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jediwizardspy

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #195 on: November 11, 2013, 05:50:58 pm »
+6
Subject Code/Name: PHYC20010 Quantum Mechanics and Special Relativity

Workload: 3 x 1 hour lectures per week; 1 x 1 hour problem-solving class per week; 6 x 3 hour practical classes per semester (every alternate week - one can schedule these to be in the same timeslot, but alternating with, those for PHYC20009)

Assessment: One written assignment per module (5% each); One 30 minute mid-semester test covering Quantum Mechanics (5%); Six laboratory reports (total 20%); One 3 hour examination (65%) - N.B. Passing the practical component (>50%) of the course is a hurdle requirement, as is attending, and submitting a report for, at least 5 out of 6 practicals.

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture. However, Jeff (Quantum) generally preferred to do his calculations on the whiteboard.

Past exams available:  Yes, from 2009 onwards. However for Thermal Physics, there are exams for 640-223 Quantum Mechanics and Thermal Physics from 1999 - 2008, and for Special Relativity there are exams for 640-245 Electromagnetism & Relativity over the same period since these were the predecessors of the current course. N.B. Do not attempt the exams for the "Advanced" version of 640-223 or 640-245 unless you want a challenge - believe me, you won't!

Textbook Recommendation: Serway, Moses and Moyer, Modern Physics 3rd Ed. Brooks/Cole-Thomson Learning, 2005 - this book is absolutely wonderful, definitely buy it. Just be aware that it is not 'rigorous' enough to be used in later years (e.g. no bra-ket/Dirac notation).

For Special Relativity, I'd recommend "Wheeler and Taylor, Spacetime Physics" which is easily found online. However, what is required for this module is not so much a reference textbook but a divine intervention or such like, especially if you get Ned Taylor like we did...

Lecturer(s): Quantum Mechanics - A/Prof. Jeffrey McCallum. Special Relativity - Dr. Edward Taylor.

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1, 2013

Rating: 5 Out of 5 - note however that while the Quantum Mechanics module, in almost every respect, is simply brilliant, the way in which the Special Relativity module was taught was shockingly awful. Only the fact that the material is interesting saves it from utter condemnation...

Your Mark/Grade: 84

Comments:
(General) The tutors are pretty good and are helpful. For Quantum Mechanics we often had Jeff at the tutorials to help us in addition to the regular tutor. Like all subjects it is advisable to attend tutorials... Practicals work the same way as PHYC20009, explained above. However they are more interesting; they include measuring the speed of light, Young's double-slit experiment, and the photoelectric effect.

(Quantum Mechanics) There is a reason why quite a lot of non-physics majors sign up to take this subject - Quantum Mechanics, which takes up about 3/4 of the course. It is worth the (mathematical) effort; it is probably the most intellectually stimulating physics subject at the second-year level. After recapping black-body radiation and the Bohr model, we were introduced to Fourier transforms and Walter White's (sorry, couldn't resist!) Uncertainty Principle. Then we were finally introduced to quantum mechanics itself, with the Born interpretation and operators (including the Hamiltonian), and then the Schrödinger equation. I kid you not when I say this module mainly revolves around manipulating and solving the Schrödinger equation - you'd better be good at solving second-order ODEs with constant coefficients. After being introduced to commutators and exploring solutions to the Schrödinger equation for tricky potentials such as the harmonic oscillator, we were hurriedly exposed to 3D quantum mechanics. Don't worry if you don't understand much of this last section - it really doesn't make much sense until you take MAST20030 or some other PDE course. Anyway there's usually just one easy question on it in the exam. The lecturer Jeff McCallum is quite good, and very helpful - if you don't understand some aspect of the material you are in luck because generally he comes to the tutorials too. The assignment was very managable, and so was the quantum mechanics section of the exam (2/3 of the exam).

(Special Relativity) SR takes up the last 3 weeks of the course, and it should have been brilliant. I cannot lie, though. It wasn't. It was horrible. The material itself wasn't extremely challenging, at least in hindsight. The problem was that instead of the head of the astrophysics research group, Rachel Webster, teaching this module as she had in previous years, we instead were taught by a Research Fellow by the name of Edward Taylor. While Ned was certainly enthusiastic, by virtue of being a first-time lecturer he was rather incompetent in teaching the material, to the extent that it became rather incomprehensible to most of us. It also did seem that he wasn't managing the time allotted to SR particularly well. The last lecture was ostensibly spent introducing us to General Relativity, but perhaps a better description would be "confusing the hell out of us all". In comparison to QM, the assignment for SR was ridiculous in every sense of the word. Not only was it very difficult, but the first half involved the following scenario - "Imagine that it is a cloudless night, with no moon, and that you are a bat." A relativistic bat, to be more precise... The SR section of the exam (which was about a third of the whole) was also unbelievably hard, with questions that should have been worth 5 marks worth only one, and so on. I couldn't even finish half of the SR section of the exam because it was so different to those of previous years, rendering most of my revision worthless.

(Summary) If you are lucky enough to get a decent lecturer for Special Relativity, this may be the best subject you take in second-year. Otherwise...
« Last Edit: December 14, 2013, 10:38:56 am by jediwizardspy »
2010: Economics [38]
2011: English [42], Mathematical Methods CAS [43]. Specialist Mathematics [40]. Physics [41]. Chemistry [38] (ATAR: 98.65)
2012 - 2014: Bachelor of Science - Mathematical Physics - The University of Melbourne
2015 - 2016: Master of Science (Physics) - Theoretical Condensed Matter Physics - The University of Melbourne

jediwizardspy

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #196 on: November 11, 2013, 07:06:35 pm »
+4
Subject Code/Name: MAST20009 Vector Calculus

Workload: 3 x 1 hour lectures per week; 1 x 1 hour tutorial per week

Assessment: Four written assignments (totalling 20%); One 3 hour examination (80%)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available: Yes, there were plenty.

Textbook Recommendation: None. The 'partial' lecture notes are available at the Co-op Bookshop. In Semester 1, 2013 (but not Semester 2) they were also available on the LMS. Note, however, that these were in fact full (and not partial) lecture notes, with the 'completed' worked examples in white - just use Adobe Acrobat etc. to render this black. Alternatively, ask to join the 2013 Semester 1 Facebook group for the subject where the preformatted full lecture notes have been posted.

Lecturer(s): Dr. Mark Fackrell. He looks a little like a long-haired William H. Macy, but he's a decent lecturer.

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1, 2013

Rating: 4 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 82

Comments: This subject is actually quite boring. It is extremely important if you want to study physics like myself, or engineering, or if you want to study applied maths of any sort. But if you like pure maths I suspect you will hate this subject. It's also very easy - in many respects it's the VCE Methods of undergraduate mathematics.

Topics covered:
  • Limits, continuity, differentiability, chain rule for partial derivatives, Taylor polynomials, Hessian & Jacobi matrices, Lagrange Multipliers
  • Vector fields & streamlines, divergence, curl, laplacian, arclengths, tangents and normal vectors, curvature, torsion, scalar and vector potentials
  • Double and triple integrals in Cartesian, Polar, Cylindrical and Spherical co-ordinates
  • Line integrals over scalar and vector fields, parametrisation of surfaces, surface integrals of scalar functions, surface integrals over vector fields (i.e. flux integrals)
  • Green's theorem, Stokes' Theorem, Gradient Theorem for conservative fields, Divergence Theorem
  • General curvilinear coordinates

The issue is that 6. is vitally important in physics applications such as General Relativity but is (as usual) rushed at the end. 1. and 2. are very easy, as is 3. The only challenging aspects of the course, in my opinion, are surface (and flux) integrals along with the various integral theorems. Note, however, that in physics and engineering that these are probably the most important sections of the course.

