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Author Topic: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings  (Read 1185168 times)  Share 

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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #600 on: July 27, 2016, 05:50:44 pm »
Subject Code/Name: MGMT20011 Business Negotiations 

Workload:  2week winter intensive subject. 3hr 15min per day for 2 weeks (10 days). This includes one 2hr lecture and one 1hr15min tutorial.

Assessment:  20% tutorial prep and participation, 30% reflective essay, 50% take home exam

Lectopia Enabled:  Yeah I believe so, some lectures it didn't work though.

Past exams available:  Neg.

Textbook Recommendation:  I believe there is a book recommended for the course but Adam literally said it's not required. I don't know anyone that had the textbook

Lecturer(s): Adam Barsky

Year & Semester of completion: 2016 July

Rating:  4.5 out of 5


Firstly, this review is overall quite positive and quite different to the previous review (I believe the course has changed quite a bit). I was quite happy with having done this through my winter holidays however note: I'm writing this before receiving my results so I have no idea if the assessment marking is any good.

Business Negotiations extends for 10 days. Each day you attend a 2hour lecture at 9am which isn't mandatory at all. Coming into the first lecture Adam said to do well in this subject, you don't have to do the readings or really even attend lectures. The first few days reiterated the 'experiential' nature of this subject, and to do well you just have to put some effort in. The content on the lectures is actually quite interesting - sort of dissecting different aspects of negotiation aimed at forming this "toolkit" for you in negotiations. It begins going through sort of psychological decision making and identifying different biases that can be capitalised on and that sort of thing. This only goes for 1 lecture so calmmm. After this lecture, it became a lot more relevant - identifying and reiterating the fundamental tension of negotiation; whether to cooperate or compete with the other party. I don't have too much to say about lectures, I suggest you attend and take notes of what Adam says because I found them useful in doing the exam as the slides themselves are just a few keywords that he elaborates on. Granted, this subject was literally at the start of the pokemon go craze, so I don't know how much I missed but the bits I did write down helped.

After the lecture, you attend a 1hr 15min tutorial. I had my tutorial at 11:30 so I was done quite early - that's the good thing about the subject. Anyway, the tutorials are literally so god damn fun. Each day throughout the 2weeks you're given a page or two of information relating to a particular role (seller or buyer usually). The information (except for maybe 2 days) was quite small so it doesn't take too long to read. Anyway, you go home and use this information to prepare a 'negotiation preparation document' which at the first few days is probably about 250 words long, but can get wayyyy longer towards the end of the course. By the last day, my prep doc was over 1000 words (it's kinda easy though, cos you can just copy some of the stuff you put on your previous one anyway). You submit these prep docs each night before 11pm on LMS and these form some of your grade. 20% is assigned to tutorial preparation and participation - i'm not sure how much is assigned to what but you get 4 of your preparation documents marked (randomly) to provide feedback. Ok, so after doing your prep doc, you come to class the next day and negotiate! You get assigned to someone else of a different role in your class and then spend 30-60minutes negotiating. Generally, everyone here is to have fun so negotiating is quite fun and I could hardly keep a straight face in some of them. The general idea of them is to (pretty much) fail, and then the lecture the next day goes through key failures and stuff. You enter your negotiation results online and then Adam puts them in a graph or something similar and goes through it in the lecture, identifying where people often fault in these negotiations. The tutorials are definitely the most important part of the course. The negotiations also change; for the final negotiation, it extends 2 days and involves 5 different parties negotiating for an agreement. This kind of makes it crazy to discuss, especially with people forming alliances and different sort of things. Like honestly, I cannot fathom how fun it was even though I got screwed over.

This final negotiation forms the basis of your individual reflective essay. We had a 1250 word limit, and we were to write a critical essay on our negotiation with references to key negotiation theories that were touched on in class. The word limit makes it quite hard to talk about everything that happened, but honestly it's not too hard to write.

The final assessment is a take-home exam thats worth 50% and is pretty much the same as a negotiation preparation document, except this exam has a 1750 word limit so it requires a bit more thinking. Plus some hypothetical questions are posed that are a bit more interesting. I don't think it was too hard honestly, it just takes a bit of time editing to make sure its under that word limit.

Honestly, I've probably missed so many things to talk about and I'll probably come back to update it later but I just want to say that it was a good break from the regular mundane subjects. All the people I know that took the subject have nothing but praise about it; it was pretty fun. Since the previous review of business negotiations it definitely has gone through a change and most likely will go through another change in future years. However, it is in a good spot now and I imagine the class size (was 300-400 this year) is going to increase exponentially.

AFTER ASSESSMENT: Ok so I'm getting around to editing this quite late and generally I wouldn't edit it after the assessment results come out however this has to be one of the most ridiculous grading schemes I've witnessed. Everyone's grade was scaled DOWN about 10-11 marks (I believe) and this severely reduced the impact of the final take-home exam (as most people would've aced it) and put more weight on the personal reflective essay. In this sense I felt personally impacted by the subjectivity of my tutor as the reviews on my essay conflicted with the instructions given by Adam in the lectures regarding the essay. Nonetheless, I finished with a H2A but take note - I put a ton of effort into this subject to make sure I got a H1 and I didn't.

I just want to reiterate: This subject is NOT an easy H1 and (presuming the subject stays relatively similar) if you want a H1, choose your tutor wisely. This edit comes ~4-5months after results released and you can tell I'm quite salty still. So you have been warned.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2016, 10:30:28 am by myanacondadont »


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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #601 on: July 31, 2016, 07:14:45 pm »
Subject Code/Name: MIIM20001: Principles of Microbiology and Immunology   

Workload:  x3 one hour lectures, x2 one and a half-hour practicals (held weeks 11 and 12)

- x12 Weekly Quizzes (10%)
- Mid-Semester Test (20%)
- Post-Practical Quiz Online (2%)
- End of Semester Examination (68%)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:  No past examinations were available. The last lecture was a revision/integration lecture that had sample question types.

Textbook Recommendation:  The prescribed textbooks are Prescott's Microbiology by Willey J, Sherwood L, Woolverton C and Molecular Biology of the Cell, Alberts et al, 6th edn, 2014.

** Personally, I didn't find the textbooks really necessary. The lecture content is sufficient. However, if I were in need of a textbook, Prescott's Microbiology was a great resource.

Lecturer(s): Dr Karena Waller, Associate Professor Jason Mackenzie, Dr Sacha Pidot, Professor Andrew Brooks, Dr Catherine Kennedy and Dr Laura Mackay

Year & Semester of completion: 2016, Semester 1

Rating:  4.5 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1 (90)


From year 12 I have been very passionate about all things Immunology and Microbiology. My chosen major is Human Structures and Functions, but I wanted to dabble in a little bit of Immunology because I thought it would be an opening experience to something I was quite passionate about. This subject made me realise why I thoroughly enjoyed Immunology and Microbiology.

There are three lectures every week in one-hour time slots. The lectures cover a variety of topics, including:
* History of Immunology and Microbiology
* The secretory pathway in eukaryotic cells.
* Immunology (innate immune response, acquired immune response)
* The Microbial World - Bacteria, Parasites and Fungi
* Mobile DNA elements - nature of microbial DNA, use of mobile DNA elements for horizontal gene transfer, etc.
* Bacteria - Pathogenesis, Toxicity and Antibiotics
* Viruses and Prions
* Recombinant DNA Technology
* Vaccines

Associate Professor Jason Mackenzie - he takes the lectures on the secretory pathway in eukaryotic cells, as well as viruses & prions. Prepare for many examples. The theoretical aspect of viruses is extremely interesting, however, he does digress quite a lot and discuss his own personal accomplishments. There are a lot of examples he expects you to memorise for the purposes of the exam/mid-semester test. My biggest piece of advice would be to learn examples that have been repeated on a regular basis. Otherwise, the content on viruses, prions and the secretory pathway were thoroughly enjoyable.

Dr Laura Mackay: FAVOURITE lecturer! Not only does Dr Laura have a vast knowledge of all things Immunology-related, she also understood we were second year Immunology students and thus made sure every detail was explained thoroughly. Furthermore, her lecture content was the most interesting and relatable to what I know Immunology encompassed. Her lecture content was straightforward, and exam questions were a lot more theoretical based than necessarily just rote learning examples. This made it an enjoyable part of the course to review. Content-wise, the lectures were just extensions from VCE Biology Immunology, where those specific answers you couldn't get to your questions in year 12 are finally going to be answered.

Dr Karena Waller - what I loved about her lectures is that she listed everything in the exact amount of detail we needed to learn about it for the exam. She covered the lecture on the history of Microbiology/Immunology, as well as the introductory lectures into Bacteria, Parasites and Fungi. It was a great way of paving the path for our knowledge of how each of the aforementioned microorganisms function, and in some cases cause disease. Expect to know approximately seven different diseases in detail (e.g. Malaria, Giardiasis, etc.). Once again, the notes she provides for these diseases are more than sufficient for you to know how to answer questions on the exam and mid-semester test.

Dr Sacha Pidot - Dr Sacha covered the content on DNA and genetics/genomics of microorganisms, as well as how mobile DNA elements such as bacteriophages, plasmids and transposons can all be used to transfer DNA between different bacteria. I personally found this to be the least interesting part of the course; however, in saying that, I think the content on mobile DNA elements was quite interesting. Dr Sacha puts up questions during the lectures to sort of test your knowledge. Although these are good to test your knowledge, they're quite easy and majority of the students get the answers right. Dr Sacha is always shocked that we knew the answers to the quizzes. Okay Sacha.. okay.

Dr Catherine Kennedy - Dr Catherine Kennedy took us through an extension of Bacteria, focusing particularly on pathogenesis, toxicity and antibiotics against bacteria. The content on bacteria was thoroughly enjoyable. There is quite a lot to remember for Dr Catherine's lectures, particularly about the different toxins produced by bacteria for pathogenesis, as well as antibiotics that are used against bacteria. Nonetheless, if you prepare for it adequately, it is relatively straightforward.

Associate Prof. Andrew Brooks - he took the lecture on vaccines. I thought the content he gave was quite straightforward, and he elaborates on the fundamentals of vaccines, the different types of vaccines available, etc.


1. Weekly Quizzes: the weekly quizzes are completed online, and often involve completing 6-9 questions (approximately 3 questions per lecture). The questions are usually quite straightforward and the answers can often be derived straight from the lecture notes, so it can be completed open book. You have a time-limit of two hours. An important thing to consider though is that in this quiz, you cannot go back to fix your answers. Once you submit an answer to a question, you cannot go back and change it, so make sure you have properly answered it.

2. Mid-Semester Test: personally, I found the mid-semester test very accessible. I scored 36/40 for it. As long as you revise the lecture content thoroughly, you will be prepared for the examination as it is essentially a lot of rote learning. It is carried out around week 6/7, and there are 40 multiple choice questions to complete.

3. Examination: okay, so the one thing about this subject which for many people is the deal-breaker is the amount of content. I am not going to sugar coat it, there is a LOT. As long as you can keep up to date, and understand the theoretical concepts + specific examples, the examination shouldn't be too difficult. Overall, I didn't find the exam to be too difficult, however, it was important that I remembered specific examples if I wanted to do well.

