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August 15, 2020, 05:57:18 pm

Author Topic: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings  (Read 1207104 times)  Share 

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #315 on: June 23, 2014, 07:56:14 pm »
Subject Code/Name: CHEN30001 Reactor Engineering 

Workload:  3 lectures per week (two 1 hour lectures, one 2 hour lecture), 1 tutorial per week (1 hour), 2 practical classes per semester (3 hours each).

Assessment:  Final exam (70%, hurdle requirement), 2 practical reports (7.5% each) and a midsemester test (15%).

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes

Past exams available:  There are several past exam papers available and Greg Qiao (the main lecturer) even provides worked solutions to all given past papers on the LMS which is extremely nice.

Textbook Recommendation:  The prescribed textbook for the course is: O. Levenspiel, Chemical Reaction Engineering, 3rd Edition, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York,1999. However, you will be able to do just fine without it as the lecture notes cover everything you need to know just fine.

Lecturer(s): Greg Qiao, Judy Lee.

Year & Semester of completion: 2014, Semester 1.

Rating: 4.5 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: Not yet received.

As a Chemical Systems major, this is the first of the 4 core subjects that I undertook (along with Heat and Mass Transport Processes this semester). In terms of the subject material, the course goes into entirely new territory compared to what you may have seen in CPA 1, CPA 2 and Transport Processes, however it does draw on the fundamental concepts learnt in CPA 1 and CPA 2 like material balances, energy balances etc. to derive new equations.

Content: Over the first few weeks, you will revisit chemical kinetics (from Chemistry 2, which is absolutely crucial in all following topics essentially), learn about the design equations for ideal batch, mixed flow reactors (MFR's) and plug flow reactors (PFR's) and how to optimise a reactor system for a given final conversion. Depending on how far you get in the course, the midsemester test will certainly cover these concepts. Following this, you will learn about the recycle PFR (design equation, optimum recycle ratio for a given reaction and final conversion), temperature effects on reactor performance (eg. adiabatic operation, optimum temperature progression for a reactor), and finally non-ideal flow systems which brings in a small amount of statistics. The final exam will primarily cover the topics not on the midsemester test, however as the first modules are fundamental to the subject, you should be confident in these topics even for the exam.

Lecturers: Although it is clear that Greg and Judy know this content extremely well, unfortunately they were often difficult to understand and didn't explain some concepts very well. Additionally, Greg can sometimes go on tangents about his research that whilst interesting, can be quite random. However, I would say that they both are fully aware that this is one of the hardest subjects you will have likely taken before and therefore they provide many practice problems in the lecture notes to go through in class which is great (similar to other math subjects you will have done). Furthermore, Greg does bring in guest lecturers from industry (Qenos and Uhde Shedden chemical engineers showed up this semester) to speak about how the content relates to their work which provided some context to the course. It should be noted that the content in the guest speaker lectures are examinable, so pay attention!

Assessment: The practicals were generally very simple to do in class (essentially starting a pump for some sort of chemical, running logging data and then waiting for steady state to be achieved), however the reports are where the difficulty really ramps up from past subjects. The marking for these reports is extremely strict (even down to significant figures and numbering of pages), so you MUST follow the report structure and expectations to a tee. The lecturers and demonstrators really want you to feel like you are writing a professional scientific paper that someone could pick up and still be able to know what is going on, so things like captioning figures, listing tables and providing nomenclature tables is expected. For this reason, the average mark for the first practical report in the class was very low (~62%) as most people didn't know how strict the marking was going to be beforehand. This is one of the few negatives I have about the subject as the class didn't initially know of these expectations, so be very aware of this if you are taking this subject.

As for the midsemester test, this is generally fair and is indicative of the tutorial questions/past midsem tests you will be working through.  Note that the last question on the midsemester tests (and exams for that matter) do tend to be very difficult to separate the H1's from H2A's. Past midsemester papers were provided with worked solutions which was very generous of the lecturers.

Finally, the final exam is a hurdle requirement (70% of final mark) and can be real test, especially for the last question which is typically very difficult. There are generally 6 questions on the paper, the first and second often being questions straight from the tutorials just with slight modifications. To do well on the exam you really need to know the content inside and out, being able to go both "forwards" and "backwards" in typical problems. That is why I would absolutely suggest you DO NOT FALL BEHIND ON TUTORIALS. For this subject, the tutorials are actually very useful as the tutors go through the solutions in the tute and explain the method/strategy for tackling the questions. There were 2 tutors taking the class during Semester 1 and both were very good. Additionally, I would suggest that you do go to lectures (don't rely on Lectopia) as the lecturers often write up important notes on the board which are not recorded and the lecturers often had difficulty with using Lectopia correctly (eg. recording the wrong board, no audio etc.).

Recommendation: As this is a core subject for the Chemical Systems major, I'm not entirely sure if anyone would be taking it otherwise however I would say that although the lecturers are less effective compared to other Chem. Eng. lecturers like Shallcross, Dalton and Sandra, the content is very interesting and the types of problems you can do after understanding it can go even beyond what you would typically think of as a "reactor" (eg. if a pollutant spill in a river has occurred, being able to figure out when the concentration of the pollutant will decrease to a safe level).
VCE: Graduated 2011, ATAR 98.60
2012-2014: Bachelor of Science, Majoring in Chemical Systems (UniMelb)


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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #316 on: June 23, 2014, 08:42:33 pm »
Subject Code/Name: CHEN30005 Heat and Mass Transport Processes 

Workload:  3 lectures per week (two 1 hour lectures, one 2 hour lecture), 1 tutorial per week (1 hour), 2 practical classes per semester (3 hours per class), 1 computer simulation (HYSYS) class per semester (2 hours).

Assessment:  Exam (70%, primarily covering mass transfer), 2 practical "reports" (2.5% each, these are more like answering tutorial questions based on your results rather than an actual report with an abstract, intro. etc.), 2 assignments (5% each. This semester the assignments were designing a cooling tower for a given location and designing a distillation column to meet given specifications using HYSYS), midsemester test (15%, primarily covering heat transfer).

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes

Past exams available:  There are past exams going back several years, however pre-2010 papers do cover material not found in the current course. Sandra did provide numerical solutions to past papers going all the way back to 2002, and she often explained how to get the solution in the discussion board promptly which was great.

Textbook Recommendation:  None.

Lecturer(s): Prof. Sandra Kentish.

Year & Semester of completion: 2014, Semester 1.

Rating: 5 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: Not yet received.

Content: This is one of the core subjects for the Chemical Systems major and is probably the most engaging and applicable to industry subject I have taken thus far. The content covered builds directly onto what was learnt in Transport Processes and is focused primarily on applying the concepts of heat transfer (forced convection, natural convection, diffusion) and mass transfer (Fick's first law and now second law for steady and unsteady mass transfer) to unit operations and more complex problems. For heat transfer, these included things like shell and tube heat exchangers (single and multiple pass), plate heat exchangers, phase changes in heat exchangers, natural convection around surfaces with isothermal boundary conditions and constant heat flux conditions etc. For mass transfer, this included flash distillation, differential distillation, multistage distillation, gas absorption/stripping, humidification (cooling towers) and membrane systems. As you can see, there is a huge amount of content covered which is why YOU MUST KEEP UP WITH TUTORIALS IF YOU HOPE TO PASS. I will say it here that Sandra (the lecturer) is notorious for writing exams and tests that tend to be difficult not because the questions asked are very obscure, but because she very often finds new ways to ask questions using the course's concepts. So, I would say that doing well in the course relies on you understanding the concepts inside and out as well as keeping up with the work which doesn't stop piling up even up to the very last day of class.

Lecturers: Sandra is absolutely up there as one of the best lecturers I've had so far in my degree. She reminds me a lot of David Shallcross in her style of teaching, and she puts a real emphasis on why the content is actually useful with constant references to industry applications which was great. Additionally, her lecture notes are very comprehensive (which is why there is no prescribed textbook; her notes are essentially the textbook) so you can rely fully on them. Additionally, Sandra is very active in the discussion board where you can ask questions about anything in the course which is extremely helpful (especially as assignment and exam deadlines draw near).