I do recommend getting a hold of the completed notes as early as you can and working through them by yourself, which leaves you with enough time to revise. The assignments are quite easy, and the exam was tougher but manageable overall. Frankly, if you are not overconfident ahead of the exam as I was, this is your best chance in second-year mathematics, physics or perhaps engineering to improve your GPA with a mark of >90%.
2010: Economics [38]
2011: English [42], Mathematical Methods CAS [43]. Specialist Mathematics [40]. Physics [41]. Chemistry [38] (ATAR: 98.65)
2012 - 2014: Bachelor of Science - Mathematical Physics - The University of Melbourne
2015 - 2016: Master of Science (Physics) - Theoretical Condensed Matter Physics - The University of Melbourne

Shenz0r

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #197 on: November 11, 2013, 08:21:53 pm »
+6
Subject Code/Name: MAST10011: Experimental Design and Data Analysis 

Workload:   3 x one hour lectures per week, 1 x one hour practice class per week, 1 x one hour computer laboratory class per week

Assessment:  One written assignment of up to 10 pages due in the second half of semester (5%), eight to twelve homework quizzes (a combination of written and oneline) due at regular intervals during semester (10%), one 45-minute written computer laboratory test held during semester (5%), and a 3-hour written examination in the examination period (80%).

The 3-hour exam is marked out of 100 even though there are 120 marks. So there is a 20-mark buffer if you want to get the full 80% from the exam.

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with lecture capture.

Past exams available:  Yes, all previous years can be found in the exam library. Your EDDA textbook is littered with past exam questions too. Answers for 2011 and 2012 exams were uploaded onto the LMS.

Textbook Recommendation:  You must buy the EDDA textbook. It has all the questions in it with solutions, and stats is all about trying out more questions. Most of the lecture notes are actually copied straight out of the textbook as well.

Lecturer(s): Davide Ferrari. This guy is a top bloke. Like, he's just nice as and is always there if you need help.

Year & Semester of completion: 2013, Semester 2

Rating:  3.75 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1 (98)

Comments: Stats is the subject which many people complain as dry, boring. It can be at times, but the subject is also not very difficult if you pay attention and everything. Half of this subject is literally just finding the right formula to use and plugging in numbers. The questions are quite formulaic too, so it's unlikely that you're going to be tripped up for most questions.

Davide lectures for the Semester 2 block and he is just a very good bloke. Although the tutorial questions he uploaded were on the rather easy side, he made our exam a bit more difficult than what Ray would normally write. Which was a bit unexpected, but oh well.

You'll have weekly quizzes every week which are taken off the multiple choice of past exam questions (apparently). You'll have 3 attempts for each quiz and they'll take your highest mark for each one. With the help of friends you should be able to full-mark all of the quizzes. They cover the things that you've learnt throughout the week, so they're pretty good for consolidating a week's worth of knowledge.

Tutorials and computer labs are optional, but I went to both all the time anyway. The computer lab pretty much gets you playing with Minitab, which you'll have to use for your assignment a lot. I guess they also do consolidate the material a little as well, so they do help with your understanding. Tutorials are very useful. I recommend registering for Sharon Gunn's tutes because she explains the concepts in a little bit more depth and makes everything very clear. The tutorials just consist of working through a bunch of questions, and it's recommended that you do the questions beforehand and then ask around during the class.

The assignment was a bit hard for us, initially. But if you collaborate and read up on the EDDA notes you won't find most of it tremendously difficult. Ours just consisted of 6 questions, and only one of them required Minitab. However, with the computer lab test, you do want to make sure that you've gone through all the computer lab questions because if you don't know how to read off the Minitab outputs, then you are kinda screwed. It's an open-book test so you can bring in your lecture notes and EDDA textbook. If you've revised everything then the computer lab test shouldn't be too bad as well.

Coming closer to exam time, you want to make sure you know the summary sheet at the end of the EDDA textbook like the back of your hand. The summary sheet is very helpful and pretty much has all the formulas and notes that you need. You also need to get a lot of practise with reading statistical tables and graphs, because you will be using them a lot.

The first quarter of this subject isn't quite interesting, it's just experimental design and lots of probability distributions. But when you get to estimation, hypothesis-testing, comparative inference and regression, you need to definitely know which formulas to use and when to use them. That's all you really need to know; if you can do that then you will not have too much trouble with this section. Generally a lot of people will struggle with this part of the subject (since it's the most maths-related) but all I felt that I was doing was plugging in numbers into the right formulae. If you were good at probability and distributions in VCE Methods, you might not struggle so much with estimation and all.

The exam for 2013 was more difficult in comparison to 2011-2012. We weren't expecting Davide to chuck us a hard exam or anything so I guess we should've prepared for the worse. It might be a goooooood idea to vaguely remember some formulas. In our exam, there was a question which told you to use a rank test but the summary sheet provided in the exam didn't have the rank test formula (whereas it did have it in the textbook).

All in all, this subject, although people complain about it as boring, is not tremendously difficult. Considering you have a 20-mark buffer in the exam, you should be able to H1 if you've put in the work. That means going through the tutorial questions, doing all the problem/revision sets, and doing all the past exams. You'll see that memory work isn't really that much because 90% of what you need to know is provided on the summary sheet. It's easy to complain about this subject's difficulty if you think it's uninteresting and dull, but if you do enough questions and ask for help, then chances are... you'll see that this subject isn't actually as hard as you'll make it out to be. Most of it is just plugging in numbers.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2013, 11:46:35 am 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

abcdqdxD

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #198 on: November 15, 2013, 02:06:15 am »
+7
Subject Code/Name: Introductory Financial Accounting ACCT10002 
Assessment: Assignment 1 (10%), Assignment 2 (Group assignment - 15%), Tutorial attendance (5%), Exam (70%)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes with screen capture

Past exams available: No, however pre-exam questions are available

Textbook Recommendation:
ACCT 10002 Introductory Financial Accounting, 2013, Cusack, McGraw Hill Publishers. Textbook not necessary.

Lecturer(s): Greg Cusack

Year & Semester of completion: 2013, S2

Rating:  1/5

Your Mark/Grade: Not yet released

Comments:

IFA is somewhat an extension of VCE Accounting and is mainly focused on the practical aspects of recording financial data and preparing accounting reports. The assignments were theory based and its content was extremely dry. The first assignment dealt with laws and regulations, it almost felt like I was in law school. The second assignment was somewhat more interesting, assessing our knowledge of accounting policies - depreciation in particular. The exam however, was particularly challenging and I expect it to be scaled up for this reason.

In my opinion, this subject has been awful to say the least. Cusack fails to get to the point; he often extends one hour's worth of material into 2 hours with his useless anecdotes. My tutor (name I won't disclose for obvious reasons) often went overtime and was especially annoying with his frequent 20 second pauses in between powerpoint slides.

In terms of the difficulty, it's not too bad and is slightly more difficult than VCE Accounting. Despite Cusack's useless time wasting with his anecdotes, most of the VCE content is covered in the space of about 6 weeks. There is also a large amount of tutorial work which can easily eat up 1-2 hours a week (if you choose to attempt them).

Overall, I found IFA less enjoyable than ARA but would 100% recommend taking this subject if you're considering an Accounting major.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2013, 02:10:40 am by abcdqdxD »

Shenz0r

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #199 on: November 17, 2013, 10:00:54 pm »
+7
Subject Code/Name: UNIB20013: Body, Mind and Medicine: A Dissecction 

Workload:  2x 1 Hour Lectures each week and 1x 1 hour tutorial for 10 weeks.

Assessment:  Tutorial assessments and participation comprising a collaborative tutorial exercise and micro-blogging tasks equivalent to 2000 words (or equivalent) (50%) assessed over the course of the semester, and a review essay of 2000 words (50%) due during the examination period.

Hurdle Requirement: Students are required to attend a minimum of 75% of classes in order to pass this subject. Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per working day. After 5 working days late assessment will not be marked. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available:  No practise exam.

