahams (totally didn't make the last one up)


Mark is the lecturer for the entirety of organic chemistry, and despite his slow pace, he's very thorough and quite interesting to listen to. Make sure to pay careful attention to his final lecture if you've forcibly repressed all of your VCE Chemistry memories like I did, because there are no set questions or provided for IR or NMR spectroscopy or mass spectrometry, and you'll need to know how to solve problems related to these techniques on the exam. Finding extra resources/reading McMurry is a GOOD IDEA. Apart from this little issue with the course, Mark's lectures are all handled with aplomb and are easy to follow, so you should be good to go if you pay attention to his worked problems, verbal utterances and all the supplementary work provided by the chemistry department.


I honestly feel like Uta could have done a much better job of teaching gas laws and thermodynamics (the topics that she covers, albeit only part of thermodynamics), and she could have made it a lot simpler than she did. Listening to her ramble on with her wall of confusing notes up on the screen, I felt like I was never going to grasp thermodynamics. What she presents is overcomplicated and tangled up, but if you DO manage to understand all her content after some reading, you'll be in an EXTREMELY good position for the exam. Hint: like she always stresses, most important to consider: UNITS UNITS UNITS! If you're dragging yourself out of bed for the morning Chemistry stream, maybe sleep in and use Uta's notes + Lectopia to get through her part of the course. Zumdahl questions will be extremely helpful, if you have the textbook. (All that said, she IS a fairly amusing person in her own right, so don't expect to hate her or anything.)


Gus covers a bunch of thermodynamical concepts, focusing mainly on entropy. He tries his best to make it comprehensible to a bunch of clueless first-year chemistry students, but I have to say his "arrow of time" video didn't really help much. Do try and understand as much of his lectures as possible, even though he's forced to take the "just accept that it works for now because I said so" approach to teaching his content, and then revise/do questions from the textbook/tutorial book at home, and really make sure to read his notes. Scan them for key points; it's likely he'll throw a bunch of concept-based questions onto the exam, which are free marks if you remember what he's written down and impossible to reason through if you haven't read the lecture notes at all. Overall, a decent lecturer who sets pretty forgiving questions and does his best to step you through entropy, but ultimately fails because it's not really something you can just "get".

Brendan-senpai  ;)

Brendan Abrahams covers the final component of the Chemistry 1 course (a number of minor topics towards the end as well as a large amount of material relating to VSEPR, covalent bonding, ionic structure and acid-base chemistry), and he is the sweetest, most helpful lecturer, explaining everything with aplomb and in an extremely clear manner. It's easy to tell he has a qualification in education as well as science (he actually does) due to the way he approaches his content delivery; it's clear and concise, though some people felt quite patronised by the way he taught his topics. His lecture notes are also fantastically clear and, in combination with the textbook questions he sets, make learning what he covers not overly difficult. He also reminds me of Tweedledee/Tweedledum from Alice in Wonderland and that gives him extra brownie points, OK.

Year & Semester of completion: 2013, Semester 1

Rating: 5 out of 5!

Your Mark/Grade: 86 (a very unexpected H1)

Comments: Chemistry 1 is a content-dense introduction to a wide variety of chemical concepts that expands on certain parts of VCE Chemistry and introduces a number of new concepts that follow on logically from those you've already studied in the past. That said, if you, like me, forcibly screened all VCE content from your brain after your final exams, you're not really at much of a disadvantage if you put in the time and effort. Practicals are intense but not too horrible, tutorials can be great depending on your tutor, and there are lots of opportunities to use the learning centre throughout the semester if you have any questions for tutors or even lecturers regarding CHEM10003. This subject really is very well run and there are lots of resources at your disposal if you're motivated enough to utilise them. Topics covered include organic chemistry, thermodynamics and inorganic chemistry.

Organic Chemistry

You cover sigma- and pi-bonds, hybridisation, theory of organic molecules, bond lengths/angles, steric/torsional strain, Newman projections, cyclohexane alkanes, alkenes, alkynes, cyclic hydrocarbons, aromatics and conjugation/delocalisation, cyclohexane and the ring flip, axial and equatorial positions, functional groups, stereochemistry (chirality and cis-trans isomerism especially, as well as some things on meso-compounds and enantiomers), a little on geometric isomers and other minor things that should be fairly easy to pick up on, and then (very briefly, but by no means least importantly) NMR, IR and mass spectrometry, which are analytical techniques commonly used in organic chemistry for molecule identification and analysis. Mark covers all these concepts with great competence, but stereochemistry WILL confuse you at first. Go home and try to wrap your head around visualising molecules in three dimensions. It'll take a while, but once you get it, it sticks and questions/problems subsequently become quite easy to solve! Note that bond angles/lengths and IR absorption bands are NOT provided in the examination, so you do need to memorise those given.

Gas Laws and Thermodynamics

You cover gas laws and equations and the kinetic theory of matter, ideal gas behaviours, the Van der Waals equation, intermolecular forces, Hess' Law, enthalpy, work, heat, non-state and state functions, energy levels, standard enthalpies of formation, calorimetry and a bunch of other things I can't be bothered remembering. In any case, thermo is best understood by actually analysing the content and doing the questions. Learn the mean free path, average kinetic energy, heat, work, internal energy, enthalpy (delta H= deltaU + delta(PV), NOT PdeltaV, as it depends on the given conditions; this is IMPORTANT if you want to avoid mistakes), heat related to heat capacity and standard enthalpy equations, and don't worry about the rest. Do get really good at manipulating units and provided data, and make sure you're able to logically work through things by understanding what the equations are saying. Lots of questions rely on you being able to analyse the situation. Standard enthalpy conditions, unit conversions and hidden units are common trip-ups for this part of the course and can make it very easy to get a question wrong or completely fail to understand a question (the Mg question on the exam was a classic example, and I'm ashamed to say I didn't get it after all the practice I did).

More Thermodynamics inc. Equilibrium and Entropy

Probably the hardest part of the course. I'm not entirely sure WHAT we covered; it all sort of makes sense in my brain when I look at the content and my notes, but I don't really know how to categorise this stuff. Try to get past the whole "just accept it works b/c first year" mentality you're surrounded by and focus on understanding what you're actually presented with. It's not a whole lot, but it's quite important to have a vague understanding of the big ideas of Gus' lectures as well as the equations and calculations. Equilibrium questions are quite easy, but for everything else that isn't concept-based you'll want to be comfortable with unit conversions, equation manipulation and all that jazz. There are two equations you can only learn if you either pay REALLY close attention to the notes or actually do the Zumdahl questions. I /strongly/ recommend doing the Zumdahl questions!

