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March 21, 2019, 01:00:49 am

AuthorTopic: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings  (Read 956575 times) Tweet Share

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dddknight

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #735 on: December 05, 2018, 05:03:05 pm »
+4
Subject Code/Name: BCMB30001 Protein Structure and Function

Workload:  3x 1hr lectures, 1x 1hr tutorial (sometimes), 1 computer practical session

Assessment: 5% computer tutorial worksheet, 20% assignment, 2x 10% MSTs, 55% final exam

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture etc.

Past exams available:  Yes. Plenty

Textbook Recommendation:  Mike Williamson “How proteins work?” 2012 Garland Science (A pretty good book for certain sections of the course)

Lecturer(s): Paul Gooley, Mike Griffin, Danny Hatters, Isabelle Rouiller and Gavin Reid

Year & Semester of completion: 2018 Sem 2

Rating:  3.8 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1

Comments:
Let me first say that the review given by vox nihili is pretty good already. I write this review just because there have been slight changes in the course in terms of who's lecturing and the assessment. As the previous review pointed out, each module has its own seperate distinct elements that don't connect with each other too well. Having gone through functional genomics, you'd think that this subject would be manageable but this subject is a beast on its own. The content of each lecture is pretty hard to grasp so don't feel too sad if you didn't understand it when you left the lecture. In fact, don't be too sad if you don't even attend the lectures. When I attended the lectures in week 10, there were less than 10 students coming in a class of about 100. This subject expands on the content covered in the 1st few weeks of 2nd yr biochem covered by Paul (in 1st sem) and Terry (in 2nd Sem). This includes the primary, secondary, tertiary structures of proteins and all the beta hairpins and folding principles covered. It's a tough subject and I feel it's necessary to go through each lecturer just as vox nihili has. However, you do get a sense of special knowledge as mentioned and it's nice to see the various techniques used to study proteins. It's also noteworthy that I felt knowledge of chemistry (Equilibrium including Gibbs and kinetics principles) and a bit of physics helped in doing this subject.

Paul - So nothing has really changed much from what the previous reviewer has stated. Paul is an NMR expert and it can be pretty hard to understand the principles of NMR. However that's okay. My advice is to not get too bogged down by the principles but focus more on how to interpret the results of NMR data. In my opinion, it felt Paul was a bit too intellectual in his lectures and it was hard to really grasp what he was saying. Sometimes, you should really just read his slides first and then think about what he's saying. It also helps if you try and find the actual published paper he uses in lectures to understand the results. My final advice to those doing this subject is NMR cannot determine structure by itself. You need some structure template to work with in order to gain information about the structure dynamics. This section was hard to follow but it's amazing what we can really do to understand proteins.

Mike - Most of my friends found that he was pretty dry to listen to. His focus was mainly on structures found by X-ray crystallography and SAXs as well as principles on enzymes. A bit of physics would be useful as he goes through constructive and destructive interference using X-rays on proteins. Perhaps what makes Mike's content hard is that the 3 topics mentioned above don't have much link with one another making it hard to review.

Danny - Danny focuses mainly on folding principles and how we can observe them through FRET and stopped flow experiments. If you've went through molecular analysis of cell function, you'll see that this is an expansion of the content. As mentioned, Danny is more focused on seeing whether you can apply these concepts into biological experiments which is great. He wants you to apply knowledge and not simply regurgitate. In doing his exam questions, they feel like questions that you would see in the lab subject. He's one of the nicest lectures out of all of them and you can tell that he does his best in giving you the best learning experience.

Isabelle - Unfortunately, this was the year Terry was replaced. Now this is good and bad. This was good because we wouldn't have to go through his really difficult exam questions and this was bad because we didn't get to see his fun lectures. Isabelle is an expert in cryo-EM and it makes sense to include her because this is one of the leading technologies now used to visualise proteins. However, what makes her lectures poor, and I have nothing against it, is that her french accent was strong and made the lectures difficult to follow. BUT! You can tell from her lecturing style that she tries her best to educate. This is shown by how detailed her slides are and everytime the lectures ended early, she would always give time to go through her review questions and provide answers to them. While I didn't attend her tutorial (and i wish I did), she apparently used Legos in order to try and build structures of proteins and I really wish I came for that! Her content went focused on cryo-EM, structures of motor proteins like dynein and kinesin as well as signalling proteins (huge advantage if u did BCMB30004).

