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Author Topic: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings  (Read 1207271 times)  Share 

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #420 on: November 28, 2014, 08:35:03 pm »
Subject Code/Name: PHYS30001 Cardiovascular Health: Genes & Hormones

Workload:  3x 1hr lectures per week, 3x 2hr tutorials during semester (1 for each theme)

Assessment:  3 mid-semester tests (20% each), 3 assignments (2x 10%, 1x15%) (no exams!)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:  Sample questions provided for Theme A and Theme B, none provided for Theme C

Textbook Recommendation:  None, lecture notes are sufficient. Journal articles are provided as reference in case you need further clarification, but are not assessed. Silverthorn/lecture notes from 2nd year physiology may be useful for revision.

Lecturer(s): Various

Year & Semester of completion: 2014, Semester 2

Rating:  3/5


This subject is split into 3 themes, each with 10 lectures on assessable content, 1 Q&A session, and 1 mid-semester test during the 12th lecture slot (weeks 4, 8 and 12). I am going to mention the structure of the tutes below, since there were only 3 and each of them were run a different way.

Theme A: Blood Pressure – Causes and Consequences

Theme A covered blood pressure and looked at some aspects of cardiac disease. The lecturer was really great as he explained everything really well. It is a good idea to revise your 2nd year Physiology lectures on the Cardiovascular System and the Kidneys beforehand, as he does assume you remember the basics!

The tute for this theme was more of an opportunity to ask questions and clarify difficult areas, although the lecturer did go over some of the areas he could only touch on during the lectures. It’s also a good opportunity to ask any questions you have about the assignment. 

The test for Theme A was 40 MCQs and a sample test was provided.

The assignment involved drawing up a flow-chart that outlined various cardiovascular responses to a particular situation. This assignment seemed straightforward, however over 100 people failed. I think this was mainly due to not going into the amount of detail he expected from us, but sadly this was not included in the instructions (as we were told to construct a 'simple' flow chart :/ ), so make sure you clarify with the lecturer exactly how much detail you need to go into.
Theme B: Perspective on the Heart

This theme covered cardiac cells and cardiac action potentials in detail. While I found the content interesting, I wasn't a big fan of the way the lectures were presented. For the first 15 minutes of the lecture, we were quizzed on the previous lecture, which isn't a bad thing, but it was done in a slightly intimidating way. If you do plan on attending these lectures in person, it's a good idea to revise the previous lecture and know what was covered, or else invest in an empty-lecture-seat costume in the hope that you won't have to stammer an impromptu answer into the microphone for the entire cohort to hear.

The tute was an opportunity to look more in depth at an article that we would write on for the assignment. During the tute, several PhD students presented a short talk on three articles. Based on these presentations, we had to choose which article we wanted to do for the assignment. It's a good idea to actually read the articles beforehand so you don't end up choosing one that is a bit more challenging than you expected (oops). After we chose our articles, we were then put into groups and had to dissect the main points of the article/come up with opposing views (depending on which group you were in).

The test for this section was also 40 MCQs but the questions were quite wordy which meant lots of reading which meant running out of time. Sample questions were also provided.

Theme C: Programming & Reprogramming

Theme C covered cardiovascular pregnancy adaptations and was probably my favourite theme. Many of the lectures overlapped with each other which made revision much easier. The lecturers for this theme were good and I can't find fault with them.

For the assignment, we selected one of 4 articles on LMS, so when we turned up to the tute, we just went to the group for the article we had chosen. We were given worksheets (which were helpful) and were made clear on what was expected of us in the assignment. For the assignment, we had to write both a lay summary and a scientific summary on the article (this is actually very similar to the assignment for the subject Frontiers in Physiology, so you do get a bit of practise that way). This is due during the exam period.

The MST was split into 25 MCQs and 25 extended MCQs. The test did cover some of the experimental results obtained from journal articles (these were referred to in some questions e.g. 'Blah and deBlah (2014) said that…') so make sure you know these.

Final thoughts

Overall, this was a good subject. It was very popular, with many people choosing it because there were no exams. However, it's important to keep up-to-date since you don't have swotvac to catch up if you fall behind, and to understand exactly what is expected of you in the assignments.

If you have any questions, please feel free to PM me :)


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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #421 on: November 28, 2014, 08:49:30 pm »
Subject Code/Name: PHYS30008 Frontiers in Physiology

Workload:  3x 1hr lectures per week. Contrary to the handbook, there is no weekly 3hr practical: this is mainly to encourage you to have weekly meetings with your wiki group.


1 assignment (20%)
1 Wiki group project  (40%)
Exam (40%)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:  None, but if you have done Muscle and Exercise Physiology and/or Neurophysiology in Semester 1, or are doing Cardiovascular Health in Semester 2, the past exam questions from those subjects may be helpful.

Textbook Recommendation:  None

Lecturer(s): Various

Year & Semester of completion: 2014, Semester 2

Rating:  4/5


Lecture Outline:

Week 1 – introductory lectures. These were not assessed on the assignment or exam.
Week 2 – lectures on experimental techniques in physiology (e.g. microscopy, electrophysiology, etc.)
Week 3-5 – frontiers lectures on 3 areas: Muscle and Exercise, Cardiovascular, and Neurophysiology.
Week 6-10 – these lectures were assessable on the exam. Again, these lectures were split into the 3 areas, with 5 lectures on each area. You can just focus on 2 areas (these will be the areas you do on the exam) which means you only have to go to 2 lectures a week.
Week 11-12 – These lectures were supposed to be careers lectures, but they didn't end up happening so there were no lectures for the last 2 weeks of semester (woop woop)

Individual assignment   

For this assignment, we had to pick 2 lectures from weeks 2-5, each from a different area (muscle, neuro, cardio or techniques) and write 2 summaries on it: one for a lay audience and the other for a scientific audience. This meant we didn't really have to focus on (or even go to...) the other lectures. However, when you submit your assignment for peer review, you will get the assignments of 3 other students to review, and these assignments may not be on the same lectures you focused on. So it might be a good idea to go to/listen to all the lectures so you can give the best possible feedback (and hopefully receive some in return!) The assignment is worth 20% and 5% of this is made up of the marks from submitting the reviews and how helpful people found your comments. I highly recommend doing the peer review as it is an easy 5%! After submitting the final copy of the assignment, we didn't get any helpful feedback: the comments on turnitin seemed to be copied and pasted directly from a marking rubric. However, if you really wanted the feedback, you could probably speak to the coordinators in person.


You're pretty much on your own for this project. It's not like a prac subject where you get to check things with a tutor every week, so it's up to your group how you want to approach your topic. You will be given a list of topics to choose from and I would recommend that you do a bit of research before putting in your topic preference because a topic may sound interesting, but there may not be much/useful literature on it.

Another thing I would recommend is to decide on your approach early. We were told that we would have to submit a statement outlining our approach to the topic. This didn't happen and, as my group wasn't particularly organised, this meant we were floundering for several weeks before we finally decided on an approach. Even if you don't end up submitting a statement, I think it would be great to check your approach with the coordinators, just to make sure you're on the right track and that you don't end up going round and round in circles. As with any group project, there are always people who don't pull their weight and others who end up dictating. 10% of the wiki mark goes to a peer rating, where your group members rate you and you rate them on various things like organisation, communication, contribution to the project, etc. This was really good because it means you are marked according to your contribution to the project. Also, knowing that your group will rate you reminds you to be nice during the meetings, no matter how much you want to throw things :P

Overall, my wiki project wasn't as smooth sailing as I hoped it would be. Some people had really fantastic groups that were organised and did most of the work at the start of the semester rather than leaving things to the last minute, so they definitely had a much better experience than I did.

The exam was broken up into the 3 sections (muscle, cardio and neuro) and consisted of MCQs and everyone's favourite extended-MCQs. You choose 2 areas for the exam. There were 43 questions for cardio, 57 questions for neuro and 63 questions for muscle. I thought this was a bit weird, because if you did cardio and neuro, you would have less questions to do during the set time than if you did neuro and muscle. (However, don't be fooled by having less questions for cardio, I heard they were pretty hard. Think back to 2nd year phys were there were those questions with options for Increase, Decrease, No Change or Not Enough Info *shudders*) Because the examinable content is only from Weeks 6-10, this means you have 5 lectures for each section (10 in total for the 2 areas you choose) which makes for a light exam revision load.

Final thoughts

While this subject wasn't everyone's cup of tea, I enjoyed it, mainly because I liked the content (which overlapped with muscle and neuro from semester 1) and the light exam load :P I liked the amount of choice in this subject, however I think this may have been a bit confusing for some, especially at the start of semester when we were having lectures that weren't being assessed and we were all like why are we here?

If you have any questions, please feel free to PM me :)
« Last Edit: July 15, 2015, 08:42:44 pm by neatfeet »


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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #422 on: November 28, 2014, 08:58:12 pm »
Subject Code/Name: NEUR30004 Sensation, Movement & Complex Function

Workload:  2x 1hr lectures per week. 3x 3hr workshops throughout semester (plus 2 online workshops that you complete in your own time)


1 Assignment (15%)
1 Mid-Semester Test (20%)
Exam (65%)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture etc.

Past exams available:  Yes, 2010 and 2011. Sample questions for MST and exam were also provided.