Inorganic Chemistry

You cover a whole bunch of acid-base stuff (which can be quite tricky, though there are lots of methods for working efficiently through the problems that I'll leave you to hopefully discover), then a whole bunch of VSEPR, molecular orbital theory and hybridisation, and covalent bonding and polarity/dispersion forces, ionic and metallic structure (not difficult to comprehend at all, but many people find it to be at first glance), general chemistry and trends of the periodic table and its substituent elements and a whole bunch of minor, seemingly arbitrary concepts in between. My advice for this section of the course is to learn everything presented in the lecture slides, attend lectures and complete all set questions and ChemCAL exercises. Don't neglect the miscellany of facts in the final two lectures, because they're IMPORTANT! You should be fine for all this if you revise thoroughly.

Chemistry 1 is a fantastically run and very broad subject that is useful for an enormous range of pathways. While you'll find yourself "forgetting" a lot of the thermodynamics equations and specific details from the course after completing the subject, the knowledge you've gained is somewhere in the back of your head, and if you can bring it back out it's surprising how often little segments of the course can aid you in other areas of study (I found it helpful for BIOL10004 and even once in MAST10005, even though I was studying them concurrently). Strongly recommended for ALL life science majors and earth sciences, essential for chemistry-based majors, chemical engineering and some life science majors and probably also a good complement to physics and statistics majors, this course is not easy, but the knowledge base is extremely useful and is excellently taught, so if you have a free space in your timetable or know your major requires or is made easier by taking chemistry subjects, then CHEM10003 is a must.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: sheepgomoo on July 16, 2013, 04:55:08 pm
Subject Code/Name: ACCT10001 Accounting Reports and Analysis

Workload:  1x2hr lecture, 1x1hr tute.

Assessment: Online MCQ tests which are scaled by tute participation (10%), group assignment (20%), 3hr eoy exam (70%). Exam is a hurdle – min 50% pass.

Lectopia Enabled: Yes, but sometimes the lecturer disables it to share exam tips, work through old problems, etc (not often).

Past exams available:  Yes, one (as it is a revised subject as of 2012 sem 2).

Textbook Recommendation:  E-book version of Accounting: Business Reporting for Decision Making, 4th Edition by Birt et al, 2012. Not strictly needed. More on this in comments.

Lecturer(s): Michael Davern (intro to acct), Matt Dyki (financial acct), Michelle Hogan (managerial acct).

Year & Semester of completion: 2013, Semester 1

Rating: 3/5

Your Mark/Grade: H2B

Note: I haven’t taken VCE accounting before, so my opinion might be different from those who have done so.

From what I’ve heard, if you've taken VCE accounting prior, there are some similar aspects and some different aspects, the most different being lots and lots of writing. You focus not on the calculations and making the reports, but more on the theory and interpreting results and reports which I think was the overall purpose of the subject in the first place (re: subject objectives in the handbook). However, I didn’t feel this was the case as the exam contained some heavily calculation-based questions (in managerial acct) which was surprising considering we hardly touched on the calculation-side in tutes… Generally you'll find the sorts of questions in tutes on the exam, so going back through these before exams is a good idea.

I feel that it’s necessary to point out that this was the subject I was worrying over the entire semester. Part of the reason why is because I haven’t taken accounting before, but also because I felt I was constantly behind in the lectures, often having no idea what was happening, even though I devoted so much time to ARA. Maybe I don’t study effectively, but the “required” readings were stale and way too long - I would be discouraged to even start; thinking of the sheer amount of time it would take. I’m even inclined to say that they didn’t really help with my understanding of the subject because some of the explanations were way too advanced and written with a purpose that wasn’t to educate effectively. I stole my friend’s VCE accounting unit 1/2 book and found the explanations much more concise and appropriate (for me, anyway). This said, you’d probably be better off not buying the expensive book if you’ve done accounting before.

I did get a bit confused on whether or not ARA is heavily memory based - the IQ tests certainly suggested that lots should be memorised (especially formal definitions of terms), however this wasn’t emphasised in the tutorials, so I was inclined to just search for the answer in the textbook instead of truly trying to test myself on how much I knew. In retrospect; it really was a waste of time worrying over these tests, since they played only a minor role with the understanding of the subject itself. If you think you’re up to par, use them only to test your knowledge, otherwise, don’t spend too much time on them.

I did say that I often had trouble understanding the lectures, but that was more my issue than the lecturers. They were generally well set out, albeit boring, but I felt they were much better absorbed when attended in person compared to lectopia’d. We didn’t really have Michael Davern enough to let me comment on him, but Matt Dyki was good in that his strict attitude made you concentrate. Michelle Hogan did a relatively good job in making managerial accounting interesting, my only complaints being the lecture demonstration on how to calculate budgets, which would’ve been better in a tute, and her poor control of the class, ie. People started talking over her and she couldn’t stop them.

The last lecture was a revision lecture which went through each set of lecture objectives and pointed out the main points. I started panicking because there were some concepts I had totally forgotten about, so my idea of exam prep was to go through and type a paragraph for each lecture objective. Doing so showed that the important concepts came up more than once, and these were often tested upon in the exam. Hence, going through the lecture objectives and seeing if you understand each is a good idea for exam prep.

All in all, an average subject. It does well in that it teaches you about the subjectivity in accounting but fails in that too much is assumed knowledge. However, if you find yourself totally lost, try going to consultations, which Matt Dyki strongly suggests. Often you’ll find yourself a one-on-one tutoring session, where the tutor can really pinpoint your weaknesses. Matt Dyki also does these, and I’ve heard that he is really friendly and helpful. There’s also the online tutor, where questions are really prompted answered, so you can grab some help there too.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: chysim on July 26, 2013, 01:30:03 pm
Subject Code/Name: ABPL20034 Urban History

Workload: 2 x 1 Hour Lectures, 1 x 1 Hour Tute (per week)

Assessment: 400 word assignment (10%), 1000 word blog post (20%), 2000 word essay (30%) (due final week), Final 2-hour exam (30%), Class attendance (5%) and participation (5%)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:  Yes, not given but on library website

Textbook Recommendation: None, just a subject reader

Lecturer(s): David Nichols

Year & Semester of completion: 2013, Sem 1

Rating: 4 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1

TL;DR: If you're interested in cities (and you should be), this well-taught subject gives a pretty good overview of how they came to be and illustrates some of the schools of though surrounding their design.

Comments: This subject gives a somewhat brief yet wide-ranging overview of trends in urban design and planning. It focuses on how both technological advances and social issues influence the shape of a city. Among the topics looked at are ancient cities, medieval cities, cities of the industrial revolution, death and disease in cites, urban renewal, gentrification and surbanisation, the rise of town planning and the garden city movement, and globalisation.