Textbook Recommendation:  The prescribed textbook is The History of Medicine, but you never use it. Rather, many of the required readings are uploaded onto the LMS.

Lecturer(s): There were three lecturers for the subject.

Dr. James Bradley is the coordinator of the subject and also the main lecturer. He lectures for the bulk of the semester. I quite like listening to his accented English, and he's very nice and approachable. He's a medical historian so he does have a very firm grasp of what he's talking about.

Professor Joel Eigen is a lecturer from the US, and mainly lectures on the relationship between law and medicine. Particularly, he explores how insanity as a legal defense came to be used. He presented for the first 4 lectures.

Associate Professor Mark Salzberg comes in late in the semester to present the "Psychiatry" block of lectures. He particularly focuses on the history of psychiatry. The readings he uploaded onto the LMS weren't too useful though, in my opinion.

Year & Semester of completion: 2013, Semester 2.

Rating:  4 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H2A (77)

Comments: This breadth subject is full of science and biomedicine students, probably because "Medicine" is in the subject title already. That said, this subject dwells into the history of medicine. I found it very interesting - you not only learn how medicine was developed, but you are also exposed to a lot of alternative views of medicine. Some readings from the subject make you question whether we are better off with modern medicine or whether we are worse with it. Particularly, you'll be hammered on about how biomedicine has become very reductionist throughout the course of the subject.

The lectures were presented in the following blocks:

Mind and Body in the Courtroom: Psychiatry and the Law - explores the relationship with body and mind, responsibility and culpability

Making Medicine - the making of modern medicine and surgery, and how it has transformed our lives

Women's Business - women's health and illness, with a focus on childbirth

Bodies, Minds, and Madness - explores bodies, minds and psychiatry

Biomedicine and its Critics - critical views of biomedicine in contemporary society, and the persistence of complementary/alternative medicine


Tutes are pretty chill, you pretty much just discuss what the lectures were talking about. Later in the semester, tutes were used for you to work on your collaborative assignment with members of the group.

Each week, you'll have to write a blog entry of 150 words. All you have to do is pretty much discuss what the lectures were talking about, and provide a bit of your own opinion (back it up with extra readings of course). It's not a walk in the park to get H1 on every blog entry though. I guess you should just try look at the overriding themes of the subject (lol reductionism) and try tie that with whatever you were discussing during the week. The difficult part of this is to be concise and insightful at the same time (although in my experience you could get away with writing 170-190 words)

During the lectures, James presents series of "medical scandals". For your collaborative assignment, you'll be randomly assigned to construct a wiki for one of the scandals. You'll have to write a historical context, a timeline, a literature review, and an editorial. My group did the Cartwright Inquiry, which was very interesting. This is worth a fair chunk of your grade (20%), so make sure you plan and get it done early.

There is no examination for this subject, but there is a final critical essay that is worth 50% of your final mark. It involves writing a critical review of something that you can relate to the themes of the subject. For example, you can do a piece of literature, or you can do television shows like Scrubs, Greys Anatomy, blah blah blah. In all honesty I don't advise doing TV shows because it's difficult to completely relate it to the themes of BMM and provide an insightful analysis at the same time. I'd feel that most people would also get side-tracked by summarising the TV show, rather than critically analysing it.

 I would recommend doing a piece of literature, because you can also find other readings to help you. I wrote my critical essay on Medical Nemesis by Ivan Illich, which was a very interesting and insightful critique of how the medical profession can harm society, rather than benefiting it. You'll find loads of internet resources to help you fluff through the obscure language of the book (it's very convoluted). You could also try write on other articles such as The Disappearance of the Sick Man from Medical Cosmology, by Jewson. James has mentioned this article many times since it emphasises the reductionism of biomedicine.

All in all, a great subject for those who have any sort of interest in the history of the medical field. You're not expected to regurgitate information in this subject, but you should try to analyse everything with respect to the overarching themes of the lectures.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2013, 05:13:43 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

Lado

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #200 on: November 18, 2013, 04:17:53 pm »
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Subject Code/Name: INTS10001 International Politics

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

Assessment:  An essay of 1000 words (25%) due mid-semester, an essay of 2000 words (50%) due at the end of semester, and a take-home exam of 1000 words (25%) due during the examination period.

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available:  Yes - take-home exam questions from the previous year were made available.

Textbook Recommendation:  John Baylis, Steve Smith and Patricia Owen (eds.), The Globalization of World Politics: An Introduction to International Relations (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011). I just borrowed this from the library - several of the chapters are prescribed for required reading and I found it quite a useful reference, particularly for the first essay. There are also a few required readings each week (PDF files are provided on the LMS), though most people, including myself, didn't always complete these.

Lecturer(s): Avery Poole, along with several guest lecturers.

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2, 2013

Rating:  4.5 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1

Comments: I really, really enjoyed this subject. I find international relations a fascinating subject area in general, and felt that this course adequately provided a solid understanding of the field, addressing theories of global politics, the relationships between states both today and historically, and contemporary issues in international relations. I'll briefly run through what each section of the course entails:

Part B: Theories of World Politics
After a basic introduction to historical context (Part A, non-assessed), the first part of the subject explores the various theories underpinning international relations - realism, liberalism, normative approaches and constructivism. Many students found this probably the least interesting and most dry component of the subject, but it was nevertheless necessary in order to understand and approach subsequent topics.

Part C: Sovereignty, Security and Power
This is the largest topic area in the course, and deals with the major issues that regularly dominate world politics - sovereignty and the state, the Cold War and its shadow, the UN, security, terrorism and globalisation, and nuclear weapons, as well as a focus on key state actors and their role in international relations - the rising powers of China and India, America and the notion of its decline, the normative and declining power of the EU, and Indonesia and Southeast Asia. I found this the most interesting part of the course, and certainly the most integral to understanding the workings of global politics.

Part D: Contemporary Issues in International Politics
The final part of the subject examines more recently evolving issues in international relations, such as gender and sexual violence in conflict, trade liberalisation and the WTO, the global ecological crisis and politics of climate change, humanitarian intervention and refugees, asylum seekers and migration. This component of the course was also very interesting, and having the topics delivered by various guest lecturers who specialise in these topics made it all the more enjoyable and engaging.

Lectures and tutorials
The incorporation of many guest lecturers was fantastic, and provided some welcome variety. As for tutorials: like all Arts subjects, I believe, a 75% tutorial attendance rate is a compulsory hurdle requirement, so you'll need to go to most of them. I found the discussions in tutorials incredibly interesting and rewarding - due to the nature of the subject, the class often discussed recent developments and news in world politics along with the weekly topics, which helped to broaden my knowledge of the field as a whole. The particular tutor I had was excellent and facilitated some great discussions, and was an amusing character in general. In addition, I would often utilise some of the ideas generated in tutorials in my essays, so they're worth going to!

Assessment
The assessment for this subject is quite fair. The first essay is only 25% and 1000 words in length (nice and easy, though I personally find it incredibly difficult to develop a distinct argument in so little words) and deals with Part B of the course. The second essay is worth 50% and 2000 words in length, and deals with Part C. The final assessment is a take-home exam which, like the first essay, is only 25% and 1000 words in length, and deals with Part D. You'll have about 4 days to complete the exam, which I found was more than enough time. Each essay involves responding to one prompt from a list, which addresses one particular topic and its corresponding lecture/readings. In terms of approaching the assessment, I'd recommend having a solid understanding of the theories covered early in the course, along with the key differences between them, and incorporate them into every essay - this can help to give your argument the 'originality' necessary for a H1. Extensive reading and research is required for each essay (particularly the second), which is made infinitely easier by the comprehensive list provided in the subject guide available on LMS. As for referencing, I believe I used around 6-8 references for the first essay and take-home exam, and probably about 20 for the major essay.