The exam has three sections: section A (multiple choice), section B (fill-in-the-blanks) and section C (short-answer).

Overall, I found this subject to be very enjoyable. I think if you want to dabble in a bit of Microbiology and Immunology, this is the perfect subject to take. I will be doing MIIM20002, purely because of how much I enjoyed this subject. Definitely worth doing! :)
2013-2014: VCE
2015-2017: BSc. at University of Melbourne. Majoring in Microbiology & Immunology.
2018: Honours - Restoring immunocompetency in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
2019-2022: Doctor of Medicine (MD) at Deakin University

Completed VCE Biology in 2013 with a study score of 47. Offering tutoring in VCE Biology for 2020 in Geelong region! PM me for more details.


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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #602 on: November 02, 2016, 05:24:27 pm »
Subject Code/Name: RUSS10001 – Russian 1

Workload:  2 x 2h Seminars

Seminars are like a tutorial cross lecture format:
1 x 2h grammar class
1 x 2h culture / conversation / verbal class

There is a 75% attendance minimum.

Assessment:  5 written assignments (roughly 6-10 pages depending on the chapter), one per fortnight. Assignments are a hurdle.

Lectopia Enabled:  No

Past exams available:  No, but they do give you a “mock” exam which is virtually identical to the real thing.

Textbook Recommendation:  Buy the textbook Тройка: A Communicative Approach to Russian Language, Life and Culture by Marita Nummikoski! I bought the digital version – don't make the same mistake I did.
See why:
It's DRM protected using some copyright encryption (which I can't find a crack for) and the only program that can open it is their VitalSource Bookshelf which SUCKS especially for Russian (no Cyrillic alphabet support for the clipboard.!!!)
You work from the textbook in every seminar, and there are lots of useful examples for your own notes. I have no idea how the previous reviewer made it through the semester without it. The activity manual might not be necessary, it depends what sort of grades you’re after and how quickly you learn material.

Lecturer(s): Robert Lagerberg and Larissa Andreeva

Year & Semester of completion: 2016 (S1)

Rating: 4 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: Would rather not disclose


This subject is highly underrated, particularly as breadth. From what I understand, it is far less overwhelming than other languages at the uni. If you are interested in learning the Russian language (and strictly the Russian language), look no further. By the end of first semester you will have the basic skills to take on further independent learning of the Russian language, or you will fall in love with the language and continue on. Contrary to the previous reviewer, I believe it is necessary for you to have some language learning experience prior to this subject because the grammar lectures routinely contain linguistic terminology which might be inaccessible to first time learners.

I must admit I felt like the subject was a bit disorganised to begin with due to the structure of the textbook. The topics covered in the textbook (which the class follows very closely) are varied and range in difficulty. Perhaps the most difficult thing for you to grasp will be the different situations and constructs which make use of 'cases' (not if you've done German or Latin though). There is only a moderate amount of vocabulary– by no means will you be overwhelmed.

The textbook has many flaws which you will learn of in the first semester – primarily that it jumps between topics randomly and never gives you a complete grammar table under the guise of 'introducing concepts slowly' (i.e. not informing you that the neuter gender exists until well into the first few chapters, and ALWAYS waiting to give you the plural endings to things after you've finished everything else and moved on).

You get used to this though, at least I have now (at the end of S2), and you learn to write your own grammar notes which come in handy in exam time.

The assignments are a bit of a time sink - I am not the brightest crayon in the box, and it took me 2 - 4 hours to complete each depending on the length. They are take home and open book. They are marked generously, but due to their rather large weighting (50% combined) they could bring your mark down significantly if you perform averagely in 2 or 3 of them. I highly doubt the assignments will cause you any pain, just make sure you pay attention to the small details.

I recommend that you take BOTH Russian 1 and Russian 2 as a block, and don't consider them single subjects. You really on scratch the tip of the iceberg in semester 1.

PS: Google translate is *often* wrong, so I recommend you stick to what you know in the first semester.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2016, 05:27:54 pm by tigerlivie »


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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #603 on: November 02, 2016, 05:38:28 pm »
Subject Code/Name: RUSS10002 – Russian 2

Workload:  2 x 2h Seminars, which are like a tutorial cross lecture format. 1 x grammar class, 1 x culture / conversation / verbal class

Assessment:  1 written assignment (roughly 6-10 pages depending on the chapter) per fortnight

Lectopia Enabled:  No

Past exams available:  No, but they do give you a “mock” exam which is virtually identical to the real thing.

Textbook Recommendation:  Same textbook from Semester 1, so you should own it!

Lecturer(s): Robert Lagerberg and Larissa Andreeva

Year & Semester of completion: 2016 (S2)

Rating: 5 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: Not sure yet


Very much the same as semester 1, but with more cases and more interesting topics. It's a bit more fast-paced, which in my opinion is welcomed. You really start to create more meaningful dialogue and the assignments begin to have little mini-prompt sections at the end which is a good place to show off your new Russian skills. By the end of semester 2, you should be able to say "Я говорю по-русски немного"! On a personal note, I really realised and began to appreciate how much breadth and accuracy Dr Lagerberg has when it comes to grammar knowledge in semester 2. Of course, Larissa Andreeva is as knowledgeable, positive and fun as ever as well!


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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #604 on: November 07, 2016, 04:09:46 pm »
Subject Code/Name: ECON10003/Introductory Macroeconomics 

Workload: Two 50 min lectures and One 50 min tute per week

Assessment:  Two online multiple choice tests (5% ea), Two assignments (10% ea), Tutorial participation and attendance (10%), Final exam (60%)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:  There was one available by the current  lecturer, and loads of other ones from previous lecturer’s that were mostly relevant to what we studied. Couldn’t find solutions however.

Textbook Recommendation:  Principles of Macroeconomics, FOURTH Edition, by B. Bernanke, N. Olekalns and R. Frank.
Didn’t buy it, lecture slides are enough.

Lecturer(s): Professor Robert Dixon

Year & Semester of completion: 2016, Sem 2

Rating: 5 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: [H1] - 90


This subject gets built up as the mean big brother of introductory microeconomics. However, I found this subject far more enjoyable, interesting and I suspect I’ll end up scoring higher than I did in micro because of this.

I should note that this is the first review with Robert Dixon lecturing the subject, so I assume some of the content covered will be a bit different to previous lecturers.


The course starts off with some relatively basic stuff – national accounts, GDP and CPI calculations, unemployment rate and measures of output – before it gets into the heart of the subject: economic models. The three that are broadly covered are the Keynesian model, Aggregate-Demand/Aggregate-Supply model and the Solow-Swan model. There’s also a little bit of stuff on monetary policy and currency exchange, but that in a nutshell is what was covered in the course.

Lectures are absolutely stuffed full of content. Seriously, they’re like 50 slides long full of mostly text and a few graphs interspersed here and there. So if you’re there to take notes, you better be attentive otherwise you’ll have to re-watch them at home because sometimes they really zoom along.

There is a little bit of math involved, but if you managed to pass math methods (which I think is the pre-req for the course) then there shouldn’t be any issues. It’s just rearranging equations and dealing with a few exponents.

The lecturer for this semester was Prof. Robert Dixon. I thought he was great, no complaints here. Very knowledgeable on the content matter and was concise with what he spoke about. He skimmed over the less-important stuff and spent lots of time explaining how the economic models worked, and since they constitute most of the course/exam this helped tremendously.

He is a bit snappy at the start of the lectures, so if you’re going to have a chat with a friend prepare to be singled out to everyone in the room.


The tutorials were like micro in that there are blue sheets and pink sheets to do every week. You get marked on attendance and participation, and that includes doing the blue sheets (which you should be doing regardless because they’re great for consolidating knowledge).

Most tutors will just go through the solutions of the blue sheet with you, then you run through the pink sheet as a class. There are no solutions to the pink sheet provided online, so you must turn up to tutes if you want answers. This is especially important for exam revision (which I’ll discuss below.)


There were two 15 question multi-choice tests that you had to do in 30 minutes, both worth 5%. I had been keeping up with the course and doing assignments, so they weren’t too hard. I did know people who struggled with them because they were behind, but since it’s open book you should be aiming to get high marks for these.

There were two assignments worth 10% each.  Coming from micro I was expecting to spend hours on these, but to be honest the assignments were surprisingly easy. They could be done in groups with people form your tutorial, but you could easily do them on your own. They just consisted of three short answer questions, which could be explaining a certain law (Walras’/Okun’s), using an economic model or using algebra to demonstrate a proof. They weren’t tough at all and in fact much easier and shorter than the micro assignments were. Don’t worry about these.


I haven’t got my result back so I’m a bit hesitant to write this, but I felt that the exam was very straightforward. There were 14 multiple choice questions worth 2 marks each (of your overall SUBJECT score) that were pretty similar to the MCQ’s. Then, there were a few short answer questions basically using and applying the models we’ve learnt. So the exam was weighted 50-50 between multi-choice and short answer.

The best exam revision was the tute sheets, without a doubt. Some of the questions were extremely similar to those found in the tutes and some of them I’m fairly certain were copied word-for-word. In the exam period, just make sure you do all the blue and pink sheets and answer every question.  If you do this and actually understand what you’re writing, I guarantee you will get a H1.

So yeah, don’t stress about the exam – it’s just a rehash of tutorial questions and they weren’t overly difficult so if you can get through those you’ll be set for high marks.

My Thoughts

I gave this subject a 5/5 because:
-   Interesting subject matter (unlike micro, you actually begin to understand how an economy functions/grows and you gain an appreciation for things you see in media)
-   Laid back lecturer who got through the content pretty comfortably and emphasised the important stuff
-   Relatively straightforward assessment that didn’t try to “trick” you, if you know the content then you will be fine

Intro Micro left me a little disappointed to what economics at Melbourne was about, but after Intro Macro I can safely say I’m looking forward to Intermediate Macro next year. This was one of my favourite subjects I studied all year (perhaps my favourite?) so I urge future commerce students to not be intimidated by it – it really isn’t that much of a step up from micro and is in fact a lot more enjoyable.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2016, 02:28:34 pm by dankfrank420 »


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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #605 on: November 12, 2016, 03:38:54 am »
Subject Code/Name: MKTG30008 Neuromarketing

Workload: 1 x 2 hour lecture + 1 x 1 hour tute per week

Assessment:  One 1000 word assignment (group or individual) (10%), One group assignment (3000 words) (30%), One end of semester exam (60%)

Lectopia Enabled: I had to check the LMS to see if they were because i went to most of the lectures and the ones i didn't go to i just read the slides LOL but they ARE recorded

Past exams available:  None

Textbook Recommendation: I didnt use one as the lecture slides were very detailed and the readings were more than enough if you wanted to learn more beyond the lecture.

