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September 22, 2019, 09:43:12 am

Author Topic: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings  (Read 427809 times)  Share 

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epicviolinsolo

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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #405 on: February 03, 2018, 12:58:31 pm »
+5
Subject Code/Name: EAE1022 - Earth, Atmosphere and Environment II

Workload:  3x1hr lectures, 1x3hr lab/practical, 1x1hr non-compulsory seminar

Assessment: 
30% Lab classes
Lab classes were run similarly to last semester, running for 2-3 hours. They usually involved using a laptop and online software to answer questions and find information. This was usually assessed by handing in the sheets with your answered questions or writing up a short report/introduction on what you did in the class to hand in during next week's lab. There was only one online quiz (very different to last semester), so in a sense there was more work to do, as instead of spending 10 minutes on a quiz, you spend an hour or so writing up an introduction.

10% Self-run field trip (1000 word report due in week 11)
In this field trip, you go to Elwood with a group of people and walk around the beach, near the canal and some residential streets, listening to a podcast created by some of the lecturers. You are essentially gaining field observations to prepare a 1000 word report about the impacts of sea-level rise on low-lying coastal suburbs (such as Elwood). Nothing you write down during the field trip is actually assessed, which is frustrating given that it takes 3-4 hours, but you need to have some observations that you include in the report (things that can't be cited). In the report, you find sources to cite that suggest a mitigation/adaptation strategy that could work for Elwood and how practical it would be.

10% Major assignment (group poster project due in week 12)
This assignment involved preparing a PowerPoint poster to be put up on a projector in the lab rooms. Your group is given a random topic, and some are definitely more complex than others (eg. my group had a topic about changes in extreme temperatures during the future (relatively simple, easy to find information on) while another group on our lab table had a topic about vicariance patterns over geologic time periods (what)). As long as your group can work together and share knowledge, you will be fine. Just remember to read what your other group members add to the poster (if you divide the work up) because when you present, demonstrators can ask anyone about anything on the poster.

50% Exam
Similar format to the EAE1011 exam, with multiple-choice and short-answer questions, however there were less multiple-choice and more short-answer questions. It was two hours and closed book. I felt as though it was of similar difficulty to EAE1011.

Recorded Lectures:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:  No past exam. 30 sample multiple-choice and 10 sample short-answer questions put on moodle with no answers.

Textbook Recommendation:  No textbook required

Lecturer(s): Ms. Marion Anderson, Dr. Vanessa Wong, Dr. Hamish Ramsay, Dr. Julie Boyce, Dr. Leslie Almberg, Dr. Ruth Reef, Dr. James Driscoll

Year & Semester of completion:  2017, Semester 2

Rating:  4 out of 5

Comments:
I enjoyed EAE1022 much more than EAE1011, partly because I began to get the hang of how uni life/studying worked, and also because I preferred the information we learnt this semester. The subject started with a focus on some natural disasters (fire, water hazards, storms, extreme heat, geohazards) much like ATS1310. Then it moved on to resources, pollution, water/food security, soil, biogeography, climate change, sustainability and adaptation/mitigation. I enjoyed the focus on how humans affect the environment and how we can change our behaviour/design new technology to mitigate/adapt to these dangers (this was also talked about in ATS1310, which is great if you did that subject!).

The non-compulsory seminar was essentially a presentation every week from someone in the industry or an academic. These included some of our lecturers who talked about their journey from student to academic, people who work for companies and how they got there, people who recently moved from working to study, and students talking about their experiences on study tours. If you're able to make it, there were some great tips and ideas from the people who spoke about how to stand out as an academic, how to get into the industry etc. As they weren't compulsory, attendance was very low and decreased each week. There was a calendar on moodle about who was speaking when, which helped me to work out which seminars I thought were worth attending/which ones pertained to me.

There was quite a lot of content in this subject as there are so many sub-topics in the lectures. This can make studying difficult as there's a lot to learn and you might not enjoy every topic that was covered. However, EAE1022 is a pre-requisite for a number of second-year subjects so it makes sense that the content is broad and covers a lot of areas.

Overall, an enjoyable unit!

cooldude123

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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #406 on: February 03, 2018, 02:06:34 pm »
+5
Subject Code/Name: ATS2840 Ė Philosophy of Mind 

Workload:  1x lecture per week (off-campus learning)

Assessment:  Expository 1 15% Expository 2 15% Essay 40% Exam 30%

Recorded Lectures:  Yes with screen capture

Past exams available:  Yes, sample exam available

Textbook Recommendation:  Unit Reader and Study guide are indispensable (provided as PDFs for summer off-campus learning)

Lecturer(s): Dr Jennifer Windt

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 3, 2017 (Summer semester 2017-2018)

Rating: 4 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: TBA

Comments:
Philosophy of Mind is an extension of some of the concepts in ATS1835 Time Self and Mind, and introduces some quite interesting content as well. The unit explores two primary questions Ė the metaphysical nature of the mind (such as the mind-body problem), and how the mind works (think consciousness as well as AI) using the perspective of seminal papers from Descartes to relatively contemporary philosophers (such as Daniel Dennett). I found the material rather intellectually stimulating (eg. panpsychismís arguments that consciousness is a fundamental part of the universe was pretty cool).