Overall, I found this subject really enjoyable - the content was interesting, the tutorials were actually worth going to, and the assessment was fair. With such a variety of topics available I think most people found it quite intellectually stimulating, whether coming into the subject with no knowledge of international affairs whatsoever or already having a fairly good understanding of it. I'd recommend it to both Arts students and as a breadth subject, as the assessment and contact hours aren't too taxing and the content is certainly relevant and interesting.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2013, 11:49:00 am by Lado »
2012 ATAR: 96.50
2013-2015: Bachelor of Arts (Politics and IS/Criminology) at the University of Melbourne

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #201 on: November 19, 2013, 01:18:32 am »
+5
Subject Code/Name: PATH20001: Exploring Human Disease - Science 

Workload:  29 lectures (on avg 3 per week, not including review ones) and 10 hours of (1 per week) tutorial/ computer aided learning sessions.

Assessment:  Ongoing tutorial/Computer Aided Learning (CAL) tests (10%), Two 50 min written examinations around weeks 5 and 10 (30%), A 2 hour written examination during the Exam period (60%)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available:  Yes. One with only the non-MCQ sections.

Textbook Recommendation:  Kumar V. et al., Robbins and Cotran Pathologic Basis of Disease, latest edition, Saunders Elsevier.
Useful for clarify confusing stuff in the lectures because the lectures just take off this book (For the most part, esp. Vicki's ones), though whether you wanna get it is up to you.

Lecturer(s): Vicki Lawson, Vera Ignjatovic, Fred Hollande, one more guy whose name I can't recall/the Genetics guy.

Year & Semester of completion: Sem 2, 2013

Rating: 4 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 80

Comments: This subject was done rather well. The lectures were decent (except perhaps the Genetics ones, probs why I couldn't remember the guy's name) for the most part, and the CALs did well to support the understanding of the lecture contents, as well as adding in some more interesting knowledge.

Lectures

As I said before, most of the lectures were decent, although most of Vicki's lectures were taken out from the textbook, although that means you can read the textbook if you didn't understand what she said. Stuff with cell to cell reactions and signals were probably the most confusing of the lot, but the content is manageable. The content is largely split into many parts: Basic cell injury, inflammation, infection and the responses, hypersensitivities/autoimmunities, blood clotting and thrombo+embolism, genetic disorders & technology, cancer & neoplasms, cardiac disorders.

The content of the blood clotting and thrombo+embolism sections were slightly confusing, although they too were manageable, although some details like morphology need to be remembered in particular, as with most other pathology lectures. The cancer lectures were surprisingly (relatively) easy and simple; i expected more from such a concept.

The genetics lectures, however, were rather dull in comparison, I felt like I could understand more from doing the CALs, although the lectures should still be attended there are some parts not on the slides (mentioned verbally) that could come up in the exam. The cardiac disorders section was also rather challenging due to the confusing names of some things and the detail that had to be remembered. You may want to put some extra effort into it.

CALs

The CALs were pretty useful in clearing up some confusing stuff in the lectures, such as time sequences and definitions, which may not be too clear in the lectures. You do them for one week (most require the software on Uni computers, some don't) and you got a week to do an online 5 pt quiz. This should be a simple 8-10%.

Exam(s)

The two 50 min quizzes were laughably easy, it is pretty to score H1s on these little fellas even if you just reviewed your stuff one or two times. This is especially useful for boosting your scores, as each quiz is worth 15%. Each quiz has a set of lectures and CALs from which the questions originate from. Some of the questions might be based on trivia, so be careful.

The exam is tougher, but nothing impossible. The MCQ section (A) is visibly more challenging, but nothing harder than your average exam MCQ. Questions here are based on all of the content of the subject. Section B consists of several fill in the blanks and short answer questions. Try not to slip here and catch up on all the trivia and knowledge of the several processes learned in this subject. Section C is an essay section, having you write an essay format answer into a booklet (which should extend around 2 pages or more). You can select one question to answer on out of 5 (based on the different sections of this subject's content). It's possible for you to study hard on a particular process (e.g. inflammation, healing, clotting) to answer it with the most detail while neglecting (though not entirely) other stuff that is relatively mind-numbing (e.g. genetics) and get the job done. Just be careful as it's worth 30% of the whole paper, meaning 18% of your whole grade!
« Last Edit: November 29, 2013, 01:52:09 pm by Sinner »

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #202 on: November 19, 2013, 11:54:52 pm »
+6
Subject Code/Name: ZOOL20006: Comparative Animal Physiology

Workload:  30 x one hour lectures during the semester; 4 x three hour practical classes and 2 x three hour workshops during the semester

Assessment:  2 written task sheets associated with practical work, up to a total of approximately 10 pages due at dates distributed across the first 7 weeks of the semester (15% = 2.5 + 5 + 7.5); a scientific report of up to the equivalent of 2000 words due in week 10 of the semester (20%); a 2½-hour written examination during the examination period (65%)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available:  Yes, a fair few, although the formats aren't exactly the same as a lot has changed.

Textbook Recommendation:  Hill, Wyse & Anderson, Animal Physiology, 3rd Ed, Sinauer Associates Inc. 2012, Moyes and Schulte, Principles of Animal Physiology, 2nd Ed. Pearson Press 2007. These two are quite useful for citations (especially with citing the different articles the figures/graphs in the book), but you can also do without them, just need more skills in citations.

Lecturer(s): Laura Jean Parry, Tim Jessop, Andrew & Angelina, Mark & Kath, Kearney & Frankenberg (can't remember the full names of the rest)

Year & Semester of completion: Sem 2, 2013

Rating:  3.75 - 4 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 79

Comments: A decent subject, and the other possible alternative to Research-based Physiology as a requirement for the Physiology major. The effort put into it is also quite visible, with numerous opportunities for your feedback to the staff. Though it has a quota of 300 students during my study, the quota has now been reduced to 240 students, but I'm sure it's nothing LeviLamp can't handle, I got in with a H2B average.

Lectures

Throughout the subject you'll be given numerous lectures that may also complement knowledge in the pracs, but are also an important component of the exam. Aside from the content you're expected to know, there are also prac report lectures that give you a heads up on what you're expected to do for any reports you have. There are also research focus lectures that, while they may not be a key part of the exam (although they could be included in short answer sections), you should keep them in mind.

The contents of the lectures aren't overly hard and I've heard some people say that some stuff is pretty similar (if not identical) to that of Human Physiology; I'll have to find that out for next semester. You might need a book to clarify your understanding on sequence-based processes. Stuff other than that isn't overly hard, easy enough to breeze through with effort.

Pracs

Throughout the semester you're expected to attend to a total of 5 (maybe 6 w/ the new one) 3 hour pracs usually once every two weeks. These labs (except one, a CAL) take place in the Zoology lab and you are expected to own your own lab coat. You'll be doing stuff like injecting toads with vasotocin, placing mice in a chamber to measure their metabolic rate (less fun than it sounds), cut open fish, etc. Some of the pracs are quite dull, especially when you're stuck for 3 hours, but bearable.

After each prac until week 7, you are expected to write reports/answer task sheets worth a total of 15% (split 2.5 + 5 + 7.5 for the first 3 pracs). The initial reports are rather simplified, but you should get your report writing skills right so you don't slip up on points, it's easy to; I lost 4% from this section. All of these is a warm up for a later report due after the break which is worth 20%! If you want a H1, do not screw this one up in particular. Read the avaliable guides well and learn the appropriate use of figures & graphs, explaining and displaying results, discussion, conclusion, and incorporating material from other literature. Those are the general guides to a good report. Try to hand them in on time. A paper less than 24 hours late won't earn deductions, but won't get any useful feedback.