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2, 2016

Rating: prolly a 5/5. cant really complain about the subject. i had a good time, the lecturer was good, tutor was good, everything was marked fairly.
the exam was pretty tough and there weren't any practice exams but i understand why he didnt give them out as they ask similiar questions each year apparently

Your Mark/Grade: TBA

Summary: Very interesting subject. They wanted it to be called consumer neuroscience first because it is very neuroscience heavy (but dont be scared), but that did not happen and neuromarketing is the name. I would recommend this subject (and internet marketing ill write a review on later) to ALL marketing students. If you like marketing subjects and you want to learn something empirical rather than fluffy, definitely do this. the neurology and anatomy you have to learn isn't super complicated and gives you a really solid understanding of what happens. you begin to really understand the neurological & physiological effects of what happens in your brain when you exposed to all sorts of things from marketing to general stimuli. the subject really makes you understand yourself and the world better and i think for any marketing role it will give you a MASSIVE leg up over other people. as you will have a super solid empirical foundation for things as well as knowledge on the brain. alot of marketing subjects are quite fluffy and i feel like in this subject i learnt more than all my previous marketing subjects combined.
also i highly recommend it if you did vce psych and like that, you get similiar vibes from this subject
i personally did this subject because i wanted to learn some concrete ideas and that is definitely what i got out of it

Overall, its a pretty do-able subject. You can definitely get H1's in all the assignments if you put in the work and also get a H1 in the exam if you have studied hard for it, although the exam was harder than most marketing exams. I thought it was a pretty high workload subject in general. The assignments absolutely can not be bullshitted and require alot of effort and time. The good side of this is that marks do tend to correlate with effort for this subject.

Classes were fun though. I always enjoyed having neuro tutes and neuro lectures. ill talk about them more in the relevant sections but this is a very enjoyable and very interesting subject. the content is not super difficult, its just hard to bullshit. its not one of those subjects where you will be pulling out your hair wondering how to get an answer. you will just have to do alot of reading and ask some questions to get your answer, which i think is a good way to run the subject.

To tell you what you learn, it starts with teaching you how each of the 5 senses works in your brain and how they can be used for marketing, as well as some traits of the sense. this was SUPER interesting and what the first assignment is based on. then you start to learn things like emotion, memory, learning, decision making, and some more psychological concepts. pretty interesting stuff in general

The subject is run pretty well. Assessment is fair and the teaching staff were very good. definitely not a bludge subject but if you are a hard worker you will be rewarded. this is a subject to be respected though and treated like a neuroscience subject.

These were AWESOME. I never go to lectures for any subject, but on thursdays all i would have was my  tute for this subject + this lecture so i would just go to it anyway and also i had a friend in there. the lecturer was SO good. he explained concepts REALLY well even if they were quite complex and he would incorporate lots of fun videos into lectures and was pretty chill in general. we also had a guest speaker come in from a food company and talk about how neuromarketing helped her firm. the lecturer is actually involved in his own neuromarketing business (i think he owns it?) and even offered for a few of us to email him after the exam and see about internship possibilities at the firm.

the slides were filled to the brim with info and the lecturer still added more on top of that so overall good lectures 5/5

These were also pretty fun! i had a great tutor who I think she worked in neuromarketing as well. and had her PhD in what im guessing wouldve been psychology or something because she was quite smart and switched on about all the brain stuff. in tutes we did a whole bunch of different things. the uni has software that has a mapping of the brains regions and shit and in one tute we were playing around with the brain simulator. most weeks however involved looking at a marketing campaign or viral video or something and tying in the neuromarketing concepts from that week into the case in the tute. pretty helpful stuff and pretty interesting seeing how what we were learning was being implemented in the real world

First assignment:
An assignment based on how a certain company does sensory marketing (using the 5 senses in its marketing). pretty interesting stuff. you can not bullshit it if you havent done the work. if you havent really listened to the lectures or absorbed the info you probably wont do well. though if you do the work the assignment is pretty straight forward although it can be hard to find information on this stuff and you will have to be fairly proactive in deducing what companies are doing in terms of their sensory branding if the info isnt widely available. this is your typical 1000 word 10% marketing assignment except for the fact you can do it in groups which is nice. if you dont do the work or you are lazy expect a score in the 50's or 60's. if you did the work and have produced a good quality assignment expect a h1. this goes for both assignments really. its kinda hard to get a h1 just because the content is kinda difficult but if you can nail it the marking is quite fair and if anything does punish slackers so dont be lazy in this subject

Second Assignment:
Same as any 30% group assignment for a marketing or management subject really. Although the content is WAY harder. you really need to learn the stuff and understand basically the whole course to do it. its an assignment about how a company that offers a service (not a good) uses neuromarketing in their marketing mix. it can become quite complex to write about and it is also VERY hard to find information on this stuff and really you will have to look at things yourself and say "hmm well we learnt about this and i know this company has X set up like Y" and then you look into that and realise that its actually on purpose and its a neuromarketing technique. if you do the work for the subject and assignment you should do okay for this

Some of the questions are quite broad, and some are very specific. Overall i would say its a hard exam and if you want to get a h1 or a good score, you will have to do alot of work and cover alot of ground. overall it was fair though and there were no dirty questions

All said 5/5 for a few reasons
+ lectures and tutes were super fun and super interesting
+ interesting and useful content that was empirical and not fluffy
+ fair assessment
- no prac exams and exam was kinda hard but shit happens

TL;DR good subject. great fun. fair bit of work but definitely worth it and its easy to study for something that is interesting. i would recommend it to all marketing students and even non marketing students. if you are doing neuroscience or psych in science or arts youd probs love this subject. they should make this a core marketing subject because its very useful. highly recommend. do it in a semester where you have alot of boring , preferrably easier subjects, and do this for something fun to break it up and keep you busy


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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #606 on: November 12, 2016, 08:01:16 am »
Subject Code/Name: Taxation Law 1

Workload:  One 2-hour lecture and one 1-hour tutorial per week

Assessment: 30% Assignment due in Week ~4/5, 70% Final Exam

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:  Elaborate on below.

Textbook Recommendation:  The recommended textbook is very relevant and very useful. Make sure you get your years version as I believe they change year to year quite a bit.

Lecturer(s): Sunita Jogarajan

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2 2016

Rating:  4.5 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: TBA


Tax law...Where do I begin? Firstly, tax law is primarily filled with accounting students because we need it for accreditation. For a lot of accounting students there is a lot of things you would've seen before, depending on classes you've taken, like imputation credits, indexation method and various other random things. I think Tax Law, honestly, is a really good subject. I came in from Corporate Law in the previous semester being scared as $#!% because Corp Law was so difficult and required some serious thinking. Tax Law takes a different approach from Corp Law, and the theory in Tax isn't nearly as conceptual, and often it's quite easy to understand what the questions are asking/what they want you to write. That being said, it is quite content heavy and I believe if you fall behind you not completely catch up - I'd stress going to lectures (even if you don't listen to 100%) because Sunita focuses on some things a tad more than others and you can get a feel for what is important to know in the subject

Ok, so, the lectures. Sunita is a good lecturer, I think being the lecturer for a TAX subject is a difficult proposition but she handles it quite well. She stresses that she is about rewarding students for their hard work throughout the semester (and hence she gave us two topics on the final exam that we had already covered in the assignment, so they were relatively easy for most). I honestly can't praise Sunita enough to be honest, as a result of her I believe I'll be taking Tax Law 2 next semester. It's a welcome refresh when lecturers/teachers don't place a multitude of tricks on the exam. The lectures themselves are similar to Corp Law in the fact that they often just have a sentence or two on the slides and Sunita will elaborate, or like a case name and Sunita will give you the facts. Don't stress if you don't catch any of it, it's quite well covered in the textbook (which should become your best friend throughout this subject).

The content in Tax Law is pretty good. It really gives you an insight into how tax is paid/comprised, such as the difference between offsets, deductions etc. In addition, you are exposed to a bit of company's as taxpayers, and trusts and partnerships (however these are excluded from examinable material and left for tax law 2). The course itself focusses on what comprises assessable income and deductions - so you go through ordinary income (prerequisites etc), statutory income and non-assessable income. When I came into tax law I thought it would be a pretty straight forward course and there would be scripted responses for every question. However, tax law revolves around the students forming their own arguments on recognised tax legislation so often even if there is a correct answer, lots of answers are accepted. The exam will revolve around 'discussion' questions and hence it isn't as useful to bring in a set of responses that you can't tailor.

The tutorials are 1 hour long with no participation marks. The questions themselves come mostly from past exams I believe, so going to tutorials and getting sample answers from your tutors is actually really key and helped me enormously coming into SWOTVAC. As there's no participation marks, the tutorials are met with silence and it's quite annoying when simply having to answer every question otherwise the tutor won't progress - so there needs to be some work on that.

The assignment is worth 30% and due around week 4-5. It's a law assignment so I don't think anyone got full marks. The average was 21/30 or just below that, but I think it's quite easy to do above the average. It must be completed in pairs - and as I had no friends taking the subject, I was assigned a partner (don't count on them being any good, I ended up doing the whole thing). The whole pair thing is designed to replicate a real word experience where, especially is a tax capacity, you are required to work with others. The assignment for our year focussed on GST and Residency. While GST has set answers as its quite prescriptive, residency is a 'legal grey area' and thus a range of answers are generally accepted as long as they provide correct documentation and supporting arguments. Anyway, I don't think it was necessarily too hard, just double triple quadruple check the textbook because there is really a plethora of information in there that will get you marks.

From the assignment to the exam, there is nothing in between. This is really where it requires you to stay up to date so going into SWOTVAC you feel comfortable and can revise small things that will you get 1 mark here and there. Now, the exam is open book so make sure you get a solid set of notes as you really really do need them. The exam itself is 2hours writing time and 30mins reading. Beforehand, Sunita told us that we would be rewarded for our Assignment work in the exam, and she gave us a revision question which she covered the answer for in the final lecture. The revision question gives you a really good example of what one of the questions on the exam is going to be (and it definitely did pop up!). On top of that, Sunita says that the primary resource for exam revision is tutorial questions, so this is where your answers will come in handy. She advises against revising past exams because the course changes each year and topics get dropped/picked up. The exam itself was the most intense 2 hours of writing I've ever endured; even moreso than Corp law. Coming out of the exam, my finger was swollen for 2 days (combined from the fact I write forcefully under pressure and that I didn't stop for the whole 2 hours). You need to know exactly what you're writing in those 30minutes reading, because I found I had very very little time to think at all during the writing time. I think the exam was fair and really tested the particulars of the course - deductions, assessable income, fringe benefits.

Granted I haven't received my mark yet and so I will most likely come back to update this review after to reflect the marking scheme, but at this point in time I really enjoyed Taxation Law 1 as a subject. I think Sunita handles it really well and has honestly intrigued me substantially in the area of Tax.


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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #607 on: November 16, 2016, 11:30:44 am »
Subject Code/Name: BIOM30001: Frontiers in Biomedicine

- Contact hours: three x 1 hour lectures per week; plus six x 1 hour tutorials per semester; plus one x 4 hour practicals per semester.
- Total time commitment: 170 hours.

- Continuing assessment (40%).