Assessment: In terms of the practical classes, these are extremely easy to do in class (often involving measurements of heights or simply using logging data), and the "reports" required are really just using your data to do what are essentially tutorial questions. For this reason, the practical classes are worth only 2.5% each for your final mark, and are more for guiding your study.

The assignments given are worth 5% each. For my assignments, the first involved designing a distillation column for a given specification in HYSYS (each student is given a different feed, distillate and bottoms condition to use as well as operating pressure so nobody can really copy anyone else). A short report of only 2 pages was allowed where you essentially discussed the fluid package choice, the process you went through to design the distillation column and some downstream operations you used to store your product. The second assignment involved designing a cooling tower for a given location (again, each student is given a different location). This assignment required you to use numerical integration which could be done by using Excel or MATLAB. In terms of how well these assignments were managed, how marks were distributed were uploaded by Sandra on the LMS in sample answers so this made it easy to know where you went right/wrong.

The midsemester test is 1.5 hours long and covers essentially all of the heat transfer content that will have been covered up until that point. If you have kept up with tutorials over this time you should be well prepared for the test, and Sandra does provide you with the previous year's midsemester test to practice. Note also that Sandra does give a "Heat Transfer Pre-Semester Test" on the LMS which is worth no marks, however questions from this test have shown up on midsemester tests before (eg. the first pre-semester test question was the first question on my midsem). The midsem was generally fair with no trick questions.

The final exam is worth 70% of the mark and requires you get 40% on it to pass. This paper can be very tough at times and will require you to really think about how to solve the problems, however if you go through the myriad of past papers you should be relatively well prepared for it. Again, there are no trick questions on the papers, however Sandra does have a problem with typos in exams which can be very annoying.

Recommendation: Again, this is a Chemical Systems major core subject so you will have to take this subject if you wish to proceed in this direction. However, if you wanted to take this subject, I would say it is a really great course to take for solving more complex problems related to heat and mass transfer that whilst tough, is very rewarding.

« Last Edit: June 23, 2014, 08:51:15 pm by Groudon »
VCE: Graduated 2011, ATAR 98.60
2012-2014: Bachelor of Science, Majoring in Chemical Systems (UniMelb)


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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #317 on: June 24, 2014, 07:42:45 pm »
Subject Code/Name: UNIB20007: Genetics, Health and Society 

Workload: 12 weeks of two 1-hour lectures per week (24hrs) plus one 1-hour small group discussion or workshop per week (12hrs).

Note that you only have tutes in Week 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12.

Assessment:  (1) Three online multiple choice quizzes; first quiz worth 5%, second and third worth 10% each.
Quizzes evenly spread throughout the semester (25%)
(2) A wiki and class presentation (small group work) of 10-15 minutes duration on an allocated topic, presented toward the end of the semester (15%); and
(3) Final written examination (2 hrs), during the examination period (60%)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture. I hardly went to any lectures.

Past exams available:  None available. You do get one practise exam scenario which you can email to your tutor for feedback.

Textbook Recommendation:  No textbook required

Lecturer(s): Lots, from many different departments.

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1, 2014

Rating:  4 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1 (92)

Comments: This subject is very interesting and is pretty good. I didn't really pay attention to it much until SWOTVAC though. When you actually review it you can see how series of lectures flow from the previous one - everything can be linked together and, true to the subject's name, there was a true integration between genetics and its applications to society in real life.

You have a LOT of lecturers in this subject lecturing for many themes. These include:
(1) Setting the scene: A hypothetical introducing the subject, and an overview of the milestones in human genetics.

(2) Nature and nurture. What is the human genome, what does it contribute to who we are and how?

(3) Reading the future. What can genes tell us about ourselves and our potential children, and what do we really want to know? Clinical and non-clinical uses of genetic testing. What are the ethical and psychosocial considerations of genetic testing?

(4) Genetics and race. How does genetics interface with the concept of race?

(5) Visible and invisible differences. Exploring the psychological ramifications for people with genetic disorders that cause differences in physical appearance.

(6) Genetics and art. Exploring the influence and inspiration of genomics on various media.

(7) Genetics and the law. Legal implications of genomics will be addressed including: genetics in solving crimes and paternity; ownership of DNA including patenting of genes; sharing of genetic information within families, issues of confidentiality and privacy, genetic testing of children; genetic discrimination in insurance and employment.

(8) Genes and kinships. What connects families? How do we understand donor-assisted conception, paternity “fraud,” and complex “blended” families?

(9) Ethics of reproductive choice. Ethical considerations of reproductive choices set against the background of the history of eugenics and the current emphasis on free and informed choice, including termination of pregnancy following genetic testing.

So yeah, as you can see there's lots of stuff to talk about. I found genetics and law to be the most technical and difficult to get my head around.

The tutorials start in Week 5 and there's not many of them. Your last two sessions will just be wiki presentations by other groups. You pretty much just get a sheet with questions on it concerning the last week's material and you'll discuss it in class. Very relaxed, but a lot of the time we finished pretty early and spent the rest of the time talking about irrelevant stuff.

You have three intra-semester tests to do over the LMS. The first test, which is more focused on basic genetics,  is exceptionally easy if you've done Biology. The second test begins to cover genetic tests, visible differences and ethics. It isn't too bad either. The third test, which covers almost everything else, is pretty hard. There's quite a big number of ambiguous and vague questions so have fun with that and pray you're interpreting the question correctly.

The wiki assignment isn't too bad if you're put in a good group. We got to pick our groups, but I'm not sure if other tutors will let students do this. You pick a specific movie or book and you're given questions to answer. You have to present your answers orally and through the wiki. There's an emphasis on creativity (5 marks out of like...15-20? can't remember), some people made a Hitler Rage video (and cupcakes), some people had a talk-show role-play, some people had a courtroom role-play. It's really up to you. Our group did Brave New World and in all honesty I didn't think that it related to genetics as much as the other books/movies. There was also like The Island, My Sister's Keeper, etc, which were much more relevant. The questions given to us also emphasised on dystopia and other stuff in the book, not just genetic engineering. So I didn't think what we presented was really relevant to the subject. That being said we still did really well.

The exam is definitely not an easy, relaxed one. Study everything. There's 20 MCQs for the first section. These aren't too bad but there were some vague and ambiguous questions that made you think. The last question was also very troll-like and tested us for a really minute detail and so many people had to guess that question. The second section involves an integration question (which was pretty much just genetical ethics, laws, etc). This is 30 marks. It has a scenario about for example a couple having a genetic test, and it's broken down into short-answer questions worth 3-6 marks each. This felt like probably the easiest part of the paper. The last section makes you write from 5 long-answer questions out of a pool of 9. These can be hard. Each question was worth 12 marks (not broken down either!), but sometimes they specifically asked you to talk about something that was only on one or two lecture slides, for example. Because of its specificity you might feel really boxed in on what to write. My advice is to just splurge everything on the paper that you might think will be remotely relevant. There was really no choice but to waffle. You have to be good at thinking on your feet and thinking creatively in this exam - you have to list many reasons and factors involving something. There were no ethical scenarios in this section, funnily enough. It was pretty much like "here, write 12 marks about...this topic".

Nevertheless, this is a really good subject that's not to bad assessment wise. If you've studied Biology and have an interest in genetics, do this subject.

(May add more later)
« Last Edit: July 27, 2014, 05:39:01 pm by Shenz0r »
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2013-2015: Bachelor of Biomedicine (Microbiology/Immunology: Infections and Immunity) at The University of Melbourne
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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #318 on: June 24, 2014, 10:31:20 pm »
Subject Code/Name: ENVS10002: Reshaping Environments

Workload:  1 x 2 hour lecture
                  1 x 2 hour tutorial


Sustainability Essay            1500 Words    Week 6      20%
Group Project                     “1900” Words    Week 9      25%
Sustainability Project           1300 Words       Week 15      25%
Reflective Journal                X Words       Weekly      20%
Tutorial Participation                  Weekly      10%
Bonus Marks                 Various Weeks      +3 marks

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, slides usually uploaded the day before

Past exams available:  No exam in this subject. Past assignment responses available on the LMS

Textbook Recommendation:  Bender, Helena (ed.) (2012) Reshaping environments: an interdisciplinary approach to sustainability in a complex world, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne + Subject reader

Lecturer(s): Helena Bender + various guest lecturers

Year & Semester of completion: 2014, Semester One

Rating: 2 Out of 5

Comments: This is going to just be a short review because there isn’t a great deal to write about this subject.