Textbook Recommendation:  There was no prescribed textbook. If you have Neuroscience (Purves et al) from Principles of Neuroscience that might be helpful, but it isn’t necessary. They do refer you to other textbooks at the start of lectures, but those are only for extra reading. The lecture notes are sufficient for the exam.

Lecturers: Various

Year & Semester of completion: 2014, Semester 2

Rating:  5/5


This was a really great subject. It was really well run and the lectures were really interesting. The lectures mainly focused on sensation (e.g. vision, pain) and various aspects of cognition including language, reading, emotions, mental health, aging etc. Knowledge from Principles of Neuroscience was assumed but everything you needed to know was in the lectures or workshops.


The timetable said that the workshop lasts for 3 hours, however Colin rarely ran over 2 hours. Because there were so many students enrolled in this subject compared to previous years, they had to cut down the number of workshops to fit everyone in, so instead of having 5 workshops throughout the semester, there were 3 workshops and 2 online workshops you had to complete in your own time. I really liked the structure of the workshops: we were given a worksheet to fill in as we went through the module but you weren't on your own for this as Colin would talk for a while, give you a few minutes to answer a couple of questions, and then discuss the answers afterwards. My favourite workshops were the ones for language and vision: there were little tasks built in to the module that tested your reading speed or optical illusions, which made them very fun! The information from the workshops (both in-person and online) were assessed in the MST and exam. The workshops are also a great opportunity to ask any questions on the lectures up to that point.

Tests and Exam

We were given sample questions for the mid semester test. The midsem itself had 20 MCQs and we were given 30 minutes to finish it (which was heaps of time). It was fairly kind, there was nothing very difficult. It was during the 2nd lecture slot of Week 8.

The exam was made up of 40 MCQs (1.5 marks each) and 3 essay questions (20 marks each). The MCQs were of similar difficulty as the MST, except they were more focused on the lectures that weren't covered by the MST. There are a couple of past papers from 2010 and 2011 which were all essay questions and were really good for practising. Colin also gave us some sample essay questions which were also very helpful.


The assignment involved responding to a particular article about brain imaging. There was an online workshop to help with this which was quite useful and you are given quite a lot of time to work on it. We were given the assignment at the start of the semester and it was due at the end of Week 9.

Final thoughts

I highly recommend this subject. It forms part of the Neuroscience major but is still a great subject even if you're not doing the major. It was very interesting and you are given a lot of help in the form of sample questions. The workload was fairly light as there were only 2 lectures a week.

If you have any questions, please feel free to PM me :)
« Last Edit: July 15, 2015, 08:43:39 pm by neatfeet »


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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #423 on: November 28, 2014, 09:09:48 pm »
Subject Code/Name: PHYS20009 - Research Based Physiology 

Workload:  1X1hr lecture per week, 5X3hr practicals, 6X2hr workshops.

Written reports of up to 1000 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, with screen capture.

Past exams available:  Yes, from 2009-2012.

Textbook Recommendation:  Nothing. An electronic copy of the PHYS20009 book is provided but you are expected to print it out and bring it to your practical/workshop sessions.

Lecturer(s): Dr Deanne Skelly.

Year & Semester of completion: 2014, Sem 2.

Rating:  3.5 Out of 5

Overall, not a bad subject but definitely not the greatest subject I have taken to date. I picked this subject in pursuit of a physiology major and also because everyone has said that a H1 is easily attainable/in the bag.

I'll start off with the lectures - to be brutally honest the only reason I went was for the PRS marks (5%). This was a pain in the ass cause I live pretty far away from uni and it doesn't help with not being able to drive and having to rely on public transport. You need at least 75% attendance and attendance is not taken in 1st week. So if you do the math you have 11 lectures where attendance is recorded so you need 11X0.75 ==> 8.25 Lectures --> 9 lectures to get the 5%.
Lectures were mind-numbingly boring. They were spent talking about
-pre-practical material (just a very cursory analysis of the concepts)
-post-practical material (review of some of the results expected in the practicals)
-the 30% thermoregulation assignment (title/intro, methods, results, discussion/conclusion/abstract) <--- 1 lecture each from week 5-9 or something.
Lecture content wasn't heavy but a tip for the thermoregulation assignment would be to start early, hand in the drafts and follow word for word what Deanne says in the lectures. I got complacent and just relied on intuition and messed up the introduction (failed - got an N grade) LOOOOOOOOOL.

I personally found the 4 practicals extremely fun :) You got to see a snapshot of how the equipment works and actually apply the concepts you learn. It's also a great way to make new friends etc since you're allocated into a group (alphabetical order though).  You get to find the blood pressure of your group/yourself, find out respiratory parameters, look at physiological (CV/Resp) responses to exercise (static vs. dynamic) and also look at the physiological changes to muscle contraction.

Workshops were good fun as well, we often finished early and you need to submit an online assessment with the group. These tasks contribute to 10% of the grade so try to work well as a team.

Another 5% of the grade comes from participation/contributions in the workshop/practical sessions. So definitely don't be the one in the squad who just mopes around and hopes everyone will answer and contribute and just scab off other peoples work. You learn a lot more from contributing and finding out where your strengths/weaknesses in your understanding of the content lie.

Many people will tell you that  the assignment is great because it relieves a lot of pressure come exam time. I personally object to this because the RBP exam was on the first or second day of the exam period and we didn't get the marks for the assignment until a week or two after the exam. As a result, there was no good way of predicting how well you had to do on the exam to do relatively well etc. I found the assignment to be extremely time consuming and I'm glad I at least passed the assignment overall.

Another thing I personally disliked was how the practical marks were not given in percentages but instead as grades. I didn't like this because grades give little indication of how well/bad you may have done. I.e. H1 = 80-100 and P=50-64. Something that could be improved would be to provide an actual percentage mark so the students know how well/bad they may be doing.

With regards to the exam - I found the exam very fair. Make sure you do them as they are MANY repeat questions. This is what saved me somewhat in the end since I messed everything else up.

EDIT: A massive pro of this subject is Deanne's impeccable ability to promptly answer emails. I constantly emailed her questions etc even letting her know about Medical certificates since I was sick for one of the pracs and she responded very quickly.
PM me for any questions.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2014, 09:13:32 pm by ChickenCh0wM1en »
BSc (2015), MD1 (2016)
Tutoring in 2016: http://www.tutorfinder.com.au/tutors/detail.php?TutorID=78301
Chuck a PM if interested :)

Available for tutoring on the summer holidays for university subjects or VCe.
Also tutoring for the Melbourne uni MMIs (medical/physiotherapy interviews)

Please don't PM me for lecture slides or recordings. I don't have them anymore.


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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #424 on: November 30, 2014, 12:49:18 pm »
Subject Code/Name: NEUR30002 Neurophysiology: Neurons and Circuits

Workload:   3 x one hour lectures per week


2 x mid-semester assessments (25% each)
1 x two hour end of semester exam (50%)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available: No (expanded on later in this review)

Textbook Recommendation:  Definitely do not need it, but as stated in the handbook Purves etc al., Neuroscience, 5 th edition, 2012: Sinauer Associates

Lecturer(s): Main lecturers; Andrew Allen, Graham Barrett, Joel Bornstein

Year & Semester of completion: 2014, Semester 1.

Rating:  4/5

Your Mark/Grade: H1


The review for NEUR30002 is finally here, after an abundance of PMs. As i'm writing this subject review now and I completed NEUR30002 in semester 1, keep in mind that I have forgotten much of the subject's content. Overall, I actually quite enjoyed this subject and much of the content (i'd say 30-40% overlaps with that of NEUR30003, which makes revising a lot more easier). It is likely that you will learn the broader concepts in NEUR30003, but NEUR30002 addresses the same concepts at a narrower level of detail e.g. neuronal pathways underpinning the touch sensation.  I'd say this subject is one which combines ROTE learning and applying your knowledge, though the ROTE learning facilitates your ability to answer application questions.