Unfortunately the handbook is very vague here, which I found quite frustrating at the start of the semester because I had little idea of what to expect. I'll go into more detail in the review, but the breakdown (roughly in the order in which they are to be completed) is as follows:

- Literature searching and bioinformatics assignment: 7.5%.
- Debate: 5%.
- Mid-semester test (held in week 6): 10%.
- Pre-practical quiz: 3%.
- Peer assessment: 2.5%.
- Respiratory assignment: 12%.

- One practical assessment (10%) - that is, a graphical analysis assignment (basically a report).
- 2 hour written examination in the final examination period (50%).

Lectopia Enabled: Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available: Yes, four past exams are made available to practice both for the mid-semester test and exam.

Textbook Recommendation: On-line readings will be provided through the readings on-line site through the LMS.

I don't actually recall anything being put up though... Maybe I didn't pay enough attention lol.

Lecturer(s): There are too many to list here, because this is a subject where a lecturer may only come once or twice to discuss their particular topic. However, I've attached the timetable for the 2016 semester below for your reference.

- Dr Rosa McCarty (Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics).
- Dr Terry Mulhern (Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology).

We only saw Terry at the very start and end of the semester, so I assume he does some work behind the scenes. Rosa, on the other hand, attends most of the lectures and as the face of the subject is likely to be your first port of call for help. She also takes a couple of lectures herself.

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2, 2016.

Rating: 3/5.

Your Mark/Grade: H1


Sorry it's taken me a little while to make a start on this... Like a lot to do with this subject, I feel like I lost a lot of motivation and interest. Part of that has to do with the fact that it's the last semester of Biomedicine, but it also has to do with the subject itself. Apologies if my review isn't as long or detailed as my other ones have been (although maybe that will be a good thing haha).

Subjectively, I didn't enjoy this subject very much but objectively, I cannot criticise BIOM30001 as much as I thought I would have been able to. It still needs a number of improvements, but I think the reason why many people are not too fond of this subject has to do with the fact that it's just a very different sort of subject. This is a subject that is primarily concerned with developing graduate attributes and skills that will be of use in further study and employment, with the biomedical content essentially of secondary importance. This subject is not about taking copious notes of details during the lectures - in fact, I'm not convinced that taking notes would even be of benefit. It's more about developing a holistic overview of biomedicine in the community and understanding your position as a budding biomedical scientist. Instead, there is a massive focus on developing skills in the tutorials, the practical and the majority of the assessments.

There's no point me breaking down individual lectures and lecturers one by one, but I will take a moment to discuss the key modules of the lecture course. We started off with a week of largely non-examinable introductory lectures designed to help us understand this subject and what it's all about, and then swiftly moved into the first module: metabolic syndrome. This module spans for about 4-5 weeks and discusses topics including the obesity epidemic, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The second module only spans a week or two and discusses stem cell technology, including tissue engineering and some basic biomechanics. The mid-semester test held in week 6 examines both of these modules. Following these, we moved into respiratory diseases, exploring chronic pulmonary obstructive disease (COPD) and asthma in particular. This particular module also included some more general public health lectures including science communication in the media and public perception of vaccination. The last module, which began after the mid-semester break, is pain and pleasure. About half of the lectures are dedicated to the neurophysiology of pain, while the other half deal with pain treatments and drug addiction. Each module deals with topics beyond biomedical science, such as public health, politics and economics. In most cases, I felt the lectures were delivered to an adequate standard. I didn't think it was amazing, but for the most part it wasn't completely woeful either - ultimately, it varies due to the high turnover of lecturers. Perhaps the last module wasn't dealt with very well: a lot of people found it confusing. As a neuroscience student I found this really disappointing because we often had the same lecturers/lectures in our subjects and things were taught to a far higher standard. I even felt that pain in BIOM30001 was messing up my understanding of pain taught in other subjects. Annoyingly, some of the lectures (particularly a couple relevant to an assessment) were merely recordings from previous years rather than an in-person lecture and were add-ons to the three lectures a week. Another strong criticism from previous years was the lack of continuity or narrative between lectures. This was worked on this year and I thought it wasn't too bad. In fact, I even thought it may have been reasonable to integrate different modules together (i.e. not just integrating subtopics of different disciplines within the same module - despite never being required in the assessments). Nonetheless, we were still told that it was at least partly our job to link the lectures together. Given how we are assessed, it's probably reasonable to expect us to do this.

Unlike other subjects, the tutorials are generally not designed to supplement lecture content and build understanding. Rather, they are like a parallel channel in which most of the assessments and graduate attributes are managed. The lack of strong continuity between lectures and tutorials/assessment is a major criticism of this subject, since it almost feels like students are taking two different subjects under the one subject code. I understand that the staff want us to start thinking independently, and not simply regurgitate content from lecture slides, but for me the disparity was simply far too great. At best I could see weak links between the assessments and the lecture content, but with a little bit of tweaking it could be possible to make them relevant and help consolidate the information provided in lectures. This feedback was taken on board this year, so perhaps this will be changed next year. The tutorial rooms are available for the class each week, but the tutor will only come if an assessment needs to be dealt with (our tutor never came if the tutorial was marked as a "tutor drop-in" though). Otherwise, they were "self-guided" - some questions would be put up on the LMS and we could get together as a class and work on them together. While my tutorial was pretty diligent, and the questions were helpful in consolidating the lectures, in most cases attendance was poor, to the point where people stopped turning up to tutorials where assessments were handled. This was noted this year and is likely to be changed for next year.

Onto the meat of this subject - the assessments. As you can see, there are a lot of assignments to work on in the semester - you'll pretty much always have one to work on. This should be your primary focus in this subject. The first is given at the end of the first week and is a literature searching and bioinformatics assignment. This involves using journal databases and bioinformatics banks to find relevant information regarded a rare disease loosely related to the metabolic syndrome topic (this is an example where the link could be made stronger to make the assignment seem more relevant). Additionally, we were required to write about what we had learnt about this disease in both a scientific and lay form (with word limits) as a means to develop our skills communicating to both audiences. We also had to demonstrate an ability to appropriately reference other scientific research. It's not terribly hard to do well in, but I found it extremely difficult to figure out what to do (some of the instructions were vague) and how to navigate these websites. I felt as if the skills that were required were ones that perhaps should have been better introduced earlier in the degree, rather than tacked right at the end. Nonetheless, I did feel a lot more confident using these things by the end of the assignment. A couple of the lectures were designed to help with some aspects of this assignment, and were helpful to varying extents. One of the tutorials was also dedicated to discussing the skills relevant for this assignment. How useful this was largely depended on your tutor. Most people felt their tutor was hopeless (or didn't turn up) but mine was actually very helpful (and this applies to all the assessments). Perhaps I should've waited for some of these assistance classes before attempting the assignment.

Once we were done with that, we were then provided with the debate assignment. This is a relatively small assignment and required us to research points for and against universal health care (only loosely related to the public health side of the lectures - again somewhere where a slight tweak could improve this assignment significantly). We were given our teams in one tutorial, but not our side - so we had to prepare to argue for both sides until we found out on the day which side we had been assigned to. This assignment is primarily about participation, worth 80% of the marks. The content itself, and the delivery, was a secondary consideration and it was more like a casual round-table discussion than a debate. Given it is only 10 minutes a side (with each side having around five members), it's not terribly demanding either. Most groups do extremely well on this assignment, although our class was marked harshly (this happened to all of our assessments so they were scaled up).

It is probably now worth talking about the practical because most of the other assignment work is related to it. There is only one for the semester, but given the limited resources there are about eight repeats so your decision when timetabling will allocate you to one of these repeats. It is about four hours in duration and examines how the drug atenolol affects homeostatic responses to exercise. Again, this only had a very loose association with the metabolic syndrome and respiratory disease topics - perhaps some more time spent on these aspects in the lectures would have been welcome. After receiving some lectures/tutorials/supplementary information on informed consent (i.e. no one is forced to do or take anything they don't want to), people will get into small groups of which one will randomly take a placebo and another atenolol. The other group members are responsible for taking a variety of cardiovascular and respiratory measures both before and after exercise, and both pre- and post-treatment. I felt there was plenty of staff supervision around and everything was explained really well, so for me it was definitely one of my more positive practical experiences. A pre-practical quiz ensuring you understand the preparatory material and practical notes must be submitted prior to your class, although it is not very difficult.

Once all groups had finished the practical, we were required to write up our findings and present our results in a graphical analysis assignment. This was mainly a series of questions to be completed, although it mimicked writing a scientific report. This also wasn't too bad, although again I found some tasks a bit too vague for my liking - often we only realised what was required once the rubric came out, which was frustrating especially if you understood that information but had left it out. Again, support is provided through the tutorials. However, given we never covered the pharmacology of atenolol, this is something you'll have to learn the basics about yourself (just ask someone who has studied pharmacology - their basic synopsis should be enough). If you use any external sources, they will need to be referenced. Interestingly, this assignment is peer assessed: we were randomly given five people's assignments post-submission and were required to mark them out of 100. As long as students completed the peer assessment and did so with integrity, this was a free 2.5% to our grade. Most people marked reasonably well, generally correlating with our self-mark. The marking rubric was a bit vague though, and perhaps left too much open to interpretation. In some cases, I felt that good answers were marked lower than they should have been as a result.

Following this assignment, we were then required to complete a respiratory assignment that predominantly revolved around comparing our results with a UK Biobank cohort, in addition to tying in some public health knowledge as to what biobanks are and how the data relates to smoking. This assignment was still a little bit too removed from the lecture content for my liking, and was probably the most vague assignment of them all. For most of the assignment many of us felt we did not know what was actually required of us, much like the graphical analysis assignment. It may also be necessary to research some information independently and reference it as appropriate. There was a page limit of six pages for this assignment, including references. Again, one of the tutorials is dedicated to this assignment.

Now I might tackle the mid-semester test and exam together in one lot because their format is exactly the same. The only difference is that the mid-semester test is shorter (40 minutes), with one question on metabolic syndrome and one on stem cells. Conversely, the two hour exam has one compulsory question on each module, and additionally we were required to select two optional questions from a bank of three. Evidently, 20 minutes is given per question. The questions are very open ended and often require you to tie in several lectures within a module in order to synthesise a holistic response. You'll probably need to write more than a page in order to answer sufficiently. The mid-semester test in this format was new this year but it was extremely helpful gauging what was expected of us in the exam. However, despite having plenty of revision material (past exams and enough revision questions from the self-guided tutorials) most people, including myself, did not do very well on the mid-semester test: only 16% of students scored a H1. The staff were happy with the result (median approximately 66%) but I knew this was well below our performance in other core subjects. My advice is to have a look at questions as soon as they are available so you know what to expect and what level of knowledge is required. My mistake was that I was either being far too vague, or very specific but also disorganised in my thinking. The best answers were those that were well synthesised - they had structure such as an introduction and conclusion, and paragraphs that read very much of the TEEL structure drilled in during high school English. Basically, an answer that communicated key information clearly, concisely and effectively, with a structure and organisation that made sense, did better than an answer that had everything in it but was not organised well. To help for the exam, some exemplars of very good answers were provided on the LMS.