HOW TO SUCCEED IN RESHAPING ENVIRONMENTS: Understand the difference between “Sustainability” and “Sustainable Development”. Get that down and you’re flying.

Reshaping Environments is a good first year uni subject as it ‘introduces’ you to critical thinking, data analysis, APA ( :( ) referencing, and quantitative/qualitative research methods. The weekly readings (aside from 2 or 3) were straightforward and interesting so doing the assignments wasn’t a huge task when it came to referencing.

My biggest problem with the subject, and the reason I stopped going after 4 weeks, is that the lectures were an absolute nightmare. 2 hours of a guest lecturer shoving their political agenda down your throat just wasn’t enjoyable or helpful towards our learning. Telling us that Royal Parade will be almost completely treeless in 2020 just seemed so incredibly ridiculous, especially when it isn’t being backed up by any research.

The tutorials weren’t too bad and each week two people would have to give a presentation about that week’s readings. Friendly debate is encouraged regardless of where you stand on an issue, and the topics definitely lend themselves to a personal opinion that you can discuss. The best reading was about the psychological effect that natural environments can have on us (written by the head lecturer of Urban Environments if I’m not mistaken).


Reflective Journal

This is a simple ~500-1000 word entry on the LMS wiki each week. Just recap how the lecture, reading, and tutorial all synthesis to create a big orgy of environmental goodness.

You get marked 3 times throughout the semester, first is worth 25% second 25% third 50%. The best way I found to do it is by posing a question to begin with, then answering it by reflecting on the week.

Assignment One

The handbook says theres one assessment worth 70%. This is sort of true, but in reality it’s made up of 3 semi-related assessments.

The first is a 1500 word essay basically about how we can move towards sustainability from a theoretical perspective. Use references from the textbook and the subject reader, along with being able to create your own definition of sustainability in order to do well in this essay.

Assignment Two

Group project. It was basically looking at how our actions, in comparison with the rest of Australia and also China, impact the environment.

This was the first time this assessment was set, and as a result of this it was an organisational disaster. There was a severe miscommunication between the lecturer/subject coordinator, tutors, and the subject reader/LMS. The biggest problem was that there was just no direction of what to do, when to do it, etc. I understand that we’re in uni now and we can’t have our hands held, but even the tutors agreed this was a badly organised joke.

For the sake of all future Envs students, I hope they do fix this assessment.

Assignment Three


This could’ve been an amazing assessment… if the word limit wasn’t so tiny! In 1300 words you basically have to come up with an intervention (economic/political/social/technological/etc.) that helps a community work towards - you guessed it - sustainability.


There is a 10% tutorial participation mark but as I mentioned earlier, participating is easy and pretty fun too. I think there might be a 9/12 tute hurdle as well but don’t quote me on that.

There are 3 opportunities for bonus marks (worth 1 each)

1. Present a draft ‘tweet’ that demonstrates you can use the APA 6th referencing system
2. Visit the Ian Potter Gallery during their exhibition on Australian development (I’m guessing this will change next semester)
3. Show a draft of the group project in week 7

The assessments are marked extremely hard and getting a high mark for the 2nd and 3rd assessments will be difficult unless you pander to the agenda of the marker...

All in all this could have been a great subject if a few kinks got sorted out. Hopefully they’ll address these issues (this year was apparently a big improvement from 2013) and then it will be a decent subject.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2015, 10:10:46 pm by alondouek »


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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #319 on: June 25, 2014, 01:54:14 pm »
Subject Code/Name:  UNIB20007: Genetics, Health and Society

Workload: 12 weeks of two 1-hour lectures per week (24hrs) plus one 1-hour small group discussion or workshop per week (12hrs).

Note that you only have tutes in Week 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12.

 (1) Three online multiple choice quizzes; first quiz worth 5%, second and third worth 10% each.
Quizzes evenly spread throughout the semester (25% total)

(2) A wiki and class presentation (small group work) of 10-15 minutes duration on an allocated topic, presented toward the end of the semester (15%); and

(3) Final written examination (2 hrs), during the examination period (60%)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available:  None available. As Shenz0r mentioned, you do get one practise exam scenario which you can email to your tutor for feedback. In addition, the tutors stress that the tutorial questions are similar to the written questions in the exam (perhaps more in structure than being the same content of the exam questions)

Textbook Recommendation: No textbook required

Lecturer(s): Lots, from many different departments.

Year & Semester of completion
: Semester 1, 2014

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1


I enjoyed this subject, and I think it was exactly what a breadth should be- Something that has a lighter workload than the subjects you take for your major but it is certainly not a bludge, so it keeps you interested during the semester. I'll just make some comments on different aspects of the subjects but all the technical stuff about the subject e.g. what is covered in lectures etc. can be seen in Shenz0r's review.

I thought all the lecturers were pretty good and I think you can get an idea of what kind of things are considered assessable for the end of semester exam. I commend the staff for actually introducing concepts outside what could be examinable- For example, there are many lectures on "visible difference" and it wasn't all about the theory for that topic because we had some guest speakers come in to talk first hand about their experience with having a visible difference. The topics from the lectures were pretty interconnected with each other and many key points would be repeated such that there was less demand in having to learn 22 lectures of assessable content.

Pretty relaxed, we just go through extended type questions each week and discuss possible answers. The tutor would guide us in the right direction for answering these questions. Tutorials often finished early so that was a bonus.

First is simple, you just need to look at the lecture notes and that should be enough to answer the questions.
Second quiz questions are slightly more demanding (e.g. we had many ethics questions on this one) but reasonable
Third quiz was definitely the hardest one, often you would second guess yourself (probably because of the questions like law or discrepant paternity that were tested) but a H1 for it should be attainable.

Our group assignment was on The Island and the movie was bearable which was good.
We had just had set questions to answer and we split up the four so each of the four group members could focus on one, but we also helped others researching their questions if we found some interesting studies to mention etc. I was lucky to be in a group where everyone pulled their weight. If you are enrolling in this subject with a friend and think you can work well together for the assignment then sign up for the same tutorial if you can because most likely you will be able to choose your group. We had to write written responses to our questions in the form of a Wiki (so it could include things like pictures) and a speech version that was presented in an allocated tutorial.


To date I think this exam has been one of the most demanding for a breadth subject. The multiple choice are simple (except for one particular one that Shenz0r mentioned which tested your ability to know pointless facts other than the principles). I encourage you to answer all the multiple choice in the reading time, otherwise time may not be on your side when answering short answer questions. The short answer questions we had consisted of an integrated question (so there was like 6 or so questions in that one big question which tested different lecture topics like ethics, law etc). Then we had a choice of choosing 5 out of 9 questions for the other short answer question set. This section was a bit hectic for me because each question was worth 12 marks and I felt there was so much I could write about for each question but then I had to remember the time constraints. Just write down as many points for each question as you can and if you think you've covered a question to the best of your ability then don't dwell on it, just move on to the next short/long answer question. Decide which of the 9 questions you will be answering in reading time if you have the chance.

Overall I thought this subject was well coordinated, the assessment was reasonable and I was kept interested in it during the semester.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2014, 09:45:39 am by El2012 »
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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #320 on: June 26, 2014, 10:24:31 pm »
Subject Code/Name: MULT10016 Reason (Arts Foundation Subject)

Workload: 2x 1 hour lectures, 1 x 1 hour tutorial per week, and 6 x 1 hour workshops in weeks 3-8

Assessment: A "Bibliographic Exercise" due in Week 5 (600 words, 15%), an essay due in Week 9 (2000 words, 45%) and a take-home exam during the Examination Period (1500 words 40%).

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture etc.

Past exams available: The take-home exam format changed for our year, so we didn't get a sample prompt but maybe offer some from now on.

Textbook Recommendation:  None. Subject reader is online but it's not necessary. Read whatever is relevant to your chosen essay topic and you'll be fine.