Exam

The exam might be tough but not entirely overwhelming. 3 sections: A, B, and C. As you may have guessed, these are MCQs, short answers, and long answers respectively. The MCQs are doable and isn't anything you can't handle. There is a bit of section B questions based on the pracs, so you'll need to go over them. Parts of sections B & C however, give you the option to choose your questions from a list, so you could work that to your advantage. Just be prepared to splurge everything you have on your chosen questions as they could be of a high value. Knowledge of the research focus lectures (if the questions concern them) are also useful here, as are examples from the lectures. You may want to go for a high value question with a load of content instead of one where there is little, so you could be prepared to regurgitate everything you know and hope you got a wide range of them on paper.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2013, 01:51:40 pm by Sinner »

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #203 on: November 20, 2013, 02:51:00 pm »
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Subject Code/Name: PSYC20009 - Personality and Social Psychology 


Workload: 1x 2-hour lecture per week; and 1x 2-hour tutorial/lab class every fortnight.

Assessment: 1 Lab report of 2000 words (40%) and 1 2 hour multiple-choice examination (60%). Hurdle requirement includes attending at least 5 out of 6 Lab Classes AND participation in a class debate close to the end of the semester.

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available: No past exams; however there are about 4-5 Questions posted for each lecture and they resemble the kind of MCQs you get in the exam so they're good practice :) Answers are also provided for these Qs.

Textbook Recommendation: No prescribed textbooks, however most Personality/Social Psychology textbooks would cover the topics in this subject if you do find textbook learning helpful :) For the Personality component of this subject, Nick Haslam's 'Introduction to Personality and Intelligence' is especially helpful I think! :)

Lecturers: Simon Laham, Garry Robins, Jennifer Boldero, and Luke Smilie

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2, 2013.


Rating: 4 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 83 (H1)

Comments:
About the Assessment:
To do well in the lab report, it's important to gather good references to build up your intro and make sure you set out your results as per APA format (no spss tables) and also make sure you do all the statistical analysis properly (you're given good instructions in this area so dw :) ). Also, my tutor was saying that the main area in which marks are lost in the lab report is in 1) Not building up your intro in such a way that it links well to the hypotheses and Make sure you do mention previous work that has been done in the area of moral dilemmas and responses to impersonal/personal scenarios as it counts for a lot in your intro. and 2) Merely identifying improvements that could be made to the study or limitations, rather than explaining HOW those limitations could have hindered the results (this is just explaining what the limitations entailed for the study). Also, correct APA referencing is important, especially for how you display your results and in-text references. I found the lab report to be interesting - our one was about Moral responses to personal/impersonal moral dilemmas and we had to choose our own hypotheses from a list and based on the results we had to construct the lab report based on that. I found the Discussion Board on the LMS to be extremely helpful for the lab report and the staff were really helpful in answering Qs and I appreciated that! The Exam was 90 MCQs which most people will finish before the 2 hours. Most of the Qs were straightforward but some of the Qs were a bit badly worded and didn't make much sense haha but that was only a few! Most of them linked really well to the lectures and lab content is also assessed in the exams as well :) Speaking of Labs, a hurdle requirement is that you must attend at least 5 out of 6 lab classes (you can afford to miss one without having to bring any lab transfer or medical certificate). And iirc it was one lab transfer per student for the whole semester. Also, I'm not sure if this was a new component of the hurdle requirement but this year we also had to participate in an end-of-semester class debate (we formed affirmative/negative teams at the start of the semester) and that was a hurdle requirement but didn't contribute any marks to our grade (basically you put time aside out of class to research and prepare speeches and in the end you don't get any marks for it LOL :P). I didn't mind the debate requirement as such, but thought it was an extra unnecessary assessment which was inconveniently placed close to exams and all the other assessment due dates haha.

About the actual subject content:
Overall, if you like the idea of learning about psychology in a way that tells you a little bit about human nature and who you are, you might really like this subject! :) I did this subject as a compulsory core unit but even if it wasn't compulsory, I would've still taken it because it covers a lot of interesting topics. E.g. you learn about human nature and a lot of different social phenomenon (what do people see as immoral and moral? What influences our moral responses? How normal people can do evil things on the basis of following orders, how we conform to others behaviours and responses, How our behaviours are strongly governed by social influence (obedience/conformity/compliance), how mimicry increases liking, how and why we form relationships with each other and the different types of relationships, Attitude formation, The Self, and different ways of understanding Personality and traits). In terms of stats (which unfortunately, you can never run away from in psych), you learn about correlation and regression. If you're thinking of taking this as a breadth (and haven't done psych before), I wouldn't say it's an "easy" breadth to take but if you like the topics covered, I'd say you could do really well! :) You do go through HEAPS of studies in this subject and are required to remember all the names! Which can be a bit difficult but definitely do-able! However don't worry too much as the lectures in themselves are quite easy to understand and quite straightforward. The MOST IMPORTANT THING to do before starting this subject is to make sure you brush up on assumed research methods knowledge (know things like what a population, sample, IV, DV, different experimental sampling and allocation methods, different types of limitations and confounding variables and definitely understand the P-value of statistical significance!) :)
« Last Edit: November 29, 2013, 02:09:57 pm by yearningforsimplicity »
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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #204 on: November 20, 2013, 03:40:32 pm »
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Subject Code/Name: PSYC30014 - The Psychopathology of Everyday Life

Workload: 2 hour lecture per week; 2 hour Lab Class every fortnight. Hurdle Requirement is to attend at least 5 out of 6 Lab Classes throughout the semester.

Assessment: 2500 word Essay (40%) and a 2 hour exam (60%) consisting of 12 extended answer Qs (each answer expected to be about 2-2.5 pages long) - but out of 12 Qs you have to choose and answer a total of 6 (3 Qs from Henry Jackson's lectures and 3 Qs from Amie Frewen/Isabel Krug's lectures).

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available: No past exams; however, 2 sample Questions were released along with a sample answer for each.

Textbook Recommendation: To be honest, any recently published Abnormal Psychology textbook will do (and this is what Henry Jackson also mentioned in the first lecture). However, the prescribed textbook for this subject is specifically Elizabeth Reiger's E. Rieger Abnormal Psychology: Leading Researcher Perspectives.(Second Edition) :) We didn't use it much so it's not essential to buy :)

Lecturer(s): Henry Jackson, Amie Frewen, Isabel Krug (Guest lectured for the Eating Disorders topic)


Year & Semester of completion:  Semester 2, 2013

Rating:  5 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 88 (H1)

Comments: This was my favourite uni psych subject to date! :D Basically, this subject is all about Abnormal Psychology! So you learn about a specific mental disorder every week (e.g. throughout the 12 weeks, we first covered the importance of DSM and Clinical techniques for studying Mental Disorders, and then we covered how to formulate case studies for patients with mental disorders. After that, we basically went straight into focusing on the actual mental disorders themselves. You only learn about the main key features and symptoms and controversies surrounding the disorders (the interesting stuff!) and we never had to learn anything about treatments (thank God!). So we learnt about Anxiety Disorders (stress,panic disorder, PTSD, social anxiety), Mood Disorders (Major Depressive Disorder & Bipolar), Substance Use Disorders, Somatoform & Dissociative Disorders, Eating Disorders, Sexual Disorders and Paraphilias, Psychosis (Schizophrenia), and Personality Disorders as well as major issues surrounding mental disorders (e.g. stigma, low awareness/treatment in Indigenous populations etc). Because you CHOOSE what Qs you want to answer in the exam, it is possible to only study 3 topics from HJ's lectures and 3 from AF's lectures - HOWEVER, I think it's better to try and study them all as often you could get a Q that you don't know how to answer and it's good to have knowledge to fall back on another Q :) Also, you're not required to particularly memorise DSM symptom criteria so dw about that! :P