Overall, I kind of feel this subject is different to the point where it will be a love it or hate it affair. I didn't enjoy it, but I feel that the holistic picture BIOM30001 tries to create through the graduate attributes and multi-disciplinary lectures is admirable. However, I feel some aspects still require a lot of tweaking and integration. For example, a discussion board was put up for help with the assignments - while people were asking questions there weren't a lot of answers, and the staff only seemed to step in when they could the discussion was going nowhere. In a way, I kind of feel that's a bit of a surrogate for the subject as a whole. Some may question the point of this subject - if the graduate attributes are taught throughout the course, rather than lumped at the end, then the tutorials in BIOM30001 wouldn't be necessary. I didn't mind the lectures, so if it headed in this direction I'd be rather happy. In the end, this subject isn't as easy as it might initially seem. The results are quite comparable to BIOM30002, despite arguably easier content, because the staff are quite scrupulous in marking the assignments and tests. Based on my results, this will probably be the lowest score on my transcript, so I have my fingers crossed I've done just enough to get a H1 (it will be borderline though). Anyway, I know this review is rather sloppy but I just wanted to get it over and done with because now I don't have to worry about this subject again! ;D
« Last Edit: November 25, 2016, 03:05:02 pm by Stick »
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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #608 on: November 16, 2016, 01:46:04 pm »
Subject Code/Name: OPTO30007: Visual Neuroscience

- Contact hours: 3 x one hour lectures per week.
- Estimated total time commitment: 170 hours.

Assessment: two written assessments of 30 minutes each, one mid semester (15%) and one late semester (15%); 3-hour written examination (70%) in end of semester exam period.

Lectopia Enabled: Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available: No.

Textbook Recommendation:
- Prescribed textbook: E R Kandel, J H Schwartz, T M Jessell, Principles of Neural Science, 4th Ed., McGraw-Hill, 2000.
- Recommended textbook: J G Nicolls, A R Martin, B G Wallace & P A Fuchs, From Neuron to Brain, 4th Ed., Sinauer, 2001.

I didn't use them so I can't comment on them. I felt I didn't really need any textbook during the semester.

- Co-ordinator: Prof. Trichur (Sagar) Vidyasagar - basic concepts in systems neuroscience, visual cortex, visual attention, plasticity/learning/development in the visual system and associated disorders (11 lectures).
- Assoc. Prof. Bang Bui - eye anatomy, introduction to electrophysiological diagnosis (1 lecture).
- Prof. Erica Fletcher - the retina (5 lectures).
- Dr. Christine Nguyen - using the eye in systemic disease (1 lecture).
- Dr. Mike Pianta - light and dark adaptation (2 lectures).
- Dr. Andrew Anderson - retinal sampling, visual decision making (2 lectures).
- Assoc. Prof. Larry Abel - eye movements and associated disorders (4 lectures).
- Prof. Allison McKendrick - higher visual functions (3 lectures).
- Prof. Michael Ibbotson - visual perception during saccades, visual prosthesis (3 lectures).

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2, 2016.

Rating: 4.5/5.

Your Mark/Grade: H1


This was my favourite subject this semester, and perhaps even my major (although I liked all my neuroscience subjects). It really piqued my interested into visual neuroscience to the point where at this early stage I'm considering ophthalmology as my speciality once I finish medicine (if not, I'd also be happy to fall back on optometry as a career option). I thought it was well run, well taught and had an appropriate workload, and it should not be difficult at all to perform well. I highly recommend it to neuroscience students unsure which subjects to select in semester 2. Unlike the other neuroscience subjects, I also highly recommend it to anatomy students looking for semester 2 electives. It's somewhat more concrete than the other neuroscience subjects - despite the fact so much about visual neuroscience remains unknown, the staff do a very good job at leaving that big picture stuff towards the end of the lecture, meaning you get a better appreciation for what remains to be discovered. Additionally, there is some basic eye anatomy that complements some of the content taught in the second semester core unit of the anatomy major. If you're like me and are not a big fan of anatomy though, don't worry: I found it very manageable.

Like a lot of the semester 2 neuroscience subjects, this subject has a strong research focus, with most of the lecturers teaching material that directly relates to their own work. They are all designed to give you a taste of research in neuroscience and provide opportunities to talk with the academics and even organise placements for honours. Initially I thought I wouldn't like this but in the end I was quite wrong. Additionally, a lot of time and effort is spent relating research to clinical applications, so it regularly felt like my knowledge was really practical and relevant. Some of the concepts are still somewhat abstract, but most of the time these concepts are taught at a suitable pace, giving you enough time to absorb the information.

The lectures themselves were of a very high quality. The standard was definitely above average, with the exception of perhaps a handful that were about average (this is me being picky - it is the only reason I've deducted 0.5 from my rating). Some lectures appear hard at first (e.g. eye movements is especially difficult), but with time and persistence most people managed to work their way through them. The notes were always clear, concise and contained the right amount of information on them. There's no point going through individual lecturers and their styles, but generally there shouldn't be too many problems. It's probably a subject worth attending in person because many optical illusions and diagrams may be displayed to demonstrate a concept, which won't be visible in the recording but are very helpful for building understanding. To go through the lecture course: we first started with some basic concepts in neuroscience, revising some of the key concepts relevant from last semester's prerequisites. After that, we basically started at the front of the visual system (i.e. the eye) and worked our way back: we spent some time looking at some basic eye anatomy and its clinical relevance in systemic disorders, before investigating the retina in detail. We then followed the visual pathway back to the brain and then in turn spent time on the different sorts of functions the brain has to perform in visual processing. In this way, the structure of the course is highly logical and effective, making it incredibly easy to understand how everything works together. OPTO30007 is definitely a cohesive narrative. Interestingly, this subject is really about putting the details into the overviews on the visual system provided in NEUR30003 Principles of Neuroscience and NEUR30002 Neurophysiology: Neurons and Circuits, although inevitably some completely new content is introduced as well. There is some overlap with NEUR30004 Sensation, Movement and Complex Functions.

During the semester the main assessments are two mid-semester tests: one covers weeks 1-6 and is in week 7, and the other covers weeks 7-12 and is in week 12. In this way, all of the lectures are examined in the mid-semester tests, which makes SWOTVAC revision a lot easier because you're up to date and pretty familiar with all of the content already. I found having our exam on the first day of the exam period more of a help than a hindrance for this reason. These tests are both multiple choice - 30 questions in 30 minutes. While the other neuroscience subjects resolve ambiguity inherent in the abstract concepts we cover fairly well, I felt OPTO30007 did a particularly good job. I do not recall finding any of the exam questions ambiguous in any way. Practice materials for the tests and exam would have been a bonus but were not provided for us. Alternatively, two revision tutorials were held prior to each mid-semester test where students could clarify questions and lecturers would provide us with some practice. I found both of these quite helpful, especially considering there are no other support classes in this subject (as is the case in most neuroscience subjects). The tests themselves were not difficult at all: the class average was 78% for test 1 and 84% for test 2 - incredibly high. While the questions were perhaps on the easy side, I feel this also reflects strong teaching and good exam writing by the staff. Results were always released promptly.

The final exam is 3 hours in duration and consists of 60 multiple choice questions (1 hour), 2 extended response questions from a selection of 3 (1 hour for the section or 30 minutes per question) and 6 short answer questions from a selection of 10 (1 hour for the section or 10 minutes per question). The exam was more difficult than the mid-semester tests, but it wasn't especially hard. There was a high degree of recycling of mid-semester test questions in the multiple choice section - I think this was done so that students had the opportunity to learn from their mistakes and be rewarded for that, which was nice. We hadn't seen any short answer or extended response questions before, which I guess made those sections a bit more tricky. The extended response questions tend to focus on one large part of the course, so a certain amount of detail is required. You should probably aim to write 2-3 pages per question if possible. This section isn't really about integrating different topics together or anything like that. The short answer section also requires detail, but since it focuses on shorter topics and concepts you will not have to write as much. Remember that the course is called visual neuroscience so the focus is on neurophysiology, not optics (despite covering optics regularly throughout the semester). You may also find that referencing specific research projects is useful when writing your answers.

Given this subject is just lectures, tests and exams there's not a lot more I can really discuss. Once again, I'll re-iterate that this was a fantastic subject and perhaps my favourite out of them all for the neuroscience major. If a H1 is what you're after, this subject certainly wouldn't threaten that from happening. Feel free to contact me if you have any additional questions. Good luck! :D
« Last Edit: November 24, 2016, 06:50:07 pm by Stick »
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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #609 on: November 16, 2016, 03:10:31 pm »
Subject Code/Name: PATH20003 Experimental Pathology

Workload:  1 lecture biweekly (elaborated in comments), 1 x 3 hour laboratory or 1 hour workshop session

Assessment:  5 practical reports worth 75%, Participation in practicals and workshop 10% and End of semester multiple choice test 15%

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:  No past exams but a sample exam is provided

Textbook Recommendation:  None

Lecturer(s): Jo Russell

Year & Semester of completion: 2016, Semester 2

Rating:  5 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: H1

TL;DR Very well coordinated subject with a lot of personal feedback that compliments PATH20001 - Exploring Human Disease. Highly recommended

All of the lectures are a preface to what you will do in the practicals that week. It covers the theory of the disease explored and it goes into a bit more detail than PATH20001 which will cover the same topics. The lectures run biweekly (except the first week) on the same week as your pracs however there are bonus lectures such as a Scientific report writing lecture and a review lecture. The MCQ will be in this lecture time slot at the end of the semester.

Practicals and workshop
Pracs and workshops run biweekly and are in the same time slot. Thus you will have a prac week and then a workshop week. Rinse and repeat. You will be allocated a 1 hour time slot within your prac time for your workshop. This was the first year that the Lab record book was introduced (you get 2 books that rotate biweekly) which is similar to the lab reports you would've done in Chem 1/2 or in high school. You also will need to do a prac report which is due in your next prac class along with your lab book (every 2 weeks). Each prac report only covers 2-3 sections of a full report to give you practice of each section before report 5 which will be a full report. Jo, the same Jo that lectures, also runs the workshop.Your prac demonstrator will be with you and your group in the workshop. She will run through what you need to include in your lab record book and you prac report even giving you the specifics for each prac. She even gives you key words to include in each section and samples of good and poorly written sections of the lab book/report.

Your participation mark also depends on your contributions in these workshops so don't be shy. If you missed a result during the prac and for some reason didn't chase that up, Jo usually runs through the expected results from the prac. At the end of the workshop, you will get you lab book from the week before with feedback so you can adjust your current weeks prac content in your lab book based on the feedback. Prac report feedback are usually up by the end of your next prac. Don't forget to check the marking rubric which is on the LMS to ensure you cover everything that is required.

This is the easiest MCQ I have done in uni so far. You should be able to get the full 15% for your total subject grade if you pay attention to the lectures and workshop and understand the prac material. It will not ask about the method or materials but about how the results relate to the topic investigated. The only questions I can think of that people may find tricky are the microscopic diagrams which want you to identify pathological structures. But if you pay attention during the workshop where Jo goes over the pathological structures (which are night and day) and in the prac, it won't be a problem.