David is quite a good lecturer. He's experienced in the field, it open to questions, but sometimes can get off on tangents and rarely gets through his entire slides within the hour. David himself says the lectures are not compulsory; the reading the essence of the subject, but I found it quite the opposite. Readings tend to be summerised and expanding upon within the lectures.

On a whole the content is quite interesting, but a limited understanding is really all that is required. The assessment is quite easy. The blog post is on one specific week of readings, the final essay gives you over 10 topics to choose from, and the exam includes 2 essays, one being "seen," where you are given the topics in advance, the other being unseen but again has a wide range of topics to choose from.

So, if you know about 2 weeks of material very well, and the rest just a little bit, you will most likely do just as well as if you knew the whole course very well.

Tutes are limited to discussing the week's readings. You can get away with skimming over them for the most part, but some are interesting a worth a read. As long as you try to bring something up at least once each tute, you'll likely get the 5% for participation, and there is another 5% for just turning up. The tutes can be a bit labourious, but they are worth turning up to for both the 5% and they do give you a better understanding of the material.

A tip for the final essay: Use the library. The markers are looking for your ability to research independently and tie themes of the subject together in relation to the subject via this process. The architecture library has a plethora of relevant books for whatever topic you choose. From speaking to others in the subject, it seemed those who had the longest reference lists generally got the best marks.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: vox nihili on July 26, 2013, 03:46:09 pm
Subject Code/Name: CHEM10006 Chemistry for Biomedicine

Workload: 3 x 1 hour lecture, 1 x 1 hour tutorial, 1 x 3 hour practical (practicals are not weekly, 6 per semester)

Assessment:  3 hour written exam 75%, Online Mid Semester Test 5%, Practical Work 20%, 3 x ILT (hurdle requirement)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes with screen capture (the lecturers also tend to use the document camera for problems as well!)

Past exams available:  Four past exams. Three with brief solutions. Last year's we had to post our own solutions to an exam wiki

Textbook Recommendation:  Organic Chemistry (McMurray), Chemical Principals (Zumdahl). Unless you're suffering from insomnia, save your money.

Lecturer(s): Craig Hutton, Spencer Williams, Brendan Abrahams, Brendan McFadyen

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1 2013

Rating: 3.5 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 65 H3

Comments: This subject ought to have a motto, You love Chemistry? Yeah we'll see about that. Particularly for your first semester at Uni, Chemistry for Biomedicine was tough. The concepts are fairly easy to tackle. The subject, at first, seems like the natural extension from your VCE of studies. Thus, you are lulled into a false sense of security that lasts until the MST. You are expected to know everything. This is a very important thing to remember with this subject. Every little detail can pop up on the exam, whether it is bond angles/lengths, or the number of iron atoms in a ferritin molecule (I'm not even sure if that makes sense?) are expected to know it.

Practicals: These are pretty frustrating at times. There's a particular practical (I think it was number five) that is nigh impossible to finish in time, so that causes a hell of a lot of problems. Some of them are quite good, some are quite bad. It's a bit of a mix! Unfortunately, how you enjoy practicals tends to be based upon your demonstrator. Some of the demonstrators are absolutely fantastic (like mine Kris), though others are completely unwilling to help or provide any guidance whatsoever. The practicals form a part of assessment and are a hurdle requirement, so don't miss them. Some of them do not relate at all to the lecture content, so it is really important to do the preparation. You won't be pulled up for bringing in some of your report already written, so make sure you get a bit of a head start on that. You don't want to spend your time in the prac writing your reports. Follow the instructions about report writing carefully, and also pay particular attention to the marking schemes at the back. Your demonstrators should give you some idea about how they'd like the report to be written, though it is fair to say this was probably the greatest source of frustration for everyone—Merinda was particularly painful for this! The pracs are easy marks with the right preparation. They also don't seem to depend on how well you understand the lecture content either (as my prac results seem to indicate!)

ILTs: They are a hurdle requirement, though it is really, really important that you do them. Zumdahl's textbook is the most useful for these, or the interwebs will have lots of stuff to teach you how to do the stuff on the ILTs. Frankly, they are a gigantic pain in the arse. They do, however, contain a stack of examinable content (presumably what the lecturers deemed necessary to know but couldn't fit in the lectures) so make sure you do them properly. There are some ripper notes that explain all the ILT content floating around students somewhere, so make sure to get onto those if you can. I'm guessing they were authored by god they're that good.

Lectures: There's not really a lot to say about the Chem lectures. All of the four lecturers were pretty capable of teaching. Comparing to other subjects, they were actually all pretty good. Brendan was a stand out. He really made an effort to explain concepts and to actually teach. It's quite sad actually that his area is probably the least involved—that is, it's just heaps of rote learning. Spencer was a pill, though some people did like him. I can't say that he was a particularly bad lecturer, he was just overly pompous at times and had the annoying habit of trying to make his language as syntactically complex as possible (he also loved the word intuitively, which I presume was his nice way of saying OH MY GOD THIS IS SO wasn't). David was fun and seemed like a nice guy. He had a bit of a grandpa quality, but I think that endeared him to most people. Personally, I found his lectures the easiest, so I didn't have any troubles with him. Though, there is a hell of a lot of rote in his cycles stuff (yes you do have to remember all the stages and the properties of all the chemicals). He also proves to everyone that, no, indeed we had no idea how to draw a Lewis Structure. If you're like me, you'll probably never know. Craig's not bad. Though his first lecture was just cruel, and I think that left a sour taste in most people's mouths. He redeemed himself a bit with his German accent though (you'll see). Essentially, you need to know all of the lecture content, so do make sure to go—they are actually well attended.

Tutorials: Go to these. The tutors are fantastic, everything is well organised and you will learn something.

The Bottom Line: as I hope you've noticed by now, I really didn't do all that well at Chemistry. I can safely say that this subject has completely turned me off Chemistry. Having said that, I do not despise it for doing so. It is a very strong example of how certain areas of study can change from VCE to university. There is a very strong emphasis on really knowing the facts. There's no need for a reference when it's in your head seems to be the way with a lot of things. If you're like me (and there are a lot sadly), you'll feel on top of things, until you sit down for assessment. You can feel as though you've done well, answered all the questions correctly and be really proud of that, then have the shock of your life when you've nearly failed that assessment. This is very much the way with it. Personally, I was too lazy. I didn't have the commitment or the interest to do the amount of work that you need to do for success in this subject. Some people love this subject, the other half are left absolutely defeated by it. It's certainly passable, but you'll be glad you're rid of it by the end—unless you're that brilliant percentage who managed to kick arse! :)
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: qqla on July 29, 2013, 01:42:17 pm
Subject Code/Name: ECON10004 Introductory Microeconomics 

Workload:  two 1hr lectures, one 1hr tute

Assessment:  MC quiz, two assignments worth 25% together, exam 60%, tute participation 10%

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, screen capt included

Past exams available: Plentiful, past exams up to 2005ish

Textbook Recommendation:  Principles of Microeconomics, okay but I don't think you need this textbook, the lecture slides are probably better. Borland case studies book is a good read, but I never opened it for the semester.

