Login | Register

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

August 16, 2020, 05:02:39 am

Author Topic: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings  (Read 1207267 times)  Share 

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


  • Victorian
  • ATAR Notes Superstar
  • ******
  • Posts: 2955
  • Respect: +275
Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #435 on: January 02, 2015, 01:19:13 pm »
Subject Code/Name: OPTO30007: Visual Neuroscience

Workload: 1*3 hr lectures/week


-2 * 30 minute mid semester tests (15% each, one mid and one late semester)

-1* 3 hr written examination (70%)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes (albeit with some reluctance), one of the lecturers was rather disappointed at the rather low lecture attendance (as such the first tutorial wasn’t recorded). Many of the recordings had errors (relatively inaudible) but I’m pretty sure this was just due to faulty recording equipment in one of the lecture theatres.

Textbook Recommendation:
  Handbook states E R Kandel, J H Schwartz, T M Jessell, Principles of Neural Science, 4th Ed., McGraw-Hill, 2000 (I never needed to use it)

I don’t think you need it but there were some lecture topics (namely Light adaptation, dark adaptation, disorders of eye movements) where I felt that I needed to do wider reading via the internet or refer to my first year “Vision: How the Eye Sees the World” subject textbook “Visual Perception: A Clinical Orientation” (4th ed. Steven H Schwartz). Borrow that book if you have a chance when those lecture topics are running, otherwise the internet will suffice.

Lecturer(s): -

Year & Semester of completion: 2014 Semester 2

Rating: 3.8-4 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1


I’d say this is a subject where students should enrol if they are actively interested in/want to advance their knowledge of the visual system of the eyes and brain. It’s a major plus if you have taken any subjects in the past that has dealt strongly with vision (Although taking one of the two subjects is a prerequisite, I think that principles of neuroscience and neurophysiology don’t give you enough background about visual neuroscience’s subject content). It can be difficult to wrap your head around much of the lecture content as it’s presented at an intermediate level rather than at a beginners level.


Provided the ordering of lecture material hasn’t changed, the subject starts off with general anatomy/structure of the eye (e.g. cornea, lens, vitreous humour). It then takes you into a detailed look into the retina (5 lectures were devoted to it), you look at layers of the retina (knowing what each of the layers do) e.g. functions of amacrine cells vs. ganglion cells vs. bipolar cells vs. horizontal cells vs. photoreceptors. Then there were 4 or so lectures devoted to the visual cortex looking at cell types (e.g. neurons that only fire if motion is presented to the eye or neurons that only fire if an object of vertical orientation is presented to the eye) and functional architecture.

You then look at object, motion and depth recognition. Visual attention, visual development & amblyopia is next, followed by plasticity (critical periods) & learning of the visual system. Larry Abel talk to you about the functions/structure of superior colliculus & pulvinar (don’t think the pulvinar was that important to know), balance systems of the eyes and ear and how they work together, eye movements (types, terminology) and eye movement disorders (e.g. nystagmus- the different types, their waveforms (not much detail goes into knowing the different waveforms). You look at light and dark adaptation (how the visual system adjusts to light vs. dark environments).

There are some lectures as well on visual prosthesis (the bionic eye) and also about 5/6 lectures I didn’t mention as the material is a little complex to explain. Many of the lectures are heavily focussed on very up-to-date research that the department of optometry & vision sciences has conducted.

Tutorials (Only two in the semester)

IIRC, the first tutorial was held before the first test. It wasn’t recorded on lectopia. It had about 30 or so questions listed where the class/lecturer would discuss. Probably half of the questions were directly from lecture material but the others required more abstract thinking. Attend the tutes if you have a chance.

The second was the last class held for the semester. Just your usual end of semester review kind of thing.  Use the tutes to ask questions about questions in the mid semester test you didn’t know the answer to and they will tell you the answer.

Mid sem Tests

Two tests with about 30 MCQ questions in each. According to the class averages, the first test was much easier than the second. There was a 77% average for the first test and although they didn’t state it, I’m guessing a H2B average for the second.

Personally, I performed better in the second test just because I was more disciplined in my study. The first test IMO examines your broader knowledge of the lectures and the second one is much more specific (and IMO just dealt with more difficult concepts).
With each test, they will inform you of the topics that were the most difficult for students to answer. It’s important you find out the answers to those corresponding questions or other ones that you couldn’t answer in the MSTs either through tutorials or email correspondence with the specific lecturers.


I’d be lying if I said this wasn’t a big exam. This was the structure “Section A will consist of 60 Multiple Choice questions, each worth 1 mark. You should allow 1 hour for this.

Section B will consist of Long Answer questions. You should answer any TWO of three questions. Each question is worth 30 marks and you should allow approximately 30 minutes for each answer. Answers of Section B should be in a SEPARATE booklet of its own.

Section C will consist of Short Answer questions.  You should answer any SIX of nine questions.  Each question is worth 10 marks and you should allow approximately 10 minutes for each answer.”

If you don’t answer as many questions as you can during reading time for Section A then you will be pressed for time for the whole exam. I left 6 or so MCQ questions to answer for later in the exam that I never answered as I spent lots of time in Section C. In Section B I answered one of the extended questions with no where near as much detail as I would have liked to go into.

Section A was probably the most simple.

Section B was testing your broad knowledge of a few topics in the semester (it’s fair if you have given yourself enough time to answer the questions). You can go into HEAPS of detail in many of these questions.

Section C was probably the most difficult, testing quite specific knowledge about many lecture topics. Try to avoid taking lots of time to decide which 6 questions you will answer. They almost felt like extended response questions.

Unfortunately, for semester 2 this year staff only gave practice/sample questions to work through only about a week before the final exam, so it was a little late notice. It might be good to practice your timing with some of those sample questions in preparation for the final exam.

I’d say this is a subject that’s probably one of the more difficult ones to achieve a H1 in (e.g. you don’t have the joy of fill in the blank/all mcq questions that you’ll find in principles of neuroscience or neurophysiology).  Definitely take this subject if you’re dead set on pursuing graduate studies that look further on at the visual system (e.g. masters in vision science).
« Last Edit: January 04, 2015, 09:45:18 pm by Starlight »
2012-2014. BSc: Neuroscience. University of Melbourne.
2015-2018. Doctor of Optometry. University of Melbourne.

Unlikely to respond to any PMs these days.


  • Victorian
  • ATAR Notes Superstar
  • ******
  • Posts: 2955
  • Respect: +275
Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #436 on: January 06, 2015, 11:06:52 am »
Subject Code/Name: NEUR30003: Principles of Neuroscience 

Workload:  3 lectures per week

Assessment: Midsemester test worth 30%. Exam worth 70%

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with capture.

Past exams available:  I couldn't find any on the past exam files through the library's digital repository. Practice questions are provided each week during the semester.

Textbook Recommendation: Handbook states Purves et al. Neuroscience 5th edition, 2012 Sinauer. This is a subject where you definitely do not need a textbook to supplement. I don't think I ever ventured outside the lecture material/recordings to find additional information.

80% taken by Peter Kitchener. Rest is various lecturers.

Year & Semester of completion
: 2014 - Semester 1

Rating: 4.7/5

Your Mark/Grade: H1


I thought this subject was for the most part, incredibly well taught. It's probably one of the easier level 3 subjects if you put in the expected amount of work.


Topics Covered
1. Introduction/ history of the nervous system
2. What should a nervous system do? (neurophysiology: Movement of ions, AP transmission)
3. Where is the nervous system? (brain anatomy)
4. Development of the nervous system (embryology, like in second yr anatomy)
5. Nervous system: Injury and repair (in the CNS Vs. PNS)
6. Vision 1: The Retina
7. Vision 2: Central processing of vision
8. Touch (processing of, types of mechanoreceptors and their location)
9. Auditory system (how we hear; processing of hearing)
10. Gustation & Olfaction. Taste and smell
11. Neural Control of Digestion
12. The lower motor neuron/ alpha motor neuron (connections between spinal cord and muscles)
13. The upper motor neuron (connections between brain and spinal cord)
14. Modulation of movement: Cerebellum and basal ganglia (brain centres modulating the upper motor neurons e.g. how the basal ganglia and cerebellum modulate the motor cortex)
15. Language (distribution of language in the brain, evolution of language)
16. Autonomic nervous system
17. Homeostasis (e.g. of water balance, body weight)
18. Pain (processing of)
19. Learning & Memory
20. Molecular mechanisms of memory (storage of)
21. Studying neuronal function (how are things measured at the neuronal level e.g. number of action potential spikes)
22. How do we study the brain
23. The evolution of the human brain
24. Fear
25. Motivation & reward
26. Disorders of the nervous system/ mental disorders (e.g. schizophrenia, depression)
27. Disorders of the nervous system part 2, critical periods
28. Social Cognition
29 More cognition (calculation, estimation, prediction, planning)
30. Disorders of thought and mood
31. Drugs (alcohol, cocaine, opiates, heroin etc.; their neural mechanisms)
32. Consciousness (theories of etc.)