Much of the material is quite accessible after lectures and the unit reader (though I do know of several people who did quite well without watching a single lecture), though some of the papers are very dense (such as Descartes or Smart's identity theory arguments) and require several readings to understand Ė having done another philosophy unit previously would be handy but I wouldnít say necessary. Online resources such as the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy website are useful to keep on hand, but note that it does also cover a lot of material outside of the course.

Completing this unit off-campus means that there are no tutorials (note that Iíve only ever done philosophy units by off-campus learning, so Iím not too sure how the comparative is), but gives you the option to resubmit. I didnít find the reduced interaction to be particularly onerous. Feedback on assessment tasks is very comprehensive and constructive, and tutors are happy to be emailed for questions. The expository assignments (and the essay to an extent) can be almost exclusively completed from the given readings, but itís handy to do a bit of research and try and understand differing perspectives. I found the expository assignments quite straightforward Ė the focus of those seem to be refining your writing style and being able to understand philosophical arguments rather than making novel contributions. The essay was a bit more challenging and vague in its requirements, but if you have a good grasp of the readings, and have a general overview of other perspectives from independent research, you should be able to do quite well on this (again would recommend Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy as a supplementary resource). 

The format of the exam is around 20 multiple choice questions with 2 essay questions Ė we were provided with a sample exam with 8 MC questions (most of these did appear on the exam as stated) and around 6 extended response questions (two of these appeared on these exam word-for-word as stated). The multiple choice questions are very conceptually based (so you wonít have to do much more than keep up with readings), but do cover the entirety of the unit so you canít really get away with skipping readings and the extended response questions, given that you have access to them beforehand, are reasonably straightforward.
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Springyboy

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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #407 on: June 14, 2018, 03:10:31 pm »
+6
Subject Code/Name: BTC1110 - Commercial Law 

Workload: 
1.5hr lecture per week
1.5hr tute per week

Assessment:
10% MCQ test
30% Mid semester test
60% Exam

Recorded Lectures:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:  None provided, however sample questions were provided that were taken from past exams

Textbook Recommendation: 
Concise Australian Commercial Law (4th edition) - 100% necessity. Includes all the cases and relevant legislation for the subject, so it's definitely needed otherwise you'll struggle to keep up with what's being discussed.

Lecturer(s): Roger Gamble - one of the most genuine lecturers I've ever had in a subject at Monash. He knows his stuff inside out and is a great explainer of the intricacies of the course. If you are to pick which semester to do this subject, I'd strongly recommend doing it when he's taking the unit, so that you can understand the course in more detail than any other semester.

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1, 2018

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: HD

Comments:
Firstly, I'd have a look at d3stiny's review here, as the subject hasn't changed that much in 4 years, but things have moved around slightly so I thought it wise to write up a new review of the subject.

This was a great subject for me, and a nice way to introduce the law that's relevant to a business person in the real-world. Basically you cover 5 topics, which are an Introduction to the Legal System, Law of Contract, Consumer Protection, Negligence and Business Organisations. These topics tend to be quite broad and lengthy in terms of content, so Roger condenses this quite significantly to what is on the lecture slides. It's important to note that the slides are often a better guide to refer to than the textbook, however using both in tandem makes this relatively straightforward to understand what is being taught.

The key focus in this subject is to learn how to write a structured response to any law problem that you will face in life. The IRAC method - Issue,rule, application and conclusion, is stressed upon somewhat, however I found that I did not have to rely on that method as much to understand what the question was trying to ask. Therefore, it's key that you focus on what format your tutor is looking for you to write out, and ensure that you focus on nailing that format as much as possible.

In tutorials you basically go over the content from the previous week's lectures, of which are set questions from the back of the chapter. These aren't compulsory to do, but I strongly recommend that you attempt them to some extent, as they stress upon your writing skills and are great to get some practise for the exam, which has a similar format. My tutor was Les, who was excellent, and someone who I'd recommend for you to have as a tutor for this subject.

Furthermore, PASS sessions were introduced this semester for the subject, which I found improved my thought process towards how to approach this subject. Therefore, I'd suggest to enrol in them as well if possible to strengthen your knowledge of the content.