Lecturer(s): Gareth James.

Year & Semester of completion: 2013, S1

Rating:  4.5 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1


There are already many reviews posted for intro micro, so I'll just shed some light on some aspects that I feel were important during my semester.

Go to tutorials. The 10% is really a free 10% that everyone should get. You might not have to go to some lectures (there are some lectures that can be listened to at 2x the speed at home) but you should go to all the tutorials. If you've got a good grasp of how everything works in tutorials, it's really hard not to do well in the subject

Don't buy the book unless you feel like you need the extra grounding and background knowledge going into microeconomics from a non-commerce background. I just think Gareth's lecture notes provide a very concise and reliable reference point from day 1 of the course.

Make sure you pay attention in the first few weeks, because demand and supply graphs pave the foundation for understanding of the course. The concept of 'marginal benefits' and such is also crucial, the entire semester revolves around cost benefit analysis, and understanding of the demand and supply graphs.

As for pink/blue sheets provided after the tutorials. I strongly suggest that you go over ALL the questions on the pink sheet, because a grasp of the pink sheets alone is sufficient to get a low H1. Blue sheets are less essential, so I suggest you only do the questions that particularly stick out and boggle you, because the rest is pretty elementary with regards to difficulty.

Exam revision should predominately be revision of the pink sheets and not the lecture notes! I made the mistake of spending most of my time solidifying knowledge learnt from the lecture notes, but the lecture notes are more 'theory-based'. Once you nail the theory and understand all of the theory, practical work should make the bulk of your study, because the exam doesn't really demand rote memorization of 'what is market structure' etc.

Do the practice exams! There are a lot of similar and recycled question that pop up on every exam, this is probably because there is only so much they can ask for the course (eg. VC vs FC, price discrim etc).
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: sheepgomoo on July 31, 2013, 10:20:48 pm
Subject Code/Name: ECON10005 Quantitative Methods 1

Workload:  2x1hr lecture, 1x1hr tute.

Assessment: 3xgroup assignment (3x10%=%30), 2hr eoy exam (70%). If you fail to get 50% pass on the exam, your overall mark will be no higher than 50.

Lectopia Enabled: Yes.

Past exams available:  Yes, around five.

Textbook Recommendation: Business Statistics Fifth Edition, by E. A. Selvanathan, S. Selvanathan and G. Keller (published by Cengage Learning Australia, 2011). Not needed, only used for one question in an assignment.

Lecturer(s): Mike Pottenger, Chris Skeels.

Year & Semester of completion: 2013, Semester 1

Rating: 4/5

Your Mark/Grade: H1

Comments: QM is your standard statistics subject. Prior knowledge from methods and further will help, but isn’t necessary for achieving a high score, because a lot of it is new material.

Lectures will feature mostly Mike, but occasionally Chris. Mike is a relatively young lecturer, but is really interesting and fun to listen to. He stresses that he is not a statistician, and highlights the importance of knowing statistics simply because it can be applied everywhere. He is also the online tutor, and answers questions very very promptly. Chris, on the other hand, is your standard lecturer who will drill the more mathematical topics into you, which I must admit was quite boring, and it wasn’t uncommon to see people falling asleep in the theatre, however its good that he doesn’t base everything off the lecture slides and makes you read them yourself, since some things were self-explanatory.

Content-wise, I think this subject was very well structured. My friends at Monash asked me how I was going for linear regression at the start of the semester and I had no idea what they were talking about. We did that topic at the end of the semester, where it tied in well with what we had learnt throughout. Everything was interconnected, with the normal distribution being the centre. In theory, what you learn is just using the normal distribution and modifying it to fit it into different situations. Check out the subject page for more info – technically you aren’t asked to draw a normal distribution, but doing those mini sketches really helps when you’re trying to solve questions, and theory is important. In our exam, I reckon about 30-40% was theory and explaining why and how the various statistics worked.

Don’t expect to score too well on assignments. They’re made to challenge you. Another thing to note about these assignments is that they’re done in groups of up to 4 people FROM YOUR TUTORIAL. This means that effectively you can do them by yourself, but of course spreading the work out is beneficial, and I doubt you’d be able to complete them all by yourself, since the content is relatively advanced. Some of the questions were even harder than the ones on the exam, imo. 

As you might’ve noticed, there are no tutorial marks so you can practically wag them all, but wow can I just say, they help a lot (given that you have a good tutor). Listening to lectures is one thing, but actually sitting down and doing the pre-tute (blue sheet) questions and in-tute (pink) questions really solidifies the content. Even so, I know quite a few people, myself included, who got totally lost in this subject. Consults really help in this situation, and I wish I went to one earlier!

The only time I can say I fully understood the content was during SWOTVAC. My exam revision consisted of going through the pink and blue sheets, which had some really challenging questions, and doing all of the past exams, which had comprehensive solutions and really helped my understanding. In the end, there were some questions which popped up again and again, so I was confident I was ready for the exam. A tip: READ THE QUESTION CAREFULLY and make sure you understand what its asking! I know I’m not the only one who got confused just by reading the question, and had to reread it more than thrice.

Throughout the semester, I thought I didn’t understand this subject at all, but it was more an issue of not seeing the links. As my tutor kept reiterating, QM always goes back to the main concepts. Don’t try to overcomplicate things. Don’t panic. You’ve definitely seen this question before, because in some ways, they all just slightly modified versions of a standard question. All in all, a subject that is easy and straightforward if you do a lot of self-study. Taking the time each week to do all the questions and actually ascertain that you understand the content will definitely get you a great score.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: qqla on August 01, 2013, 04:03:09 pm
Subject Code/Name: ECON10005 Quantitative Methods 1

Workload:  two 1 hr lectures, one 1hr optional tute

Assessment: three group assignments worth 30% in total, 70% semi-hurdle exam (you have to get above 50% on the exam to get above a P, hard to explain but not really a hurdle

Lectopia Enabled:  no screen cap, audio rec

Past exams available:  Plentiful, from the inception of the revised subject, and even past exams before the current study design were annotated to better reflect current subject content

Textbook Recommendation:  Bus. stats, 5th ed. Read it for the first week, but didn't use it at all later. I'd advise anyone to keep this text even if you didn't use it because you'll need it in qm2, if you're continuing next yr.