Lectures give you a broad insight about the neural mechanisms of how our body's different sensory and motor systems work (vision, touch, hearing, memory etc. etc.), how the nervous system is studied/measured at the neuronal and brain level, various disorders of the nervous system/what can go wrong with and without drugs etc. It really expands your knowledge about many of the processes that the body goes through each day.

With peter kitchener's material, lecture slides mainly consist of pictures. For the most part, it's what he SAYS that you need to pay attention to/ is assessable. Other lecturers had more text included in their lecture notes.

Mid Semester Test

If 2015 is the same, then the mid sem test will be held the week after the non teaching week period, so you can devote an incredible amount of study to the test. For preparation just memorize and understand the lecture material and over the semester practice with the sample questions they give you. The assessments through the year only consist of MCQ questions and extended MCQ/fill in the blanks. I prefer these kinds of questions because I find that they tend to trigger your memory about the coursework, rather than having writers block in answering large essay type/extend response written questions.

I expect that most students found the MST harder than the exam. For a few of the questions, it seemed the staff were examining us on concepts that were less emphasised (and also quite specific) during lectures. Just try your best to get a broad understanding of everything and memorize stuff that is presented in tables etc, try not to predict what lecture material will be tested and in turn neglect concepts that could very well be in the mid sem test.


Thought this was very fair, it rewarded the students who put in the effort to study hard. Most of the questions (around 80%) I found examined your understanding of lecture content. However, there were a few questions that did examine material that just had to be ROTE learned.

PM me over the summer for any questions (but I won't be sending lecture slides/notes, you don't need to pre-study).
« Last Edit: January 06, 2015, 11:11:40 am by Starlight »
2012-2014. BSc: Neuroscience. University of Melbourne.
2015-2018. Doctor of Optometry. University of Melbourne.

Unlikely to respond to any PMs these days.


  • Victorian
  • Trailblazer
  • *
  • Posts: 42
  • Respect: +5
  • School Grad Year: 2012
Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #437 on: January 17, 2015, 02:34:23 am »
Subject Code/Name:  FNCE20001 Business Finance 

Workload: 2 one hour lectures and a one hour tutorial per week

Assessment:  2 multiple choice assignments (7.5% each);  midsemester exam (25%) and a two hour final exam (60%)

Lectopia Enabled:  No. It was available during semester 1, however. Slides are very detailed so lectures aren’t *necessary* for a good mark for a capable student.

Past exams available:  No, although there was 2 (or maybe 3?) sample exams provided. This is consistent throughout both semesters, and summer, as far as I’m aware.

Textbook Recommendation:  The prescribed textbook is Business Finance (G Peirson, R Brown, S Easton, P Howard and S Pinder), McGraw-Hill, (11th edn), 2012. I’ve been told that this is also that textbook used for corporate finance in third year, so if you intend on completing that as well it may be worth picking up a copy. I bought a copy of it for busfi and barely used it.

Lecturer(s): Sturla Fjesme (first half) and Vincent Gregoire (second)

Year & Semester of completion: 2014, semester 2

Rating:  3 of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1

Personally, I did not like this subject. I’m sure that many others do, but I found the content to be boring, not overly challenging (at least compared to some maths subjects I’ve taken – though this is a bonus for some!) and felt that the style content was presented in left something to be desired. It did, however, serve as a good introduction to investments and corporate finance, and covered quite a bit of content in these two areas.

The subject is split into two halves; the first 6 weeks focuses on investments, while the second half of semester looks at corporate finance.
For the investments side of things, you start off with some basic financial maths (types of interest, debt vs equity, etc) and then spend a few weeks discussing some theories/models for pricing assets and portfolios. The two covered in more depth in this section would be modern portfolio theory and CAPM, but you do look quickly at some others like the principle of no arbitrage. If you come from a maths/hard science background then you would most likely find this to be very straightforward. The concepts are definitely far easier than first year maths/chem/physics/etc. On the other hand, if you haven’t really done any finance before a lot of it may seem to be quite new and different and it may take a little while to get used to.
These lectures would typically involve stating some formulas/theories and then doing a few practice problems. There wasn’t that much in the way of really deriving (or proving) anything, although it is an introduction so I guess that’s somewhat to be expected. I quite disliked this approach and prefer the more rigorous approach of the actuarial stream of financial mathematics but that’s just a personal thing. I’m probably more in the minority for that haha. Aside from that (which persisted through the whole course, not just investments), I didn’t have any issues with either of the lectures, not that they can really be blamed for the structure of the course. Actually that’s not quite true – they didn’t record lectures, which isn’t nice when some of us live a long way from uni. Thankfully the slides were detailed and you didn’t have to attend a lecture if you were willing to sit down and go through the slides afterwards. You get all the formulas on a formula sheet for both the midsem and final.

The corporate finance section is a lot more theory based, and in general you analyse broadly a firms financial policies - investment decisions, capital structure, whether or not dividends are paid, etc.
You start off this by looking at a few methods for comparing projects – with the big two probably being NPV and internal rate of return. These four or so lectures are more mathematical, along the lines of the first 6 weeks. The remaining portion of corporate finance is much more theoretical, and you deal a lot with Modigliani/Miller analysis when looking at capital structure and dividend policy. Finally, the last week covers some derivatives. So you look at futures/forwards and options and how you can use them for hedging.

I didn’t go to tutorials as I didn’t find them necessary. My tutor was actually very good though and explained things well, gave some background information, etc. But still you went along to watch someone go through problems for an hour. In my opinion, you’re better off doing them by yourself. The solutions were uploaded so you could check the answers if you had trouble, or you could attend a pit-stop tutorial if need be. Although I feel obliged to note that I don’t normally attend tutorials – I only go to tutorials for maths (because you get to write on the whiteboards! And you actually work with a small group of friends) and the compulsory commerce ones.

For assessment, there were some multiple choice assignments and it wasn’t uncommon for students to get full marks or close to it on both of these (they were only worth 15% in total).
The mid semester exam was probably a shock to most people, I think the average was something like 14/20, although considering it was multi-choice I’m not sure if that should be considered bad or good haha (I think midsems are generally easier than finals? That may just be me though). The hardest thing about it would definitely have been the theory, especially when you get those multiple choice questions that are so very close but have slight differences and you have to discern which of them is correct, or perhaps if more than one/none are correct. To do very well in this, you actually have to know all the content very well, rather than just being able to “do the maths”. Unfortunately, one or two of the questions were drawn from something that was quite obscure, as in just a passing note in a lecture. If you know the content well though, it was certainly quite doable. 
The final also had a large portion of theory on it, probably something like 50/50. I think ours had a bit more maths than previous semesters though. Again, you need to know the content very well - know why the theories work and what they rely on, etc. The exam focuses on the second half of semester more; the first quarter or so was drawn from the first six weeks and was all multiple choice - similar to the midsem - while the rest of the exam was more of an extended response, where you had to analyse some projects (more maths) or apply theories (expect to write quite a bit). We were told that only the second six weeks of the course would be in the extended response, but believe it or not, the first extended response question came from the first 6 weeks. So make sure you revise the whole course!

Of all the second year units I have taken, I would definitely have to say that I found business finance was the easiest (potentially aside from organisational behaviour which can be a bit of a mixed bag :P). Having taken a couple of semesters of financial maths and being quite mathematically minded I found it quite straightforward and boring. Going back a long way now, I think the maths problems are generally easier than maths methods ones if that helps. In general, if you’re good at maths and have a good memory then it shouldn’t be very hard to get a H1, provided you’re willing to do all the tutorial questions, memorise all the lectures, etc. I think our semester there were 5% of people that got above 85, but in first semester there were 10%. That said, a lot of students take the course (800 ish in 2014 sem2).
If you struggle with maths, then it will probably take a bit of effort to get a H1, but if you are diligent in doing the tutorial problems, redoing lecture examples, and ensuring you understand the content well, then it is certainly doable. If you took the accounting/maths pathway instead of finance 1 then it may appear a bit confronting at first, though it should come together quite quickly and the accounting subject may help you make more sense of the second half of the semester. Some of my friends found busfi to be quite hard, so perhaps it’s best to just take my advice with a grain of salt, or maybe they decided not to memorise all the theory aspects in the course, which certainly would hurt a bit.