Additionally, videos are posted on Moodle at the end of the week for the content covered in lectures the following week. These involve Roger summarising the content and occasionally going over the suggested answer structure for particular parts of the course, such as exclusion clauses. I'd recommend to watch them when you can, to ensure that you're well prepared for the lectures the following week.

In terms of assessments, there are 2 in-semester tasks, both of which are attempted in your regular tutorial.

MCQ Test - Consists of a standard multiple choice test, consisting of 10 MCQ's with each one worth 1% of your grade for a total of up to 10%. These covered offer and acceptance of a contract and the intro to the Australian legal system. I found these to be particularly tricky, but if you prepare well you should be fine. This is done in your week 4 tutorial - with a time limit of around 15-20 mins depending on your tutor.

Mid-semester test - The mid-sem completely focused on the Law of Contract. You are allocated the whole of your week 7 tutorial to complete it.It consisted of some MCQ's and 2 short answer questions, targeting particular areas of contract including exclusion clauses, termination & remedies. There are some tricks in the questions, however it's important to note here to carefully look at every word in the case (here in particular due to this being a law subject), so that every detail in the question is ironed out. I didn't find this to be too difficult, so as long as you carefully read each question rather than skimming through the content then you'll be fine. Also, this was the last time contract was looked at as it is not examinable.

Exam - Solely focused upon short-answer questions. There were 3 questions for the 3 main topics looked at in the second half of the semester - one on consumer protection, one on the law of negligence and one on business organisations (partnerships and corporations). I found myself to be quite pressed for time in completing this, so it's key that you allocate your time to each question as much as you can, so that you're able to structure your answers in a proper, concise and detailed way.

Overall, I have to say that although the impression is that this subject is the hardest compulsory commerce subject, if you do your work, put in the effort to learn the cases, learn the legislation and understand the flow of each question, then you'll be fine. The main goal here is to keep up with the workload around you, and ensure that you don't fall behind in what topic is being covered each week. It was a great way to understand the law for a business-person, and a subject that I'd look forward to, rather than being fearful of having to do in the first place.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2018, 03:34:50 pm by Springyboy »

VanillaRice

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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #408 on: June 15, 2018, 08:15:35 pm »
+8
Subject Code/Name: MTH1030 - Techniques for modelling 

Workload: 
Per week: 3 x 1 hour lectures, 1 x 2 hour support class (tutorial)

We were already given the full set of lecture notes for all topics at the start of the semester. Lectures simply complement what's written in the notes - lectures don't cover everything, just a most important points. It's always best to read the complete notes as well.

Like other mathematics units at Monash, the weekly support classes involved working in small groups on problem sets about the last week's topic on the whiteboards in the presence of a tutor. Attendance was marked (more on this later).

Assessment: 
Support class participation (5%)
You get 3% by turning up to at least 8 of the 12 support classes during semester. The other 2% comes from 'participation', but I don't think the tutors were too strict on this, so as long as you attended class regularly, you should get the whole 5%.

Mid-semester test (8.75%)
This was a 1-hour test completed during the week 7 support class. 5 questions, 50 marks. A mock test was provided on Moodle, and the format of the actual test was the same, with minor variations in the questions.

3 x assignments (8.75% each, 26.25% total)
Assignments were typically released 2 weeks prior to their due date. It was recommended that the Mathematica program be used for completing these assignments, as the calculations involved were often complicated (e.g. had numbers to many decimal places). Some people gave on learning Mathematica though, and opted for pen and paper instead :P. The assignments involved more extended response-type questions, rather than simple calculations. Submission was hardcopy via a dropbox in the math building. Typically returned to you in your support class 2 weeks after submission.

End of semester exam (60%)
The end of semester exam consisted of 12 questions (120 marks) in 2 hours. Hurdle requirement of 40% (on the exam) to pass the unit. Burkard also ran a revision lecture two days before the exam. The recording was for 3 hours, but the actual lecture ran for even longer.

Recorded Lectures:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:  None, but a mock exam (with answers) was made available on Moodle. The difficulty of the actual exam was probably a bit harder than the mock.

Textbook Recommendation: 
I never actually looked at these textbooks, these are simply the ones listed in the unit guide. The problem sets and lectures notes provide plenty questions/examples to work off of, but if you're looking for extra practise/detail, you might find these textbooks helpful.
  • Elementary Linear Algebra (11e) by Anton & Rorres.
  • Calculus, Early Transcendentals (6/7e) by Stewart. This text was also recommended in MTH1020.

Lecturer(s):
A/Prof Burkard Polster [unit co-ordinator] - A highly enthuisiastic and engaging lecturer, who always had some math-related gimmick/toy/video clip to show us every lecture. Always willing to stick around after a lecture to answer questions.