Gavin - Now Gavin is apparently one of the leading experts in Mass Spectrometry in Australia. Unfortunately, his lectures were not great. The flow of his lectures were so poorly connected making it hard to follow. In addition, if you were watching him on lecture capture, he doesn't use the pointer as with other lecturers making it difficult to follow. The saving grace of Gavin is that his questions are basically the same every year so there is really no surprise when you do his questions in the exam.

Now each lecturer has their flaws but in my opinion, when you sit down and stop complaining, you'll see that the techniques used to study proteins are pretty amazing. It highlights how much we've really progressed with biochemistry and the papers each lecturer have highlighted have shown us what we've been able to determine. And it's pretty cool. While the content of this subject is hard to grasp, I think it's so much better than what you've learnt in functional genomics. It's a special knowledge that informs you what have we done to understand biology and it is really the foundations of drug design.

Tutorials- Honestly, I felt like these were sort of a waste of time and didn't attend most of them. Perhaps the most necessary tutorial to attend was the PyMol tutorial because it gives you the necessary skills necessary for the assignments. The tutorials given by Paul were pretty helpful in getting your mind thinking about how NMR works and what questions to expect. Danny does hold an interactive session on a paper where you'll input answers on your phone. I honestly wish the tutorials would switch to this direction. If I'm not wrong, some tutorials did involve people working in groups (not too sure) and it may be helpful for those who enjoy that.

Assessment
Computer lab - In comparison to BCMB30002, this was poorly conducted. During the prac, no effort was made to use the microphone or the main computer. So we were pretty much left to do our own thing based on written instructions and we could ask Paul and Mike for help if needed. The focus of the assignment was to get used to PyMol and write figure legends. Honestly the latter wasn't an issue because these are the same figure legends you would write in 2nd year techniques. There were issues imo in understanding questions but you could just ask help from Paul. The assessment isn't too strict and you would get at least 4/5 for this assessment.

Assignment - The assignment is a bit more straightforward in this subject and you'll be asked to answer a few questions. Each lecturer has their own assignment with their own set of questions. You'll be asked to use PyMol to create a figure they want and write a figure legend. Honestly, it's hard to say whether this was an easy assignment or not. I remembered overthinking a lot for this assignment and found it a pain because Gavin made our questions so vague. Perhaps what helped most was that piazza was setup so we could ask questions to clarify with one another the meaning of some questions. In terms of grade dist, me and my friends did very well so I can't really say whether this was easy or not.

MSTs - Honestly, I find these tests a huge pain and they were also held on the day of my Adv tech pracs. The MCQs were written in such a way that penalized you so harshly. Those who have done PHYS20008 would know how this feels. You'd be given a series of statements and you'd be asked to choose the option with the correct combination of statements. It's a huge pain because there were moments I was penalized for missing 1 fact out of the 4. I could not score a H1 for either MST because of this. The good thing about these MSTs is that they each only contribute 10% so managing a pass doesn't create too much damage. Consider these MSTs like concept checks to see whether you're progressing and catching up with the content. They don't really measure how well you do in this subject. Oh and there is no SAQ section anymore.

Exams - This has been changed to 2 hours. It comprises of both an MCQ and SAQ section. Our exam was held in the 1st week of the exam period. It was a real pain because we only had 2 weeks to go through Gavin's poor lectures and review everything that we went through already. Initially, the preparation may feel like a pain especially when you have to go learn some intricate details but I think what helps in this preparation the most are the past exam papers given in the library. You'll see that the questions given are somewhat similar and it gives you an idea what each lecturer wants to ask. Surprisingly, I didn't really have an issue with time just like BCMB30002. Some people did so I may not be the best example. All of the questions are very fair here unlike the MSTs. My advice is writing more does not always equate to more marks. You may just be wasting time and losing marks in other sections. Just be relevant. To be honest, I feel like they should've included questions where they would ask which techniques would be appropriate to probe certain experimental questions. It would be the best way to examine if you really understand what each technique can do.