I’m probably a little bit harsh on the subject, I'm a bit biased towards maths and economics I'd say. Overall the subject probably covered too much content to be able to go into the depth that I would’ve liked. It is however, an introduction to finance, so I guess it serves its purpose in that regard and you get into some more complicated stuff in third year and beyond. As a closing note let me stress that you should be prepared to explain things, and not just “do the maths”, even in the investments side – eg give the assumptions of a particular formula, or how a parameter is estimated in practice. If you want to do well you need to know all the content well.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2015, 11:20:06 pm by Amity »
2013-2015/16: Commerce (Actuarial Studies) @ The University of Melbourne


  • Victorian
  • Fresh Poster
  • *
  • Posts: 1
  • Respect: 0
  • School: University of Melbourne
Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #438 on: January 18, 2015, 11:54:52 am »
Subject Code/Name: PSYC20007 Cognitive Psychology

Workload: 1h tute + 2x1h lectures per week

1500-2000 word Lab report (40%) due mid-semester. You do the experiment, go over the results and stats, and make the graphs in the tute.
2 hour exam (50%), multiple choice. No tricks if you've studied the material.
Group presentation (5%) and individual 500w paper (5%) on a topic of interest such as Artificial Intelligence or Language and Cognition.
Online quizzes as hurdle requirement.

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with slides.

Past exams available:  No. The lectures and the tute notes are what you need to study.

Textbook Recommendation:  The book prescribed is online for background reading. It's not on the exam and I wouldn't recommend it.

Lecturer(s): Good. Pretty interesting and the lecturers are nice and clear. Even the stats was less dry than other psych subjects.

Year & Semester of completion: 2013

Rating:  5/5

Your Mark/Grade: H1

Comments: This is an interesting subject, especially for those with a more mechanical way of thinking. There is an emphasis on language in cognition. The lecturers and tutors are really, really lovely (go with Geoff if you can), and will definitely engage with any questions you might have. It's not a terribly hard subject, but I don't think it would grab everybody's interest.


  • Victorian
  • Trailblazer
  • *
  • Posts: 42
  • Respect: +5
  • School Grad Year: 2012
Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #439 on: January 19, 2015, 07:25:28 pm »
Subject Code/Name: ACTL20001 Financial Mathematics I (FM1)

Workload: two 1-hour lectures, one 1-hour tutorial per week

Assessment:  2 excel assignments (10% each), midsemester exam (10%), final exam (70%)

Lectopia Enabled:  No.

Past exams available: No.  One sample was provided.

Textbook Recommendation:  Compound Interest and its Applications. The textbook is published by the university and is available in the co-op bookshop for a small (~$20) cost.

Lecturer(s): Zhou Jin

Year & Semester of completion: 2014, semester 1

Rating:  4 of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1

Comments: The content in this subject was not very challenging, and consequently, it was a rather boring (for which I have taken off a point) and easy subject, though potentially not incredibly easy to score high in. The main “problem” (though some would disagree) is that all of the content in ACTL90001 Mathematics of Finance 1 is spread across FM1 and FM2 in undergrad, and FM2 contains the more interesting content. This means that the pace of content is incredibly slow, and it became pointless to attend lectures as you could learn the content faster on your own at home – which I and quite a few of my friends did. Fortunately the textbook is very good and the subject follows the textbook very closely.
The subject starts with an introduction to interest (effective, simple, rates of discount, nominal, force of interest, accumulation factors, force of interest, etc, if those words mean anything to you) which doesn’t take very long.
You then spend quite a while deriving a lot of different types of annuities, not just the ordinary ones you saw in an Introduction to Actuarial Studies - you see increasing and decreasing annuities, with potentially multiple or continuous payments per period. You may also get asked to derive a closed-form formula of some annuity that is described to you in words, and so it is a good idea to focus on the methods of which these annuities are derived. Whether you decide to actually remember derivations for formulas done in lectures (and quite a bit of time is spent on this, or so I assume because I never went) is up to you, and perhaps what your lecturer hints at. You also need to memorise all the formulas (of which there are quite a lot) and become adept at solving problems quickly – the problems in the textbook are great in addition to the tutorial problems. You should do them all.
The next major section of the course focuses on project analysis – so ways of measuring the (typically projected) performance and comparing projects. Of course, you use the NPV and IRR methods (a little while is spent on some theory behind equations of value, as well, which are used to solve for IRRs). There’s a few other things like payback period, discounted payback period, and a couple of others that escape my memory now.
Finally, there is a little bit of time spent on some background to financial markets and how they operate, as well as a little theory on derivative securities and other investment options.

The two assignments weren’t too difficult and we did them in small groups. Most students got 10/10 for both assignments. The midsemester exam was also quite easy, and consistent of mostly basic problems. I think the class average was 16-7/20.

The final exam was long and difficult – far harder than the content in this subject, and it was this that really separated the students, especially as we were expecting (rightly or wrongly) an easy exam based on what we had been told by previous students. This couldn’t have been further from the truth and it probably remains the hardest exam I’ve sat at university to date. Our results were significantly scaled up, and considering that the centre for actuarial studies states that marks are not standardised to fit a specified distribution, and to quote, “if all students achieve a standard of H1, then all students will receive this grade. Likewise, in the unlikely event that no student achieved the performance required for an H1 grade, this grade would not be awarded”, I think this suggests that our exam was a little (or a lot!) harder than normal.
The meat of the exam was on project analysis, but this also incorporated other aspects of the course as well (as in, you may need to use some certain annuity to do it). There were a few free marks (eg on some theory of financial markets, or on basic questions like finding a rate of discount) that probably made up 10-15% of the exam. You needed to be quick and be able to think independently on problems that you hadn’t seen before. Of note, I think there were a few questions that were very similar (although not identical) to some tutorial questions, so it would probably be worthwhile reviewing those close to the exam. No formula sheet is provided for the exam, and there is a lot of formulas that you are expected to remember.
Of course, any of the information regarding assessment is subject to change with different lecturers.

Overall, enjoy the fact that content is not too difficult and is covered at quite a slow pace, but don’t take the subject too lightly and assume it will be a guaranteed H1. As this forms the CT1 exemption with ACTL20002 Financial mathematics 2, you should definitely try and get yourself a good mark ‘in the bag’, so to speak.
2013-2015/16: Commerce (Actuarial Studies) @ The University of Melbourne


  • Victorian
  • Trailblazer
  • *
  • Posts: 42
  • Respect: +5
  • School Grad Year: 2012
Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #440 on: January 19, 2015, 10:33:14 pm »
Subject Code/Name: ECON20001 Intermediate Macroeconomics 

Workload:  two 1-hour lectures and a 1-hour tutorial per week.

Two written assignments (requiring some computation in excel) - 12.5% each
Online multiple choice test – 5%
Tutorial participation – 10%
Final exam – 60%

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available:  Yes, around 3-4 “useful” ones, there were more but not specifically relevant to the course.

Textbook Recommendation:  Unnecessary.

Lecturer(s): Chris Edmond

Year & Semester of completion: 2014 Semester 2

Rating:  5/5

Your Mark/Grade: H1


Probably my favourite subject to date. Chris is a brilliant lecturer (although he said that he wouldn’t be teaching it in 2015 – he’s still the contact listed in the 2015 handbook). The course is quite demanding and moves through a fair amount of content, which, along with being more difficult in general, made it the hardest second year commerce subject I have taken. However, the content is interesting and is presented very well by Chris.

The course was more or less taught from scratch, but without prior knowledge from introductory macroeconomics the pace would have been terrifying. This definitely helped though in that you didn’t need to brush off your notes from a year ago at the start of the course. In general, intermediate macroeconomics took most of the things studied in first year and applied a more sophisticated model – typically a dynamic one, one that gives a “time path” of variables over a number of periods as they return (or perhaps not) to their equilibrium values. The maths involved in these seems to throw some students off as the algebra can get quite messy, however there doesn’t tend to be anything “genius” required in it – it’s just rearranging equations. If you’re fine with that then there’s nothing to worry about.

The subject starts with short-run macroeconomics, with the start looking very similar to introductory macroeconomics, before spending a few lectures putting together and applying the IS-LM model, which is basically sets of {output, interest rates} that describe equilibrium in goods and financial markets. The key difference from introductory macroeconomics being that now output varies with the interest rate. Chris likes to stress the importance of the (relative) magnitudes of the slopes of the two curves and the implications this has for fiscal and monetary policy, as well as what determines the slope – so make sure you learn this.
You then look very quickly at the labor market in a slightly more complicated way than in first year macro. Some of this pops up a little bit later in the course as well.
The next major topic is the dynamic aggregate demand/supply model, which is essentially a much harder version of the AD/AS model that you would have previously seen. It is important to be able to explain what causes each periodic readjustment, rather than just move this curve here and another curve there in order to get full marks.
The third topic is long-run macroeconomics, extending the familiar Solow (-Swan) model as well as a few smaller lectures on sources of growth and the beneficiaries of it.
Finally, you revisit the short-run the macroeconomics in the open economy.