The Essay was basically focused on whether incorporating a dimensional approach to the categorical DSM would be an adequate framework for diagnosing Eating Disorders. Unfortunately the Eating Disorders lecture by Isabel Krug was held weeks after our essay was due so basically we had to independently research on eating disorders ourselves for the essay (which wasn't a big deal but having a lecture would've helped more). The essay wasn't extremely difficult but researching and getting good sources took up the most time. Also, having mostly used APA referencing with lab reports, I had to again revise how to use APA in essays haha. The Essay was online submission and we did get assistance in terms of writing introductions and body paragraphs in our Lab Class. That said, the Lab classes were really great! I actually enjoyed the lab classes for this subject more so than any other of my psych subjects. Basically we went through the lab slides, did group discussions of case studies and watched videos of patients who had the particular mental disorders we were studying. My tutor was Elon and he was really helpful and engaging and made the lab classes interesting and enjoyable! :)

The Exam (for me) was wedged in between my Cognitive and Pers&Social Psych exams so naturally I was cramming for this subject to some extent haha. I found the exam okay! But finishing early is not really possible in this exam I think (unless you're a super speedy writer) and I thankfully got in my last word at the last second haha. For exam answers, there's no compulsion to memorise studies or statistical figures for prevalence of the mental disorders, but it is possible that they may get you marks (and enhance an already detailed answer). But obviously spurting out stats in itself doesn't take the place of an actual answer so they kind of emphasised that beforehand. Dot points or normal structured answers were both accepted. The answers had to be concise and no wasting time with fancy intros or repeating the Q. I found the Qs mostly did pertain to the lecture content and the answering booklet was enough to fit in all your answers :)

Overall, if you like the idea of learning about mental disorders and what factors cause/exacerbate/reduce/maintain them, this subject is for you! :) It's not a hard subject as such, but it is (like any psych subject) very content-based and the written extended Q exam means that it is important to get a good understanding of the aetiology of each disorder that's covered. The content in itself though is really interesting and nothing too abstract is covered so if you like the topics covered, I think you can definitely do well!  :)
« Last Edit: November 29, 2013, 01:35:59 pm by yearningforsimplicity »
2011: English | Methods | Psychology | Health & Human Development | Legal Studies | Texts & Traditions
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vox nihili

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #205 on: November 20, 2013, 04:17:09 pm »
+6
Subject Code/Name: SPAN10002 Spanish 2 

Workload:  2 x 1.5 hour tutorial per week, 1 x 1 hour tutorial per week

Assessment: 
    2 written assignments (600 words each) during semester [30%](15% each)
    Oral presentation (equivalent to 400 words) during semester [10%]
    Online work (equivalent to 400 words) during semester [10%]
    1 Oral exam (equivalent to 800 words) in week 11 [20%]
    2-hour final written exam (equivalent to 1200 words)during exam period [30%]

Past exams available:  No, though the exam is in the same format as the Tarea. Practice exams would be a waste of time.

Textbook Recommendation:  Exploraciones (Blitt/Casas). This is the same book as Spanish 1 and must be purchased new.

Year & Semester of completion: 2013, semester 2

Rating:  3.5 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1 88

Comments: By the time you're at Spanish 2, you're well and truly used to learning languages and should be well on your way with the Spanish language. The advantage that French, Italian and Latin learners, and indeed anybody who has studied a language before, quickly dissipates during Spanish 2. So too does the false sense of security that you're lulled into by Spanish 1. This is absolutely a subject that requires constant revision, even for the very best of students.

Overall, this is still a fun and engaging subject like it's semester 1 counterpart. Particularly for people studying science or biomedicine, it is a good break from those subjects and is particularly good in your first year because it provides somewhat of a step between high school and university. Like I've alluded to, this subject becomes a lot more challenging. You leave the present tense and very quickly start to hammer through the various past tenses and some of the grammatical oddities of Spanish. Given that most of the tutors are native speakers, or at the very least are not native English speakers, this can be a little onerous as they often struggle to explain grammatical concepts in ways digestible by English students. For the discerning student, this can actually be a good thing because it encourages you to learn the grammar by yourself, which is probably the best way to do it in all honesty.

The introduction of the preterite along with the imperfect past tense can become difficult. The preterite in particular is difficult to conjugate and the pair of them together can become very confusing. This is further complicated by the very rushed introduction of the present perfect towards the end of the semester. In English, we would use one verb type for all three—that is the past tense—but in Spanish there are certain rules, which are often difficult to digest, that determine which verb tense is used. Often these rules change from country to country. For example, the present perfect is used far more often in Spain than it is in Latin American countries.

Spanish becomes a lot more serious, but the tutors are still really sweet and the tutorials are still fun. It seems a little shallow, but Spanish provides a perfect opportunity to make friends and build some amazing relationships with people. The classes are always very close and everyone tends to get along very well. This is a great departure from certain subjects wherein barely anybody talks to anybody. The environment in Spanish classes makes the rigours of this subject much more easy to deal with, as there's a great sense of camaraderie in each class. For me personally, this aspect of Spanish was invaluable and made it a very enjoyable class to attend, which is something we do really need at Uni!!

Unlike last semester, the presentation is given in Spanish and not in English. This makes it a lot more difficult, but it is certainly very exciting to see everyone get out the front and do a fantastic job. At first, I was worried about the presentation being in Spanish, but even for the weakest students, it provided a great opportunity to speak some great Spanish. It made me value just how much we had learned, when even weaker students who had no enthusiasm for the subject whatsoever were forming large passages of fluent Spanish ad hoc, after only 16 or so weeks studying the subject! The presentation also provides a good opportunity to get over some of your inhibitions and get to know people in the class. The supportiveness of the classes and tutors also makes it a hell of a lot easier—this is a very good audience to speak to, believe me! (my class kindly laughed at all my tacky, pathetic jokes in Spanish!).

I would definitely recommend this subject. There is a myriad of extra resources for students, it is extremely well set out (for example they publish a course guide that says exactly what each class will do in each lesson, which chapters and which exercises). There is a very clear sense of what one needs to know and needs to do and there is never any ambiguity about concepts or what constitutes a good mark. A good mark comes simply from knowing whatever has been taught. This is the only subject I've taken thus far wherein no one has said "what do we need to know?", which really is something to commend I believe! The tutors are all lovely and will enthusiastically help you outside of class. They're also very contactable via e-mail. Whilst Spanish 2 was certainly a lot harder and more frustrating, it is definitely worth it. The class is fast paced and you constantly feel as though there's something to be achieved, even though the classes still remain fun and give time to get to know everyone!

¡Tomad esta clase!
« Last Edit: January 19, 2014, 04:50:28 pm by Mr. T-Rav »
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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #206 on: November 20, 2013, 05:00:25 pm »
+5
Subject Code/Name: MAST10016 Mathematics for Biomedicine 

Workload:  3x1 hour lectures per week and 1x1hour tutorial per week

Assessment:  Weekly assignments 20%, Oral presentation 5%, 3 hour exam at end of semester 75%

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture (though we had microphone troubles all semester)

Past exams available:  None, there was one sample exam without answers. Though we had a Facebook group and made our own answers document.

Textbook Recommendation:  None, the lecture slides are brilliant though.

Lecturer(s): Dr Anthony Morphett

Year & Semester of completion: 2013, Semester 2

Rating:  4 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 82 H1

Comments: I have always had a terrible relationship with mathematics, and have only had very fleeting moments when I have enjoyed it. This subject, however, completely convinced me that mathematics can be fun and enjoyable to study.

The other review for this subject speaks of it being exceedingly difficult and the lectures too quick to follow. The maths and stats department heard a lot of these complaints from the students who studied it last semester, and all credit to the Maths and Stats faculty, listened to their advice. The experiences of this subject relayed to me by people who took this subject last semester were not all consistent with my experiences of this subject.

First of all, I want to start by saying that Anthony Morphett is a sensational lecturer. Lecturing in mathematics is one of the most challenging things to do at a university. Mathematics is very much an area that requires a high level of interaction between the teachers and their students. It requires trial and error and actually getting down to doing things. Thus, as all maths lecturers bemoan, lectures for maths is a poor way to teach it. I tend to agree, though Anthony Morphett is the exception to that rule. He always explained concepts really well and in a way that was digestible for maths morons like me.