I thought the lectures were well-delivered by most of the staff. However, there were a few lecturers that would frequently run overtime such that the end of the recordings couldn't be captured on Echo360. No need to worry though, I ended up listening to those lectures with lectopia and whatever I had missed at the end of the lecture recordings was never examinable, just read over and understand the corresponding slides. But if a lecturer simply runs out of time and leaves say 15 slides left then he will either tell you if you are or aren't expected to know those specific slides, and they will hold their word for that. Also note that this is a subject where there will be moments where you find that it is better to physically attend the lectures and other moments where you listen via Echo360, depending on the lecturer. It is fine to do both or one over the other depending on how you learn. What I liked about the lecture notes in particular was that the summarys or "key concepts" given at the end of each set of notes were very detailed and allowed me to focus heavily on the key points of each lecture. For the sake of performing well in the MSTs and the exam please note that this subject requires you to understand the detailed structure, architecture and function of ion channels, types of neurons, glia etc. and involves many neuronal pathways (e.g. for the direct/indirect dopamine pathways, you reallly need to memorise those diagrams that are in the lecture notes!). I found that the lectures started off with building your knowledge at the neuronal/ion channel level and then involved broader areas of study e.g. memory, injury to the nervous system later on in the course. In terms of lecture content, we covered:

lecture topics
Introduction to the course and the brain
Cellular components of the brain
Modulation of membrane potential - I (revise your PHYS20008 lecture notes if you have forgotten the key concepts)
Modulation of membrane potential - II
Introduction to metabotropic receptors
Modulation of neuronal function by metabotropic receptors
Measurement of neuronal activity I
Measurement of neuronal activity II
The dopaminergic neuron
Focus on disease: Parkinson's disease, stem cells (wasn't examinable this year on in both the the MSTs and the exam)
Axon Initial Segment and the Nodes of Ranvier
Focus on disease: AIS/channelopathy/epilepsy
Principles of information processing/What determines neuronal activity
Cellular basis of sensory transduction- mechanoreceptors
Special sensory transduction mechanisms
Presynaptic processes - VGCC, vesicular release, presynaptic proteins
Presynaptic processes - axonal transport and structural neuronal polarity
Maintenance of the neuron and synapse- neurotrophins
The post-synaptic density
Neuronal circuits - enteric nervous system I
Neuronal circuits - enteric nervous system II
Mathematical modelling of neurons
Neuropsychiatry and gut
Focus on disease: Gut microbiome (neuro-immune interaction?)
Autonomic reflexes - spinal cord
Autonomic reflexes - medulla - baroreceptor reflex
Autonomic reflexes - transmitters and modulators
Autonomic reflexes - thought and emotion
Focus on disease: Injury to the nervous system – autonomic dysfunction in spinal
Injury to the nervous system 2
Injury to the nervous system 3
Focus on disease: Repairing the nervous system.
Cellular basis of memory
Septo-hippocampal system


Just your standard MCQ tests, but notice how they are quite heavily weighted (25% each). So revise well for these (obviously i'd aim for 2 H1s on these but a H1 and a H2A should be enough to give you a H1 for the subject overall if you do well in the exam). Definitely your performance on these tests should reflect how you will perform on the end of semester exam. Therefore, revise the subject's content during the semester for the two MSTs to reduce your reliance on cramming in swotvac. IIRC, The structure of the MSTs was some normal MCQ (a,b,c,d) questions but also a fill in the blank question (a more unique type of MCQ question).


If you love MCQs, then this subject is for you! Provided the exam structure hasn't changed for 2015 onwards, everything in this subject is answered on an MCQ answer sheet. The end of semester exam consists of the a,b,c,d MCQ questions (much like on the two MSTs) and a large amount of fill in the blank questions (like in your BIOL10004/5, PHYS20008 exams). I much prefer this kind of format as I find it triggers your memory to answer questions, unlike where you have to write a whole page of notes answering a specific question (which also makes your hand kill). In addition, I think if you know your subject content well, you shouldn't be that pressed for time answering these kind of MCQ questions. One issue for many students, however, is that you aren't provided with any real MCQ practice tests/ exams at all in the subject. I didn't really find this to be an issue though as it's really a subject where you need to memorize and understand the lecture notes thoroughly. The detailed key concepts given at the end of each lecture also reduce one's need for practice tests/exams.

In summary, I did enjoy this subject in the sense that if you put in the hours there shouldn't be an issue to get a H1. Sometimes the lectures might be a little dull, but the fact that the subject examines you fairly makes up for that. PM over the summer if you need more detail about the subject.

« Last Edit: November 30, 2014, 05:08:19 pm by Starlight »
2012-2014. BSc: Neuroscience. University of Melbourne.
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nino quincampoix

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #425 on: November 30, 2014, 04:27:50 pm »
Subject Code/Name:  FREN20012 / FREN30014 French Travel Writing

Workload:  1 x 1.5 hour lecture per week, 1 x 1.5 hour tutorial per week (for 10 weeks).

Assessment:  2 x Quizzes (5% each = 10%), 4 x Blog posts (5% each = 20%), 1 x Devoir sur table (20%), 1 x Dissertation (50%).

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available:  Not applicable.

Textbook Recommendation:  Not applicable; some readings were made available on the LMS.

Lecturer:  Jackie Dutton

Year & Semester of completion:  2014, Semester 1.

Rating:  4.5 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade:  H2A


N.B. French Travel Writing is offered once every two years.

The subject was enjoyable and well-structured, and the subject outline clearly indicated the due dates for all assessment tasks, as well as the topic(s) to be covered in each lecture/tutorial. The workload was very manageable, especially considering that the subject only runs for ten weeks. Given that one of the texts studied was published in 2013, it would seem possible that the texts might change in 2016. The texts were Le Tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours (Jules Verne), Tintin au Congo and Tintin au Tibet (Hergé), and La nostalgie heureuse (Amélie Nothomb).

The quizzes were designed to test the content of the lectures and the texts. They were short are pertained to the overarching concerns of the lectures, as well as the narratives, characters, and concerns of the individual texts.

The blog posts addressed some of the concerns in the lectures, but were more organic in the sense that you could approach each post as you saw fit. For example, "La carte postale" was one topic in which you were required to design a post card (or choose a picture) and then detail its significance and context, as well as pen a message in accordance with the context.

Importantly, the devoir sur table and dissertation must be written using different texts. We were given the prompts for the dissertation in the first week of the semester, so choosing separate topics/texts is made a little easier. The devoir sur table was open book and required a thorough understanding of the texts (but technically only one text) and an understanding of the lecture material. It was presented as a series of prompts.

Perhaps the best part of this subject was the dissertation, as you could theoretically select any topic to write about, even if it was not covered in the course proper (but approval is a must). Irrespective of the topic chosen, your essay plan must be approved before you can commence writing. I chose to write about a text that was not taught. I presume that it was more difficult to construct an essay about a topic that was somewhat removed from the lecture content, so I would advise sticking to the prescribed texts.

Jackie made the lectures and tutorials genuinely interesting and engaging, and it was a good "break" from my science subjects.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2014, 02:30:16 pm by nino quincampoix »

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #426 on: November 30, 2014, 05:27:11 pm »
Subject Code/Name: ENGL10001 - Modern and Contemporary Literature

Workload:  2x1 hour lectures and 1x1 hour tute per week

Assessment:  [same as ENGL1002 - Lit. and Performance] 1x800 word close analysis (20%) 1x1200 word essay (30%) and 1x2000 word research essay (50%)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture but we got stuck in a dodgy lecture theatre and the recording quality was pretty awful most weeks. Lectures can definitely afford to be skipped, esp. for texts you're not writing on for assessment, but don't rely on the echo to pick up the slack. They also took ages to upload (sometimes a whole week after the actual lecture :/)

Past exams available: No exam for this subject.

Textbook Recommendation:  Course reader has all the necessary articles, but is MASSIVE! Like, I do a lot of reading-based subjects, but this one was bigger than all my other subjects combined. It's not like there was an abundance of material either, it was just poorly organised photocopying (ie. one article was about 30 pages of little A6 scans on a whole A4 sheet each, and wasn't double sided -.-) Hopefully they'll edit this down next year.
Most texts studied are available from Fishpond/Book Depository for less than $10. Don't buy from the Co-Op.

Lecturer(s): Various, and I've been told this changes from year to year. Each text is presented by a different person with Joe Hughes and Paul Rae (subject co-ordinators) being the only repeat performers.
Others included: Grace Moore, David McInnis, Stephanie Trigg, Tyne Sumner, Ken Gelder, and Denise Varney.
For the record, I've noticed the Theatre Studies Department and the lecturers teaching the plays were usually a lot better, but this is just my opinion.

Year & Semester of completion: 2014, Semester 2

Rating: 2.7 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1

Comments: Although Lit. and Performance wasn't technically a prereq, this subject is essentially an extension of that course, picking up from the late 19th century and continuing till the early 2000's. The assessment was structured in the exact same way, and judging by the atmosphere in my tute, people who'd done Lit&Performance were a lot better off than those relying on the ModCon marking rubrics or explanations of assessment.
I found the first semester subject to be much better co-ordinated, even though I enjoyed more of the texts in ModCon.

Lectures: This was a mixed bag; some lectures (most notably Paul's Godot week) were incredibly engaging whereas others consisted of monotonous repetition of other people's readings of the text - as well as the bane of the English subjects: reading straight from powerpoint slides! >:( I know this is a thing in other subjects too, but my god is it tedious to sit there listening to someone read someone else's opinion for 20 minutes when you could have just read it yourself. Because this latter style or presenting was more often the case, lecture attendance dwindled considerably to the point where we were sent slightly desperate sounding emails asking us all to come back  :-\
It was a shame because some of the lectures were really awesome, but I found myself checking who the lecturer was ahead of time to determine whether it was worth going or not.