The assignments were completed either on your own or in a group of up to three people. They were quite difficult as there was a question for a couple of marks on each assignment that was deliberately unlike anything things seen in lectures or tutorials, and required a bit of original thinking. It’s worth mentioning that you needed to use excel in order to compute things over many periods and draw some graphs, although there wasn’t anything too complicated required from excel.

The online test only tested the first 4 or so weeks of material from memory, so with a bit of study it wasn’t too difficult to score highly in this. It is only worth 5%, but it’s nice to be sitting on a good mark going into the exam.

The tutorials were compulsory and you had to attend and complete the blue sheet prior in order to get your 10% (the usual pink sheet, blue sheet method was used). Of course you were allowed to miss one or two, but the pink sheet solutions weren’t uploaded so you needed to attend to get them. Unfortunately there tended to be a lot of content on the pink sheets, so most of the tutorials felt very rushed.

The exam questions were easier than the assignments, and you only had to do two of three in each of the two extended response sections. The easier questions tended to be longer, however, and you didn’t have an awful lot of time as explaining things could often take quite a while. If you are serious about doing well, then you need to have a good grip over the whole course. This also helps with the multiple choice – if you’ve seriously studied then you can pick a few of them off quite quickly without having to work them out.

Overall, with challenging and interesting content and a great lecturer, this subject was a great experience. In addition to this, it helps with building general knowledge of how the economy works – something which is certainly worth knowing. I would definitely recommend this subject to anyone, especially those with a little bit of a mathematical bent!
2013-2015/16: Commerce (Actuarial Studies) @ The University of Melbourne


  • Victorian
  • Fresh Poster
  • *
  • Posts: 3
  • Respect: +1
  • School: University of Melboune
  • School Grad Year: 2015
Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #441 on: January 20, 2015, 11:00:14 am »
Subject Code/Name: ECOM40004/ECOM90011 Financial Econometrics

Workload: 2x 1.5 hour Lecture each week

Assessment: 1x 3000 words group (2 people) assignment (50%), 1x 2 hour Final Exam (50%)

Lectopia Enabled: No, lecture was delivered in tutorial room

Past exams available: Yes, 2012 Only

Textbook Recommendation:Analysis of Financial Time Series 2nd edition, Ruey, S Tsay, must have.

Lecturer(s): Tomasz Wozniak

Year & Semester of completion:2014 Semester 2

Rating: 5 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade:82

Comments: The subject is very time consuming if you haven't done ECOM30004/90004 Time Series Analysis and Forecasting. But the subject is interesting and the R coding part of the subject is probably the best. The group assignment is based on R and you only have 1 week and a bit to finish it, which is extremely short, definitely write the R programs before the assignment is released. I feel my assignment was not well written, but Tomasz gave everyone 90+. The final wasn't that hard if you had studied everything and did all the take home exercises from Tomasz. Overall I recommend is subject as it combines theory and practice. Also knowing how to code in R is a good skill for programming.   
« Last Edit: January 24, 2015, 11:24:23 pm by alondouek »
2013-2015 || Master of Accounting, University of Melbourne
2010-2012 || Bachelor of Science (Genetics Major), University of Melbourne
2009 VCE ENTER: 93.35 || ESL, Mathematical Methods (CAS), Specialist Mathematics, Physics, Biology, Chemistry & Chinese as FL


  • Victorian
  • Forum Obsessive
  • ***
  • Posts: 227
  • What is being active?
  • Respect: +8
  • School Grad Year: 2011
Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #442 on: January 28, 2015, 12:03:51 pm »
Subject Code/Name: BTCH20002: Biotechnology 

Contact Hours: Lectures: 12 x 2 hours, Forums: 4 x 3 hours, Tutorials: 12 x 1 hour

Upto four written assignments less than 2000 words total throughout the semester - 25%

Written test (one hour) in week 8 -15%

Written Exam (2 hours) end of semester examination- 60%

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, without screen capture.
Note: I tried to appeal to the coordinator to say that we needed screen capture (a 2 hour lecture with no screen capture??? ugh), I don't know if they will actually enable it though.

Past exams available:  Can't recall. I think we got a sample exam?

Textbook Recommendation:  Didn't buy any textbook.

Lecturer(s): Prem Bhalla (one or two lectures), Edwin Wong (also the tutor), David Tribe and other guest lecturers.

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2, 2014

Rating:  4 of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H2A (close to H1 though D:)


Overall I enjoyed the content of this subject. There were very few topics taught each week (like maybe one concept every lecture, so 12 concepts in total) and some of it I was already aware of (eg. Pluripotent stem cells, multipotent and iPS). There was also some artificial selection of crops and such.

The worst part was the actual teaching of the lectures, they were just so long and most of the lecturers sucked at presenting their content and knowledge. The only thing that saved me was going to the tutorials, run by Edwin Wong. Edwin was like the powerhouse of this subject. He was there at every lecture, and he taught all the tutorial time slots. Thus he knew what was presented during the lecture and I presume he understood what we needed help in, because his tutorials would suddenly make the lectures make sense. 10/10 would recommend you go to the tutorials.

Best part was the forums, which I will go into more detail below.

I did this subject as a random Level 2 science credit, and it makes me wonder if I would have enjoyed a Biotechnology major instead of the major I have, it opened my eyes to the opportunities available in biotechnology. :)

Lectures were held once a week for 2 hrs. It was such a grueling two hours that I actually regret going to the lectures I went to.

The lectures did not have video capture, which is what made me go, as listening to the lectures it was sometimes hard to follow which slide the speaker was up to. Speakers would also have huge sets of lectures (like 60 slides) so it was even more hard to figure out where they were.

None the less I would still rather just listen to the audio at 2x and struggle though it, because even at 1x many of the lecturers weren't that great and I might as well endure the 2x than the 1x.

Going to the tutorials helped me understand what the lecturers were talking about, but I got the sense that all the lecturers (except for Edwin), were researchers FIRST and lecturers SECOND. So they knew what they were talking about but sucked at explaining this stuff at a Level 2 science appropriate level.

Best part of the subject. So for 4 times throughout the semester a 3 hr "forum" would be scheduled.

Often this would involve 2 people who work in the INDUSTRY (ie. they're working in a biotechnology field) coming in to speak to us, which was amazing because you could see how biotechnology is actually applied to different aspects of our lives. We would also have a brief 10 minute break between speakers to relax and stretch our legs, and this was great because snacks would be provided as well (chips, soft drink, biscuits etc).

The forum would have a small assessment (like answer 2 questions, 500 words) with them, which meant you had to take notes. But we're given the questions ahead of time so you can judge what you need to write down. Sometimes the speakers didn't really provide a lot of information that was useful, so I would stretch what they had said I could make the 250 words, haha.

The highlight of all the forums was this excursion we got to take to the CSL plant which was cool because you got to see how biotechnology is applied in a mass production of drugs kind of way, but we couldn't really see much because we had to stay behind windows and such. None the less it was still cool.

The forums were quite enjoyable, and I guess if you were an eager person for biotechnology it gives you the opportunity to approach these people for advice.

Unfortunately I don't recall exactly what was on the assessments, but I do recall that studying for them was a pain in the ass. Luckily the end of the semester exam only the second half of the semester was assessed (because the first half was assessed by the MST).

I think to study for the test you should go over the slides, but also use other online resources to better understand the topic and the concept.
Graduated in 2011.

Bachelor of Science at Melbourne. Biological Science subjects.


  • Victorian
  • Part of the furniture
  • *****
  • Posts: 1875
  • Respect: +408
Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #443 on: February 12, 2015, 06:01:05 pm »
Subject Code/Name: FNCE10001: Finance 1

Workload:  3 x 2h lectures and 3 x 1h tutes per week, for 4 weeks

Assessment: Two assignments worth 10% each. 2 hr exam is worth 80% (100 marks available).

Lectopia Enabled: No screen capture.

Past exams available:  Yup, lots of past exams can be found in the unimelb library. One exam with solutions was uploaded on the LMS. The past exams tend to recycle questions.

Textbook Recommendation:  Financial Institutions and Markets by Hunt and Terry. I never really used it as the relevant questions from the textbook were in the tutorial. I didn't really use it for the assignments either.

Lecturer(s): Dr. Sturla Lyngnes Fjesme. He's a good lecturer and explains things pretty well, but sometimes his notes lacked detail and were hard to understand. They also seemed to contain some irrelevant things.