Overall, the subject is hard. If you're doing advanced techniques in molecular science, you pretty much will have a tough sem. Definitely hard but the content is pretty interesting to learn. In entering a BCMB major, I always wanted to see chemistry being applied in biological contexts. While I didn't get to see too much of that, this subject was closest thing to it. It was great seeing principles of equilibrium, spontaneity and polarity being applied to understand proteins. I don't give this subject a too high rating because I feel like the content can be disengaging for so many people in this subject. One could sense this when you compare lecture attendance on the 1st day to last day. Unfortunately, it's a must for those wanting to do a BCMB major which is very restricting. As I said with Adv Techniques, if you managed to go through this subject and appreciated everything taught, give yourself a pat on the back, you survived what i think is the 2nd hardest subject of Biochemistry.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2018, 05:13:58 pm by dddknight »
BSci @ Unimelb (2016-2018)
Year I: BCMB20002 BIOL10004 BIOL10005 CHEM10009 HPSC10001 MAST10010 PHYC10005 UNIB10006
Year II: ANAT20006 BCMB20002 BCMB20003 CLAS10004 FOOD20003 MUSI20150 PHRM20001 PHYS20008
Year III: BCMB30001 BCMB30002 BCMB30004 BCMB30010 NEUR30002 NEUR30003 PSYC10003 SCIE20001

Hydroxyl

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #736 on: December 08, 2018, 03:55:52 pm »
+3
Subject Code/Name: ISLM10002 Islam in the Modern World

Workload: 1 x 1.5 hr lecture & 1 x 1 hr tutorial per week (2.5 hours per week)

Assessment: 1 x 800 word Take Home Test (worth 20%), 1 x 1500 word Journal Exercise (worth 30%) and 1 x 2000 word Major Essay (worth 50%)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with lecture capture. We were told that there was no lecture capture by the lecturer, but the link was found by visiting echo360 and going through other subjects. The Lecture Capture Link was added to the LMS later.

Past exams available:  N/A

Textbook Recommendation:  ISLM10002 Subject Reader - available from the Co-op for ~\$43. Not really recommended, can do without it.

Lecturer(s): Dr. Muhammad Kamal

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2, 2018

Rating:  4.9 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 82 (H1)

Comments: TL;DR - This subject is great overall - the workload is much lighter than your typical breadth subject and provides an interesting insight into how a religion, such as Islam, is coping with the challenges of modernity.

Lectures:

There were 12 lectures for the subject. These covered interesting topics, such as:

Weeks 1-3: Historical Background

Week 1: Belief and Practice in Islam
Week 2: Origins and Developments: Islam, Muslim Empires, Movements and States
Week 3: Issues in Islamic Legal Thought

Weeks 4-5: Colonialism and the Muslim Response

Week 4: Post-Caliphate Reformers
Week 5: Contemporary Thinkers

Weeks 6-12: Contemporary Issues - this is where the bulk of the subject lies, as the subject primarily deals with the religion and it's impacts in the modern world. Weeks 1-3 provide more of a background into the faith.

Week 6: Mass Media Islam
Week 7: The Status of Women and Human Rights
Week 8: The Question of Palestine
Week 9: Jihad and Militancy in the Muslim World
Week 10: The Struggle for Democracy
Week 11: Muslims in the West: The Case of Australia
Week 12: Islam and the West: Where to from here?

I found each lecture pretty interesting. My favourite for the subject was Week 7, which was about women's rights. I also chose this topic for my major Essay - as there were many avenues for discussion. It was also a topic that I found pretty easy to sustain a 2000+ word argument for.

I found the lectures quite stimulating. It was more so conducted as a class, where we could stop and interrupt to add our own options. Dr Kamal was always happy to hear the points of views of the students and even called on us to question it. It is not that important to take that many notes from each lecture, however I would strongly advise taking detailed notes for the first 6 weeks as this comes up in the take home test. From memory, the take home test was due in Week 8, so two weeks to answer 5 questions with a paragraph each is totally reasonable. I found the marking to be quite harsh for this, with the overwhelming majority of students scoring a H2A for this assessment. I only barely managed a 16/20 (H1), but this only came after a review of my original work (15.5/20 - H2A). However, I think it's important not to stress if you do not receive that many marks for this, as it is only worst 20% of the subject.

From Weeks 6-12, more of the material covered was for our own knowledge rather than the assessments. Some of the lectures ended early but there were many points of discussion regarding the different topics. You could chose to write anything that is mentioned in the lectures for your major essay, and I would recommend doing a topic that is based on the lectures. Why I stress this is because it is much easier to find resources that answer the topics and the points they need directly. I found all the answers to my major essay in the Subject Reader and was glad that I bought it as it helped push me over to the H1 mark.