Tutorials: Again, I get the impression these varied greatly between which tutor you got. Apparently almost 40% of the cohort re-enrolled in different tutes throughout the semester because they were stuck with someone they didn't like. Personally I found tutes quite enjoyable, even though most weeks the activities consisted of reading out sections (~3 pages) of the text and discussing them - which is fine in the early weeks, but after a while I started missing the holistic focus of Lit. and Performance where we'd consider the implications of an entire text, or compare it to other approaches. Overall they were a lot more enjoyable than lectures, and they were a good opportunity to control the discussion since most tutors seemed to have a pretty fluid lesson plan. If you have questions about the assessment, ask them here as the English department do not like using email.

Assessment: If you've done English in Semester 1 then you'll be cruising. If you haven't, I'd highly recommend buddying up with someone who has because the  "task outline" given in ModCon is basically useless. Essays are all fairly straightforward, and they weren't that strict about referencing; I found so many mistakes in my essays after I handed them in, but I never lost marks :P
Secondary readings are invaluable, but you should definitely go outside the subject reader as those ones were rarely any help.
Feedback for this subject was less than helpful, however.
Here is an edited version of the comments I got for my second essay:
This is a superb theorisation of waiting as existence preceding essence, negative space which precisely makes meaningful by repetition in lieu of a symbolic designation of a given thing's meaning. Your secondary reading is strong here and provides interesting vectors for you to posit the enduring legacy of the dialectic of possibility and the impossibility which didascalia, dialogue, and dramaturgy together exacerbate through direct and arbitrary encounter as theatrical counterparts.
If anyone knows what this means, could you please PM me...

Readings: This is probably going to turn into a little rant, but when I talk about readings I don't mean the actual articles we were assigned to read, but rather the way we interpreted or 'read' the text. Whereas the other English subjects I've done were always open to, and in fact were often incorporating alternate interpretations, this subject was way more hardlined. This permeated lectures, tutes, and assessment, and was the most frustrating part of this subject.
For instance:
[we're discussing how To The Lighthouse is a metaphor for Woolf's experience as a mother, and we've just been shown a quote from Woolf herself that refutes this reading - ie. something along the lines of 'no you fools, that's not what my book is about!'] "But can we really prescribe any more importance to this [the author's!] interpretation of the text than our own?" <-- this was said without irony. The rest of the lecture went back to the aforementioned reading without any acknowledgement of alternate views.
These weren't presented as possible readings, or extensions of interpretations, but instead simply 'what the text was about,' and there was little room for disagreeing when you're given essay prompts or questions in tutes that deliberately push you in these directions. You could circumvent this in assessment if you were clever about your challenging, but more than once I was kicked out of class for trying to acknowledge these dominant readings as flawed, and I'm not normally the annoyingly opinionated one in tutes, but by week 6 I was seriously sick of the incredibly restrictive discussions.
Part of this could be attributed to the fact that we have one week/ two lectures/ less than two hours to cover an entire text. Of course there was no way to cover all, or even most interpretations, but seeing as Lit and Performance managed to navigate this timing issue well, it was disappointing to be given the 'oh well, that's all the time we've got' excuse when concerns were raised.

This subject has a lot of potential, and in the right hands it frequently flirted with being very enjoyable. Hopefully in future years the approach will change and there'll be more of an even-handed look at the books studied, but for me there were just too many glaring logical inconsistencies and frustratingly dismissive answers for this subject to rank highly.


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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #427 on: December 01, 2014, 05:15:52 am »
Subject Code/Name: PSYC20007 Cognitive Psychology

Workload:  1 X 2 hours of lecture per week + 1 X 2 hours lab/tutorial per fortnight, hurdle requirement such that you can only miss one tutorial

Assessment:  30% lab report, 10% online MCQ tests (1 for each week), 10% presentation and 50% exam

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available:  Nope, but graded MCQs give you a good idea of what the exam's gonna be like.

Textbook Recommendation:  Not necessary. I got it and barely used it. The lecturers did an excellent job.

Lecturer(s): Meredith McKague, Daniel Little, Phillip Smith & Geoff Saw.

Year & Semester of completion: 2014, Semester 2

Rating:  5 of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1 (93)

Comments: Probably the best (and most interesting) of all the subjects I've done so far. I'm gonna major in psych so I have had the chance to try out MBB1, MBB2, Dev Psych, Bio Psych, P&S Psych and this thus far and it's definitely the most cohesive of the lot and very well-executed.

Meredith does the very first lecture and the final three. Her lectures pertain to language use and the grounding of symbols in simpler iconic/indexical representations and how they all relate to cognition. I found her lectures challenging yet rewarding/interesting since some of the concepts were almost esoteric at times. She did an excellent job maintaining audience interest while still being very informative and this shows in her lecture slides (not too dense and ~30, with 'personalized commentary' accompanying each ppt). You will learn a lot from her lectures.

Phillip does the next 4 weeks. He covers the attention part. Initially, I found his lectures pretty dull/dry but they became much more interesting once I understood the gist of the experiments covered. His lectures are very well-structured and you feel like you're undertaking a chronological journey towards what's known of attention these days. The bits on peripheral/central attention and selective attention operating on objects instead of space are particularly enjoyable.

Dan continues for the next 3 weeks. His lectures were pretty hands-on and always started out with a mystery of sorts, unravelled at the end of the lecture, making it all the more tempting to be there for the lectures. His lectures were not as difficult to grasp initially as Meredith's or Phillip's but they were extremely content-heavy (be prepared for ~100 slides!). He also does the online statistics module and attempting the associated questions is a hurdle requirement.

Geoff does one lecture on the biases in reasoning and judgement. I can't comment on his style since I missed that lecture but judging by the slides and Echo it was really fun!

The lab report was quite difficult since we were the first batch to cover a novel condition in criminal lineups (no previous studies!). This led to much confusion about finding appropriate references and conceptualising and defining it in relation to the other lineups. If you do this subject and get a similar lab report I'd suggest doing lots of research into this!

The presentation is graded (10%), with two dates to choose from (somewhere mid-semester or towards the end). The grading is pretty lenient, so expect it to give your grades a boost (I should know, since I'm horrible at powerpoint presentations yet did quite well).  :P

The online MCQs each week (all to be submitted at end of semester) were quite tricky. They were also timed and graded. Those questions were the sort to be expected during the exam.

The exam consisted of 108 MCQs, with each week given equal weightage in terms of number of questions asked (some are also set aside for the online statistics module). I didn't find it too challenging but that could be because I'm very interested in psychology and 'get' the stuff in lectures without too much effort. I found Meredith's section quite nerve-wracking (to make matters worse our exam started with her section!) as there were always 2 answers that competed in terms of accuracy/relevance to the question. Make sure you know her stuff well and understand it from every angle! Dan's section was very content-heavy but should not be a problem if you're thorough with your revision. Phillip's section should be pretty straightforward. Also, the stats section was noticeably easier than the ungraded questions online (hurdle requirement) so don't fret.  :D

Overall, even as someone who enjoys psych subjects, I can say this is one of the standouts (at least for those up to the second year). It's very cohesive and well-executed due to the very competent lecturers and should be interesting regardless of your background. If you're doing it as a breadth I strongly recommend getting acquainted with the nature of such subjects by picking either MBB1 or MBB2 or both beforehand.

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #428 on: December 02, 2014, 12:07:18 pm »
Subject Code/Name:  PATH20001 Exploring Human Disease - Science

Workload:  3 x 1 hour lectures per week, 1 x 1 hour CAL per week.

Assessment:  CAL (10%), 2 x Midsemester tests (15% each = 30%), two hour final exam (60%).

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available:  No.  A sample exam for sections A and B of the exam was supplied.

Textbook Recommendation:  Robbins and Cotran Pathologic Basis of Disease. The textbook is probably useful only if you plan on continuing with pathology in third year. Otherwise, the lecture material should suffice.

Lecturer(s):  Vicki Lawson, Vera Ignjatovic, Chris Hopkins, Tom Karagiannis, Theo Mantamadiotis, Fred Hollande, and Melissa Davis.

Year & Semester of completion:  2014, Semester 2.

Rating:  4 out of 5.

Your Mark/Grade:  H1


Pathology is a fascinating subject, and is no doubt important if you wish to study health science, particularly medicine. Compared to other second year science subjects (such as BCMB20002 and PHYS20008), I felt that pathology was less conceptually driven and more reliant on rote learning. That is not to say, however, that the subject is entirely based on regurgitating facts.

The lectures were consistently informative, and did not require all the prescribed readings. Again in comparison to PHYS20008 where the readings were essential, I felt that pathology's readings provided more depth to the subject matter, but said depth was not directly assessed. The lecturers were all effective in explaining key concepts. Lecture topics included injury, inflammation, healing, infection, immunity, haemostasis, blood vessels (and associated disorders), genetic disorders, and cancer. Additionally, the last lecture tied together the underlying principles from the preceding topics to illustrate the multifaceted nature of pathology.