Year & Semester of completion: January intensive, 2015

Rating:  2 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1 (88)

Comments: I'm not giving this a negative score because I think the tutors and lecturers did a decent job teaching the material. Sturla made the material more interesting and the tutorial questions were clearly based off the lectures and are good sources of revision. There are also consultation times with the tutors. But yes, this subject is pretty dry and dull, especially coming from someone who has never really been interested in commerce subjects and the like. The text on the slides is enough to switch on your hibernation mode. Despite Sturla's lectures, I could not stop myself from falling asleep almost every lecture. This is what you learn about:
    The role of the financial system
    Financial mathematics (pricing, interest payments, BABs, FRAs, exchange rates, present value calculations)
    Money Market
    Bond Market
    Risk Management
    FX Market
    Equity Market
The maths involved in the course is not hard since all you need to do is pick the right formula and plug in the numbers. It is very formulaic. The bigger challenge is to wrap your head around understanding each step in the calculation and why you do it, but really as long as you know what steps you need to do, you're bound to get the correct answer.

The two assignments are less straightforward and do require a little bit of effort (by a little bit, I mean one or two days). Each has a word limit of 750 words and five pages. All you need to do is answer a few questions. The first assignment involved the best way to finance a housing loan after winning the lottery, the second assignment was about how banks could raise their cash and security levels. For some reason my friends and I lost marks for choosing less obvious methods of financing, which we did because there are originality marks. So, instead of using your lottery earnings as a nest-egg deposit while you repay the mortgage, splooge all your lottery earnings on the house immediately...because it's the most obvious!  In the second assignment you had to calculate how many bonds/shares/securities you'd need to issue to raise the amount of cash the bank needs.

Will have more details on the exams later, but the past exams seem to repeat the same type of calculation and theory questions so if you do them, you should be good to go for the exam.

Anyway, Finance 1 is not a very difficult subject but it is a definite bore. What I have learnt though is that if you want to make big bucks throughout your life, choose a career in finance.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2015, 04:53:33 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


  • Non-Student
  • Adventurer
  • *
  • Posts: 16
  • Respect: 0
  • School: GJIS
Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #444 on: March 01, 2015, 12:42:39 am »
Subject Code/Name: ENGR10004 Engineering Systems Design 1

Workload: 3x1 hour lectures per week, 1x3 hour workshop per week

Assessment:  -Weekly subject reflective journal (10% in total, Hurdle requirement*). -Intended Learning Outcome (ILO) 1 is addressed in the reflective journal
-Short quizzes, held during semester (5% in total, Hurdle requirement*). Addresses ILOs 2 and 6
-Team online blog, submitted three times during semester requiring 10 hours of work (10% in total**). Addresses ILO 1
-In-class team-based project assessments due throughout semester (15% in total**). Addresses ILOs 2, 3, 4 and 6
-Two hour written examination held in exam period (25%, Hurdle requirement*). Addresses ILOs 2,3 and 6
-A written end of semester group report, 40 pages in length (including diagrams and calculations), due in the exam period (35%**). Addresses ILOs 2 - 6.

* The indicated individual assessment items (totalling 40%) are a combined hurdle requirement.

** Students work in teams of 5-6 on these indicated assessments and thus the workload is expected to be divided equally within the team.

(The hurdle changes a lot, I took this subject in 2014 semester 2 and the hurdle requirement was only the final exam)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:  Yes, only about 4 in the past exams Ballileu library, and it was only up to 2011, whereas now the style of questions have changed a lot. No answers, tutors don't give complete answers. This part of the subject sucked because workshop questions were limited, so I did not have a lot of practice before the exam. The lack of a subject syllabus made it hard for me to do questions from other resources (which questions apply to me and which don't).

Textbook Recommendation: Just borrow the intro to engineering from ERC, no need too much. Maybe buy MATLAB if you are definitely taking engineering/physics as a major, but if not then just use MATLAB at ERC computers.

Lecturer(s):Gavin Buskes, Carolina Tallon

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2, 2014

Rating: 4 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 86

Comments: Overall the subject was pretty good. The first 2 weeks are about who you are as engineers and what you do as engineers (like a seminar thing). You'll play problem solving games in both lectures and the first workshop. After these weeks, you will start learning theory about things that will be useful for your group project. There is a group project comprising 35% of your final mark, where you have to design a solution to a certain engineering problem using the theories learnt in the lectures. This varies from year to year, but for me it was about an engineering problem regarding water supply to a remote area. I guess it will be the same to 2015 because I looked at the handbook and the subject overview covered what I had learnt. I had to learn fluid mechanics (volumetric flow rate, pipe flow, Reynolds number, Fanning friction factor (just google these if you're interested) etc.), aerospace engineering (tip speed ratio, continuity equation), chemical engineering (CSTR, pseudo first order reactions, etc.) and project economics (payback period, rate of return, etc.). These stuff are learnt at a pretty basic level, especially aerospace, so its not too hard. The very hard bit was chemical engineering. I would say that if you had not learnt calculus, don't take this subject because this bit has a lot of differential equations, and you have to actually integrate stuff (even though the lecturer and the handbook doesn't imply that), not just give out results in terms of differential equations. Chem eng took a whole lot of my time just to understand what it means. Actually the fluid mechanics part also had diff eq in it, but not as confusing as chem eng. Project economics was 6th grade math, not that hard.

The group project was really demanding. You and your group really have to step on the gas as early as possible, because you & your group WILL make mistakes. You will be put into groups in second workshop. I strongly suggest that you make friends and know people in this subject early, so that you can get a good group (you choose your own group BTW), because you will work with them until the end. In the following weeks you and your group will do a series of experiments to gather experimental data as an empirical basis to help model the real system you are designing to solve an engineering problem. You will also have to do research and comply with given parameters when designing the system. In week 8 you and your group will have to do a presentation to show your group's progress, which is 15% of final mark. Design part is actually fun because you get to play around with cool stuff (3D printers). Download FreeCAD or other engineering design software because you will need it in aerospace engineering. In the workshops you will also do exam style questions.

You might want to do some experience with MATLAB before this subject because you have to do some MATLAB programming as well, even though not rigorously. This MATLAB  part is all about practice; you cannot just read the lectures and expect to be able to implement it. Beware though, they also ask stuff about MATLAB in the exams (write a full programme to solve diff eq), while MATLAB in this subject is thought to only be used to solve diff eq for your design and create graphs and charts for the final report.

The lectures were good, Gavin is a very experienced lecturer and he is funny (you won't fall asleep in lectures due to him, well maybe will due to the content of the subject). He's helpful (when you ask him questions he answers thoroughly). However he tends not to live up to his promises (for example he told the class that he would post recent (2014) exam along with answers to LMS, never happened) so when he promises that he will do something don't get your hopes up. Carolina is fine (she taught chem eng and project econ, Gavin taught the other things), but she is somehow boring and unclear when explaining the differential equations. Expect a lot of independent study to understand her part. She is not so helpful when asked questions regarding content.

The tutors were helpful, but the consultation times were very limited (due to this subject not being a prereq for other subjects I guess (except some chem eng subjects), so not a lot of people take it, I took it by mistake :P). Take notes of the exam style questions solutions when they are being explained in the workshops, because that's the only time they will go through the problem thoroughly. They won't go into detail in the consultation sessions, and solutions are not put up on LMS.

There are also free marks here (weekly reflective journals and team online blog). Just put in the work here, no need too much thinking and you'll get the mark.

The exam was pretty difficult if you don't thoroughly know how to derive the differential equations for each module (fluid mech and chem eng). Multiple choice is very very tricky (5 possible answers with the last one being 'none of the above', the same format for mid-semester quiz). Revise MATLAB thoroughly because they give trick questions about MATLAB a lot. Apart from exam style questions in the workshops, maybe try to borrow some books from ERC for practice questions before the exam.

All in all, this is a good subject, but expect a lot of work from the group project (especially if your group members aren't hard workers   >:( >:( >:( ). Not an easy H1 personally, depends on your group report and your exam. Just beware that there are some hurdles here so be careful not to miss them.


  • Victorian
  • Forum Obsessive
  • ***
  • Posts: 264
  • oohhh football friend?
  • Respect: +6
  • School Grad Year: 2012
Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #445 on: March 04, 2015, 01:30:15 pm »
Subject Code/Name: CLAS10003 Intensive Beginners Latin 

Workload: 1 x 1hr lecture, 1 x 2hr tute, 5 days a week for 7 weeks. Additionally, a translation passage to complete daily as homework

Assessment: 1 midsem 35%, 1 final exam 35%, 6 exercises totalling 20% (best 5 contributing to final grade) and 12 vocab tests totalling 10% (best 10 contributing to final grade) completed during the semester.

Recorded Lectures:  No

Past exams available: Yes, a sample midsem and final with answers were provided

Textbook Recommendation: you will need the Reading Latin Text, but not the accompanying purple exercise book.