Lecturer(s): James Bradley, Greg Restall, Kristian Camilleri, Deirdre Coleman

Year & Semester of completion: 2014 Semester 1

Rating: 3 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1

First off: some notes on Arts Foundation subjects. No one I know likes them. You'll have a choice between Aboriginality, (which is basically Sociology) Identity (which is basically Media) Language (which is a mix of Sociology and Linguistics) Power (which is basically politics, by which I mean Marxism) Representation (which is also basically Media) and Reason.
If any of these interest you then I suppose you might enjoy yourself but for the most part they're all pretty much interchangeable.
Supposedly these subjects give you the core skillset you need to approach your arts degree. In reality, most of the assessment is overly convoluted and too specific to each discipline to give you any general, transferable ability. That said, each subject has a large cohort, so it's a good way to meet people if nothing else. Personally, I find philosophy quite interesting, and this subject might as well be Philo101. It's coordinated by the philo department, and though there are some interdisciplinary elements it all comes back to the philosophy of reason, or rather, what each philosopher thought reason was. This was quite frustrating for some people: you're never actually given a working definition of 'reason.' Dictionary definitions, yes, and there were a few different theories throughout the ages that we learnt, but still... every essay had to begin with a disclaimer about how reason was a "mutable and manifold concept" etc.
The course starts with Plato, Socrates, Aristotle and other Greeks, then pretty much skips forward to the Enlightenment era. Most of the course centres around this time period. There are a few lectures on Romanticism and then onto the modern day. It's very much centre-heavy in that everything post-Enlightenment isn't really given much weight except as a contrast to/consequence of the Enlightenment. Background knowledge is not needed as every lecturer will go into A LOT of detail about what each movement and philosopher meant.

James Bradley and Kristian Camilleri were both pretty good. Greg Restall was by far the best. Deirdre Coleman is actually from the Lit department and came in the post-Enlightenment weeks to talk about Romanticism. She... just reads poetry off her slides. This was by far the most tedious part of the course, and that's coming from an English nerd. Those lectures had little to do with the rest of the subject and were literally word-for-word slide readings. After the 3rd or 4th session most people realised this and stopped attending.
Generally, you could probably get by without attending lectures, but most of them were interesting to sit through. You'll get a feel for them within a couple of weeks and know whether or not you need to attend.

I was lucky enough to get Steve as my tutor and he is brilliant. Even during weeks of dry content he'd make everything interesting even though we'd often run out of time to cover the "important" things. I guess this might be frustrating if you genuinely don't understand some of the concepts, but if you speak up you'll get an answer. I guess in that regard the subject is teaching you useful skills :)
Aside from that, most of the tutes were just geared towards the assessment which I'll talk about later. I heard good things about the other tutors, and most people found these way more helpful than the lectures.

THESE ARE A WASTE OF TIME. I cannot emphasise this enough. The workshops are by far the most boring part of this entire subject, and this seemed to be the case for all the other Foundation subjects too. This is where the real skills (essay writing, citations, note taking) are meant to be taught. In reality... well I'll let these quotes from my workshop leader speak for themselves:
"So who can tell me what a paragraph is?"
"What is a sentence?" *waves hands in an artsy manner*
"Remember your capital letters everyone!"
I cannot recall a single thing I learned. Mercifully these only run from weeks 3-8, but you have to attend at least 5/6. I'm trying really hard to think of any possible benefits but I've got nothing. This is a major downside to the subject but ultimately inescapable for arts students.

Luckily this was all cleared up in tutes because the information provided on the LMS was useless jargon.
The first piece was referred to as the 'CACL' (pronounced 'cackle') which stood for comment, argument, comment/critique, link. We were assigned a journal article and had to select a key quote/comment, use that to branch out into a wider discussion of the author's overall argument, then critique that argument, and finally link this to another journal article of our choosing. This was the most unnecessarily complicated piece of assessment I've ever had to do. First of all, the article we were given had no author and very few publication details which made it borderline impossible to reference. Secondly, the article had nothing to do with the course (it was some random rant about why scientists make mistakes.) Thirdly, this piece had to be under 600 words and the article itself was close to 2000. The argument couldn't really be summed up succinctly and certainly couldn't be explored in depth. Again, for a subject that's meant to provide you with a skillset, this was more difficult than any of my other work. This piece is also due in week 5 ie. after everyone has already had one or maybe even two rounds of assessment. PLUS every other subject will have different citation styles, so it's not like this task actually helped much.
The second piece was worth the most overall and centred on the Enlightenment. The prompt: (unchanged for the past couple of years I believe) 'Was the Enlightenment really the Age of Reason?' You're then able to pick two philosophers or philosophical works in order to answer this question. The lecturers provide more information for this one and it's actually relevant to the course so I won't say too much. This essay was quite manageable and the ability to select your subject matter and focus made it surprisingly enjoyable.
The take-home exam is just as broad, except you only have 2 days to complete it. So long as you have a general understanding of each philosopher you'll be fine with this. We were told we'd have to do a heap of revision because two days didn't give you any time to research, but I found it to be pretty relaxed. You have heaps of time to go back to the relevant readings and take notes, and the 1500 word limit ends up approaching pretty fast when all you're doing is summing up/regurgitating information.

I know a lot of these comments might seem negative, and there are definitely elements of the course that need improvement, but this was still a pretty enjoyable subject. It did offer quite a bit in terms of philosophical theories and it opened up some interesting avenues in other disciplines. If you have even a remote interest in philosophy you'll have fun. Based on what I've heard, I'd recommend this over any other Foundation Subject; unless you're looking to get into Sociology, Media or Politics, Reason is your best bet for a good time and a pretty easy mark.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2014, 10:04:54 pm by literally lauren »


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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #321 on: June 27, 2014, 09:18:12 pm »
Subject Code/Name: MAST20029 Engineering Mathematics

Workload:  3x1 hour lectures, 1 hour tutorial per week.

Assessment:  3 x 5% assignment, 15% mid-semester test, 70% final exam

Lectopia Enabled: NO

Past exams available:  Yes, lots.

Textbook Recommendation:  No, buy lecture notes book from co-op.

Lecturer(s): Assoc Prof Marcus Brazil

Year & Semester of completion: 2014 summer

Rating:  4 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 94 [H1]

Comments: Did this subject during the summer to do vector cal in Sem 1 and be able to gain credit for both as there is overlap in the courses (particularly the multiple integration). The other two reviews already cover the important parts so I will just add a tad bit.

The Mid semester test (one practise MST provided) and exam is predictable from previous years, so just make sure you do heaps.

Covered topics:
- Vector Calculus           **
- Ordinary Differential Equations  ***
- Laplace Transforms     *
- Sequences and Series
- Fourier Transforms      *
- Second Order Partial Differential Equations

If you want to ensure you get a H1 why not do a bit of pre-study?

* Laplace Transforms & Fourier Transforms:

    (14mins): Where the Laplace Transform comes from (Arthur Mattuck, MIT)

    (~6hrs): L.15-L.22 covers both transforms
    Also watch L.27, paying particular attention to the way you draw the plot given the solution (don't worry
    about how to get the solution just plotting). It was on both my MST and Exam, nailing the plot is easy marks.

** Vector Calculus:

    If you want to do some minor pre-study for this just youtube some double integration in the plane. or...
     Double integration: L.16-~L.18, Triple integration: L.25-27(onward if you want)
    Really just seeing a few videos to get the major ideas should suffice. These links are just if you want to

*** Ordinary Differential Equations:

        I think I remember this being good but idk. This section of the course isn't hard and you probably should just
        learn it in lecture.

Start working with the exam formula sheet from day 1 (it really does have everything). I did this subject over summer in addition to ESD2. Did well in both so this subject should be fine.


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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #322 on: June 28, 2014, 05:04:42 pm »
Subject Code/Name: MAST30021 Complex Analysis

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

Assessment:  Three written assignments totalling 20%; One 3 hour examination (70%)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available:  Yes, from at least 2010 - this course has probably been running in a similar form since Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, but the lecturer decided to set a very different exam to those of the immediate past exams, so do them at your peril

Textbook Recommendation: None - the course notes were available as a single downloadable PDF on the LMS.