CAL classes were sometimes held at uni, but at other times, could be completed at home. Essentially, they were a way of reinforcing the lecture content with a series of questions followed by an online quiz. The quiz was usually five questions long and did not take long. Provided that you had attended the lectures and completed the CAL worksheet, the quiz itself was not too difficult.

Obviously, the common theme in mid-semester tests is to ascertain if students have retained and understood the information presented in lectures. Unsurprisingly, the mid-semesters did exactly that. They were fair in the sense of both time allocation and assessed content. The occasional question pertained to general knowledge, but the majority were firmly rooted in the lecture and CAL material.

The exam had three sections: A - multiple choice, B - extended multiple choice, and C - long answer. Section A was similar in form to the mid-semesters and had an emphasis on the lectures that were not previously assessed in the mid-semester tests. Section B was similar to section B of the ANAT20006 exam. Section C required you to answer one prompt from a bank of four. Long answer means a coherent answer, consisting of full sentences, paragraphs, etc. Overall, I found that reviewing the lecture notes and CAL questions was an effective way to prepare for the exam. I should note that unlike the mid-semester tests, time was slightly more of an issue in the final exam.

With a manageable workload, engaging content, and good lecturers, pathology was certainly a well-run subject.


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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #429 on: December 02, 2014, 02:42:21 pm »
Subject Code/Name: SOLS10001 Law in Society

Workload: 2X1 lectures per week, 1x1 tutorial per week.

Assessment: 500 mini essay (10%), 2000 essay (50%), 1500 take home exam (40%)

Lectopia Enabled: Yes.

Past Exams Available: No (or at least, not that I'm aware of)

Textbook Recommendation: None. Just do the readings - I cannot stress this enough.

Lecturer(s)   Claire Loughnan (WONDERFUL LECTURER. Probably the best I've ever had)

Year & Semester of Completion: 2014, Semester 2

Rating: 5/5

Your Mark/Grade: H1 (90)

Law in Society is a wonderful subject and the main reason I’ve decided to minor in Law & Justice (was originally going to minor in Crim, since I’m majoring in Classics). This subject is incredibly thought provoking and I promise you, it WILL challenge your worldviews. I feel much more informed having completed this subject and I would gladly take it again haha. Alas, I can only recommend it to everyone else :)

The tutors are absolute experts and the lecturer, Claire Loughnan, makes every lecture interesting. Sounds cheesy, but she actually makes you EXCITED about learning. We study a number of controversial topics, including homosexuality, refugees, colonial law and Female Genital Mutilation/Female Circumcision. In doing so, we examine the language used to discursively frame these issues and the way in which the State, represented by the Law, controls and harms its individuals while concealing it. It’s a subject that really opens your eyes.

With that said, I actually met a lot of students who believed that it was difficult subject. Rightly so, I'd say. It's CERTAINLY not a 'bludge' subject. You examine the legal philosophy underpinning most societies and how this affects us, the individuals. This can become quite tricky and the tutors often challenge you to form original perspectives. You MUST do the readings otherwise, you will struggle to perform well. I cannot stress this enough. Most students in MY class who didn't do the readings actually ended up failing :/

I don't really know what more I can say, except DO IT!!!
« Last Edit: December 02, 2014, 03:09:16 pm by 90+FTW »


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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #430 on: December 02, 2014, 03:32:04 pm »
Subject Code/Name: MUSI10209 / MUSI20168 / MUSI30233 – Glee Singing

Workload: 1 hr lecture and 1.5 hrs of rehearsal time per week

Assessment: Differs based on the level you take the subject at.
•   Level 1 is a learning log (25%), weekly 5-question online MCQ test (30%) and participation (45%)
•   Level 2 is a learning log (25%), song analysis (15%), weekly 5-question online MCQ test (30%) and participation (30%)
•   Level 3 is a research assignment (40%), weekly 5-question online MCQ test (30%) and participation (30%)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, audio only, and only the lecture portion of the class is recorded.

Past exams available: No exam, only public performance.

Textbook Recommendation:  No textbook. For each rehearsal, you get the sheet music in a folder.

Lecturer(s): Vicky Jacobs

Year & Semester of completion: Sem 2, 2014

Rating:  3.5/5

Your Mark/Grade: H1


Glee Singing is a really fun and easy breadth to take! The lecturer was really enthusiastic about Glee, made the subject enjoyable and catered it so that it was very accessible to those with very little experience in music and singing.

I found some of the lectures quite interesting. After each week (apart from week 12), there would be a 5 question multiple-choice quiz on the LMS about the material covered in each lecture (google is your friend!). You should be able to score really highly in this as long as you are careful, review the lecture slides and attend the lectures. The lectures ranged from topics including lectures about the songs we would sing, a bit about the artists involved, an introduction to different singing styles (legit/twang/belt), vocal health, warming up, song form and structure, performance elements and how the voice works.

Throughout the semester we rehearsed the following popular songs:
•   All about that bass (Trainor)
•   Firework (Perry)
•   Mad World (Jules)/Highest Ground (Wonder) Mashup
•   Born to be Wild (Steppenwolf)
•   Royals (Lorde)
•   Happy (Pharrell)
•   Sing (Palmer)

The tutorials also included some warm-ups, singing in rounds and sight reading at the start. The sight reading consisted of the lecturer showing some music on the projector and the group using solfa to sight sing it – rhythmic exercises are also included. Therefore, you do not really need to be experienced in music in order to participate in this subject although if you are, this could be too basic... but there's not so much of it that you get really bored.

Although I overall liked the subject, I found the main thing that detracted from this subject was the somewhat arbitrary marking system for participation, which made up a large percentage of the final mark. Due to the large class sizes, the lecturer could not really assess each individual’s singing ability and hence other than recording the number of tutorials you show up to, quite a large portion of your mark is determined by your ability to recall one line of a lyric of a song during roll call. This would only happen once a semester and hence is a really haphazard way to mark the students’ participation and singing ability, especially when there is more to singing ability than being able to recall one lyric. (I believe just ‘turning up’ to all the tutorials gets you somewhere in the 70s for participation mark). However, the lecturer is considering ways to improve the way this is marked in the future.

The learning log (1000 words) involves recounting your experiences in the subject and what you learnt. The best way to tackle this is to think of some problems encountered during the semester or areas you found challenging in the songs and demonstrating ways you improved on this through practice. I believe this would be quite a bit harder to write a whole essay on if you were already very experienced at singing. The song analysis (500 words) is not an analysis of form, key etc of the song but instead an analysis of how the song (must choose one of the songs studied throughout the semester) is used in society culturally etc. This is very broad and there are many ways you can tackle this task! Of course, lots of further reading is essential in scoring a high mark in both these areas (eg. Do some research and find some papers on the specific thing you found challenging, or why the composer included some particular technique in the song and how that relates to what he is trying to express). The research task for level 3 Glee Singing is again quite broad: 'Pick any popular song from the last 50 years and research how it changed the world or reflected the changes in the world.' (1500 words) Chicago referencing is used.

The public performance is an informal performance like a ‘pop-up choir’ in front of the VCA building for half an hour. There was no opportunity given for anyone to do solos, and you are welcome to bring any of your parents/friends along to watch the performance if you wish, and sometimes passers-by stop to listen to the performance.

I would recommend Glee Singing to anyone with an interest in choir singing and/or popular music. I found the subject quite laid-back as someone who is reasonably experienced in singing, but in order to score a high mark and get the most out of the subject, a decent amount of research should be undertaken for the written components of the subject.


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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #431 on: December 03, 2014, 11:09:35 am »
Subject Code/Name: ISLM20003 The Qur'an: An Introduction  

-   1 x 1.5 Hour Lecture
-   1 x 1 Hour Tutorial

Class attendance (lecture and tutorial) is required for this subject; if you do not attend a minimum of 75% of classes without an approved exemption you will not be eligible for a pass in this subject.

•   In-class test in Week 9 (30%)
•   Interviews & journal assignment due in week 10 - 500 words (20%)
•   2,000-word major essay due in the examination period (50%)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture. However, the audio is hard to hear. Also, sometimes to lecturer forgets to turn on the microphone so you can’t hear the audio. It is best just to attend the lectures.

Past exams available:  No, there is no exam for this subject. No sample essays were given either.

Textbook Recommendation: 
•   Saeed, A. The Qur'an: An Introduction London, Routledge 2008
•   Abdel-Haleem, The Qur'an, Oxford 2005

You will need to get your hands on the first one since the subject is basically taught from the book. The second one is a translation of the Qur’an, you don’t have to use Abdel-Haleem’s one if you don’t want to, you can use any other one of your choice. Both books can be found online (I have a pdf version of both, PM me and I’ll send it over) so you don’t have to buy them.