Lecturer(s): Chris Skeels and Mike Pottenger

Year & Semester of completion: 2013, S1

Rating: 5 out of 5


Coming from a very very weak maths background (too much maplestory in my teen years) and a methods score that is quite embarassing, initially I was petrified of QM at the beginning of the semester. Having just scraped the pre-req entry, I thought I was doomed to fail QM, after all, I thought it was another semester of math which I was terrible at in high school. Hearing that QM has a 30% fail rate (not sure if this is actually accurate or not) just added fuel to the fire.

So I slept in for lectures, wagged tutes until swotvac and I realised, 'hey if I fail this i'm gonna waste another semester doing something I hate'. However, it was during swotvac, though the hours and hours of catching up on missed lecture recordings that I discovered what a gem this subject actually was.

QM is how a first-subject should be done. The lectures and lecture notes synthetise together in a fashion that is not only refreshing, but also engaging. Ultimately, it creates an excellent foundation for further study in economics and other commerce paths.

Lectures included interesting case studies such as the price elasticity of demand in the heroin market, which I found were quite effective in not only arousing interest for a lecture theatre, but ironing in a difficult concept such as a regression analysis that is difficult to comprehend at first.

Mike Pottenger offers a fresh approach to previously dry material that really gets you to think and most of all, appreciate what you're working with.

Skeels is less engaging and such, but nevertheless is respectably effective in delivery of crucial concepts. If you put in the time to not oogle and fiddle the chick next to you in a lecture, his lectures are clear and concise, and really hit hard to solidify a concept come exam time.

Creating confidence intervals and regression analysis may sound challenging and foreign at first, but are covered well throughout the pace of the semester. I found that there was just the right mix of difficulty and quantity of subject matter, QM wasn't a subject where you were thrown an infinite amount of simple plug-in formulas to repeat, it was a subject that demanded appreciation and devoted analysis.

I can't really make a comment on tutorials because I only ever probably went to 3, but what was great was that every single question that was written on both the pink and blue sheets had a very comprehensive, and well-thought through solution written to supplement your own study.

Assignments were generally okay (however I got 'carried' by my group on all three of them, thanks guys), and were exceptional in offering an 'extension' to previous concepts and such, come exam time.

The exam is fair, it is written so that most of the drop-kicks like me are allowed to pass, and hard enough for the brighter ones to compete for a H1.

I really owe my passing of this subject this semester to the dedicated support and resource network that Skeels and Pottenger have cemented. If you go have a read on, you'll see a review that says:

"Studying for this subject seems more like a privilege than a chore, the subject matter should be adapted into a cure for cancer it's so amazing. I think if everyone in the world were to take this subject, we would finally attain world peace."

QM is that good. I just wish I studied a bit more before swotvac..... :P
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: hobbitle on October 31, 2013, 10:29:43 am
Subject Code/Name: Engineering Systems Design 2 

Workload:  3 x one hour lectures and 1 x three hour workshop per week

Assessment:  Weekly online assessment (10%) in the form of quizzes and a Q&A forum called PeerWise, weekly team-based projects and assignments (30% in total: some in-class quizzes, 10 x 2% group assignments), and 1 3-hour end of semester examination (60%). Students must pass the end of semester examination to pass the subject

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available:  Yes, about 4, but the structure of the exam had changed recently.

Textbook Recommendation:  I purchased the customised ENGR10003 textbook compiled by the coordinator Gavin Buskes, but I didn't really use it much except to practise Mechanics problems.

Digital Systems: Gavin Buskes.
Programming: Rao Kotagiri
Mechanics: Andrew Ooi

Year & Semester of completion:  Semester 2, 2013

Rating: 4-4.5 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: TBC

Even though there are a few reviews already for ESD2 I thought I'd add another.
ESD2 as you probably know by now is broken up into 3 parts, each with completely equal weighting in the assessment.  I'll break the review down into 3 parts, too.
It should be noted that I have never had any exposure to any of these three modules before (not even Physics, for Mechanics) - and I didn't take ESD1 either.

Logic circuits, gates, boolean algebra, truth tables, Karnaugh maps, analog/digital conversion principles.  This stuff was surprisingly awesome and Gavin is a fantastic lecturer (IMO the best of the three by far).  Gavin is energetic, explains things clearly, and does problems on the projector screen for you instead of just putting up slides so you can see the thought processes behind it.  I found logic really interesting and I got really absorbed in the assignments trying to find the most efficient solutions.

In this module we learn how to use a programming platform called Matlab.  Never have I experienced a module so badly lectured, which is why so many students complain about this section and end up leaving the course not knowing a stitch about Matlab.  I had read reviews prior and had a feeling we were in for some terrible teaching so instead I threw myself at the assignments and the in-class Workshops so that I could get my head around programming.  It worked, the assignments were fun and challenging, and I ended up loving programming, it was just taught SO INDESCRIBABLY BADLY.  You can't teach programming, you just have to do it. We did an assignment where we created a Tic Tac Toe simulator, and some cryptography where we encrypted and decrypted messages using different techniques.

Moments, Couples, Forces, Joints, Trusses, Projectile Motion.....
This is probably the module that most people are OK with because they took physics in high school or in Semester 1, also it's geared towards Civil/Mechanical Engineering students which make up quite a large portion of the cohort, so they seemed a bit more interested.  Andrew Ooi is a pretty big wig in the Engineering faculty and he is your lecturer, and I totally appreciate that he tries to make lectures funny but geez he is irritating and can seriously waste some time trying to be funny by being self-depracating.  I also really didn't connect with his lecturing method at all, he spent way too much time doing funky animations with Powerpoint than concentrating on the best way to lay out material and present it so it is clear for students. 

I had pretty crummy experiences with groups in the group assignments.  My Digital Systems group was fine (at least one contributed, and the other contributed verbally although never actually did much) but I was alone for Programming (wrote every line of code myself) and we never heard from one person in my Mechanics group.  So I got a bit unlucky there, hopefully you'll have a better experience.  I just saw it as a way to practise the content more!

If you are a Chemical or Biomedical Engineering major, chances are you'll struggle to see the point of the content in ESD2, but it's still a good subject and largely enjoyable, and I really believe the content will be relevant in your discipline at some stage. 
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Shenz0r on November 05, 2013, 02:04:40 pm
Subject Code/Name: PHYC10007: Physics for Biomedicine

Workload: Contact Hours: 3 x one hour lectures per week; 1 x one hour tutorial per week; 28 hours of practical work (8 x three hour laboratory sessions and up to 30 minutes of pre-laboratory activity) and 10 weekly assignments of 30 minutes each during the semester.

