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Author Topic: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings  (Read 1056426 times)  Share 

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ReganM

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #120 on: March 20, 2013, 11:17:30 am »
+4
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).

Lecturer(s):
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

Comments:

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.

Lectures
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).

Practicals
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.

Excursions
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.

Overall
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!
« Last Edit: June 17, 2013, 12:24:33 pm by ReganM »
Graduated in 2011.

Bachelor of Science at Melbourne. Biological Science subjects.

Shenz0r

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #121 on: June 13, 2013, 06:36:50 pm »
+6
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.)
« Last Edit: July 01, 2013, 05:45:59 pm by Shenz0r »
2012 ATAR: 99.20
2013-2015: Bachelor of Biomedicine (Microbiology/Immunology: Infections and Immunity) at The University of Melbourne
2016-2019: Doctor of Medicine (MD4) at The University of Melbourne

Shenz0r

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #122 on: June 13, 2013, 07:18:11 pm »
+6
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)

Comments:

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.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2013, 01:35:51 pm by Shenz0r »
2012 ATAR: 99.20
2013-2015: Bachelor of Biomedicine (Microbiology/Immunology: Infections and Immunity) at The University of Melbourne
2016-2019: Doctor of Medicine (MD4) at The University of Melbourne

VivaTequila

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #123 on: June 15, 2013, 01:46:59 am »
+7
Subject Code/Name: CHEM20018 - Reactions and Synthesis

Workload:

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.

Lecturer(s):
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

Comments:

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?
Spoiler
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

yearningforsimplicity

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #124 on: June 16, 2013, 07:23:10 pm »
+4
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)

Comments:
 
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 :)
« Last Edit: July 03, 2013, 06:40:36 pm by yearningforsimplicity »
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Shenz0r

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #125 on: June 19, 2013, 04:42:22 pm »
+8
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)

Comments:

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!
Cobwebbing
Linear Stability Criterion
X-linked alleles
Wright-Fischer-Model
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.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2013, 02:07:40 pm by Shenz0r »
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Shenz0r

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #126 on: June 20, 2013, 04:41:51 pm »
+5
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).

Lecturer(s):
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)

Comments:

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.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2013, 06:40:18 pm by Shenz0r »
2012 ATAR: 99.20
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2016-2019: Doctor of Medicine (MD4) at The University of Melbourne

aaackk

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #127 on: June 24, 2013, 01:17:56 pm »
+4
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

Comments:
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.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2013, 01:19:29 pm by aaackk »

Starlight

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #128 on: June 24, 2013, 02:28:02 pm »
+6
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
 
Comments:
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.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2013, 09:05:33 am by El2012 »
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Chrissyy

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #129 on: June 25, 2013, 11:09:47 am »
+4
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!

Chrissyy

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #130 on: June 26, 2013, 11:46:52 am »
+5
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!

Starlight

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #131 on: June 26, 2013, 12:54:50 pm »
+4
Subject Code/Name: ANAT20006 Principles of Human Structure

Workload
: 3x1 hour lectures per week, 4 x 2 hour practicals scattered through the semester

Assessment:
- 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.

Lecturer(s):
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

Rating:
3.5/5

Your Mark/Grade: H2A 

Comments:


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.

Assessment:
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.

ADSLs:
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.


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.

Practicals:
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.

« Last Edit: December 20, 2013, 08:58:01 am by El2012 »
2012-2014. BSc: Neuroscience. University of Melbourne.
2015-2018. Doctor of Optometry. University of Melbourne.

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kaybee94

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #132 on: June 26, 2013, 06:48:11 pm »
+5
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.
Lecturer(s):
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 :)   
« Last Edit: July 01, 2013, 07:01:13 pm by kaybee94 »

kaybee94

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #133 on: June 26, 2013, 09:17:25 pm »
+5
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.
Lecturer(s):
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.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2013, 06:53:48 pm by kaybee94 »

Starlight

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #134 on: June 28, 2013, 12:02:53 pm »
+11
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.


Lecturer(s):
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


Comments:

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.

« Last Edit: December 20, 2013, 08:58:33 am by El2012 »
2012-2014. BSc: Neuroscience. University of Melbourne.
2015-2018. Doctor of Optometry. University of Melbourne.

Unlikely to respond to any PMs these days.