Lecturer(s): Professor Abdullah Saeed, Mr Rowan Gould

Lecture 1: Introducing the Qur’an and its Context
Lecture 2: The Early Revelations
Lecture 3: God and Humanity in the Qur’an
Lecture 4: Prophets in the Qur’an: The Religion of Abraham
Lecture 5: The Qur’an and Other Religions
Lecture 6: The Qur'an in Daily Life
Lecture 7: The Qur’an and Interpretation
Lecture 8: Law, Ethics and Gender in the Qur’an
Lecture 9: Mystical Approaches to the Qur’an
Lecture 10: Modern Approaches to Qur’anic Interpretation
Lecture 11: Eschatology of the Qur’an
Lecture 12: Western Scholarship on the Qur’an

Year & Semester of completion: 2014, Semester 2
(From 2015, according to the handbook this subject is only offered in semester 1)

Rating:  4.4 Out of 5

This was quite an enjoyable subject. I’d think that anyone with an interest on the Qur’an or Islam would find this subject quite enjoyable. It is an introductory subject so you don’t need any prior knowledge about the Qur’an or about Islam. The content was easily understood with the help of the readings. There aren’t many contact hours and the workload is fair. The most challenging part is probably the research essay, but if you start early (talking Week 3-4) it shouldn't be too much of a problem.

Course Structure
This subject was run pretty well. There is one 1.5-hour lecture and a 1-hour tutorial per week. On top of this, every week there are probably 4-5 “required readings” that you will be required to do before you come to the lecture every week. These are mainly chapters from other relevant books with the pdf version posed on the LMS although sometimes you will be asked to watch a video. I found that in some weeks, the readings were unmanageable and were overly long and hence didn’t do them. However, I would highly recommend doing them, if you don’t have time just skim through it quickly so you have a basic idea of the content. I say this because some of the questions on the class test in week 9 were taken from the readings.

There are also “Recommended Readings”, these are optional readings. They provide you with more insight on what is going to be discussed in class. If you don’t have time, just leave these ones alone and do the “Required Readings”

Lectures were taken by Abdullah Saeed and Rowan Gould. All of them were focused around the Qur’an. You start with an introduction to the Qur’an, where it was revealed, when it was revealed and then move on to topics in the Qur’an such as the concept of God, humanity, other Prophets and other Religions. The last few weeks are concerned with interpretation and modern scholarship on the Qur’an.
I found Abdullah’s lecturers to be much more engaging and easy to understand. He would define concepts using simple English and was very enthusiastic about his teaching. Whenever we asked him a question, he would answer it really well, at times he would take upto 5 minutes to answer a question just to make sure we understood his answer ! However, at times I think he was a bit too slow and towards the end he would sometimes rush through the lecture.   

Rowan was okay, he was understandable if you really paid attention but he would often use complex terms and words without explaining them to us and this makes him really hard to follow. He would get too philosophical at times, which tbh wasn’t required. He wold often use one tone throughout his lectures and this put many people to sleep. He was less engaging at times, but a good thing about him is that he wouldn’t rush through the lecture.

These lectures weren’t your standard sit there and listen type of lectures. You could ask questions during the lecture. We would also get a break in the middle for relaxing/asking question/etc…

Rowan took all the tutorial classes (afaik), they were held in the Sidney Myer building. These tutorials were a really good opportunity to ask questions about things you were unclear about or discuss something of interest to you.
In the tutorial you would be given a tutorial sheet which had questions on the lecture and the tutorials. Often, you were given a few verses on the Qur’an that you had to read and answer questions on. You would do this with other people on your table. Most of the questions did not require a yes/no answer, they were asking for your views on an issue/how you interpret this verse. At times however, the questions would be based on facts.

After the tutorial, you would be given a quiz to take home and do. MAKE SURE you do this and do it properly. Most of the test questions were similar to the ones on these quizzes. The answers would be posted on the LMS and you would go over the answers in the next tutorial class.

I found tutorials effective for consolidating the information given in the lecture. It was also a good time to meet your classmates. Would highly recommend going to them.

There were 3 assessment tasks:

In-class test in Week 9 (30%):  
This was a short 70 question multiple choice and true/false test taken during the lecture time. You are given 60 minutes to complete it and the questions were based on lectures, tutorials and the prescribed readings. At first, it may seem like there is isn't going to be enough time to answer all the question, but have no fear probably about 1/3 of the class finished early. There were no trick questions, as long as you had listened to the lecture, done the tutorial questions and gone through the readings you should have no problems with this. The tutor would also hand out a quiz at the end of each tutorial. Make sure you know how to answer these PROPERLY. If you get the wrong answer, find out why you got the wrong answer and what the right answer is etc…

In 2015, this seems to have changed to a 1,000 word class test (according to the handbook). I don’t know if this means they’ve changed the format of the test, I would hope not, I found the test to be really fair. 

Interviews & journal assignment due in week 10 - 500 words (20%):
There were two stages to this, neither of which was too time consuming:
Part 1 involved interviewing two of your friends about selected verses from the Qur’an. There were three sets of verses, but you only had to select one. You had to interview your friend about their interpretation of the verses, how they came to their understandings, whether or not the verses were fair etc… You had to do these during your own time.

Part 2 is the actual write up which you will be handing in. You have to write up your reflections on the interview results, along with your own reflections on the verses into 500 words. You had to write about firstly how you and your friends interpreted the verses, then the differences and similarities between you and your friend’s views and how these may have come about. This isn’t a formal essay so you were allowed to write in the first person. I found it really hard to fit all my reflections into 500 words (even though there was a 20% margin) and I had to leave out a lot of details. Try not to go into too much depth with the interpretations, try to point out the major themes of your selected verses and leave the minor ones alone (or give them a brief mention).

2,000-word major essay due in the examination period (50%):
This can take a while to do, so I suggest that you start early! For this essay, you are given a choice of 6 questions. Alternatively, you can make up your own question and have it approved by your tutor. I would highly suggest choosing a topic early in the semester. That way you can research your topic and get your resources so that you are set to write up your essay.

From the subject guide: The purpose of this assignment is to develop your ability to conduct independent research into a broader area of study regarding the Qur’an and its interpretation, to engage critically with scholarly arguments in the field, and to present an argument in clear, coherent, written English.

Try writing out an outline before you start and e-mail it to your tutor. The tutor is really helpful in helping you come up with ideas and suggesting resources. By having an outline, it will ensure that your essay is focussed around the question and will ensure that you do not deviate off topic.

The examiner is not looking for a simple yes/no answer, but rather wants to see that you can engage in some of the scholarly debate regarding the Qur’an. Keeping this in mind, try to keep your essay neutral. It is somewhat like the journal exercise in that you can compare and contrast views. Remember, when you cite a scholar and his views, you have to discuss it and question it not just simply state it. Try to avoid generalisations and simple descriptions. Also, make sure you have a fair few sources.

In terms of the marking criteria:
-20 % is for research and referencing, so make sure you know how to reference. Make sure you are consistent with your referencing, don’t switch between styles half way through your essay because you thought the Harvard system was easier…

-30 % is for structure and expression, which is why I emphasize doing an outline before you start. Also remember this is a formal academic essay, so write in clear, academic English. In terms of structure: The essay has to include an introduction which outlines the issue you are discussing and the main argument. I would highly recommend sub-heading for the body paragraphs (will help to organise your ideas better) and the conclusion should draw together your essay and synthesize the results in a clear and concise manner.

-50% is for your argument and analysis. This makes up half the mark for your essay, so put a lot of thought into your argument. Try to avoid generalisations as I’ve said before and try to explain your argument (with examples if necessary). Remember that the essay is 2,000 words, so make sure your argument can fit the word limit (you should have no problems with the word limit).

Final Comments
Overall, a well coordinated and enjoyable subject. However, a drawback of this subject is that the course co-ordinator (Abdullah Saeed) is hardly available. He has other commitments overseas. He only took half the lectures (I think) and he was really hard to contact. I e-mailed him multiple times but he didn’t respond, so if you want to talk to someone about the subject, it would have to be Rowan. Rowan was easy to contact, but at times I would have preferred to talk to Abdullah.

If you know how to write a good, argumentative essay and know how to reference, I recommend this subject (70% of the assessment is essay based). I picked this subject because it wasn't 100% essay based and the journal exercises was only 500 words (compared to 1,500 in other subjects I looked at). 

So yeah, stay on top of the assessments and this subject shouldn’t be too hard. If you have any other queries, feel free to contact me ! Goodluck :D 


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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #432 on: December 05, 2014, 07:28:09 pm »
Subject Code/Name: MGMT20001 Organisational Behaviour

Workload:  1x2hr lecture, 1x1hr tute

Assessment:  10% Individual Assignment, 30% Group Assignment, 10% Tutorial Participation, 50% 2hr Exam

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, without screen capture

Past exams available:  No, but one sample exam

Textbook Recommendation:  University compiled textbook “Organisational Behaviour” – it is quite useful to have especially for assignments but I just borrowed it from the library. If you do buy it, try textbookexchange.