I would just like to stress that this subject takes a very academic focus, and is not a theology class, so to speak. Some information should be taken with a grain of salt, as it does not represent the ideology of some Muslims. In fact, a small amount of information is slightly incorrect and I would always recommend going back and fact checking some of the "facts" that Dr. Kamal states. He emphasises that it is just his opinion, and most should be regarded as such until checked with primary religious texts/sources.

Tutorials

The tutorial program links some of the discussions of the lectures with other theory and practice. I found the tutorials helpful in providing an alternate point of view, as you can learn a lot from other students and what they have to say (and consequently, use that in your essay OR assignments). It also provides a great opportunity to engage with your tutor and ask them questions about how they want the assignments to be written (as they are marking it). However, I found that there was only one tutor for the subject (Dr. Sirin Yasar). She was helpful in many aspects, but I found that sometimes the standard was quite high for our work and, as previously mentioned, it seemed like the entire tutorial class got H2A's for their assignments across the ball. However, I didn't find all the tutorials helpful. You need to go to at least 80% of them, so try and make use of them while you can. The best thing that came out of our tutorials was the friend groups that we formed ahah.

Assessment

As mentioned above, there are 3 assignments throughout the semester.

Take Home Test (800 words)                              20%   Due Monday, Week 8
Journal Exercise (1,500  words)                         30%   Due Monday, Week 11
Major Essay (2,000  words)                                50%   Due Monday, Week 2 of Exams

Assignment details are:

Take Home Test (20%)

Students will be assigned a series of five questions in week 6 of teaching period. Answers to be submitted in week 8. Mark: 16/20 (H1)

Journal Exercise (30%)
You must select three of the assigned weekly readings and for each reading write a 500 word reflective response.  Mere summary of the reading will not receive a good mark. You are expected to discuss issues raised in the reading. If you feel it is appropriate you may also decide to critique (appraise) the reading. If you do please stick to the quality of the arguments and evidence offered by the author rather than addressing the writing style. Your focus must be on the reading you have chosen to respond to, but in order to deliver a high quality response you are advised to read around the subject dealt with, starting with the other readings linked to the week, both assigned and additional. It is recommended that you wait till after the relevant class discussion has taken place before completing a response in order to take advantage of insights generated by the class. It is also recommended that you do not attempt to complete your responses at the last minute but space them out through the semester. You can submit 2 responses of 750 words each (which is what I did). Mark: 23/30 (H2A)

Major Essay (50%)
Select one of the essay questions and write a 2000 word answer in essay format.
An essay is an extended intellectual engagement with a particular question or topic. It must demonstrate not only an ability to write to an acceptable standard but, just as importantly, an ability to think to an acceptable standard. You are required to research the relevant issues, and to show evidence of that research in the form of appropriate reference and quotation. You are asked to query and evaluate all that you read and, through a critical engagement with it, develop your own opinions and ideas. These ideas must be argued and substantiated by rational means, and in a logical order. Your argument must have a clear structure. You will lose marks for errors in spelling or grammar.
Your essay will be assessed on the following criteria:
The quality of the research completed on your chosen topic
The quality of the insights into your topic that you display
The quality of the analytical and critical thinking you display
The quality of the arguments you present and the evidence you use to defend them
The originality of the insights and arguments that you display
The quality of your writing style (the clarity and elegance with which you present material and arguments)
Appropriate adherence to scholarly conventions
Grammar and spelling.
Mark: 42/50 (H1).

Why the subject lost 0.1 of a mark is because there is no clear rubric as to what is actually expected of you and where you could lose marks. I found little to no comments and many ticks throughout my first assignment and lost 20% of the overall mark.

What is also important to note is that Dr. Kamal gives the Major Essay topics in Week 3 of Semester, and it is due during the examination period. It is the first assignment you receive, so you may as well start working on it!! I had to do it in between my CHEM10004 (Chemistry 2) and PSYC10004 (Mind, Brain and Behaviour 2) exam, which only gave me 5 days to complete it all! It was stressful indeed. Interestingly, you receive the final assignment first, so finishing that and giving yourself a lot of time to practice is important.

A note about scaling:
Everyone in the subject received a 1 mark bonus added to our final grades, which could push change the overall letter grade. For me, my overall mark for the assignments was 81/100 which was then bumped up to 82 for the subject.