Last thoughts
This is a very content light subject that will give you a taste of how a lab works and allow you to gauge if you will enjoy lab work or not. I really enjoyed the pracs (we even went to a lab in the Royal Children's Hospital for one of the pracs) and is a really organised subject. I can't give it enough praise.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2016, 12:49:15 pm by Kalopsic »
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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #610 on: November 16, 2016, 03:19:57 pm »
Subject Code/Name: NEUR30004: Sensation, Movement and Complex Functions

- Contact hours: 2 x one hour lectures per week, 3 x two hour workshops over the semester and 2 x online workshops.
- Total time commitment: 170 hours.

Assessment: A 30-minute MCQ test held mid-semester (20%); a 2-hour written examination during the examination period (65%); a 1000 word written assignment due mid semester (15%).

Lectopia Enabled: Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available: Yes, two are available on the university library website. However, only about half of the questions are relevant.

Textbook Recommendation:

There was no prescribed textbook. The recommended textbooks are:
- Purves et al. Neuroscience 4th edition, 2008 Sinauer.
- Squire et al. Fundamental Neuroscience 4 edition, 2013, Elsevier.
- Kandel et al. Principles of Neural Science 5 edition, 2014, McGraw-Hill.

I didn't use any textbooks and I'm not sure if a lot of the content would have been in a textbook anyway.

- Co-ordinator: Dr Peter Kitchener - understanding complexity through neural development, knowledge, pain, emotion and placebo (11 lectures).
- Prof. Erica Fletcher - the dorsal and ventral streams of vision, glia (3 lectures).
- Dr James Brock - peripheral mechanisms of pain (1 lecture).
- Dr Jason Ivanusic - spinal mechanisms of pain (1 lecture).
- Dr Peregrine Osbourne - central mechanisms of pain and associated disorders, the role of electroceuticals (3 lectures).
- Dr Emma Burrows - cognition and behaviour (1 lecture).
- Prof. Andy Lawrence - addiction (1 lecture).
- Dr Simon Murray - myelination (1 lecture).
- Prof Janet Keast - the relationship between organs and the brain (1 lecture).
- Assistant: Dr Andrew Tan

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2, 2016.

Rating: 4/5

Your Mark/Grade: H1


Man, this was one weird subject. But for me, it was weird in a good way and in the end I can say that I am glad that I did it. This subject used to be taken by Assoc. Prof. Colin Anderson from the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience, but was taken over by Peter this year because Colin had retired. My understanding is that Peter sat in on all the lectures from last year to help with the transition (I think that this was Colin's pet subject and he had run it for a long time). In all honesty, it didn't feel unstable at all - it really felt like Peter had been taking the course for years himself. While keeping a lot of the course the same, he also made the course his own: for example, he made his own lecture notes and did not simply re-use those from previous years, and he also brought in a block about knowledge, probably removing some stuff about vision (while I like vision, it probably would have meant massive overlap with OPTO30007 Visual Neuroscience, which about half of the NEUR30004 cohort was also taking).

This subject is essentially a continuation of NEUR30003 Principles of Neuroscience, picking up on all those really abstract concepts we covered towards the end of last semester. If you do not like abstract things, definitely do not take this subject. If you did not like the second half of NEUR30003, do not take this subject. This is probably a bigger consideration for the anatomy students given it's a bit of a juxtaposition of what their core units are like. There were less of them this semester and in general the cohort was smaller (although apparently bigger than it had been in previous years). I'd say Peter ran this subject slightly better than NEUR30003 as a result. That being said, this subject also kind of heads in a different direction to NEUR30003 since we have the workshops and the written assignment. This allowed us more time to delve really deeply into the concepts we covered and discuss them in great detail. With only two lectures a week, I felt the workload of this subject was a bit lighter compared to a normal Biomedicine/Science subject, but it's definitely not a bludge. If you're used to subjects with only two lectures a week, this would be a very heavy subject.

The course is sort of divided into three sections. Firstly, we explore the complexity of the brain's functions via the lens of development, with focuses including language, numerosity and vision. We also investigate what knowledge is (abstract, I know...) and spend a fair amount of time comparing the human brain to a computer. The next section focuses on the neurophysiology of pain, looking at mechanisms that occur both in the peripheral and central nervous system and associated disorders, as well as phenomena such as the role of placebo or emotion on pain. The final section, after the mid-semester break, is predominantly research oriented - this seems to be a common theme in the second semester neuroscience subjects, done to provide students with opportunities to talk with academics and look into research projects for honours. Some of these were about pain, some about vision, some about other things.

In terms of how the lectures were done, I thought they were done reasonably well. By now, you should be familiar with the way neuroscience lectures work - not necessarily a lot of text on the slides, and perhaps more listening and understanding than writing stuff down. During the semester Peter and Andrew were playing with some program that allowed us to interactively answer questions on our electronic devices but they stopped for some reason. To be honest, it felt like a bit of a gimmick, and I'm not sure why we couldn't have just used quickpoll. Since some of the lectures are incredibly abstract, Peter provided a couple of written documents explaining what he had tried to explain during the lectures - sometimes it helps being able to see the words and read it at your pace. Additionally, he provided a document explaining what we needed to understand and know, particularly about the knowledge part of the course. These were very helpful and it was good of him to do that.

In addition to the lectures were workshops this semester. Since enrolments for the subject have become increasingly high, two of the workshops are to be completed at home. These deal with fMRI (revising and formalising knowledge from last semester) and psychosis. It is recommended we complete these early in the semester (it is possible to do them before the first in-person workshop) and before the written assignment, which relates to both topics. These are typical online workshops with a worksheet to answer questions. The three in-person workshops explore split brains, language and reading, and visual processing, respectively. Since there are a large number of students, three streams are made for the workshops, alternating through the weeks. This is independent of the timetabling you do through my.unimelb, so don't be too picky about it there. Instead, an enrolment will be conducted through the LMS. That being said, attendance isn't marked and for some reason a few people opted not to attend the workshops despite covering examinable content, so you could show up to a class that isn't yours if you had to. These workshops go into a lot of detail involving the aforementioned topics. While working through the web pages and filling out the worksheets, there are also videos and other practical demonstrations you can work through with fellow peers. Peter and Andrew ran all of these workshops and made sure they were readily available if you wanted to seek help. While workshop content was examinable, it only appeared briefly.

The mid-semester test was supposed to be held in week 6 or 7, but due to the larger than anticipated cohort and lack of room availability it got pushed back to week 9. In this way, both the complexity and the pain topics were examined in this test, as were the fMRI, psychosis and split brain workshops - essentially two thirds of the whole subject. This test contained 20 multiple choice questions to be completed in 30 minutes (1.5 minutes per mark, each mark essentially contributing 1% to the final grade). It was reasonably difficult given the ambiguity of the content we covered, but the staff did a reasonably good job at trying to make it as clear as possible. The average for this assessment hovered around 70%. Unfortunately no practice material was made available for this test.

The written assignment was made into a group assignment this year, but Peter did a very good job at trying to 'individualise' it as best as he could. We were allocated into random groups of four by the LMS. The assignment was in four parts, and each member of the group was responsible for submitting one of these parts. Two thirds of our final mark was our own mark for our own section, with the final third calculated by taking an average of the scores of the entire group. If a member did not contribute or submit their part, they would receive zero but this would not affect the other team members' marks. This was a good way of facilitating group work while also holding each member accountable. We were simply required to read a scientific article about pain and placebo and answer the questions in our section of the assignment. Each question had strict word limits, and if I recall correctly each part essentially required 500-600 words. While the paper wasn't the easiest to read, the assignment itself wasn't difficult and didn't take a long time to complete. Unfortunately, I managed to get a H1 on my section but got a H2A result overall because of my group members. I probably should have made the effort to work with my group rather than treat the assignment as if it were completely individual. Thankfully, we were given a lot of time to work on this assignment: it was made available at the end of August and was due at the start of October.

The final exam consisted of 30 multiple choice questions (worth 1.5 marks each) and three extended responses (25 marks each, 25 minutes each). For each extended response, there were three topics to choose from. Given the nature of this subject, the extended response felt easier to complete than the multiple choice (which again weren't too bad but had their ambiguity associated with them). Practice with the old exams may help to a limited extent, otherwise there wasn't a lot of guidance on what to expect for this section. Nonetheless, most people felt they were able to complete this well. You should probably aim to write 2-3 pages per extended response.

The reason I have deducted a point from the subject rating is because I felt a fair amount of the content was too difficult or involved and could not reasonably be understood by our cohort. Furthermore, it wasn't absolutely necessary in terms of completing the assessments. A lot of people were really worried about this subject for this reason, but thankfully the staff took care of us in that respect, when it came to the assessments. Additionally, some of the workshops felt like they were dragging on - perhaps they should all be done at home, or a rethink in structure may be required. The same applies to the assignment regarding the structure.

This subject felt like a fitting way to finish the neuroscience major. It was run slightly better than NEUR30003, although contained a lot more abstract content which we had to become comfortable talking about. If you like neuroscience, you will like this subject nonetheless. If you have any further questions, feel free to ask. Good luck! :D
« Last Edit: November 24, 2016, 12:25:09 pm by Stick »
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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #611 on: November 16, 2016, 05:53:55 pm »
Subject Code/Name: EURO10002: Eurovisions

- Contact hours: 30 hours - 1 x 1.5 hour lecture and 1 x 1 hour tutorial per week.
- Total time commitment: 170 hours.

Note: there is no tutorial in week 1 or the week of the mid-semester test.

Assessment: A 10-minute class presentation (equal to 1000 words) during semester [25%]; 1 in-class test (equal to 1000 words), due in week 8 [25%]; 1 research essay (2000 words), due during the exam period [50%].

Hurdle requirement: Students must attend a minimum of 75% of tutorials in order to pass this subject. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Note: Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per working day. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked.

Lectopia Enabled: Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available: N/A

Textbook Recommendation: Weekly readings are uploaded to the LMS. You need to do these at least until the mid-semester test because their content is examinable. Additionally, you will most likely want them when it comes to the oral presentation and final essay.

- Co-ordinators: Prof. John Hajek & Prof. Alison Lewis (John took the majority of the lectures and Alison took the majority of the tutorials).
- Other staff: Dr Heather Benbow (Turkey), Prof. Alfredo Martinez-Exposito (gender and sexuality, Spain), Meribah Rose, Liam Clark.

In a limited number of cases a substitute tutor was required to fill in for a staff member. When this happened they always did their best to find a person with some relation to the week's topic; for example, one class had one of the Russian language staff during the week on Russia.

Note: This subject falls under European Studies and is run by the Department of Languages and Linguistics. It must be taken in order to complete the European Studies major in Arts if a European language is not being studied.

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2, 2016.

- Subjectively: 6/5.
- Objectively: 4/5.

Your Mark/Grade: H1


Boy oh boy, where do I begin. As a massive Eurovision fan, I am so happy I had the opportunity to take this subject, the first of only two universities so far to offer such a course. I had an amazing time - there was so much fun to be had and I made a number of new Eurovision friends. :3 I really wanted to just give this subject a 6/5 overall but there were a couple of problems I cannot reasonably ignore, hence the proper rating of 4/5. However, given it's only the second time the subject has run, I have a feeling it will improve even more next year.