There are three main areas that make the focus of this subject. I'll give a quick run down of the three areas.

Population genetics: we start off with the base model of population genetics (Hardy-Weinberg). This essentially describes how allele frequencies will behave over time if any intervening influence, including random effects, are removed from the equation. We then build on this model, including parameters that allow us to observe the influence of mutation (this leads us to a new model called the Fisher-Haldane-Wright model). Also looking at the inheritance of X-linked traits and male and female gene pools. In order to observe these things, we learn the basic of difference equations. Which a models for change over discrete time. They're pretty simple to work with and there's nothing too difficult about them at all! The techniques involved such as cobwebbing and using the linear stability criterion don't involve difficult maths whatsoever and are very easily worked with. After we've dealt with these things, we need to start looking at what occurs in small populations. This is truly fascinating and shows the major influence that population size can have on allele frequencies. These models (the Wright-Fisher Model and the Moran Model) allow us to demonstrate how particular traits can disappear from a population simply by chance and indeed how new mutations become fixed in populations without the effect of selection. These require different mathematical techniques, in particular, Markov chains and using the Monte-Carlo simulation to track these over time. It probably all sounds a bit onerous, but it is really quite easy and a lot of fun. It shows the true force of genetics and how it all occurs on a large scale.

Biochemistry: After six weeks of genetics, this is generally a welcome change for most students (though not me—I quite liked genetics!). The mathematical models used are a bit different as we no longer look at discrete time, but rather, continuous time. This introduces us to differential equations, which are quite similar to difference equations. The basics of both are actually quite similar, and this makes the concepts quite easy to grasp. We start off with something called mass action kinetics and use difference equations to model the way that reactions proceed over time. This leads us into some weird and wonderful tricks for working with difference equations and a hell of a lot of graphing. This can become quite tricky, but at the end isn't too bad. We then finish off by looking at Michaelis-Menten kinetics, which is a little bit different. This is very much a section that confuses people and you spend the first two weeks or so not really appreciating what is going on. Once everything has been taught though, things click very quickly. It wasn't as interesting as genetics for me, though my marks did climb up for this section a bit. The maths itself was more enjoyable and there was a little of work with computers for this section.

Infectious disease: This particular section is a godsend. This is three weeks of using maths that we've already learned in the biochemistry section. Again, we look at how epidemics are formed over continuous time. Thus, all of the techniques involving difference equations are equally applicable and there is a lot of revision of those techniques. This is very much applied maths, with the only difficulties coming from understanding the various parameters and their effect on disease and under what conditions an epidemic will arise or under what conditions the disease will become endemic. There are a number of different models, which essentially give rise to different difference equations, including the SI, SIR and SIS models. When thought about logically, they are very easy to understand and everything just becomes a matter of interpreting the mathematics of the model. Personally, I stopped paying attention during these three weeks and was lucky that I chose them, because it wasn't particularly detrimental at all.

Overall, this was a great subject. I'm not a maths person at all and yet I found this subject fantastic, I also found that during the semester I was doing quite well. The sticky point was probably the exam. It was a lot harder than the previous semester's and will see a great number of people fall well below their expectations, I think I will be included in that. It was also a lot harder than the practice exam that we were given, which was a bit disappointing. There are a lot of resources available to students, including tutorials (which are worth going to) and weekly exercise sheets with answers. The exercise sheets are quite challenging, though being able to complete them will set you up very nicely for the exam. The exam is intended to be written to be easier than the exercise sheets.

There is an oral presentation component of the assessment. This is essentially free marks, so it's good for that. Most students found it to be a waste of time, though I don't agree with them. Perhaps I'm biased—I love public speaking—but I thought that it actually did function quite well as a way to help us discuss and better appreciate the mathematics that we were using. This was an imperative for everyone studying the course. The key to doing well was to be able to appreciate what the maths meant, with a whole section of the course devoted to just that. The maths in the course isn't particularly intense (and believe me when I say that's something coming from me) and was made a hell of a lot easier by actually understanding the maths. A bit of logic and a basic understanding of the maths would easily lead to a reasonable answer. This is definitely a subject wherein it is more important to understand the importance of the maths and what it represents rather than being able to use the skills themselves. In other words, you could sort of bullshit through the maths a little bit by just using your head, something that suited me very well.

Biomedicine throws out some terrible core subjects. This is certainly not one of them if you get Anthony Morphett as your lecturer.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2013, 04:57:00 pm by t-rav »
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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #207 on: November 21, 2013, 01:39:50 pm »
+5
Subject Code/Name: BIOM20002: Human Structure and Function 
Workload:  (6 x 1 hr lectures per week, 4 x 2 hr anatomy practicals throughout semester, 1 x 3 hr physiology practical throughout semester

Assessment:   2 x intra-semester tests (10% each), Physiology Practical Report (10%), Anatomy end of semester exam (35%), Physiology/Pharmacology end of semester exam (35%)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:  Yes, on unimelb past exam website

Textbook Recommendation:
Eizenberg, N., C. Briggs, C. Adams & G. Ahern. General Anatomy: Principles and Applications. Sydney: McGraw-Hill, 2007.
Silverthorn, D.U. Human Physiology: An Integrated Approach. San Francisco: Pearson, 2007

For anatomy, don't bother getting a textbook. Nearly everything you need you can find somewhere online. Physiology, I would probably recommend getting the textbook, pre-reading is prescribed and basically assessed as well.

Lecturer(s):
Lots of people. This year it changed with the cardiovascular ones. I'll go into detail later.

Year & Semester of completion:
2013 - Sem 2

Rating: Overall: 3/5
Pharmacology - .6/1
Anatomy - 2/2
Physiology - .4/2

Your Mark/Grade: H1

Comments:
Okay, so I thought I'd give a bit of a contrasting opinion from someone who is going to major in either HSF or Physiology.

Firstly, anatomy.
I can not fault the coordination and lecturing of the anatomy course. Just perfect. Great lecturers, amazing pracs and assessment was always fair. Hence the 2/2.

Pharmacology next.
I was a student of Pharmacology, How drugs work this semester so keep that in mind.
So you have 3 lectures for this, Alastair Stewart, Michael Lew and Graham Mckay. Alastair is deplorably bad however Michael and Graham are fantastic. I would recommend asking the kids who do the pharm subject as an elective for their first couple of lectures as it taught much much better and the content that is assessed is much closer to what the pharm kids learn than what Alastair teaches. Seriously, he really sucks. I felt the assessment was not fair, as while I found that section on the exam easy, it was not really taught by Alastair. Also, yes you do need to learn all the drugs they talk about. Especially Michael Lew and Graham. Just as a side note, while the pharm subject is essentially the same for the first 2-3 weeks is differs completely after that and it becomes much more enjoyable, so don't be deterred from doing a pharm major from what the pharm component is like in HSF.