Lecturer(s): Graham Sewell and Zelinna Pablo

Year & Semester of completion: 2014, Semester 2

Rating: 2 Out of 5

Content: Micro (topics relevant for small teams such as perception, motivation and conflict) and macro (organisation-based topics such as communication, culture and power) topics.

I actually found the micro topics much more interesting as they talked quite a lot about aspects of behavioural psychology but the structure of Graham’s lectures ruined it – too much wiffle waffle and new concepts seemed to jump out of nowhere. Macro, on the other hand, was very well taught by Zelinna. She uses loads of examples and diagrams to help you understand the frameworks you need to use to apply to the case studies.

Assessment: Tbh not sure if micro was intentionally unclear because they wanted us to explore the topics ourselves through the assignments. Regardless…

There was a helpful workshop that explained what was expected for the 10% individual assignment. Definitely check it out, look at the sample assignment response they give you, make sure you find lots of sources and answer what you’re being asked for and you’ll be fine. If you end up not being fine, its still… err.. fine for lack of a better word, cause you get a ton of constructive feedback. Beware APA referencing! Its quite easy to drop marks for that, sadly.

The 30% team assignment depends so much on the competency of your team – if possible, make sure you pick the same tutorial as your friends (generally 5 or 6 members in a group WITHIN the tutorial)!! I’ve heard of mean tutors who split up friends into different groups, but at least have one reliable person you know with you or else you might end up having to carry your team.

First up, don’t expect a super great mark for your team assignment. They put the assignment up like two weeks before you’ve actually finished learning the content, so don’t bother starting until then. That being said though, definitely make a timeline and set strict time limits for when shit has to be done by. Be aware of any mid-sem exams or other assignments for other subjects! You’re probably going to be in for a rough ride those last two weeks before its due… Anyway, I think the first and most important task is to draft the structure of your report. Everything else just falls into place. Send it to your tutor for feedback, then continue tweaking it as you start researching, then send it to your tutor again.

Tutorials: I didn’t find tutorials that useful, but I had a really fun tutor and it was basically a chill session. Do go for the tute marks tho – do the pre-tute work and chat with your tutor and you’ll probably get a 10/10.

Exam: Blehh. 4 questions – one based on a micro topic asking for a reflection on your experience for the group assignment, and three based on a macro topic asking you to apply frameworks to a case study that you’ve previously encountered in tutorials.

I didn’t really like exam because the questions were literally one line and super broad, eg. Using theory X analyse what went wrong at ABC Ltd, and it was basically another memorisation exercise in that you have to memorise the frameworks. Make sure you think about each combination before going into the exam because there is quite a lot of content you can potentially address, and the more you do, the higher your mark. Time is an issue though, so don’t elaborate too much.

Overall: Don’t do this if you don’t have to. There are way easier subjects to get good marks with. Please don’t torture yourself with a 30% team assignment and memorising 60% of the course for the exam. 


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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #433 on: December 05, 2014, 07:56:59 pm »
Thanks to ReganM for her reproductive physiology review, where I have stolen some parts. I thoroughly recommend that students/AN members that have considered this subject to read all of the reproductive physiology reviews posted.

Subject Code/Name: BIOL30001: Reproductive Physiology

Workload: : 36 lectures and 6 tutorials (so 4* lectures/week (happened once in the semester) or 3*lectures/week + one tutorial every now and then)

-weekly online quizzes due during the semester (35%);
-a 50 minute mid-semester test in week 6 (10%);
-a literature review test held approx. 2/3 weeks after the mid semester test (15%);
-a 2-hour written examination in the examination period (40%)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available:  No. Sample exam only with a few practice questions. They would go through the questions in a tutorial.

Textbook Recommendation
:  Don't need it. Lecturers never once referred to a textbook in the semester.

Lecturer(s): Geoff Shaw, Mark Green, and many guest lecturers.

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2, 2014

:  2/5

Your Mark/Grade: H1


Personally, I tend to choose subjects based on two reasons; 1) I think the subject will be of interest to me and/or 2) The assessment doesn't appear too daunting. Though, during reproductive physiology I only gained some interest in the subject at about week 10 (due to the lecture content being delivered at that time) and the assessment for the most part was quite difficult relative to my other subjects. Thus, most of the time I found reproductive physiology to be more of a "chore".

This subject is 80-90% ROTE learning, plain and simple. The title + the assessment format make this subject appear significantly easier than it actually is.


I thought that each lecture had SO much packed into one hour. Most lectures felt like they had 1.5-2 hours worth of content. As a consequence, I lectopia'd most (approx 75%) of these lectures as I simply couldn't keep up in class. Once I started listening via Echo360 I felt a little less lost with everything.

The lecturers themselves, i'd say average-good. Not exceptional but certainly not terrible at all. I do appreciate how the lectures consisted of very newly publicised scientific research, especially with regards to the material that the guest lecturers delivered. As ReganM also stated, Mark & Geoff were very prompt with replying to emails and were very active contributors on the discussion board.

I think towards the end of semester you can kind of tease out what the most important concepts are in the subject. Any specific parts of lectures that I thought to myself "how on earth can this be examinable???" in the final exam or MST was generally not examined.

Lecture topics:

Lecture 1 Introduction
Lecture 2 Female tract and ovaries
Lecture 3 Endocrinology of the ovary
Lecture 4 Male tracts and testis
Lecture 5 Spermatogenesis and testis endocrinology
Lecture 6 Hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal axis 1
Lecture 7 Puberty
Lecture 8 Seasonal Breeding
Lecture 9 Menopause
Lecture 10 Marsupial Reproduction
Lecture 11 Fertilisation
Lecture 12 Early embryo development
Lecture 13 ART and IVF
Lecture 14 Implantation
Lecture 15 Maternal Recognition of Pregnancy
Lecture 16 Placentation
Lecture 17 Parturition
       Mid Semester test
Lecture 18 Lactation
Lecture 19 Breast and Breastfeeding
Lecture 20 Germ Cells
Lecture 21 Sexual Differentiation
Lecture 22 Diseases and Disorders-Human sexual differentiation
Lecture 23 Diseases and Disorders-Non-human sexual differentiation
Lecture 24 DOHaD
Lecture 25 Reproduction and Environmental Disruptors
Lecture 26 Epigenetics in human health and disease
        Non-teaching week
Lecture 27 Manipulating domestic animal reproduction 1
Lecture 28 Manipulating domestic animal reproduction 2
Lecture 29 Stem and iPS cells
Lecture 30 Diseases and Disorders 2 Ovarian
Lecture 31 Diseases and Disorders 3 Uterine
Lecture 32 Diseases and Disorders 4 Pregnancy
Lecture 33 Diseases and Disorders 5 Male infertility
        Tute- Exam details
Lecture 34 Diseases and Disorders 6 HIV/AIDS
Lecture 35 Human Population Growth


All in all, I didn't gain much at all with regards to attending the tutorials. I would generally feel lost at how some (probably rare) students seemed to pick up concepts so easily.

The tutes are made up of students asking questions for clarification to Mark and Geoff about specific parts of lectures. They would refer to lecture notes slides and paraphrase what had been said in lectures or draw some diagrams.

I probably went to 2 or so tutorials out of those provided, they certainly aren't essential for attending/listening to on ECHO360 in order to do well in the subject. I'd much prefer if the tutes had consisted of 50-60% set questions of a worksheet followed by some questions asked by the students later on.


(i) Quizzes

I actually found the online quizzes "ok". They were definitely harder than what I had expected but they were manageable enough. Much of the time, the questions ask about a certain statistic where you can directly refer to lecture notes and grab the answer. However, some of the time they might have asked about lecture content that wasn't actually stated in the lecture notes but said by the lecturers themselves.

In order to well in these quizzes, i'd say to follow these rules:

1)Type as much as possible from the lectures onto MICROSOFT WORD. That way, if you can't find an answer to a specific question on the lecture pdf files you can directly command + f or control +f to find the answer on the microsoft word file (provided spellcheck is working). Open up all microsoft word files for the assessable lectures assigned for each quiz.

2)Open up all PDF lecture files on your computer that have been downloaded from the LMS directly. Again, command +f or control +f these lecture files to find a specific answer to quiz questions that might ask something like "what is the % of blah who suffer from blah?"

3)Not needed but I found this to be time-effective. If you have access to two laptops, use one to open up the quiz + lecture files from the LMS (can therefore use multiple internet tabs for both of these) and another laptop to open up all your microsoft word files.

I found the content that was being tested in the MST to be fair. However, the marking in this subject is very strict. The class average was something like 55%, therefore I was exceptionally grateful for receiving a higher mark.

The MST consisted of your standard a,b,c,d MCQ questions, a diagram that you had to label (therefore study lecture diagrams that don't seem to be exceptionally difficult e.g. studying the women's reproductive tract diagram as opposed to diagrams about stem cells), and short answer questions where you are asked to define or write what you know about a term. The terms given to us that we had to define were more broad than specific so that we could write as much as possible for them. So, my tips for answering the define a term questions is write whatever you can for them, whilst staying within the time constraints.

If the test were all MCQs, I think the class average would have been higher.