Overall, a fantastic subject and an interesting breadth! This was my first breadth and I really enjoyed it. I would recommend that you do not slack off in the subject, especially with the assignments. It is not as easy as a H1 as one would like! But with a bit of effort and practice, you could definitely score highly

Hydroxyl

« Last Edit: December 09, 2018, 12:51:24 pm by Hydroxyl »
2016: Biology [41] | Further Mathematics [42]
2017: Chemistry [36] | Mathematical Methods [38] | English [44] | Psychology [50 + Premier's Award]
ATAR: 98.25
2018 - 2020: Bachelor of Science (Psychology) — The University of Melbourne
2018: BIOL10004 | CHEM10003 | PHYC10005 | PSYC10003 | BIOL10005 | CHEM10004 | ISLM10002 | PSYC10004
2019: ISLM20003 | ARBC10005 | BCMB20002 | PSYC20006 | PSYC20008 | ANAT20006 | PHYS20008 | PSYC20007
2020: EDUC10057 | NEUR30003 | PSYC30013 | PSYC30014 | PHYS30001 | PSYC20009 | PSYC30020 | PSYC30021
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AlphaZero

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #737 on: December 08, 2018, 09:57:45 pm »
+4
Subject Code/Name: MAST10009 Accelerated Mathematics 2

Workload:
Every week:
> 4 hours of lectures (1 hour each)
> 1 hour practice class

Assessment:
> 2 written assignments (10% total, equally weighted)
> Mid-semester Test (10%)
> Examination (80%)

Lectopia Enabled:
Yes, but only the lecture slides. The lecturer uses the whiteboard so it's best to attend.

Past exams available:
Yes, 10 available (2009 to 2018) plus many MAST10006 Calculus 2 and MAST20026 exams (see comments for explanation).

Textbook Recommendation:
None. The lecturer provides his own text guide, which is essential. It's available at the university Co-op Book Shop.

Lecturer(s):
Prof. Barry Hughes

Year & Semester of completion:
2018 Semester 2

Rating:
4.5 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade:
First Class Honours (H1)

Comments:
Important Notes: MAST10008 Accelerated Mathematics 2 is the second of two subjects in the first year accelerated mathematics stream. Taking both MAST10008 Accelerated Mathematics 1 and MAST10009 Accelerated Mathematics 2 is equivalent to taking the three subjects MAST10006 Calculus 2, MAST10007 Linear Algebra and MAST20026 Real Analysis. MAST10008 Accelerated Mathematics 2 covers all of MAST20026 Real Analysis, and the remaining parts, (which is pretty much all of) MAST10006 Calculus 2 (where the rest would have been covered in MAST10008 Accelerated Mathematics 1). The accelerated mathematics stream requires a minimum raw score of 38 in VCE Specialist Mathematics, or equivalent (roughly, top 13%).

Just like MAST10008 Accelerated Mathematics 1, I thoroughly enjoyed this subject and was by far, my favourite subject of the semester. Students should be careful though. MAST10009 Accelerated Mathematics 2 is much more difficult in comparison to MAST10008 Accelerated Mathematics 1. This subject develops the theory behind many very important parts of mathematics in mostly chronological order. The content here is covered very quickly, and it is highly unlikely that at students will not digest everything upon first presentation. There are even comments about MAST10009 Accelerated Mathematics 2 being one of the hardest first year subjects due to its pace, and because it covers around 1.6 subjects worth of material. It will be very important that you stay on top of things and are studying regularly. This subject is very unforgiving if you fall behind even for strong mathematics students. That being said though, taking the subject is has been an amazing journey, and I strongly encourage students to take it if they are up for a rewarding challenge.

Lectures:
Barry is very interesting and delivers lectures very well. However, given the sheer amount of content that needs to be covered, sometimes, he necessarily needs to skip a few details, and so you have to teach yourself (as well as utilising consultation regularly). This is the only reason I didn't give this subject a 5 out of 5. Barry essentially uses lecture slides and walks you through the concepts. (All notes are in the text). He then does the examples on the whiteboards (which can sometimes be frustrating given the whiteboards are not recorded). You should take notes only on the examples. You can annotate your text if you like, but not much more is required. Your focus should be on listening and understanding what Barry is saying.