Assessment: Ongoing assessment of practical work during the semester (25%); ten weekly assignments (10 x 1.5% = 15%); a 3-hour written examination in the examination period (60%).

Satisfactory completion of practical work is necessary to pass the subject (i.e. attendance and submission of work for at least 80% of workshop sessions together with a result for assessed work of at least 50%).

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, but you'll miss on some of the demonstrations in the lectures if you don't go. Not that you're missing out on too much anyway.

Past exams available:  Yes, past exams stretch back to 2008.

Textbook Recommendation:  'College Physics' by Knight. The lecture slides have a list of questions you should do from each chapter. They're a must-have I guess; studying physics is all about doing more and more problems. You'll have to find the solutions on the LMS though, since the textbook only has solutions for odd-numbered problems. Later in the semester I downloaded 'Physics' by Giancoli, which had a lot more similar problems and also came with entire worked solutions for the whole book. Was much better than 'College Physics' in my opinion, but you'll have to only focus on the content that you've learnt in lectures.

Lecturer(s): Martin and Rob. This year, Martin taught for for the first half of the course, and Rob taught for the second half of the course. Keep in mind that in previous years it was the other way around when you do exams.

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2, 2013

Rating:  2.8 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1 (83)

Comments: Physics is a tough subject for people to teach, and for people to study. The first 2-3 weeks weren't bad in my opinion, I thought I would actually like the subject. We were taught about kinematics, motion, forces, and energy. If you've done specialist maths before then it should be a piece of cake for you. If you only did VCE Maths Methods then you'll need to practise on adding up vectors and the like (and other trigonometric identities such as the double angle formula - which, funnily enough, wasn't even mentioned in the lectures and came up on a past exam!).

After this brief period of calmness, we moved onto Fluids in week 4. Everything started going downhill from this point. The lectures move very, very fast. You'll probably cover a chapter or two in two or three lectures. The department is trying to cram all of high school physics AND some first-year uni physics into your head, so they really have no other option. Yet they manage to leave out Optics, which you'll have to self-study for the GAMSAT, which will probably be the only reason you'll ever need Physics if you want to get into medicine.

You will be constantly bombarded with new material and you will continue to remain somewhat clueless even in week 12. The other topics you cover from this nightmare onwards will include thermal physics, waves, electricity, magnetism, quantum physics, and radioactivity.

You'll have weekly assignments on the LMS to do every week, which just consist of a bunch of questions to answer from a company called Mastering Physics. The assignments are usually harder than questions in the textbook and the past exams and usually test concepts which you may not have learnt. You can actually easily google for most of the answers, so you should get a high mark for the assignments if you make an effort.

You'll have a lot of practicals as well. 8 practicals in the semester, covering pretty much almost every topic that you've learnt. You'll have to write up a practical report in your lab logbook, and in it all you do is answer questions in the lab-book and paste in all of your graphs and results. During the practical you also need to complete "checkpoints", in which a demonstrator just asks you to interpret your result or answer a question.  The demonstrators range from lenient to harsh. Some demonstrators will freely give out 9s and 10s, and others will give out 6s and 7s. Your lab marks will however be scaled according to your exam mark though.

Tutorials are helpful, and generally consist of a masters student going through several problems on the board. However, we rarely got to actually go through all of the questions on the sheet.

Now, onto lectures. Some things were not explained very well; some things were explained too casually and too simplistic. For example, learning about the second law of thermodynamics, the lecture notes just said "entropy is unusable energy". And there's a lot more to it than that, really. The lecture notes aren't also that great to be honest. There are also demonstrations in every lecture which is pretty cool I guess, but it also sucks out a lot of time. Sometimes the lecturers would fall 2-3 lectures behind.

I had to resort to reading the textbook and looking up videos on Youtube in order to get my head around everything. Khan Academy and Brightstorm explain things in much better terms. Half of this subject is just plugging in numbers and battling with units, really. If you know the units, you can pretty much derive any formula to do whatever you want. Be conscious of working in SI units all the time though. 

The practise exams seem to follow a similar pattern of questions from 08-12. There will be a single question on every topic you covered, but at least the questions tend to be fairly similar year to year. The exam solutions for the earlier past exams suck though. They don't have any working out, which is a good and bad thing, and instead of giving you answers they'll be like "Justification required. Sketch required. Explanation required" on the solutions, so make sure you compare your answers with other people. From 2011 onwards the solutions get much better though, although there's an error or two in some of them.

The 2013 exam was a bit different compared to past exams, they actually switched the content of the questions around (although there was still one that was copy pasted from a past exam). Make sure you review all your lecture notes as well. However, the exam was still manageable given that you did enough questions from the textbook (they'll expose you to more new questions)

What makes this subject so tedious is the fast pace, the high numbers of pracs, the difficult weekly assignment questions and the lecture notes. The questions aren't too bad, if you know which formula to use.
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: hobbitle on November 07, 2013, 10:24:28 am
Subject Code/Name: BIOL10005 Genetics & The Evolution of Life 

Workload:  3 x one hour lectures per week, 1 x 1hr tutorial and 1 x 2hr Practical every fortnight. 1 x 1hr workshop every other fortnight.  Approximately 24 hours of online learning.


Multiple-choice MST (10%)

Usually about 20 questions, and covers the content in the first 11 lectures (4 weeks-ish).
This is notoriously quite difficult, so do study for it, and it will make your revision at the end of the semester SO MUCH EASIER.  The remaining course content is rote-heavy and it's a real relief to have a solid understanding of the first 4 weeks of content before you hit SWOTVAC.

Assignment (10%)
If you are precise about this assignment, it shouldn't be too hard.  It was kind of like "should it really be this easy, did I do something wrong?" but at the same time a lot of people messed it up pretty badly because what was expected of us wasn't very well explained.  We had to use an online program to generate the outcomes of a certain combination of genetic crosses and then write a genetic hypothesis and report about the results.  Then there was an in-class test that involved generating another genetic hypothesis based on some given data and answering some questions relating to the assignment.

Prac Work (25%),
Pre-prac tests are 1 mark, Pracs are 5 marks, Post-prac tests are 4 marks.  DON'T FORGET THE POST PRAC TESTS.  I've probably lost my chance at a H1 this semester because I forgot about 2 post-prac tests.  You get a password in the prac itself and you NEED IT.  It's not that hard to get full marks in the prac themselves.  In fact, if you don't forget to do post-prac tests, you should be able to really own this 25%.

Independent Learning Tasks (5%);
As long as you don't forget to do these, they are an easy 5%.  Just click through the information on the online tutorial, then do the questions at the end, get more than 80%.