(III) Literature Review Test

The lit review test was the bane of this subject. This was the first year that they changed the lit review from an assignment format (i.e. doing at home by yourself) to a test, and I have no idea why. The reasoning was that it would be easier for students, though I found it to be the exact opposite.

For the lit review "you are given a paper and you have to do your own research into the topic that the paper covers". The lecturers put up 3 lit review papers that you could choose to study on the LMS, but there could only be 100 students in each topic. So choose your lit review topic as soon as they are uploaded onto the LMS so that you don't get forced into a topic that you don't like.

ReganM's review of the lit review test covers the format of it well, so I won't repeat it. Again, the class average for the lit review test was exceptionally low at about 55%. It was a very ambiguous form of assessment and it's hard to NOT run out of time in the test.

(IV) End of semester Exam

It was that time of year again where it was time to study for exams. By now I was freaking out, because my average in the semester for 60% of the subject was borderline H2B/A.  This meant that I had to score 85%+ on the exam in order to H1 the subject overall. As a consequence, I studied like there was no tomorrow for the exam and there was SO much content to look over.

For preparation, I memorised everything I could from the lectures and pretty much disregarded the tutorials, as I found that in the tutes we were just repeating what had been said in lectures. Additionally, I answered around 80% of the long answer questions that were provided for some of the lectures during the semester. I'd also recommend going through the online quizzes (YES- screenshot each question in the online quiz) and practicing the sample practice questions provided for the MST and exam.

The 2hr exam format was again the a,b,c,d mcq questions and define the term questions, identical to that of the MST. Also, you had to choose 2 out of 6 long answer (essay type) questions. You'll find that the sample long answer questions are much harder than those in the actual exam. The sample long answer qs seem as if you'll need to draw material from 5-6 lectures to answer each question. However, the long answer qs in the exam only required you to draw material from 1-2 lectures in each question.

Overall, I found the exam very fair if you had studied appropriately. I wasn't pressed for time as I initially thought, because you could answer around 80% of the MCQ questions during reading time + look over the long essay topics. The recommended time for you to answer the long essay questions (2 of them) was 30 minutes (15 mins each). Though, I found I needed around 30 minutes for 1 question alone to write all that I could. So, definitely answer as many mcq questions during reading time to compensate.

So, to quote ReganM and leave a final point about this subject "Interesting content, hard to succeed in. If you're looking for an easy subject to get good marks in to contribute to a high GPA, STAY AWAY"
« Last Edit: December 05, 2014, 08:00:00 pm by Starlight »
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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #434 on: December 08, 2014, 09:53:06 pm »
Subject Code/Name: BIOL10003: Genes and Environment

Contact Hours: 3 x 1hr lectures, 1hr of tutorials or workshops (alternates), 2hr practical each fortnight

Midsem - 10%
Pracs - 5 x 5% ; of which 1% preprac test, 2% in prac, 2% postprac test
Assignment - 10%
Independent Learning Tasks - 5 x 1%
3 hour Exam - 50%.

Pracs are a hurdle requirement, needing 80% attendance and marks of at least 50%

Lectopia Enabled?: Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available?: One extended sample exam (it has more questions than the real exam) given out at the end of the semester, with solutions.

Textbook Recommendation: D Sadava, D M Hillis, H G Heller, M R Berenbaum, Life. 10th Ed. Sinaver/Freeman, 2013

As mentioned, the textbook was not as useful as it was in semester 1. 

As in first semester, the practical/tutorial/workshop workbook is essential for prac/tute/ILT information

Dr Alex Idnurm (Botany): Lectures 1-6 - Classification and Parasite Taxa
Assoc Prof Rob Day (Zoology): Lectures 7-14 - Disease and Transmission, Evolution of Resistance, Hominin Evolution
Assoc Prof Dawn Gleeson (Genetics): Lectures 15-36 - Genetics

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2 2014

Rating: 3.5/5

Your Mark/Grade: H2A

Similar to Sem 1's BIOL10002, the 3 x 8AM lectures presented one of the major difficulties with this subject.
Little of the lecture content is especially difficult, the trouble comes primarily from the quantity of material covered.
With the first two weeks (delivered by lecturing debutant Dr Alex Idnurm) covering a huge variety of animal taxa, from very early on it is difficult to know quite how much detail is necessary in your understanding/recall (one lecture had 9 slides about cladograms!)
I found the lecture slides from this section very thorough, although it could probably all be distilled onto a single page summary. This content was primarily assessed on the MST, with only 20 marks out of 180 on the exam relating to this portion. However, as I'll mention later, the skew to this subject's assessment was especially notable when 15 of those 20 marks for this section came in a single (fill-in-the-blanks) exam question.

The next area of the course, covering ecology and parasites with Assoc Prof Rob Day, was even more content heavy. As Stick mentioned in his review of this subject, there hardly seems to be much in these lectures and then suddenly you have to know (how to regurgitate) an enormous amount of information.
I actually found his first lecture absolutely fascinating, about the history of disease and biosecurity, but after that it was just a lot of specific, detailed rote-learning about parasites and their lifestyles.

After those first five weeks, it's on to Dawn and genetics for the remainder of semester. You quickly appreciate that she is a very experienced lecturer, with extremely thorough powerpoint slides covering a wide range of material. I think this was about the first time this year that Biology tested a concept rather than specific pieces of information, which was great news for some students and perhaps less so for others. The main concern here is that the problem-solving skills required for this section of the course are difficult to teach, especially so in lecture format, so attendance at tutorials/workshops is particularly useful at this time.

Those tutes/workshops occur each week. If you have a prac, a tute will happen, and with only about 20 students this is an opportunity to ask your tutor specific questions.
Workshops are arguably less useful, as having ~100 students means that little student/tutor interaction is possible, and it is really more of a time to complete the booklet questions. However, I found discussing the questions with the other students present a valuable way of learning and revising. Generally only the more driven students are there, so they are perhaps more likely to have (correct!) answers to your questions.

The pracs were largely enjoyable and a nice opportunity to revise lecture content in another format. Often several activities/procedures are occurring at once during the prac, so it's definitely worth looking over the format of the prac before getting in there. (That said, I found a 5 minute skim-through to be absolutely sufficient.) Make sure you remember to complete preprac and postprac tests - they make up 15% of your overall grade!

The written assignment was quite poorly done by this cohort.
It comprised of two sections: eFly and database searching.
Precision and correct notation were crucial for the eFly component, with marks deducted for explanations that were too long-winded, incorrect layout of answers, lack of key terms, poor font choice and a whole lot of other minor errors. I felt like the department were really looking for reasons to take away marks here.
Fortunately though, the database searching portion was fairly straightforward.

The MST was all multi-choice and is the major source of assessment for Dr Idnurm's and Day's lectures. As such, there were a lot of very particular bits of 'knowledge' tested. It is valuable though as a revision exercise for these sections of the course.

ILTs are effectively a free 5%. Just remember when they're due and get them done beforehand.

Finally, a 50% exam is a nice way to end the subject. Not worth too much, nor too little, it is clearly set out - as in, we knew how many questions from each lecturer in each section - and in that sense is quite predictable.
Because a lot of this content is straight factual-recall, there is not much reason for time to be an issue.
However, people always manage to be rushed.
The extended responses (3 x 10mark questions) need to be done quickly. This means practicing calculations from three-point test crosses and practicing writing sentences as explanations.
Some of the multi-choice are problem solving, but not any sort of problem never seen before.
For the rest of it, just hope that what you know is what gets examined as there are few clues in the questions. Unfortunately, this was not the case for me.

This peremptory manner of assessment is my major frustration with this subject.
It is not unreasonable for biology, amongst other disciplines, to test particular pieces of knowledge; however, it would be great if that knowledge tested could be part of the major themes or concepts.
In that sense, having basically a single question on the exam to test all of Dr Idnurm's content is ridiculous. Moreover, Rob Day devoted an entire 8 mark question on the exam to stuff from a single lecture slide, as well as most of his multi-choice questions to single sentences about minor details.
Contrastingly, I felt that the assessment for genetics/Dawn's section was indeed focussed on those major ideas and resultantly far more reasonable.

In the future, I hope that the exam - at least the rest apart from Section A's multi-choice - focusses more on key concepts rather than specifics.
Prac assessment is similarly haphazard, sometimes evaluating three particular questions (out of, say, a dozen) while ignoring the rest of inprac assessment.
Equally, a 'model layout' of the assignment would be of great benefit - maybe not having this is a deliberate move, in an effort to separate students?
The ILTs are, as I mentioned, free marks and could easily be testing lecture content under timed conditions rather than non-related material without time constraints.

Overall, the vast amount of information covered in this semester ensures that each student will (hopefully!) find something of particular interest. The subject is generally seen as somewhat more difficult, probably due to the trouble of rote-learning very dry content. However, the problem solving aspect to genetics is a very welcome change for most, and by the end of semester you will appreciate the way that first year maths/stats/bio come together ready for the integrated nature of second year Biomed.
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