Lecturer(s): Prof. Peter Forrester

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1, 2014

Rating: 4.5 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 81 [H1]

Comments: I really enjoyed this subject! I did Accelerated Mathematics 2 rather than Real Analysis, so I did have 6 months to a year longer than most students to get to grips with the notion of mathematical rigour, but quite frankly rigour wasn't really required in Complex Analysis (unless Penny Wightwick was your tutor). Especially with Peter Forrester, who is a mathematical physicist, being the lecturer, the course had a strong applied mathematics-y flavour to it in comparison to previous years, which would certainly be refreshing for those still licking their wounds from the highly formal manner in which Real Analysis was taught.

After reviewing complex number arithmetic, we dove headlong into complex function theory, defining the usual concepts of limits, continuity and differentiability (with very little focus on Messrs Epsilon and Delta), thereby introducing the key concept of analyticity. After some topology (which was explained in a pretty hand-wave-y way!) we explored the various exponential functions and how singularities occur in complex functions. Then onto sequences and series, which was pretty standard stuff if you remembered how real series worked, with some interesting asides along the way. However, the truly interesting theory didn't materialise until the following topic - integration. The theory of contour integration - through Cauchy's theorem, Cauchy's integral formula (in Complex Analysis, we differentiate stuff by integrating them!) and residues - represented some of the most eye-opening concepts that I have learned in mathematics so far. Along with the associated theory of Laurent series and meromorphic functions, these provided vital links to other fields of mathematics such as vector calculus, partial differential equations and algebra (we found an 'easy' proof of the fundamental theorem of algebra). Finally, there was a brief jaunt into the world of conformal mapping, while the final week's topic of special functions (Gamma, Beta and Riemann Zeta) was omitted to allow for revision.

The main drawback of this subject, though, was the delivery of the lectures. In the very first lecture, Peter told us that he hadn't taught this subject for around 20 years, and it really did show. With all respect to Peter, it often seemed like he was clueless about how to finish off a proof and even as if he was winging it through a lecture. In addition, quite a few topics were skipped over, and the teaching of later topics was a dog's breakfast. A frequent complaint (though not mine) of the assignments was that while they weren't overly difficult, the connection to the subject's theory was rather tenuous. The exam wasn't too bad either, but some complained that it was too long, and because the course was being taught by a lecturer who hadn't coordinated this course since before most of us were born, it was also significantly different from those from previous years. To be fair, though, he did give adequate warning about this, and even omitted the Week 12 material in order to give us problem sheets roughly indicative of the exam. He was also extremely helpful in fielding our enquiries, somewhat more so than most of my previous maths lecturers, hence my docking of only half a mark  ;)

In short, the subject was highly interesting, but the experience perhaps left much to be desired.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2014, 10:08:57 am by jediwizardspy »
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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #323 on: June 28, 2014, 11:07:55 pm »
Subject Code/Name: ANAT30007 Human Locomotor Systems

Workload:  Three 1 hour lectures (Total 34 including intro + review, 6 of them clinical oriented) and one 3 hour practical per week

Assessment:  2 Mid-Semesters (30 MCQ) = 10% each, Two hour theory exam (Section A: MCQ, Section B: MCQ style fill in the blanks, Section C: Short Answer, Section D: Long Answer) = 40%, Two hour "practical" exam (100 MCQ) = 40%

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:   No. 

Textbook Recommendation:  Drake et al Gray's Anatomy for Students, Moore KL et al: Clinically Oriented Anatomy
I definitely recommend Moore's, which is very useful for knowing locations, positioning and such.

Lecturer(s): Varsha Pilbrow, Chris Briggs, Jenny Hayes, Peter Kitchener, Various guest lecturers

Year & Semester of completion: 2014, Semester 1

Rating:  3.5/5

Your Mark/Grade: 78

Comments: I seem to have something of a love-hate relationship with this subject, to say the least, with several highs and lows that correspond to both my attitude and the nature of the subject itself. The subject itself can be split into 4 main parts as follows: The spine, upper limb, lower limb, and evolution + locomotion. The limb lectures make up the bulk of the subject and are probably the most interesting parts of the subject. Many lecturers were involved in the subject in different parts, such as Chris Briggs on the spine and back lectures, Jenny Hayes on limb nerves and vessels, and Varsha on most complexes of the limbs and evolution. Content in lectures range form skimmable (some guest lectures) to almost overwhelming (e.g. Knee complex). The content of the limb lectures remain fairly interesting and relate to principles as established in ANAT20006, while some of the guest lectures and those of locomotion were comparatively less stimulating. They could still be assessed, however.

The prac workshops are more or less like those of the 2nd year ones, with one being done before advancement into a new region with the cadavers, but they are now 3 hours long, which could be weary for some people. The prac dissections however, are the highlight of the subject, the main reason why people have chosen it and the reason for the quota, I daresay. For 6 of the 12 weeks, you get to partner up with someone else in your group and dissect a region of your choice that belongs to the topic (The anterior compartment/posterior compartment/joints of the Upper/lower limb). The conditions aren't what one would call unsanitary, although some cadavers may present difficulties in dissection with large amounts of fascia and fat. At the end of the prac, the demonstrator would place pins on several dissected regions and quiz you on your knowledge, which is useful for your understanding for the prac exam, second only to the anatomedia images themselves.

The midsems were not exceedingly hard and not hard to do well in if you study your stuff well. I recommend you to go over your stuff (mostly upper limb 1st midsem, lower limb 2nd sem) twice before the midsem itself, and you'll be fine.

The theoretical exam was the same as that of ANAT20006 for the most part in terms of structure. The MCQ content however, was largely concentrated on post-MST2 stuff, which is reasonable, although you may be slightly confounded on what to study. Try to cover everything with a bit more edge for the post MST2 stuff I guess, and you should do fine.

The practical exam however, consisted entirely of 100 MCQs, from 20 images with 5 questions being asked on each. IIRC, answers go from A to E here. The questions can range from "identify this structure" to "what is this structure innvervated by" or "select the correct response". Try to familiarize yourself with anatomedia's images and look through detailed anatomy atlases (like Moore's as I recommended) to get an understanding of the positioning and of structures, as well as your notes to remember their functions, innervations, etc. Time is valuable here, so try not to dwell too much on some questions.

Overall I'd say that the subject is rather well organized into its 4 sections, although some lectures are rather mind-numbing (no offense o'course) with different importances, but definitely try it if you are interested in anatomy and/or medicine, as I've heard that much of the content comes up in 1st year MD.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2014, 12:38:40 pm by Sinner »


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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #324 on: June 30, 2014, 11:10:32 am »
Subject Code/Name: ZOOL30007: Experimental Animal Behaviour 

"In this subject you will conduct group-based, hands-on, original research into animal behaviour. Over the semester you will be immersed in the entire process of scientific research - from hypothesis development and experimental design, through to data collection and statistical analysis. You will report your findings in spoken and written formats, and critically review the work of other students. Study animals range from insects and spiders, to fish, birds and mammals – in the lab, zoo or wild. You will emerge with an authentic experience of scientific research – complete with its challenges, frustrations and the thrill of scientific discovery." < - From Handbook

Contact Hours: 3 tutorials (6 hours total) and 60 hours of practical work during the semester.
Total Time Commitment:
Estimated total time commitment of 120 hours

You see that sexy amount of practical work? Yeah!!! This is the subject to do if you want some practical experience in your zoology undergrad degree.

WARNING: Super heavy group work in this subject. You will be in a group for the entirety of the semester. No changing.


  • A written project plan submitted by the end of the first three weeks of semester (1 page, 300 to 700 words; 10%);

    Just a short project plan. Not sure how we're really assessed on this. You get a sample project plan and my group based ours off that. It's just a rough plan so your actual project doesn't have to follow through with the plan.

  • a written scientific report totalling up to 1500 words due at the end of semester (50%);

    Due at the end of the semester, this is a report that details your results from the project you did. I found it pretty difficult to stay within the word limit.