Practice Classes (Tutorials):
Tutorials were awesome, though since the questions are essentially from the text, if you are prepared, this class can be pointless. Nevertheless, it can be fruitful to answer questions again with a tutor watching your logic and reasoning so that they can make any necessary corrections. In this class, you complete a set list of questions in groups on the whiteboards. Selected hints / solutions are found at the back of the book, but you will find them useless if you don't understand the content in the first place. You should consult your tutor and/or utilise consultation hours should you need assistance.

Assignments:
All assignments are handwritten. The questions on the assignments are generally of high difficulty. Although it will seem like some are easy, do not be fooled. There are small nuances everywhere to catch those who are not focused. Like most mathematics at university level, assignment questions are not the same as exam questions, and so it's important that you do not start assignments the night before they are due. The questions are not necessarily straight forward and trust me, Barry will make sure you have thought about it for days before coming up with a solution.

Mid-semester Test: The mid-semester test might just be the worst score you will ever get on a mathematics test. If you are not prepared, you will not score well at all. The test contains content from the first 20 lectures (or first 5 weeks) of the semester. It's 45 minutes long, and is generally around 40 marks. (40 marks in 45 minutes as opposed to 40 marks in 60 minutes in VCE).

Examination:
Worth 80%, this is a massive assessment. You have no calculator and no notes. Only a pen is required. The exam, unlike the mid-semester test, is much more straight forward if you have done the work prior to it. The exam is always designed so that it is relatively easy to pass, but hard to score well in (just like MAST10008 Accelerated Mathematics 1).

Overall, I think MAST10009 Accelerated Mathematics 2 is a very rewarding subject if you put in the effort. It's also a subject that is really the turning point in most students' mathematics education. After completing the first year accelerated stream, students generally come out with a deeper appreciation for higher mathematics.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2019, 10:27:29 pm by dantraicos »
2015-2017: VCE [98.00 ATAR]
2018-2021: University of Melbourne [Biomedicine (Bioengineering Systems Major) and Mathematical Sciences Diploma]

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abc12345j

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #738 on: January 15, 2019, 05:46:39 pm »
+2
Subject Code/Name: BCMB30004 Cell Signalling and Neurochemistry

Workload:  3 x 1 hour lectures per week, 1 x 1 hour tutorial per week, 1 x 2 hour computer laboratory (once early on in the semester)

Assessment:  2 x Mid Semester tests (10% each), 1 x completion of the computer laboratory (5 % and basically a pass/fail hurdle), 1000 word assignment (20%) and Final exam (55%)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available:  Yes, there were two past exams provided (with solutions)

Textbook Recommendation:  No prescribed (essential) textbooks, but I found the recommended textbook (Cell Signalling: principles and mechanisms. By Lim, Meyer and Pawson) to be quite useful in clarifying key concepts.

Lecturer(s): Heung-Chin Cheng, Justine Mintern, Marie Bogoyevitch, Ian Van Driel, Harshal Nandurkar & Carli Roulston

Year & Semester of completion: 2018, Semester 2

Rating: 4.5 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1

Comments: This is an excellent subject which, although content-heavy, definitely complements a wide array of science majors such as Neuroscience, physiology, immunology and biochemistry. It delves into the nitty-gritty of various biochemical signalling cascades that occur in a multitude of contexts in the human body. Topics covered include signalling pathways for the innate immune response, glycogen metabolism and its regulation, post -translational modifications, protein ubiquitination and degradation, cell autophagy and neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease and Motor Neurone disease. I particularly enjoyed the occasions when this subject delved into highly topical and practical subject matter; for instance, the 'guest' lectures from Professor Nandurkar surrounding causes and treatments for chronic myeloid leukaemia were fascinating, as were Dr Roulston's lectures on the causes and prevention of strokes. In this sense, the highly applicable nature of this subject to many fields in the health sciences makes it a subject that is of incredible value for those looking to gain a deeper understanding of cell signalling before undertaking a postgraduate health sciences course.