Lecturer(s): Bradley Jordan, tutor was James O’ Maley

Year & Semester of completion: 2015 summer semester

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1

Looking back, this subject was definitely not easy, but if you put in the work everyday, you should be able to do well. Most of the people in my class were arts students but personally I think this subject would appeal to a more mathematical/science-y brain because it’s a very logical and formulaic subject - with a few exceptions of course! Having already learned another Romance language I thought I would have some sort of advantage going into Latin. This was true to some extent, i.e. I knew the grammatical use of a ‘gerondif’ in French which was similar to gerundive structure in Latin. However, if you have a good grasp of English grammar then learning Latin grammar should really only be a small extension to your knowledge. In saying that, I definitely think if you have any idea about Roman stories or philosophers you may be slightly better off because you aren’t going into the Latin translations completely blind.

The first couple of weeks were actually quite stressful and there were times where I seriously considered dropping out because I wasn’t sure if I could cope with the work load. We would finish an entire chapter everyday and since the lectures weren’t recorded it was up to you to go back and revise what you didn’t understand. The tutes were good for consolidating your knowledge and the class atmosphere was really conducive to learning, everyone there was really interested in the language which kept me motivated  to learn things I wasn’t particularly passionate about, like Caesar or Vergil or Cicero.

The structure of the course is unique in that you come in 5 days a week for 7 weeks, for a 1 hour lecture and 2 hour tute. It basically forces you to make friends. I was lucky enough to already know someone in the class so the awkward introductions weren’t really a problem for me, but I found it really useful to work with a group of people; it really lessens the load. Originally, we started with around 27 students but this whittled down to 19, which I think says something about the work load, but like I said, if you’re willing to put in the effort it’s pretty manageable. Towards the end of the semester it definitely got a bit easier, not because what we were learning was simpler but rather we had developed some knowledge of the language so by the end we just adding to the skills we already learned rather than learning something ENTIRELY new everyday. 

In terms of the assessment, the tests start off easy but get much harder around the middle of semester, but I think they were useful in that they forced me to revise concepts such as the declensions and conjugations as I went, rather than leaving everything to the last minute. The exercises are straight forward and I normally worked with others so the in-class 30% was pretty obtainable. The two exams have basically the same format: conjugations, sentences to translate from Latin to English and English to Latin, and a seen and unseen translation.  You are given the sentences to prepare and the seen translation a week beforehand so for the most part you can prepare pretty well for the exam. I personally found the midsem to be MUCH easier than the final exam because by the end of it I could not be bothered anymore.

The recurring themes in the book revolve around ‘the father’s daughter and the pig’ or the ‘sailor who was in love with the pirate’ so by the end of it you get pretty sick and tired of translating sentences that do not make ANY sense and by all accounts are completely counter-intuitive, but all in all it was a good subject. Brad’s lectures were pretty thorough and James was pretty approachable and I think they made the subject as fun as it could be. You probably don’t need to go to all of the lectures and tutes and I found it relatively easy to catch up at home. I would recommend this subject to people who enjoy learning languages, although some days I literally wanted to gouge my eyeballs out because it was SO confusing, but for 25 credit points you get to spend your summer in a nice quiet uni with some really nice people, which to be honest, is much more pleasant than it sounds.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2015, 01:33:56 pm by Kaille »
B.Biomed, Melbourne 2013-


  • Victorian
  • Part of the furniture
  • *****
  • Posts: 1875
  • Respect: +408
Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #446 on: May 29, 2015, 06:34:55 pm »
Subject Code/Name: BIOM30002: Molecule to Malady 

Workload:  3 lectures and one tute per week. Tute basically functioned as an extra lecture or was used for reviews and MSTs.

Assessment:  Two 45 minute MCQ MSTs worth 20% each and written exam (60%). Each MST will test two modules. The MCQs for the last two will be on the exam.

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes.

Past exams available:  No past exams but you are given a few sample questions in review lectures and on the LMS. Weekly feedback quizzes are also up on the LMS if you want to do them.

Textbook Recommendation: Don't even bother lol. However, there are review articles posted on the LMS and the lectures are clearly based off them. They're very good reading if you have the time.

Lecturer(s): Lots. Lots of top-class researchers talk about their field and it's extremely up to date and relevant.
M. Ryan [Muscular Dystrophy]
E. Yiu [Muscular Dystrophy]
B. Crabb [Malaria]
S. Lewin [HIV]
J. Denholm [Ebola and TB tute - not assessed]
N. Walsh [Rheumatoid Arthritis]
J. Moi [Rheumatoid Arthritis]
S. Metcalfe [Cystic Fibrosis]
J. Massie [Cystic Fibrosis]
D. Tarlinton [B-cell Diseases]
M. Horne [Neurodegeneration]
R. Cappai [Parkinson's]
A. White [Alzheimer's]
P. Crouch [Motor Neuron Diseases]

Year & Semester of completion: 2015, Semester 1

Rating:  5 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1 (91)

Comments: This is an excellent subject, but it's hard. There is so much to know and so much detail presented to you.

M2M is a special sort of core subject that sets Biomedicine apart from Science etc. You're not going to get an opportunity to learn about diseases from researchers who are literally at the cutting edge of their field if you're not in Biomed. Since it's a subject full of disease, it acts as a "taste" of what it's like to study medicine. There are six modules in the subject: Muscular Dystrophies, Pandemics, RA, CF, B-cell diseases and Neurodegeneration. In each module, you will learn about the molecular pathogenesis of the disease, as well as diagnosis, treatment, future therapeutics currently in development, and other clinical aspects. It's a well thought out approach as each module presents as a sort of narrative in a funny way.

What's really good (but not really needed for assessment all that much) is that in each module, they invite a patient to speak about their experiences living with their disease. It's a nice change to move from the theoretical side of things to speaking about it clinically, and it brought a personal touch to the subject. These are not asssessed (although sometimes the lecturer who interviews them does explain some relevant information) but it's refreshing to hear from the perspective of a patient.

Can't complain about the lecturers. They're really good and you'll be taught about all the new, trendy advances in research and clinical trials. Many of them have actually made signficant leaps in their field so you're really being taught by the cream of the crop here. They also post up answers to FAQs on the LMS which were very helpful in clarifying detail. At times they were a bit too in-depth so focus only on what was elaborated on in lectures.

Make sure you know your shit though. Details are everything! Don't just focus on molecules, focus on clinical details as well. Yes, sometimes epidemiology has been asked. In M2M it's easy to think that you know everything but you'll find that the MSTs will test for pretty specific things. There are lots of distractors in the multiple choice so be very careful when you're doing the tests. The MSTs are pretty difficult (even though we normally averaged 28-29/39) so yes your grades are going to be taking a hit no matter how hard you study. A question or two inevitably gets taken out because everybody has answered it wrong or it hasn't been elaborated on.

The final exam is 3 hours long. It has the 40 MCQs on the last two modules and then you have to do 4 out of the 6 modules for the short answer section. It's best to study 5 out of the 6 modules in the exam so you have a backup in case you don't like some of the questions in one particular module. In the short answer section, each module has two questions, and each question has its own parts. You have to use a new booklet for each question and use a new page for each part. Most of the parts range from being 2-8 marks. While there's a whole lot you could talk about when answering, make sure you stick to answering the question and don't fluff around much, especially if it's only worth 2 marks. If it says to briefly list or describe, do that. You will end up running out of time if you just fling down every single relevant detail you remember so decide on what's most important and what's needed.

Here's a checklist of the general points you should memorise in this subject.
    Muscular Dystrophies
    Know the features of skeletal, smooth and cardiac muscle. Know about your Type I, IIA, IIB fibres.
    Know the differences between a myopathy and dystrophy.
    Know the structure of skeletal muscle.
    Know about the different methods of metabolism in muscles
    Know the features of the Dystrophin gene - where it's located, how big it is, etc.
    Know the role and structure of the Dystrophin protein and any of its homologues.
    Know about how DMD and BMD are diagnosed - what are the limitations with each method? Know your stats too.
    Know the clinical symptoms of DMD and how to differentiate it from BMD. You should also know how the disease progresses as people age.
    Know the pathogenesis and signs of the other muscular dystrophies (Myotonic, Limb-Girdle, FSHD.
    Be able to describe how patients with DMD are managed. You should know the limitations for each intervention and any improvements it can make.
    Know the reasoning of future therapies, along with their limitations

    Know the difference between P. falciparum and P. vivax. Explain how their molecular differences result in their geographical distribution.
    Know the life cycle of Plasmodium.
    Know the role of PfEMP1 and what consequences this has for the parasite.
    Understand how Plasmodium evades the immune system by regulating expression of its surface molecules.
    Know how proteins are trafficked out of the parasite into the host cell and why it can be a potential target.
    Understand how Plasmodium invades the red blood cell.
    Know the three different sorts of vaccines that have been trialed against Malaria.
    Know the virological features of the HIV virus - its size, genome, which animal it comes from, the structural proteins, etc.
    Understand how HIV invades the cell and how some individuals can "resist" invasion
    Know how viral proteins from HIV counteract host proteins.
    Understand the normal immune response to HIV - how the infection is initially controlled etc.
    Know the impact of HIV on the immune system.
    Understand the reasoning and impact of HAART, PrEP, etc.
    Know possible approaches to developing vaccines against HIV, as well as activites that reduce risk.
    Know the barriers to curing HIV as well as possible approaches.