  • evaluation of contribution by group members (10%);

    So this is how they make sure everyone contributes. At the end of the semester everyone in the group rates each other, based on how much effort they put in. Each of the criteria is something like "Was always at meetings" or "Was willing to do extra work" and you rate them on a scale from "Poor" to "Excellent". Or something similar.

    I assume the mark you get is based on what other people give you.
  • reviews of written and spoken work by peers, during the semester (3 reviews totalling up to 2500 words; 25%)

    We had to review drafts of the reviews of other people (2 reviews for 2 drafts). The thing about the reviews is that they program told us "100 words max" but in actuality you could write as much as you wanted to. So some people wrote a lot of feedback (which I'd assume got a higher mark) when the program told us not to write as much.

    The last review was a review of the oral presentations of the other groups. You basically just say whether you think the oral presentation was "Poor" to "Outstanding". Basically the mark you got for the oral was somehow calculated from everyones reviews, with the lecturers marks being weighted more.
  • a 10-minute oral presentation towards the end of semester (10%).

    Self explanatory. Each group presents a talk on what they did for the semester. It should have been interesting but many groups presented their information in a way that was quite boring. For each group there were 3-5 people, so topics were split itno 2 minute sections.. so it was a really short period to talk for.

  • followed by a rejoinder to reviewer comments (500 words, 5%)

    Err, so when everyone reviews you, they give you feedback. This is in response to the feedback you receive on your drafts. You have to write a one page "Letter to the Editor" in reply to the feedback. So basically, if everyone told you "Your results section sucked", then you would talk about how you fixed your results section in the Letter to the Editor.

Lectopia Enabled:  No lectures! Some tutes, but they basically go over topics like "How to use R to analyse your results". There are prac times for this subject but that's when the tutes are. You won't have many pracs/tutes throughout the semester.

Past exams available:  NO EXAAAM. Your assessment is outlined above, the main assessment is from the report.

Lecturer(s): Raoul Mulder, Theresa Jones

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1, 2014

Rating:  5/5

Great subject!


Ok, I really enjoyed this subject. This subject is one where you are given a list of projects that are currently available to do, and you try you very hardest to get into the project you want (by crazily refreshing the page when the selection opens). Obviously there are pros and cons of this subject, so I'll list them.

+ Great practical experience, you get to learn how research is done in the Zoology field.
+ Assessment is spread out throughout the semester.
+ No final exam!
+ Subject is well coordinated.

- Lots of group work - how well this semester goes for you could depend on your group and/or even your supervisor!
- A LOT of contact hours. People would go out twice a week for a whole day to do this for their project. This is not for someone with a packed schedule!
- Not many "mammal" related projects. A majority focused on insects. This will change year to year though!

So there were enough projects to go around. Each project had 3-5 members. The projects were all behavioural based (so mostly observing the reactions of an animal to certain conditions).

I thought there were some projects that were more exciting than others, and I was lucky enough to get into the project that was my #1 choice.

Each project has a Masters student as the "leader". Most likely your own project will be part of the Master's students research. They were all really nice!

I know everyone hates groupwork, and trust me, I'm one of those people! I found some of my group members to be quite testing, but honestly everyone did their work and I feel like our project went really well.

Since everyone wants a good review, there will rarely be people who slack off, and even if they do, you have the pleasure of giving them a crap assessment (which is anonymous).

Was this subject worth it? For sure! There are a number of practical zoology subjects at uni, and I think this might be the only one thats run over a whole semester (Not sure if Experimental Reproductive Physiology counts). You might want to do a project that's one the summer ones because it's shorter, but it's your choice really.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2014, 11:23:30 am by GreyMechine »
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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #325 on: June 30, 2014, 08:18:01 pm »
Subject Code/Name: UNIB30002 - Global Health, Security and Sustainability

Workload:  2 x 1 hour lectures and 1 x 1 hour tutorial per week. Tutorial attendance is hurdle (attend at least 9 out of 12 tutes).

Assessment: Opinion Editorial of 1000 words (30%), Research Essay of 3000 words (60%), tutorial participation & summary presentation of a week's readings (totals to 10%)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes

Past exams available:  N/A (no exam)

Textbook Recommendation:  There is no prescribed textbook for this subject but the PDFs of the readings are published on LMS

Lecturer(s): There are many different lecturers for this subject - each dealing with a different field of study/discipline. Because this is a interdisciplinary breadth subject, the scope of the course is actually quite broad and so there are quite a few lecturers to cater for that :) For those interested, I've just mentioned the specific lecturers below and the content pertaining to their lectures so you get a better idea of what content is actually covered :)

-> Dr. Jim Black (Intro to subject, current global health status, biomedical approaches to health and health technologies)
-> Prof. Trevor Burnard (History of global health)
-> Prof. Richard Tanter (Politics surrounding global health)
-> A/Prof. Simon Batterbury (Environmental and Geographical impacts on global health)
-> Sarah Hewat (Anthropological and Cultural impacts on global health)
-> Dr. Peter Annear (Economics of global health)
-> A/Prof. Tilman Ruff (Immunisation and the impact of nuclear war on global health)
-> Dr. Matt Reeves (Case Study lecture: Community Development in Jamkhed, India)
-> Dr. Chris Morgan (The impact of International aid organisations, United Nations, & NGOs in global health)
-> David Legge (Trade and global health)
-> Dr. Alison Morgan (Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations)
-> Anna Hood (International Law and Human Rights)
-> Kathryn James (Inclusive Development Practice)
-> Prof. Rob Moodie (Business and global health eg. MBS, Avahan and HIV/AIDS & Global Health)
-> A/Prof.Grant Blashki (Global health in a warming world)
-> A/Prof. Jane Freemantle (Indigenous issues)
-> Prof. Anne Kelso (Influenza and Global health)
-> Sir Gustav Nossal (Keynote lecture)
-> Prof. Mike Toole (Conflict and global health)
-> Prof. Graham Brown (Wrapping up the subject: Staff panel debate and discussion)

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1, 2014

Rating: 5/5

Your Mark/Grade: H1 (92)

Comments: This was my last breadth subject and I took it because I find Global Health interesting :) Basically, this subject is a University Breadth Subject so it adopts the whole interdisciplinary approach (combining perspectives from many disciplines of study). You are also expected to show your understanding of the interdisciplinary nature of content within your two assignments :)

You will be introduced to a few case studies at the beginning of the semester (e.g. a child dying from diarrhoea in Mozambique, a woman dying from maternal complications in Afghanistan, a man suffering from diabetes and tuberculosis in India, and some others which I can't remember haha). Basically, throughout the semester you must identify the "chains of causation" contributing to various diseases and health conditions throughout the world. The case studies are especially important to analyse/understand because they form the basis for your 3000 word research essay due at the end of the semester. In terms of tutorials for this subject, you basically need to attend at least 9 out of 12 tutorials as hurdle requirement. Also, each student in the tutorial will be assessed on their summary of one of the week's readings (you only do this once but can be chosen at any time throughout the weeks so it kind of becomes imperative to at least skim over the readings each week haha). I thought the readings were interesting for the most part, but also extremely long and there were a lot of readings for some of the lectures. I wasn't too fond of particular topics covered (e.g. trade) so I thought the readings for those weeks were a bit dry (but that's just my own bias for the content :P). You basically have to summarise and also you can mention whether you agree/disagree with the views/perspectives of the writers. It's an easy 10%, so just aim to at least skim over the readings each week and you'll be fine! :)

Assignment 1 was an Opinion Editorial of 1000 words and it was worth 40% of the total grade. Basically, it involved writing an opinion piece (like the ones you see in the Herald Sun or the Age or The Drum website) about a particular global health issue that had been covered in the lectures. You also had to weave in perspectives from at least 3 other disciplines which sounds difficult but actually it's not so bad if you can make the links relating to chains of causation :) E.g. I chose to do mine on food insecurity and I linked that to gender inequality, access to healthcare and politics. You just have to choose a bigger issue and think about "what smaller factors/causes exacerbate this bigger global health issue?" and write an opinion piece about it. In terms of the actual Op-Ed piece, try to not be too formal with it. It's not an essay (and it does NOT require references) so you can be as witty or opinionated as possible whilst incorporating the relevant global health discussion. I incorporated humour in mine as well as aside comments and personal life experiences - that said, I decided to write my Op-Ed in the perspective of a 30-something year old woman hahaha :P