As the name suggests, this subject is all about the Eurovision Song Contest. In particular, we did the following:

  • Week 1: Introduction, general history and important rules
  • Week 2: Role of politics
  • Week 3: Role of language, with a focus on Sweden
  • Week 4: Germany's participation in Eurovision as a mirror of Germany in Europe
  • Week 5: Yugoslavia's participation in Eurovision as a mirror of Yugoslavia in Europe
  • Week 6: Britain's declining interest in and Ireland's dependence on Eurovision and the European Union
  • Week 7: Turkey's participation in Eurovision as a mirror of Turkey's contentious position in Europe
  • Week 8: Mid-semester test
  • Week 9: Gender and sexuality in Eurovision
  • Week 10: The participation of Russia (and allies) in Eurovision as a mirror of their relationship with the EU and Europe
  • Week 11: Spain's participation in Eurovision as a mirror of Spain in Europe
  • Week 12: Fan culture (and a special guest appearance I am forbidden to talk about but will tickle the fancy of any Eurovision fan)

Evidently, there is a lot more than meets the eye in terms of what we explored in this subject. Some people may scoff at how EURO10002 can be a prerequisite for the European Studies major, but in hindsight it makes perfect sense. Eurovision really does encapsulate so many aspects of life in Europe - more than I initially appreciated. I thought that the subject would perhaps explore topics more related to the music and performance aspect of the contest, but really it's about examining how events in Eurovision reflect to a very high extent what is happening in Europe. With this said, this is not a subject to take if you have no idea about Eurovision at all - you need to have a basic idea of what it is (it is not necessary to be an obsessed fanatic like I am) and it's probably best to make sure you watch the most recent contest prior to the subject. We had a couple of people take the subject with no idea what it was all about and I don't think they did very well. Obviously you needn't be an expert - otherwise taking this subject would be pointless - but working knowledge of Eurovision, the European Union and Europe, and associated historical, political and linguistic issues, is recommended.

We had the lovely Forum Theatre in Arts West this year to have our lectures in. It was brilliant: it was round in shape, which was great for a smaller cohort (~80 people) such as ours because it facilitated group discussion. It was also designed with acoustics in mind so playback of footage was very high quality. I thought all of the lecturers did an amazing job at delivering the content this year. Perhaps one point of improvement would be to have a greater focus on the 2016 contest - it felt like 2015 was being discussed a lot more, suggesting the slides hadn't really been updated since last year. My major qualm is that lecture notes were only provided after the lecture. This was apparently done to encourage lecture attendance, but in all honesty I'm not sure if that really achieves anything. My preference is to have the lecture slides before me so that I can annotate them during the lecture.

The tutorials are primarily used for the delivery of the oral presentations. Each week from week 3 onwards (with the exception of the mid-semester test week), one or two students will deliver an oral presentation on a topic related to that week's lecture. These are supposed to go for ten minutes, but they always went over. I signed up for week 3 so that I could talk about Sweden, and despite having rehearsed my speech and it sitting on about 11 minutes, it went for about 45 minutes during class because the tutor and the classmates were so enthusiastic they kept asking me questions! This happened with most of the presentations so I don't think anyone was penalised for it. While a transcript of the speech was not required for submission, we did have to produce a double-sided handout page as supplementary notes for the class and tutor, and it was recommended we have visuals and a couple of clips from Eurovision performances to demonstrate our points (these are not factored into the largely irrelevant ten minute time limit lol). Printing out the lecture slides onto a double-sided page was considered satisfactory, and this was what I and most other students did. Importantly, the presentation must not simply be a summary of the lecture or readings - while you should integrate aspects and refer to covered content as necessary, it is also important you bring in new information to discuss. This might seem daunting, but there is actually a lot more literature related to Eurovision and Europe than you think. I have to say that I really enjoyed learning about what my peers were presenting. For example, we had a student on exchange from Germany who signed up for the oral presentation on Germany in week 4, and provided insights I don't think I ever would have seen had it not been for this subject. In many cases, people signed up to topics they were connected with, and it really came across in their speeches. Feel free to get creative - a couple of people, including myself, dressed up as a particular Eurovision figure. A criticism I have is that because the lecture slides were not provided prior to the lecture, students may have only had a day or two to fix up their oral presentation if it happens to co-incidentally align too closely with the lecture content. Ultimately I think having the lecture slides beforehand is the best solution; otherwise it may be necessary to introduce a week's delay with the tutorials so that this doesn't happen. I was literally editing my own oral presentation during the lecture. I think we were supposed to discuss readings in a round-table sort of fashion once the oral presentations were finished, but we never had time for this. In week 2 we mainly discussed the 2016 contest and also signed up for presentation topics. Again, we were lucky to have the beautiful tutorial rooms on level 1 of the Arts West building.

The other assessment during the semester was the mid-semester test. The consensus from last year was that while this was an Arts subject, we needed to treat this as if it were a Biomedicine mid-semester test. 😂 In the end they were right - you needed to know a lot of specific detail. Thankfully, there were only seven lectures examined on the mid-semester test, with plenty of time to work through each one. However, all the readings are also examinable, as are a set of facts and figures on each of the regularly competing Eurovision countries. These were provided in a sheet uploaded to the LMS in week 1, which contained the following sort of information:

  • Whether the country was formerly part of a greater entity (e.g. USSR, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia)
  • Capital city
  • Population (to the nearest million)
  • Main language(s)
  • EU status, and joining date (year, if applicable)
  • Most recent and first Eurovision performance (year)
  • Number of Eurovision victories, and the year of the most recent victory (if applicable)

Evidently, this is a lot of information, and something you need to start working on from the very beginning of the semester. Some may feel this sort of information is irrelevant but it does help you start developing that working knowledge of Europe. Importantly it is not only necessary to learn the facts for each country put also in the perspective of the statistic: for example it would be perfectly reasonable to be asked how many countries have won Eurovision three times. All of this information is in addition to specific dates (generally years were sufficient) of specific historical events, and names and titles of specific performances covered (including songwriters/composers). This seems incredibly daunting but given this was made explicitly clear from week 1 we had plenty of time to get on top of this and most people did really well. Personally, I think I had fun working through all these details. :P Unfortunately, a handful of students did really poorly. Hence, while this subject is comparatively light compared to other subjects, it mustn't be taken as a joke. To support your learning, weekly practice quizzes were provided on the LMS of a very similar style and difficulty as those on the actual test. The test itself is allocated the whole 90 minutes of the lecture slot, but generally most people finished after about an hour. One quarter of the test is multiple choice, a quarter is true/false and a half is short answer. The short answer questions asked us to provide a certain amount of dot points providing evidence for a particular point of view on a given topic. Understanding the lectures and readings helps, but you can also have your own ideas and this section was marked really leniently (probably because people may not have done as well on the multiple choice or true/false if they couldn't remember a detail).

The great thing is that after the mid-semester test you needn't worry as much about the readings and lecture notes because that's the end of direct assessment. The week after the the mid-semester test the essay topics became available to work on. There were 11 topics to choose from, often in direct relation to a specific question but also a couple of interesting extra ones. You should definitely find a topic that you like and can essentially tailor your study in the final few weeks by only working through the relevant readings and lectures in preparation. The topic I chose allowed me to work on my essay immediately and I had done all my research, planning, and a final draft done by the end of September, despite the submission date not being until early November. This was my first subject with a final essay instead of an exam and I felt like I had no problems with it whatsoever. I guess it helped that I was really passionate about what I was writing, I had a lot of general knowledge but I also knew where I needed to look in terms of finding academic literature to reference. There is a guide outlining special formatting requirements and the marking rubric that students should follow. Despite being told on the sheet that we could use any referencing format we wanted, we were later told to use MLA or Chicago. I got so caught up writing my essay I am partly afraid that I went off-topic, so I hope that doesn't affect my grade. :x

If the lecture notes could be uploaded prior to the lectures, this subject would've been absolute perfection. Otherwise, this is a must-do subject for anyone with an interest in Eurovision. Nonetheless, be aware that this subject is not a bludge and working knowledge of Europe is absolutely essential. This was an amazing way to finish my degree, and given the number of third year Science students taking this subject I think a lot of people had a similar idea. Some of us were joking on the last class that we were so reluctant to leave we wouldn't submit our essays - that way we had the "burden" of having to take the subject again. :P I really hope a couple of ATARNotes users will take this subject in the coming years so that I can talk about it with them. Enjoy the experience, and good luck! ;D

NB: Since this is a subject unlikely to be reviewed to a large extent, here is another review someone from 2015 wrote on their blog: https://antagonisticasian.wordpress.com/2015/12/28/unimelb-euro10002-eurovisions/. Sometimes it can help having another person's perspective.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2016, 03:49:00 pm by Stick »
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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #612 on: November 16, 2016, 09:49:30 pm »
Subject Code/Name: MAST10016: Mathematics for Biomedicine 

- 3 x one hour lectures per week; 1 x one hour tute per week

- ten written assignments due at weekly intervals throughout the semester amounting to a total of up to 50 pages of written work (25%);
- an oral presentation due during the semester (5%);
- a 3-hour written examination conducted during the examination period (70%).

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes

Past exams available:  Nope, but you're given a single sample exam that was the same between Semester 1 and Semester 2.

Textbook Recommendation:  There is no relevant textbook for this subject; all the notes are available on the LMS, but they need to be annotated based on work in the lectures (i.e. they are incomplete).

Lecturer(s): Assoc Prof James Mccaw (Sem 1), Assoc Prof Steven Carnie (Sem 2)

Year & Semester of completion: 2016, Semester 2

Rating: 4.5/5

Your Mark/Grade: TBD

I originally didn't plan to write any subject reviews for the core biomed subjects, as I figured they're compulsory for the people that have to do them, and not available to anyone else. However, it's a good opportunity to give tips and advise on what the subject will be about and provide a fresh perspective of the subject, given it is not the same every single year.

Initially, I had pretty low expectations coming into Maths for Biomed. I had come to hate EDDA in sem 1 and did poorly in it as a result, and wasn't a huge fan on first year cores in biomed as a whole. However, this subject completely surpassed my expectations. I'd really encourage any first year biomed student to look beyond the cohort-wide complaining of Maths for Biomed, because it places maths in a light that feels super applied and complements the biology and chem that you learn extraordinarily well. This is a testament to the fact that the subject has definitely improved over the years. Steve is a decently cool guy, and he takes pride in the fact that he practically built the subject himself. Maths for Biomed will give you a unique experience that you simply don't have access to from the get-go in other degrees.

To clarify some misconceptions: this subject does not require you to be naturally gifted at maths to do well. I always considered myself a fairly below-average maths student throughout high school, so I believed I'd have no hope competing against people around me in a subject I would've perceived to have been really hard coming into it. However, as it was made clear to us, the subject is very unique in the sense that it doesn't really delve into Spec territory, so having completed Spec in high school is of barely any advantage whatsoever.