Physiology.
I'm most likely going to major in physiology so I'll try be as objective as possible.
Even with my love of physiology, this was horribly taught. The are 6 main topics - Neuro, cardiovascular, respiratory, renal, reproductive and digestion.
Firstly, I would like to just say physiology is not like other biology subjects, you actually have to understand the content. It's not just memory work.
Alright now into the topics.
Neuro: Taught by David Williams who is the coordinator of the subject. I personally found him a very good lecturer but others found him really average for some reason. Either way the neuro topic, IMO was taught well and assessed fairly.
Cardio: Here's where shit hits the fans. We had a different lecturer for each lecture(about 4 overall) and as such there was no continuity and in addition, the lecturers were doctors who clearly hadn't lectured before. So the content was very poorly taught.
Respiratory: Same deal as cardio except the lecturers were decent this time.
Renal: Very well taught, lecturer is great.
Repro: Very well taught, wasn't assessed at all in either the exams or the MSTs for some reason.
Digestion: Average lecturer. DO THE PREREADING FOR HIM ESPECIALLY, HE WILL EXAMINE IT. Said lecturer is Joel Bornstein
So apparently the year before people complained about David Williams lecturing for the cardio and respiratory section because it wasn't his field of study. Which I think is ridiculous to make such a complaint. In response David recruited all these lecturers who absolutely sucked.  Hopefully he should be back lecturing it next year though. In terms of assessment I strongly recommend getting hold of the physiology lectures and watching all the cardio and respiratory ones (the ones on high altitude and excercise especially) as it was assessed on the exam even though we had a total of one lecture slide on high altitude. This is a result of having to cut lectures out to make way for the pharm component of HSF. Assessment for physiology is also quite weird. The whole exam except 2 15 mark questions is them giving you a scenario and they then say "what is the effect on... ventilation rate, PO2, PCO2, pH etc" and you can choose from increase, decrease, no change or not enough information. There is no place for giving an explanation or anything which I find severely limiting in determining a students competency. Also, nearly always you can think of something that was assumed in the question making you think the answer is not enough information when in reality the lecturer hasn't thought of that assumption meaning the answer is something else. Make sense? Didn't think so, but don't worry you'll see when you start the subject and do the practice questions David posts up.
The physiology prac is also very stupid as you had to write a prac report on stuff you hadn't been taught yet in the lecture.
pm me for any questions :)
« Last Edit: November 29, 2013, 04:57:08 pm by bubbles21 »
2012-14: Bachelor of Biomedicine @ UniMelb

“Try and fail, but don't fail to try.” - Stephen Kaggwa

bubbles21

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #208 on: November 21, 2013, 02:38:02 pm »
+9
Subject Code/Name: PHRM20001: Pharmacology, How Drugs Work

Workload:  3 lectures a week, 2x3 hour pracs throughout semester, (3-4)x1 hour tutes, 3x1 hour workshops
Assessment: 
A couple of CALs and prac questions(don't worry it's not a prac report, it is just just answering a few questions (20%).
Mid-semester assessment (20%).
A 2-hour written examination in the examination period (60%).

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:  Yes.

Textbook Recommendation:  I have no idea if there is a textbook, but you definitely do not need it.

Lecturer(s):
Lots and lots and lots.

Year & Semester of completion:
2013 - Sem 2

Rating:  4.5/5

Your Mark/Grade: 92

Comments:
I really enjoyed this subject. The quality of the lecturers were fantastic(except alastair stewart), even if some were a little boring. Oh, and before I start, yes you do need to learn all the drugs they mention *gasp* I know right! How could they make you do such a thing in a subject on Drugs. Overall there are about 100 to learn. For some drugs you just need to learn that it binds to this receptor, others you need to learn how the drug causes the response. In terms of side effects for drugs, some lecturers will teach them but not assess them, others will teach them and assess them. Just learn the main side effects rather than all of them and you'll be okay, if they do get assessed it'll just be MCQ questions.
So, content, here we go.
First 3-4 weeks is the principles of drugs, and this is the how drugs work, how they are excreted out of the body and how drugs are discovered. Pretty boring stuff IMO.
After that is where I really started to enjoy it. You basically learn the drugs used to treat various things and how they do whatever they are supposed to do. The topics are drugs for: asthma, hypertension, immune system, pain, depression, obesity, contraception, recreation, sport, bacteria, fungi, brain and then a couple of random ones on drug toxicity and environmental contaminants.
Tutes are optional and basically like mini interactive lectures. The workshop they will say is assessable but in reality it'll be 1 multi choice question on one of the drugs. The pracs are compulsory but there are only 2 of them. The first prac is incredibly boring but the second is okay. Assessment for the pracs is post practical assessment.
Overally the assessment I found was much easier in comparison to my biomed subjects especially the MST. The exam was more difficult than the MST otherwise 30% probably would of gotten H1s. The exam I thought was still very fair.
Also in terms of studying, I recommend using one of the many flashcard websites out there and make your set of flashcards. It makes learning much more efficient.
As I said the lecturers are great even though there are many. Because each lecture is basically another topic you don't feel the need for continuity of lectures, so it's not a problem that there are many different lecturers. Overall great subject, made me consider doing a pharmacology major.
PM me for any questions :)
« Last Edit: November 29, 2013, 05:20:00 pm by bubbles21 »
2012-14: Bachelor of Biomedicine @ UniMelb

“Try and fail, but don't fail to try.” - Stephen Kaggwa

Leronziia

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #209 on: November 22, 2013, 11:58:04 am »
+6
Subject Code/Name: PHYC10007 Physics for Biomedicine 

Workload: Three lectures a week, 8 practicals throughout the semester each lasting 3 hours, weekly tutorials (problem solving sessions) that last an hour.


Assessment: 25% allocated to the 8 practicals throughout the semester.
15% for weekly MasteringPhysics assignments that are computer based.
60% end of semester examination.

Lectopia Enabled: Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available: Yes, with solutions provided from 2008-2012.

Textbook Recommendation:  The prescribed textbook was College physics: A strategic approach. I don't buy textbooks purely because I can spend the money better elsewhere, but having the eBook/PDF was certainly beneficial when concepts were very rushed during the lectures, which was often the case.

Lecturer(s): Martin Sevior took the first six weeks and Rob Scholten took the remaining six.

Year & Semester of completion: 2013, Semester 2.

Rating: 3.5/5.

Your mark/grade: H1

Comments:

Okay, I haven't seen a review for this subject so here goes.

This subject was very, very demanding, particularly since all the students involved had no prior physics experience (barring cheekiness). Started off fairly slow and easy but once a few weeks had elapsed the pace really picks up. You end up covering an insane amount of content; kinematics, forces, energy, fluids, thermal physics, waves, electricity, magnetism, atomic physics and radiation, all in the space of 12 weeks.

The first half of the course was taken by Martin Sevior, who is no doubt a very nice fella. I just felt that we weren't being 'taught' as much as were being 'told' with Martin. It was simply a matter of reading the slides. Thankfully Rob Scholten took a slightly more dynamic approach. He was more interactive with the students and more enjoyable to try and learn from.

The practicals were decent, albeit there were too many. Eight is really overkill, especially when biology consists of five and first semester chemistry has only six. Nonetheless, it what a pretty easy way of securing at least 20 of the 25 marks available towards your final score. They also swapped demonstrators after 4 practicals to ensure there wasn't any bias or inconsistency between the groups in terms of marking.

Nonetheless, I have nothing nice to say about the MasteringPhysics weekly assignments that are computer based. I absolutely dread having to do any sort of mathematical calculations on the computer, and the fact that you have to type your answers correctly using all the right symbols was extremely time consuming and frustrating. One wrong symbol such as incorrectly using a capital letter would results in lost marks. Again, not huge in terms of your final grade, but quite annoying.

The weekly tutorials/problem solving sessions were fairly helpful when I turned up. I'd recommend you attend the sessions and see whether you find them beneficial or not prior to completely ditching them. Attendance is taken though, not sure whether that meant anything...

The exam was quite difficult, the standard was higher than the previous year and probably the few years before that also. Many obscure questions and Rob loves his rubidium and will always find a way to include some of his research into his questions. There was an analogue of a previous year question on the exam, so make sure you go through every past paper provided on the LMS and complete them.

Unfortunately, due to the amalgamation of two semesters worth of physics into one, which apparently was a decision driven by students a few years ago, the subject is quite dense. I don't really blame the lecturers for the fast pace, they are doing their best to complete the content in a semester and prepare students optimally for the GAMSAT. Since this is a compulsory subject (for students with no physics background), you simply have to deal with it.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2013, 11:19:23 pm by Leronziia »
2012: 99.95.
Completed: B.Biomed (Micro&Immuno)
Currently: MD4