Assignment 2 was a research essay of 3000 words and worth 60% of the total grade for this subject. This assignment was a lot more "full-on" compared to the Op-Ed piece and involved researching the chains of causation as well as specific interventions/strategies we could implement or expand upon to reduce mortality and morbidity from any of the conditions/diseases that were outlined in the case studies at the beginning of the subject :) I chose to do mine on the child in Mozambique who dies from Diarrhoea (and apparently this is the most commonly chosen case study for the essay). I thought there were numerous things I could discuss and I actually somewhat liked writing the essay haha I think it's because although the assignment criteria says it's a 'research essay' it felt more like a research report; so in that sense, it felt a bit more structured. You can have sub-headings and use them to separate the different interventions/strategies you discuss. Make sure you try to have backing references for as much of your discussion as possible. Don't just spurt out references but try to weave them into your discussion and show them as "proof" for what explanations/interventions you're putting forth :) When explaining the chains of causation, ensure you do so in detail and don't just briefly identify or state them; using linking words such as "thus, subsequently, consequently, therefore, as a result of, etc" will help to better show that you're making links between the causes (that x leads to or is caused by y). Also, focus on sustainable interventions/solutions (e.g. building a high technology and very expensive water filtration system in Mozambique is not going to be sustainable as the local people will not be able to afford it in the long term once aid is withdrawn). Also, try to focus on education as a sustainable tool to reducing morbidity and mortality from disease (addressing women + promoting education = always sustainable!). Other than that, just try to break down and simplify complexities as much as possible - you want to be able to show your report to an average person on the street and they should be able to understand what you're trying to get across. Once again, this essay does require the use of interdisciplinary perspectives (e.g. focus on how the health conditions/diseases within your chosen case study link up to disciplinary views such as gender equality, healthcare, politics/government, trade, health policy, infrastructure, etc - basically combining some (not all) of the topics that have been covered in lectures into your own discussion in your essay).

Overall, I thought this subject was well-taught and had a very holistic approach :) The tutorials were well conducted and engaging in terms of activities/discussion. I wouldn't say that it was an "easy" breadth subject but if you have a background in global health, or if you're interested in global health issues, (or if you enjoyed HHD unit 4 in VCE which reflects some of the content covered here), then you will enjoy this subject for sure and you'll definitely manage well with the readings and assignments! :)
« Last Edit: July 04, 2014, 04:12:54 pm by yearningforsimplicity »
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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #326 on: July 01, 2014, 10:07:55 pm »
Subject Code/Name: EDUC10057 - Wellbeing, Motivation and Performance

Workload:  1 x 2 hour lectures and 1 x 1 hour tutorial per week. Attendance at all classes (tutorials/ lectures) is obligatory. Failure to attend 80% of classes will normally result in failure in the subject.

Assessment: 1500-word analysis of the student’s experience applying this knowledge to every day life. Due mid-semester, 35%
2500-word assignment on wellbeing theories and ways this knowledge can be used to educate communities and society. Due end of semester, 65%

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes

Past exams available:  N/A (no exam)

Textbook Recommendation:  There is no prescribed textbook for this subject. PDFs of the weekly readings are published on LMS

Lecturer(s): There were 3 lecturers for this subject:
* Prof Lea Waters
* Gavin Slemp
* Paige (not sure about the last name)
There were a lot of guest lecturers that took the second half of the 2hr lecture.

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1, 2014

Rating: 4/5

Your Mark/Grade: H1 (88)

This subject is a psychology-type breadth subject. Specifically, it is a field of 'positive psychology'.

There were weekly readings that were assigned to us. Usually, they were in the form of a journal article, and we had to read two per week. We were not assessed on the readings in any way, so a lot of the time, it was fine if you didn't bother with them. That said, the readings were pretty interesting, as they looked at how positive psychology interventions are overlooked today, when they can actually promote success and happiness. By doing the readings, you also become more familiar with the 'big names' in positive psychology that could be useful for your assignment. For instance, you might want to quote a researcher from the journal article as part of the prescribed reading, which might provide you with 'bonus' marks, since it shows the tutors that you've actually been doing the readings. But some of the readings are rather long and boring to read, especially when it comes to research methods, so maybe set a goal of doing one per week?

The tutors mark your assignments. There are two tutors: Gavin and Paige (who are also the lecturers I've mentioned above). Feel free to ask them questions on the assignment, so that you know exactly how you'll be marked. A scoring sheet is provided on the LMS, but in my opinion, it was very generic. I know that for my mid-term assignment, I would ask my tutor questions such as - is an introduction or conclusion needed? Are in-text citations part of the word count?

The mid-term and final assignments had the same set-up. This means that 2-3 broad questions were asked, and articles were given (in APA format) for each question that must be used to answer the questions. This means that you should know how to find the articles, which is explained on the LMS. Also, go beyond the articles provided for you in the assignment, and look for more sources. The more research you look like you've done, the better your grade.

However, the final assignment was a little different, in that one of the questions required you to use the results for the diary entries. I'll explain the concept of the 'diary entries'... what happens is, during the second half of semester 1 (after you've completed the midterm assignment), you are required to write in an online diary everyday for 2 weeks. This online diary is emailed to you from Gavin, and has a set of questions you need to complete. Make sure to do it everyday, since they keep a record of who's completing it everyday or not. It takes about 10min of your day, and is really worthwhile. Make sure to be honest when you answer the questions (example of question - 'write the first thing that went wrong today'), since that is what will really help you with your final assignment.

For the final assignment, we were also originally supposed to use the results for our 'post-test survey', but due to technical problems (the system malfunctioned, and they couldn't get the results out to everyone doing the subject), we were excused from using this to answer one of the questions.

The referencing for assignments is APA, which is honestly VERY tedious. Keep aside 2 hours or so to complete the final page at the end with all your references, just to make sure you don't misplace a comma, or that you've got the right bits in italics. Also, try to use journal articles as your references, as I found the tutors were quite stingy when it came to referencing websites and blogs.

Now that I've written about the assessment side of things, I'd like to write about the subject in general! In all honesty, it was a very enjoyable subject, and the lectures on Wednesday were the perfect end to my day. I think it's because they helped to keep me optimistic, and give me hope. For instance, Lea was an engaging lecturer who'd crack jokes, and look at how positive psychology can make our lives better as students, in terms of grades, jobs, social skills and those kinds of things. Something really important I've learned from this subject is to always smile, even when you don't feel like it, because it works wonders in terms of how people approach you, and how you complete tasks. This subject also reiterated the importance of setting realistic goals, being persistent & resilient, and focusing on your strengths instead of your weaknesses. The guest lecturers were also a delight to listen to. We had a lecturer that was a football player, and another woman who worked as a psychologist.

There's also a campaign that occurs during the second half of semester. You don't have to participate, but it's good fun. Basically, a bunch of us signed up to give free hugs, take photos etc. near the ERC to make the community more aware of positive psychology.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2014, 10:17:07 pm by Starfish »
Bachelor of Biomedicine @ The University of Melbourne (II) 2014-2016
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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #327 on: July 03, 2014, 04:27:35 pm »
Subject Code/Name: GENE30001 Evolutionary Genetics and Genomics

Workload:  3 one hour lectures a week

Assessment: A written class test during semester (20%); three assignments of not more than 500 words each due during the semester (30% in total); a 2-hour written examination in the examination period (50%)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available:  Yes, quite a few.

Textbook Recommendation:  None.

Lecturer(s): Charles Robin, Ronald Lee, Phil Batterham, Ary Hoffman, Alexandre Fournier-Level, Philippa Griffin

Year & Semester of completion: 2014 Semester 1

Rating: 4/5

Your Mark/Grade: H1


I thought the lecturers were all quite good. Charles knows his stuff and is into it but that can be a bit of a problem. The guy's smart as hell so he sometimes goes through a problem and you're left wondering wtf just happened. Watching the lectures again or googling helps though. Ronald tends to go off on little tangents/stories which is a pro in that they're interesting but a con if you're the type that just wants to get through the relevant material and leave.