The material is presented at very well-paced and digestible speed, and the maths that you apply is moreso an extension of stuff you do in methods (e.g. dealing with Markov chains/matrices, binomial distribution, basic probabilities, etc). You also learn a bunch of techniques, such as cobwebbing, phase plane diagrams, etc. that are very tailored towards the content you're doing. Basically, it never feels like you're learning the maths without a purpose, as the subject is broken down into areas of application, rather than techniques.

These areas are population genetics, systems biology, and infectious disease modelling. For many, many questions, you'll be expected to provide an explanation in terms of the biology that's going on in the background. Other times, even if you're completely stuck, you might be able to work out an answer just by thinking of what you know is realistically going on to get an answer and work backwards to do the maths. To give you an idea of what is covered more specifically, you'll look at things such as how certain alleles might die out in a population due to lower fitness or due to sheer chance from random mating. Similarly, you look at how you can mathematically determine whether or not an epidemic will occur, or even determine how many people you should vaccinate to create herd immunity to an infectious disease. Honestly, if you have any interest in biology, you'll find at least a couple of these topics engaging enough to push you through.

Lectures aren't the best way to learn maths; unfortunately, they are a necessary part of the course. As a result, it's prudent that you take advantage of tutorials and exercise sheets as you go. And to make your workload even a bit heavier, there are also assignments. However, the assignments typically force you to go back and review the content. I think I could say that without the assignments, I would've fallen behind a lot more easily, so they're actually super valuable. In terms of getting a decent mark out of the assignments, you've just got to be meticulous and try to avoid silly mistakes, referring to lecture content as you go. The tutors are really big on getting your notation right, and this is something you'll pick up as you go.

On that note, the tutors are super helpful and awesome people. I hadn't heard a bad word about anyone's tutor, and they're all open to helping you out as you do the tute sheets in class. Also-- make sure you go to the tutes, as neither the sheets nor the answers were available for us on the LMS at the end of the semester. If you're a bit disorganised like me, you'll find yourself asking mates for answers to tute 6 in the middle of swotvac. At any rate, the tute sheets are amazing for revision, and you'll need to be referring back to them come exam time as your first port of call next to lecture notes.

There is a 5% oral assignment, but there's not much to say about it. If you're half decent at public speaking and do the necessary preparation, you'll get a 5/5. Piece of advice: get in early and pick a topic you enjoy. You'll be thanking yourself in week 12 that you did yours in week 3. My topic was the very last one done in the class, and although it was for a topic I really liked, I'd recommend getting it out of the way ASAP for your own sanity. Not to mention, it's worth at least trying to pay attention to these, as they're a good way to solidify topics done in class for your own understanding.

People sometimes complain about the fact that there is no textbook for this subject, but this should not dissuade you from studying, and there are plenty of resources out there. The tute sheets generally have easy/medium level questions and are great for refreshing. Next, you can also do exercise sheets. These are amazing revision and practice tools, but some of the questions can be stupidly hard as they cover a derivation that the lecturer didn't have time for in class. My advice would be do do the tute sheets first, then exercise sheet questions, on a topic-by-topic basis. If you find yourself with time leftover, re-doing the non-tech components of the assignments is a decent idea.

I don't want to focus this review too much on the exam. It's fair to say, however, that the exam can be pretty tricky, but that's what's expected out of a 3 hour, biomedical maths exam. That being said, every single question is accessible if you've put in the work, and you'll tend to find exercise sheet questions or their variants of them to pop up on the exam. So while I'd say some of the exercise sheet questions might simply be harder than what you'll see on the exam, they are at least worth understanding. My main piece of advice is to work yourself through the questions slowly and logically. If all else fails, the exam can be forgiving in the sense that you might be able to do part (c) without a/b, because of 'show that'/explain questions. Do the work and get rewarded; simple as that.

The reason I'm giving this subject a 4.5/5 is because I thought the content was well taught and avoided everything that could otherwise go wrong in a maths subject. My tutor was superb, and the subject allowed me to genuinely enjoy maths as it was super easy to see the link between the mathematical techniques and the biology going on in the background. This might be one of the very last times that you explicitly do a maths subject at uni, so I'd advise you to make the most of it, even if you'd rather not be doing it.

If you have any questions, feel free to drop me a PM and I'll be happy to explain any part in more detail.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2016, 10:05:15 pm by Alter »
2016–2018: Bachelor of Biomedicine (Neuroscience), The University of Melbourne
2019–2022: Doctor of Medicine, The University of Melbourne


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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #613 on: November 16, 2016, 11:17:54 pm »
Major: Neuroscience

First Year Subjects: The standard Biomedicine pathway fulfils prerequisites for the neuroscience major.

Second Year Subjects: The standard Biomedicine pathway fulfils prerequisites for the neuroscience major.

Third Year Subjects:

The ones I took were:
- NEUR30003 Principles of Neuroscience
- NEUR30002 Neurophysiology: Neurons and Circuits
- OPTO30007 Visual Neuroscience
- NEUR30004 Sensation, Movement and Complex Functions

Year of completion: 2016.

Rating: 4/5 (a rounded average of the four subjects I took).

Your Average Mark: H1 achieved in all four neuroscience subjects.


It's probably best to read the individual subject reviews if you want a really good idea of what the major is like, but I'm happy to spend a little bit of time exploring the major in general.

At the end of second year I was pretty much tossing up between physiology and neuroscience, and evidently opted for the latter. I was definitely someone who enjoyed the understanding and application of both these disciplines, and my favourite topic was neurophysiology. What won me over initially was the fact that the neuroscience subjects had a structure better suited to my learning: they mainly consisted of lectures, and instead of assignment work the assessments were predominantly mid-semester tests and exams (with a good deal of multiple choice in them). In the end, I liked it for these reasons, but fell in love with neuroscience itself.

While there is plenty of clinical neuroscience to work though in the major, there is also plenty of more abstract material, which is inevitable when learning about the brain. This is probably the most important factor in guiding your decision. If you are willing to work through some big picture questions, then this major should be fine. If not, it's not one you'll enjoy. Be careful if you're an anatomy major looking to supplement your studies with neuroscience - a lot of students are not a fan of it. Otherwise, the courses tend to do quite a good job at resolving ambiguity and making the assessments as clear and fair as possible.

The subjects, for the most part, are co-ordinated and taught well. I don't think anything beats the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, but for all intended purposes it's good enough. A nice extra touch is the focus on research projects at the end of semester 2, which makes finding an honours research project much easier if this is what you are interested in doing.

Overall, I really enjoyed taking this major and am looking forward to its relevance in medicine next year. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. Otherwise, enjoy and good luck! :D
« Last Edit: November 24, 2016, 06:50:57 pm by Stick »
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2014-2016: Bachelor of Biomedicine - The University of Melbourne


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Re: University of Melbourne - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #614 on: November 17, 2016, 01:24:45 am »
Subject Code/Name: BCMB30010: Advanced Techniques in Molecular Science

- 1x 1 hour lecture per week, 1x 1 hour tutorial per week (optional), 1x 5 hour practical per week (compulsory, can't miss more than 20% of prac)
- There will be a few days where you'll be expected to come in outside of scheduled hours for groupwork and for completing practicals.

- Laboratory performance, including pre-labs (10%)
- Bioinformatics Tutorial Sheets (4%), consisting of:
        - DNA & Literature Bioinformatics (2%)
        - Mass Spec Bioinformatics (2%)
- Laboratory Notebooks (36%), consisting of:
        - Experiment 1 Notebook (6%)
        - Experiment 2a Notebook (4%)
        - Experiment 2b Notebook (15%)
        - Experiment 3 Notebook (6%)
        - Experiment 4 Notebook (5%)
- Experiment 1 Written Report of approx. 2500 words (15%)
- Student Presentations of a Scientific Paper (15%), consisting of:
        - Question & Answer Sheet (2%)
        - 15 minute group oral presentation (7%)
        - 1000 word summary and critique (6%)
- End of semester exam (2 hours, all short answer) (20%)

Lectopia Enabled:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available:  Yes, 2 of the most recent exams were made available.

Textbook Recommendation:  Keith Wilson and John Walker, Principles and Techniques of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (2010, 7th Ed) Cambridge University Press.

Lecturer(s): Leon Helfenbaum (lectures 1-7a, 11-12), Nick Williamson (lectures 8-10)

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2, 2016

Rating:  4/5


I expanded on each of the assessments since the handbook page doesn't go into the fine details of it. As you can see, there's quite a lot to get through. There never really seems to be a point during the semester where the subject gives you a breather. Even during the mid-semester break, I was heavily occupied with preparing for presentations, meeting up with groups and finishing off notebooks for submission. Leon and the demonstrators will note that the week 5 and 6 pracs are particularly bad (in terms of workload), and I can definitely attest to that statement. The point is that Adv. Techniques is a very demanding subject that requires consistent application throughout the entirety of the semester. Like BCMB20005, this isn't simply a subject you can kind of forget about for a couple weeks and then come back to, especially since the practicals follow the lecture content quite closely and you'll be expected to be familiar with that content during those pracs.

As for the pracs themselves, I thought they were mostly quite well done, if a bit chaotic at times because you're often working on different aspects of different experiments simultaneously. Since mutli-tasking isn't exactly my forte, this occasionally led to some confusion and having to flip back and forth between pages of the Lab Manual to remind myself what I was doing 20 minutes ago. The prescribed time for each prac is 5 hours, however you do get a lunch break in between, and some of that time is dedicated to pre-practical talks by Leon. For the prac group I was part of, everyone was pretty keen on doing well and the demonstrators were happy to help when needed. That being said, some degree of self-reliance in the lab is expected and a lack of this will impact on your lab performance score. There are times where the pracs can feel quite stressful, not necessarily because of the workload but more for the fact that there's not much tolerance for screw-ups. Since each experiment runs for 4 weeks and class results are often used for analysis, this means that a single accident may compromise the entire experiment (not just that one prac) and also the class results. So it's imperative that you know what you're doing and why you're doing something when you're in prac.

The lab notebooks need to be kept up to date each week as they are checked at every prac. The notebooks are anywhere from 10-50 handwritten pages each depending on how large your handwriting is and how in depth you go. Exp1 and Exp2b will require lengthier notebooks (around 40ish pages each for me, I have small handwriting) while the remaining notebooks were substantially shorter (<20 pages long). In these notebooks, you'll be pasting in mainly gel images, fluorescent images, writing explanations and results interpretations as well as a whole lot of flow charts. So long as you answer the required questions and discussion points, these notebooks aren't too hard to do well in. Likewise can be said for the bioinformatics tutorials and the lab performance, these are all relatively easy to get at least a 7 or 8. Where most people tend to falter is in the written report and probably the exam. The average mark across the past few semesters hovered around 70-75, with about a quarter getting H1, and almost half getting H2A/H1

Overall, a lot of the stuff I've written above can seem quite intimidating, and although my subjective experience was that the assessment became quite draining towards the end of semester, I still think Adv. Techniques is something to seriously consider even if you're not pursuing a biochem major. The practical skills and molecular methods you're introduced to are ones that are widely used in research, and the concepts covered are all quite interesting, giving you an insight into just how molecular and cell biology discoveries are made. This is also probably one of the most useful subjects to take with regards to gaining exposure to the lab.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2016, 01:38:38 am by squidgee123 »