    Rheumatoid Arthritis
    Know the genetic, hormonal and environmental risk factors of developing RA.
    Know about how we monitor disease activity in RA as well as how to diagnose it. You should know the patterns of joints affected and how to differentiate it from osteoarthritis.
    Know articular and some extra-articular manifestations of RA.
    Know the difference between sensitivity and specificity.
    Know the features and roles of all the different cell types and molecules that are involved in RA.
    Know the pros and cons of the two mouse models we use in RA research.
    Understand the physical structure of bone.
    Undersand how bone is formed and resorbed, and how imbalances can lead to osteoporosis etc.
    Understand the balance between RANKL and OPG in particular. Know some therapeutics that target this pathway.
    Know the pattern of bone loss in RA.
    Understand how both inflammation and osteoclast activity contribute to disease activity.
    Know the features of a good clinical trial.
    Know the targets, side-effects and efficacy of all DMARDs, bDMARDS and some other small molecule inhibitors
    Know the pattern of treatment in RA - how often are patients treated, how much drugs do we have to put them on, etc.

    Cystic Fibrosis
    Know the clinical features of CF and how it affects multiple systems of the body.
    Understand the structural and molecular mechanism of the CFTR protein.
    Know the features of the CFTR gene as well as the roles of other gene variants. Know how it is transmitted down generations
    Know the different models of CFTR in the lungs and in the sweat ducts.
    Know the different classes of mutatons in CF, as well as the frequency of some of the CFTR mutations. Be prepared to describe some specific examples.
    Understand the process of diagnosis in CF - this should encompass Guthrie cards, genetic testing, and sweat tests
    Know the reproductive limitations of CF patients
    Know how the lungs develop.
    Know how inflammation contributes to the complications in patients.
    Know the role of bacteria such as Pseudomonas in perpetuating inflammation in the lungs.
    Know how patients with CF are treated as well as possible future therapies (and their limitations!)
    Know the population groups that are over-represented in CF and why

    B-cell diseases
    Understand how B-cells develop and how they respond.
    Know the features of an antibody, as well as how genetic recombination occurs both before and during an immune response.
    Know mutations that can block B-cell development and its impacts.
    Know the signifiance of the germinal centre.
    Understand how B-cells elicit help from T-cells and how disruptions to signalling pathways results in immune deficiency
    Understand how B-cells can transform into cancers. Know the different types of cancers (Leukaemia, lymphoma, myeloma etc) and how they're diagnosed.
    Know current therapies that target the B-cell as well as some future drugs.
    Learn how monoclonal antibodies are made, how they work, what they're used for, and some limitations.
    Understand how the immune system can be "revved up" to kill tumours through checkpoiint blockade, and how broadly neutralising monoclonal antibodies can target HIV.
    Understand how B-cells develop tolerance during development, and how lapses in this process can cause autoimmune diseases such as SLE.

    Know the clinical features in Parkinson's, Motor Neuron Disease and Alzheimers, and how they overlap/differ.
    Describe what may cause each of these diseases.
    Describe the relevant proteins (a-synuclein, amyloid beta, etc) that are found in each neurodegeneration. Know how mutations in these proteins can cause neurotoxicity - that is, aggregation, disruption to normal cellular function, propagation, and hence disease.
    Know the signficiance of hormonal factors such as Dopamine.
    Know the pathological signs seen in Neurodegeneration.
    Know the genetic risk factors in familial Parkinson's disease
    Understand the significance of some metals in Alzheimers disease.
    Know the pros and cons of some assays and animal models for neurotoxicity
    Know the different cell types involved in degeneration and how they can contribute to neuroinflammation etc
    Describe some potential inhibitors that have been trialed for use in Parkinson's and Alzheimer's and how they might work.
    Know the significance of detecting early AD patients and how to do it.
    Understand the significance of SOD1 in familial motor neuron disease and its mechanism. [/list]
    « Last Edit: July 03, 2015, 05:03:48 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


    • No exam discussion
    • Forum Obsessive
    • *
    • Posts: 367
    • Respect: +102
    Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
    « Reply #447 on: May 30, 2015, 06:10:09 pm »
    Subject Code/Name: UNIB10003 - An Ecological History of Humanity

    Workload:  Two 1 hour lectures and one 1 hour tute per week

    Assessment: 10 x 150 word journals (assessed weekly, worth 37.5% in total), 1 x 500 word tutorial paper (12.5%), 1 x 2000 word research paper due in exam period

    Lectopia Enabled: Yes, with screen-capture

    Past exams available: N/A

    Textbook Recommendation: None. A New Green History of the World by Clive Ponting is the prescribed text, but it's not worth buying. There's an abridged version of the text available in PDF form on the internet if you know where to look.

    Lecturer(s): >implying i went to the lectures

    Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1, 2015

    Rating:  1.5 out of 5

    Your Mark/Grade: N/A

    Let me preface this by saying that I've always actually been pretty interested in history and the environment. So, having read the subject description, I went into this subject expecting it to be a thought-provoking exploration of environmental issues, viewed from a number of different historical and social perspectives.

    Instead, each topic consisted of the same banal platitudes repeated ad nauseam, with all the subtlety of a man getting hit in the nuts with a sledgehammer. Every topic was some kind of variation on "This is how we used to do things. This is how we do things now. We are DESTROYING the environment because of CAPITALISM. Maybe we are not as advanced as we think??!?!?!?" It's hard to sum up in my own words just how irritatingly smug and self-congratulatory this subject was, so I'll let this actual quote from the lectures (on the topic of macroparasites) sum up what I mean.
    Lecturer: "However, I'd urge you to consider that there may be a far more insidious, far more destructive parasite on this earth... Mmm, yes... It's HUMANS". I gave up on going to the lectures after a couple of weeks.

    The assessments are all pretty easy, but they're not always entirely clear about what they want you to write. The best piece of advice I can give for the journals is to not summarise the lectures. They're looking for a personal reflection on the topics, so you're better off making up something about how the topic inspired you and made you think, or reflects some dark aspect of human nature.

    All that aside, there were one or two topics which were vaguely interesting, so I gave it a point for that. The other 0.5 was because our tutor was mostly nice and gave us Freddos in the last tutorial.
    2015-2017: Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) at University of Melbourne.


    • Victorian
    • Forum Leader
    • ****
    • Posts: 676
    • Respect: +53
    • School Grad Year: 2017
    Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
    « Reply #448 on: May 30, 2015, 06:41:49 pm »
    Subject Code/NameCHIN10005: Chinese 1

    Workload:  2 x two hour seminars, 1 x one hour practical

    Two short tests (Week 6 and Week 12) 20%
     vocabulary test (throughout semester) 10%,
    oral test 10% (5 minutes, in week 10)
    listening comprehension test 20% (30 minutes, week 10)
    2 hour examination 40% (during examination period).

    80% compulsory attendance

    Lectopia Enabled:  N/A

    Past exams available:  About 3 from 1998-2000 but they're not relevant to the current course

    Textbook Recommendation:  
    Wu Zhongwei, Contemporary Chinese for Beginners (Textbook), Sinolingua, 2010.

    Lecturer(s): Dr. Du Li Ping,  Zhang laoshi('teacher' in Mandarin) and Jin Laoshi

    Year & Semester of completion: 2015, Semester 1

    Rating:  3.5/5

    Your Mark/Grade: Not Yet Received


    This is a pretty chill breadth to take even if you're not completely interested in pursuing Chinese studies seriously. The staff are all really nice and they'll crack a lot of jokes during the class so the atmosphere is always very warm and fun. As an avid language learner who really wants to be proficient at a language ASAP, I found that the pace was a little too slow but since it was for beginners with absolutely zero learning experience I can understand why the pace is that way. They take attendance every lesson and you need at least 80% attendance to pass.