The MST I thought was difficult but fair. It's all short answers and Charles gives you a list of practice questions to do (at least one or two of them actually ended up on the MST) which are good. There was barely any actual formula type questions but I think at least one will pop up so know how to use the formulas. Primarily know how to perform the sample questions that pop up throughout the lectures. Those are the types of questions that will pop up on the MST. You will get a formula sheet so you don't need to actually memorize any. You will mainly want to just make sure your lecture notes are detailed on the theory (what did example X demonstrate?) as that will what the MST is gonna be focused on.

The assignments were pretty interesting. They're designed to help you be able to analyze articles and also tie in your knowledge of genetics together. I think the first one was to find an article on eQTLs and then state some key points in the article and what they meant. Ronald's one involved using your knowledge of inbreeding etc to work out a plan to save a species (you choose one from a bunch he offers) from extinction.

I can't remember the exam exactly but it was fairly similar to the MST. If you know your theory then it should be pretty good. Again I don't remember a lot of formula type questions, just mainly theory.

The subject could definitely benefit from tutorials and more practice questions. We suggested this so hopefully they implement them for future students. The subject is also geared towards population genetics so if that's not your thing then you might not like it. I feel the subject was kind of confusing for a decent portion of the semester but then towards the end everything tied in or clicked for me and all of a sudden boom clarity everywhere. I found this subject more difficult than the other genetics subject (Orgs). Exam questions are recycled so definitely do the old ones. I don't think this subject is an easy H1 but if you put the effort in I think you'll fare well.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2014, 04:38:03 pm by Hehetymen »


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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #328 on: July 03, 2014, 04:47:55 pm »
Subject Code/Name: GENE30002 Genes: Organisation and Function

Workload:  3 one hour lectures per week

Assessment: One multiple-choice class test held mid-semester (10%); two online assignments/problem-solving tasks due during the semester (15%); a 3-hour written examination in the examination period (75%).

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available:  Yes, 1 for 2011. The past exams are not on the past exam website thing but will be provided on the LMS. The subject is based on  652-302 Molecular Genetics so despite only having 1 practice exam from 2011, they list a whole bunch from  652-302 Molecular Genetics which you can do.

Textbook Recommendation:  None although they recommend doing some prereading if you haven't done the second year genetics subjects (lecture slides provided on the LMS).

Lecturer(s): Chris Cobbett, Meryl Davis, Alex Andrianopoulos, John Golz, Michael Hynes

Year & Semester of completion: 2014 Semester 1

Rating: 4.5/5

Your Mark/Grade: H1

Comments: I thought this subject was the easier one out of the two genetics subjects. It is mostly ROTE memory so if you understand the content and can memorize it then you will do good. Some of the content crosses over with MCB from biomed 2nd year and also BCMB20003 (mainly the cyclin stuff and transcription etc) so if you've done either then you will be on familiar ground.

The MST I enjoyed. I found it straightforward. I believe it was predominantly multiple choice true/false. A lot of people complained that the MST was too focused on nuances with subtle wordings and double negatives rather than a true demonstration of your knowledge (which short answers would be better for). I think if you know your stuff you should do good on it but I can see how reading comprehension would come into play.

The assignments are both interesting. You get a science article and a list of questions. You have to read the article and answer the questions. There's a deadline and you can do the questions anytime before the deadline and submit it whenever you want (no time limit). Working in a group makes this easier. They're designed to teach you how to reach scientific articles etc. The articles aren't just random pieces though. They are relevant to the lecture material so if you know the lecture material then the articles will make more sense.

The exam I think was pretty good too. Basically standard multiple choice, short answers, etc. If you know your stuff then you should do well. There isn't really any trickery. Questions for both the exam and MST are recycled so definitely do them.


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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #329 on: July 03, 2014, 10:44:05 pm »
Subject Code/Name: BCMB30003 Molecular Aspects of Cell Biology

Workload:  3x 1hr lectures and 1x 1hr tutorial each week.

Assessment:  Written assessment (15%), 2x MSTs (7.5% each), and an exam (70%)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture (for lectures and tutes).

Past exams available: There were two copies of the MSTs from the last two years (so 4 total), and exams from the last 2 years (however, some of the lecturers had only joined in 2013, so only papers from then will give a true feel of the examination).

Textbook Recommendation: Alberts' Molecular Biology of the Cell is the prescribed textbook. I recommend it if you're majoring in the area as it's the main textbook that Unimelb uses for cell biology and really does a good job, but if this subject is an elective then don't bother buying it. The lectures slides are sufficient.

Lecturer(s): A/Prof Marie Bogoyevitch, Prof Paul Gleeson, Prof Jose Villadangos, Prof Ian van Driel, A/Prof Heung-Chin Cheng, Dr Diana Stojanovski

Year & Semester of completion: Sem 1, 2014

Rating: 4/5

Your Mark/Grade: TBA

Comments: This subject is mainly taken by Cell and Dev Bio or Biochem majors, although you do get a few other people from other life science majors. Each lecturer takes roughly one topic, as follows:

  • Protein Targeting in Eukaryotic Cells (Paul Gleeson)
  • Protein Secretion, Endocytosis and Cytoplasmic Trafficking (Paul Gleeson and Jose Villadangos)
  • Cell Adhesion, Migration and Shape (Ian van Driel, and then later in the semester by Heung-Chin Cheng)
  • Stress Signalling in Eukaryotic Cells (Marie Bogoyevitch)
  • Protein Translocation in Mitochondria (Diana Stojanovski)

Each lecturer has around 3-4 lectures each, and most have an associated tutorial on the Friday in/after their topic. However, if you've done the maths, you can see that we end up with less lectures (around 26) than the advertised 36 (12 x 3lectures/week). This is due to a few factors.

The first few lectures are on nuclear import/export, which isn't assessed in the exam but instead is the topic of the written assignment. There's also a few lectures in week 5 that go over the general concepts, etc, once the papers have been given. I found it odd that the first lectures were dedicated to the topic when we didn't even have the papers yet. I also felt that the amount of lecture time dedicated to the assignment was really unnecessary. It wasn't difficult at all, and having that much time dedicated (I think it was 4 lectures total?) was overkill.

To explain, the written assignment was to answer two questions that accompanied a paper. The first would be a general question on nuclear import/export that the paper had dealt with (e.g. explain how the NLS is recognised, or discuss how proteins move from the cytoplasm to the nucleus), and the second would be to explain the results of a particular figure within the paper (e.g. a GST pull-down assay, or IP assay). The first had to be done with references to literature, and since it's just a general overview of a topic it wasn't hard. The second question would be split up into several questions that needed to be answered (hint: these make good subheadings). Hell, I didn't even read the paper past the figure, which was on the third page. It is extremely straightforward.

(But really, I shouldn't complain because less lectures dedicated to examinable content = less memorisation to do, I guess?)

Most of the lecturers know their stuff and are really great. I had a real issue with Heung-Chin Cheng's lectures - they were really dry and full of messy diagrams. Once I managed to listen to it all and understand the content (which took a lot longer than it should have), what he is teaching isn't really that difficult, it's just that it's not presented in the best way. I strongly suggest that you do further reading to really understand the topic. Sitting in the lecture once won't be enough to get it into your head.

The MSTs covered two topics each (Cheng's and Stojanovski's weren't covered by MSTs). Each topic in the MST had 5 MCQs and one written question (for 10 marks). So, in one MST there were 10 MCQs and two written, for 30 marks total. I guess it may be because I've been used to MSTs that were a few pages long, but I disliked that it was so short, and that so much was riding on the long-answer questions (and some of them were a bit dubious).

For the exam, each lecturer had one 30-mark section. They were all short or long answer (although Marie, the coordinator, has stated that at some point they will probably introduce MCQs). Each section had one question that had to be done (15 marks), and then a choice out of two other questions, also 15 marks.

But really, for all the flaws I'm saying, it really was a great subject (hence the 4/5 score). The topics were interesting, and for the most part they were delivered really well.
2011: VCE
2012-2014: BSc (Cell and Developmental Biology) - Animal Cell Biology specialisation
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