 Exam (50%).
A LOT of content to learn here.  If you studied well for the MST you should have  alot of the Genetics stuff down pat already but there is a lot of rote learning in Botany and Zoology and the structure of the lectures is sometimes not super linear (Dawn especially has content jumping all over the place sometimes).  There are some concepts that each lecturer dwells on in particular, be prepared for these topics to be in your short essay questions.

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.  Copland Theatre SUCKS to have lectures in (if you can get a seat, they are like instant nap time, or if you manage not to fall asleep, you'll have someone really annoying talking in your vicinity because the theatre is big and they think they can get away with it).  I stopped going half way through the semester and just watched the Echo recordings.

Past exams available:  There was one sample exam with lots of sample short essay questions.  Dawn also provides you with lots of additional Genetics problems and you have your Lab Workbook with lots of questions too. 

Textbook Recommendation:  R B Knox, P Y Ladiges, B K Evans and R Saint, Biology, An Australian Focus 4th Ed.  It's a great textbook so I bought it but I didn't use it heaps, the diagrams in it are excellent, but the lecturers scan the diagrams and put them in the notes anyway.


Dawn Gleeson (Genetics) - mostly really awesome, sometimes kind of skims over stuff or seems to think we already know it.  Jumps around between topics a lot on occasion which gets kind of confusing but overall her stuff is well-paced.  Her lecture slides are really really crap and hard to decypher so you really have to take your own notes and listen to her lectures.
Theresa Jones (Zoology) - pretty cool lady, most of her content is straight off the slides.  Interesting topics covered (main animal phyla and their characteristics, ecology, evolution, selection).
Rick Wetherbee (Botany) - I love Rick, he's enthusiastic and entertaining, clear and precise with what he expects from us.  His questions are quite specific and can be challenging but it's partly because his stuff isn't exactly difficult so he has to make you think a little bit more abstractly or detailed sometimes.

Year & Semester of completion:  Semester 2, 2013

Rating:  5 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: Don't have it yet.

Comments: A lot of info already covered in the previous sections.  This subject is basically compulsory if you want to do anything relating to life sciences in your B-SCI so it doesn't matter too much what I thought of it.  Probably more useful to offer advice, for when you do have to take it:

-There is a buttload of content in this subject..... get on top of it and stay on top of it early.  Use the MST to get on top of the first 4 weeks of material and use the mid-semester break to catch up on the middle section of the semester.  Make sure you have watched every lecture at least once and taken notes by the time you get to SWOTVAC so you can get into the nitty gritty detail and have time for the concepts to settle.  Everything kind of links together eventually if you give it enough time to mingle together in your brain, but if you try to cram it, you'll just be memorising hundreds of facts that seemingly aren't that related.

-Make sure you do all the online things (pre- and post- prac tests, and ILTs).  They are essentially free marks and you can get like 15% of the subject just by remembering to sit at your computer for 20 minutes and do them.

-Pracs are a hurdle requirement and whilst they aren't as fun as BIOL10004, they're still fine.  There isn't a heap of content to learn from them except maybe the main Botany and the main Zoology one (pracs 4 & 5).
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: werdna on November 08, 2013, 12:15:22 am
Subject Code/Name: EVSC20003 Forests in a Global Context

Workload: This is a week-long intensive subject with 1 day-long field trip, and 1 3hr lecture and 3 hr tutorial every day for 5 days in the September mid semester break. The lectures and tutorials sound very long and tedious, but the great thing is that you don't need to go to them. The only hurdle requirement is that you attend the field trip. Tutorials are only booked classrooms where you can go in and draft some responses - there's 3 or 4 tutors roving around to the 20+ tutorial rooms. So it's not exactly a fully taught and run tute. No point going to the lectures when you can go straight to the important stuff when listening online.

Assessment: Like I said, hurdle requirement is that you must attend the field trip to the forest/s. Assessment is 12 comprehension/analysis questions that are worth around 300-350 words each. I thought the questions were doable and quick to knock out. After every lecture, they will post up 2 assessment questions. The assessment is due approximately 1 week after the last lecture. There are no further participation marks, tests, exams etc.

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture. A lot of waffling in the lectures - just skip to the important stuff you need to know in order to write your answers.

Past exams available:  No past exams available or needed. What I will say, though, is that there was not enough guidance as to what they expected in our answers. Only 1 sample response was given out, so it's tricky to work out how to structure answers etc. You never really know what you get until results day.

Textbook Recommendation:  If doing this subject, I would strongly recommend that you buy the prescribed textbook (Forestry in a Global Context). Yes you'll only be using it for less than a week, but the book is very very very helpful in writing up your answers. The questions are based around sections of the textbook. (I'm selling my textbook if anyone is interested :D - PM me).

Year & Semester of completion: September, Semester 2 2013

Rating: 4 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: Marks have not been released yet.

Comments: I think this is a great subject to knock out and get done in a week. Perhaps too much waffling and not enough specific attention to what they expect in our assessment responses. Therefore, you're basically 'blindly' writing answers hoping that you're doing it right. The field trip was well organised and helpful. This subject is worth the same 12.5 points as most other units, but it doesn't count as overloading, so you could potentially do a full time load of 4 units in semester 2 next year, PLUS the forests unit - without needing to discuss overloading with the student centre. Overall a great breadth subject!
Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Starlight on November 08, 2013, 01:01:30 am
Subject Code/Name: UNIB30005 Living Longer: A global diagnosis

Workload: 1*2hr lecture/ week, 1*1hr tutorial/week

Assessment: 10*300 word blogs due over the course of the semester (20%), 500 word tutorial paper/ wiki (15%), tutorial/online participation (attending tutorials and commenting on the class wiki page) (15%), 50% Research project (50%)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available: No exam!!

Textbook Recommendation:  James C Riley (2001) Rising Life Expectancy: a global history (Cambridge University Press). I used it as a reference for some of my blogs and it was constantly referenced during lectures. You could go without it but the book does help.

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2, 2013

Rating: 4.5/5

Your Mark/Grade: H1

Comments: Wow, this was a fantastic breadth subject and was extremely laid-back. The subject is for anyone who is interested in observing the wide range of factors which determine life expectancy- sedentary lifestyles/ stress/ public health/ medicine/ pathogens... I'll make some individual comments about the running of the subject during the semester and the types of assessment.