The assessment for this subject is relatively straightforward. The mid-semester tests each consist of 8 multiple choice questions (worth 80 marks), as well as a short-to-medium answer question worth 20 marks. Although these tests cover a lot of content, if you keep up to date with your study you shouldn't have many problems at all as most of the questions in my experience are easily doable if you have a solid understanding of the lecture notes. The computer lab at the start of the semester introduces you to 'Molsoft' software, which allows you to investigate protein structure and amino acid sequences in great detail. All you have to really do is turn up and follow instructions, and you should get an easy 5%. The assignment is based on one of three research topics (you get to choose which one you do), and is in an essay format. There is a one hour tutorial explaining your chosen topic and what you need to do to complete the 1000 word essay. While it seemed slightly daunting at first, the research here isn't too difficult as you can find most of the papers you need to cite via a google search. I chose Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Motor Neurone Disease) as my topic, and we were given a research paper (in which an experiment was undertaken) to analyse as part of the assignment. The exam is probably the biggest hurdle that prevents students from doing well in this subject. There is a lot of content to revise, and many students simply aren't prepared for the sheer amount of detail that they require you to know. All content is assessable, and there are 10 multiple choice questions (worth 25% of the marks), while the rest (75%) comprises medium-answer questions. I found that the past exams were a decent guide as to the difficultly of the questions and level of detail they expect from you in your responses.

Ultimately, I would definitely recommend this subject to anyone with a biochem-related major or who is looking to enter a health sciences course. This subject is highly applicable to a range of topical issues in medicine, and provides an in-depth understanding of many cell signalling process at the most fundamental level.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2019, 05:50:06 pm by abc12345j »

abc12345j

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #739 on: January 15, 2019, 06:30:29 pm »
+2
Subject Code/Name: POLS30019 Australian Foreign Policy

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

Assessment:  A 500 word report on a tutorial debate (10%), a 1500 word research essay (40%), a 2 hour final exam (50%)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available:  Yes, but the earliest one was from about 6 years ago so they weren't terribly relevant.

Textbook Recommendation:  All readings are provided via the LMS

Lecturer(s): Allan Patience (also the tutor for all tutorials), Richard Tanter

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2, 2018

Rating: 5 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1

Comments: This was without a doubt the best politics subject that I studied at Melbourne Uni. The subject matter is very interesting and contemporary, and both of the lecturers (particularly Allan) are highly engaging presenters and experts in their field. The course, as its name suggests, looks at the world of international relations from the perspective of Australian foreign policy makers. Topics covered include Australia's military alliance with the US (ANZUS), our (historical and present) relationships with China, Japan and Indonesian, Nuclear proliferation, global challenges such as climate change, human rights and Australia's multilateral engagement.

The weekly tutorials take the format of a debate, in which two students from the class are assigned a side (affirmative or negative) and must argue their case in front of the class on a particular topic (such as 'The ANZUS alliance is in Australia's national interest'), irrespective of their personal view on the topic. After the two students have presented their cases, discussion is then opened up to the rest of the class. In the week after your debate topic, you must write up a 500 word report on your case, the arguments that you presented, and those that were raised in opposition to your point of view, and explain how the resulting tutorial discussion changed or affirmed your point of view on the matter. These tutorial sessions were really enjoyable and a great exercise; Allan would always ask you probing questions and you really need to know your stuff to be able to justify your point of view. Although Allan has rather strong opinions on certain matters and is definitely 'left of centre' politically, he always gives all participants a fair hearing and welcomes contrary points of view and vigorous debate.

In terms of the research essay component, you are given a list of potential essay topics from which you are to pick one. The task itself is pretty straightforward, and like most politics essays, so long as you make a clear argument that is supported by evidence (ie. the academic literature, including assigned readings), you should do well. The final exam is a two hour long sit down exam in the Royal Exhibition Building, and you must write two 1000 word essays in this period of time. One of the questions is compulsory (a very general essay question which asks you to discuss three major challenges facing Australian foreign policy makers), while the other question is specific to a topic covered in the lectures and readings (there were about 13 or 14 to choose from if I can recall correctly). This effectively means that you do not have to study every aspect of the course to be well-prepared for the exam; I would advise that you specialise your revision such that you know 3-5 topics back to front, which should be more than sufficient to cover all bases. As the exam is a sit-down, closed book exam, there is no need to reference any readings or literature- all that is required is that you answer the questions with a sophisticated argument.

All in all, this subject was an absolutely pleasure to study. I cannot recommend it enough, particularly to anyone interested in Australian politics and foreign affairs. Although I completed this subject as a 'breadth' subject, I must warn you that it is not a 'bludge' subject where you can do little work and expect to receive an easy H1. If you do end up deciding to do it, prepare to work hard and critically engage with the material!