    The textbook is a requirement because all your vocab tests are based off that book, and you read through the texts every week so you'll be severely disadvantaged if you don't buy one. In previous years they covered a total of 10 lessons in the semester (roughly one every week) but after listening to the student's opinions they reduced it to only 5 lessons (so one every fortnight). On one hand I find that this is too little since the grammar is pretty easy to follow, but on the other there are about 50 characters to learn in each lesson so having to memorize 50 characters every week would be hell. The expectation is to learn 250 characters each semester anyway so if the staff found a way to finish 10 lessons in the semester with a total of 250 (rather than 500) characters learnt then it would be at the perfect pace imo.

    In this subject there aren't any lectures but there are seminars where you basically sit in a class of about 20-25 students; in seminar 1 you have Du laoshi and in seminar 2 you get Jin laoshi. Personally I found seminar one to be quite boring and pointless up until midway when Zhang laoshi took over the 2nd hour of the seminar. Basically all you do in this one is read the Chinese texts in the textbook, where Du Laoshi reads it first and the class follows after. He'll then go over each and every word in the vocab list, explaining radicals and what they mean (boring). He'll then put up his grammar notes onto the projector for the class to read, which just explains what they are and how to use them. Roughly in week 6, Zhang laoshi takes over the 2nd hour and this is where Seminar 1 starts getting useful. Sometimes she'll have the class read over the texts again which can get really boring but then after that you'll start doing worksheets to apply your Chinese which are incredibly useful.

    In the practicals you do listening exercises and vocab tests. The first few weeks you just do activities to train your ears in listening to the tones and phonetics of Mandarin. In about 2 pracs we watched Mao's Last Dancer (subbed, obviously) and in another we watched a doco on dumplings. I wish these were non-compulsory classes because I would've not gone had it not been for the compulsory 80% attendance requirement. The vocab tests are pretty easy, Zhang laoshi will tell you which characters of the vocab list she'll test you on but on the actual vocab test there'll only be 10 words. You do 5 in the semester, about one every fortnight. I've seen people sit at the back and look on their phones the characters that they don't know on the test - quite sneaky but it's 2015 and it happens(and I don't endorse it either!).

    Finally, seminar 2 is held with Jin Laoshi. I think he is a really great guy, very funny and very approachable. Some lessons you will pair up with another person in the class and write up a script to a roleplay based off the text in the book and then present it. Although a good activity to socialize, I didn't find it all that helpful in learning Chinese (maybe to practice pronunciation or something idk). In other lessons he'll have a list of about 10 grammar points or grammar words on the board and all you have to do is make sentences with them. He'll ask every person what their sentence was and make any corrections if necessary. These don't really take up the whole 2 hours of the seminar but he'll dismiss the class early anyway.

    To do well in this subject all you've got to do is consistently revise your characters and know the grammar. I did Japanese in high school so learning characters was familiar to me since one of the Japanese alphabets derived from Chinese characters. If you leave all the character revision to swotvac you're going to have a pretty horrible time and probably won't remember all of them. The key is to do the 'drip method' - doing just a little bit of revision consistently each day. At the start of semester they upload on LMS worksheets for you to practice characters. It's tedious, but once you overcome that you'll ace the subject. Just keep practising writing them and eventually you'll be able to write them without even thinking about it due to muscle memory.

    As for assessments, they were all pretty easy except for the listening task. The short tests is basically one double-sided work sheets which could include anything from circling the correct sentence, to pinyin or to translation. Again, just know your characters + grammar and you'll do fine. For the oral exam there'll be three facedown sheets with the texts from the textbook but ONLY Chinese characters with no pinyin. You pick one and read it aloud. Pretty easy assessment if you just practice and learn the texts from the book off by heart. For the second part the examiner will ask a few basic questions that you have to answer in Chinese and that'll be it.

    Throughout the semester you get two spoken assignments which are unassessed but are meant to help you with your pronunciation. It took the staff quite a while to give feedback on the first one, and I didn't even get feedback for the second one so that was pointless.

    All in all this is a pretty good breadth to take. The bulk of the work goes into learning/revising the Chinese characters so try not to save them all to swotvac. Lots of assessments but they're all pretty easy to do well in so getting a good mark in Chinese 1 shouldn't be a problem. That's all I can think of for now so if you have any questions feel free to PM me.

    I'll come back to this later with info/tips on the exam after I've done it :)
    ATAR: 97.10
    2013-2014: English Language | Chemistry | Biology | Methods | Specialist | Japanese SL
    2015-2017: B. Biomedicine @ Melbourne University


    • Victorian
    • Part of the furniture
    • *****
    • Posts: 1875
    • Respect: +408
    Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
    « Reply #449 on: June 06, 2015, 06:59:58 pm »
    Subject Code/Name: MIIM30002: Principles of Immunology

    Workload:  3 lectures per week

    Assessment:  Two 40 MCQ MSTs (45 mins) worth 20% each. End of semester exam worth 60% (2 hours)

    Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.

    Past exams available:  No past exams available. However, you do get optional revision questions weekly and before each assessment some sample SAQs go on the LMS.

    Textbook Recommendation:  Janeway's Immunology I think? Never used it.

    A. Brooks
    O. Wijburg
    S. Bedoui
    T. Gebhardt

    Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1, 2015

    Rating:  5 out of 5

    Your Mark/Grade: H1 (93)

    Comments: Really, if you have any sort of interest in immunology, no matter how mild, do this subject because it's really well coordinated and the lectures have been of consistently high quality. I have nothing bad to say really. Most of what you need to know is on the slides already (be prepared for tons and tons of diagrams) but make sure you write a lot of stuff down for Sam in particular, as his slides are brief compared to the other lecturers. Thomas' entire lecture slides were pretty much diagrams from textbooks as well. I should also note that a few of the lectures were just repeats of each other - for example, we got a whole lecture on innate immunity which used the same slides as a previous lecture we had.

    There is rote-learning in this subject of course but this focuses a lot on your understanding of the principles. You need to not only be able to remember what molecules and factors are involved in the process you're talking about, but how the entire process occurs. I guess it made studying for immunology easier as you won't have to spend copious amounts of time flicking over your notes praying that the info gets stuck in your head.

    The first part of the subject is pretty easy. Then it moves onto a more moderate-high difficulty. The material itself is split into three sections.

    You begin in Molecular Immunology. Here, you learn about organs and cells involved in the innate and adaptive immune system in a general sense, before spending around three or four lectures on how antibodies are generated and how they function. You also get a lecture on monoclonal antibodies which is not too hard. You then spend the same amount of lectures on the structural, functional and genetic basis of MHCs and TCRs. The section ends with a lecture on signal transduction during T-cell activation. This is the easy part as it builds on what you've learnt in first and second year with slightly more depth. MST1 will be on this.

    Next up is Cellular Immunology. You start off learning about the innate immune system - cells first, then signalling pathways, then dendritic cells specifically, then the whole complement cascade (your mind might hurt from all the tongue twisting names involved in this lecture). This part ends with a lecture on different lymphocyte subsets.

    Following this, you've made it to Immune Mechanisms. This is probably the most heavy section. It presents as a narrative in a sort of  way. You start off with a whole lecture on cytokines and chemokines. After this, you learn the whole process of development in B and T-cells, beginning from the initial genesis to their transition as battle-ready effector lymphocytes. This is probably the most interesting part of the subject I guess, and this will be tested on MST2. After this the order of the lectures gets a bit random - you end off with a lecture on memory, NK cells, immunopathology, HSV infections (which pretty much was just a recap of a lot of processes you've already learnt) and the final lecture is just elaborating on several experiments that were done to see if checkpoint blockade is a viable to treat cancer.

    So I did say that this subject was really predicated on how much you understand the processes involved. This can make assessment hardish. I think the average for the MSTs usually hovered at around 27-28/40. Each MST has around 20 questions of the normal A/B/C/D/E type. In the latter half, they present like five statements in each question and A = 1, 2, 3 are right, B = 1 and 3 are right, C = 2 and 4 are right, D = Only 4 is right, and E = All of them are right. These questions are painful. Try doing these by elimination - you're most likely to lose marks on this section. We never got a detailed feedback on which topics we got wrong in our MSTs though which was a bummer. Before each MST there was a review lecture that is just a Q&A with the lectures, so if you want to make the most out of it make sure you email questions that have been nagging at you.

    The exam will be pretty tough if you have a memory lapse. There are 20 MCQs (worth 0.5 each) on the post-MST2 stuff and then 50 marks is allocated to short answer. Each question will be broken up into two parts, part a and b. Each part is worth 5 marks each. Losing 1 mark in this means you drop 1% of your grade so make sure you know your stuff. Some questions will ask you to draw diagrams too.

    TL;DR - A very interesting and rewarding subject if you like learning how war is fought using cells and molecules. If you want to do well, make sure you put in the work, otherwise you will suffer.
    « Last Edit: July 03, 2015, 12:57:45 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