300W blogs- I'll admit, they were a bit tedious during the semester and they would probably take about 40 minutes to write, but hey that's not bad for weekly homework! They are based on your understanding of the lecture material, your ability to ask questions/ engage in the weekly topic and provide your opinions. I scored the full 20% for them, as long as you show you are engaging in the material you will be fine. You did not need to attend the lectures to write these blogs, the slides can be used as a reference but it is always good to find other references to discuss (such as james riley's book)

Tutorial Paper: Based on finding an article of your choice. The article must relate to one of the weekly topics during the semester. I chose nutrition as it is an incredibly broad area and analysed an article about obesity. Basically requires you to interpret what the author is saying and their main points, your opinions on the article- whether you agree or disagree (e.g. can you find other references to support this?) etc. If you take the article seriously and make sure it relates to the subject's overall themes and relates to the weekly topic then there is no reason for you not to get a H1.

Research Project: Seriously, start this early in the semester! I'd say week 3/4 is a good time to start planning and finding references. The actual finding references part and writing key points about them is the hardest part because it is so time-consuming. It is due after swotvac but obviously with other exams it's wise to get the research paper done early. As opposed to my method of Writing pretty much the whole thing during swotvac (I did have all my references and points written down though), yeah that wasn't fun! You can choose from about 10 topics on what to write on and again these relate to the subject's weekly topics, for example I chose mental health and we had a lecture on it during the semester as well- this way you know some important areas about your chosen topic and what you might write about.

Lectures: You could pretty much go off the lecture notes if you wanted to. I didn't write any real lecture summaries for this subject, I suppose that's what the weekly blogs are for. The fact that there's no exam is really good in the sense that you can write about a certain weekly topic for the blog and then never have to look back on the same topic ever again for the subject. Probably good to attend the lecture that you think you will be writing your essay on. The lectures are 2 hours long and one a week so they can be a bit draining.

Tutorials: Mainly involved class-discussions, we never really did any real work. They were pretty interesting and was a nice break away from other intense subjects during the semester. You had to speak about your 500 word tutorial paper and just give a couple of points about what it was about, nothing scary though.

Title: Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
Post by: Shenz0r on November 08, 2013, 03:32:06 pm
Subject Code/Name: BIOL10003: Genes and Environment

Workload:   3 x one hour lectures per week, 18 hours of workshops (1 hour of theory workshop and 2 hours of practical workshop per fortnight), 6 hours of additional problem solving classes (1 hour per fortnight), 24 hours of pre-and post laboratory activities (2 hours per week), 24 hours of e-learning, online activities including independent learning tasks (2 hours per week).

Assessment: A 45 minute, multiple choice test held mid-semester (10%); work related to practical classes during the semester (35%), made up of a combination of assessment of practical skills within the practical class, completion of up to 5 on-line pre-practical tests; written work within the practical not exceeding 500 words; up to 5 short multiple choice tests, and a written assignment based on the practical content not exceeding 1000 words; completion of 5 Independent Learning Tasks throughout the semester (5%); a 3hr examination on theory and practical work in the examination period (50%).

A pass in the practical work is necessary to pass the subject.

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available:  One sample exam provided,

Textbook Recommendation:  Life by Sadava is still the prescribed textbook, carrying over from BIOL10002. I didn't use it as often as last semester though, since some of the stuff being taught wasn't in the book.

Lecturer(s): Professor Rob Day lectures on Parasites and Evolution, Dr. Ross Waller lectures on viruses and fungi, Professor Dawn Gleeson takes over for genetics from Lecture 15 onwards.

Year & Semester of completion: 2013, Semester 2

Rating:  4 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1 (88)

Comments: This subject is a lot different from the first semester Biology core for Biomed students. The first third of the subject focuses on parasites, disease control, evolution, and fungi. This is probably the part of the subject that seemed the most rote-learning heavy. The rest of the subject focuses on genetics, and with that, be prepared to confront many problem solving questions. This part of the subject focuses more so on application rather than rote learning.

Many people didn't like the first third of the lectures. I'm not too sure whether it was because of the lecturers or the general lack of interest in their material. I think Rob and Ross weren't as bad as everybody made them out to be though. Their lecture notes were easy to decipher and understand. Dawn was magnificent though - she explained everything very clearly and concisely. Her lecture notes do get a bit excessive, at times they can clock up to 50 slides per lecture - but she manages to get through all of it nevertheless. She did fall behind by a few lectures, but still managed to get through everything (admittedly she went through the last lecture at full throttle).

You'll be alternating between workshops and tutes/pracs every fortnight. People generally don't go to workshops; all you do is go through parts of the problem-solving Question Sets in your tutorial workbook. I think in our very last workshop only something like 15-20 people showed up. In tutorials you'll also be going through the question sets, and you'll be told about the prac that you'll be doing right after the tute.

The practicals are marked a lot more leniently than in BIOL10002. In fact they're just easier in general; you'll almost always finish at least 20 mins before the end of the session. Most of your practicals will of course involve identification of parasites, observing phenotypic ratios, and manipulating DNA. You'll have to "diagnose" patients with particular parasites by looking at their medical history and examining their blood/faecal smears through a microscope. You'll also do many neat things with bacteria, such as transforming them with GFP. And you'll get to play with Drosophila as well!

Just like semester 1, there's a pre-prac test and post-prac test for every prac. I recommend going down to one of the uni libraries with a couple of friends after the prac if you want to full-mark each one. The in-class assessment is not too difficult either. Overall, the marking scheme is pretty light and getting straight 10s is perfectly possible.

The MST was quite bad for people who were in my prac session, we were given probably the most difficult MST (each group has different versions of the test) and many top kids in my session didn't do as well as some people in other sessions. The MST was very focused on Rob Day's material and what makes Rob's questions so annoying is that:

1) They're ambiguous
2) He gives you a lot of plausible answers, but you still have to choose the best choice (this will also pop up in the exam in painful forms as well)

The genetics eFly assignment this semester was also marked quite strictly. The take-home part of the assignment doesn't take too long. You'll have to use crosses to form a genetic hypothesis about a particular trait. People lost marks for little things such as not writing in the genotypes of the parents, so make sure you do that. You'll also do part of the assignment as a test in one of your tutes, but it's pretty easy nevertheless.

You'll have to do 5 ILTs throughout the semester. They'll hardly bother you, because three of the ILTs directly relate to Dawn's lectures.

Over the semester, Dawn puts up a lot of problem sets and practise questions. Do all of them. A lot of Dawn's material relates to problem solving so you ideally want to be exposed to as many questions as possible. The more you do, the faster you'll be able to process information, and you'll be able to tackle pretty sophisticated problems more easily. A combo that seems to fry people's minds is when you have two genes, one X-linked and one autosomal, and recessive epistasis occurring. If you haven't done enough questions to recognise patterns with each genetic hypothesis, then you're going to have a tough time in exams. 

The genetics part of the subject is more focused on understanding of concepts, rather than just memorising every details. Of course, it's good to