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1, 2018.
Note: the structure of the unit may vary depending on who the coordinator is that semester. Check the most current unit guide for specifics if you're intending on doing this unit in the future.

Rating:  4 out of 5. A well-run unit, with fair assessment.

Your Mark/Grade: Not yet available

Comments:
A continuation of MTH1020, or for those who completed VCE Specialist Math, you can also choose to jump into math at Monash via this unit (as a side note: if you do MTH1030, you can't subsequently complete MTH1020 :P). This is a prerequisite for MTH2010, which in itself is a prerequisite for all (Science) math majors at Monash. The unit starts off gently into a revision and extension of vectors, and then moves further into linear algebra (planes, lines, elementary operations, linear transformations, eigenvectors/values). Linear algebra takes up the first and last 3 weeks (6 weeks total) of the lecture content, while the middle 6 weeks were taken up by calculus. The topics in calculus included: series/sequences and their applications, integration by parts, first and second order linear differential equations. As always, try your best to keep up to date with content in this unit, you'll thank yourself for it later  :) Also definitely attend the support classes, they're very useful (and also marked!) in allowing collaboration with peers (especially if you're unsure about a topic), and you can also seek help from a tutor if necessary. The Maths Learning Centre in the maths building is also there to help you throughout semester.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2018, 08:47:31 pm by VanillaRice »
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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #409 on: June 18, 2018, 03:47:43 pm »
+4
Subject Code/Name: CHM1011 - Chemistry 1 

Workload: 
Per week: 2 x 1 hour lectorials, 1 x 1 hour tutorial, 1 x 3 hour laboratory class

Prior to each week's lectorial, we were required to complete some pre-reading, and complete a short, assessed quiz. The lectorials themselves usually involved the lecturer talking and/or performing a demonstration for about half the time, and allowing the other half for students to work on questions in groups.

The tutorial structure varied depending on the tutor. Some tutors liked to summarised the week's content, while others preferred to jump straight into the set of questions for that week. Answers to the questions were available on Moodle the week after. There were also assessments every second week or so during tutorials (see below).

The laboratory classes are exactly what they sound like - they involved you doing experiments (either in groups or individually) which were somewhat related to the content taught in lectures, under the instruction of a demonstrator. For these, you must supply your own safety glasses and lab coat (the chemistry department usually sells them relatively cheap during O-week, or the Monash bookshop also has them). If you forget to bring either, you can rent one (at a cost) from reception.

Assessment: 
10 x online quizzes (10% total)
Before the start of each week, we were required to do some pre-reading in preparations for the week's lectorials. The pre-readings also each had an associated quiz (which was assessed for weeks 2-11). These were relatively straightforward, and you can do relatively well on them provided you take the time to read through the relevant notes.  Each quiz was worth 1%. Post-lectorial quizzes were also available at the end of each week, but these were not assessed.

5 x tutorial assessment (5% total)
Assessed tutorials typically ran every second week, and involved a 20-minute worksheet, completed in table groups. Afterwards, our tutor would then go through the answers to the questions. Each assessed tute was worth 1% each.

8 x laboratory assessment (30% total)
There were 8 laboratory exercises throughout semester. The first 7 were mostly experiment-based, and required some assessed pre-lab work before you came in to class. Be sure to read your lab manual and do the pre-lab before you come in, so you know what you'll be doing (also you won't be let in if you don't do the pre-lab :P). The actual lab time involved conducting the experiment, and collecting data/results. After each lab, a templated lab report was to be submitted via Moodle before the next lab class. The final lab assessment was a bit different, and involved us presenting a poster (as a group) about one of many short experiments which was performed by the demonstrator the week before.
Lab assessment was a hurdle, with a minimum overall mark of 50% for the lab work to pass the unit.

End of semester exam (55%)
The exam ran for 2 hours, and covered all weeks equally. You are allowed a scientific calculator, which must have an approval sticker. The exam was also a hurdle requirement, with a 30% mark required to pass.

Recorded Lectures:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:  None, but three mock exams (with answers) was made available on Moodle.

Textbook Recommendation: 
  • - Chemistry (3e) by Blackman et al. - Most of the lecture material was sourced from here, so it's a good resource if you'd like some extra info or are looking for more explanations on a certain topic. However, this is not essential to do well in this unit - the lecture notes on their own are fine.

Lecturer(s):
There were four different lecture streams, with each lecturer teaching for four weeks each. Some lecturers were also tutors.

Weeks 1-4: Structure of the Atom | The Periodic Table | VSEPR Theory | Valence Bond Theory
- Dr Christopher Thompson
- Dr Toby Bell

Weeks 5-8: Molecular Orbital Theory | Gases & Intermolecular Bonding | Chemical Thermodynamics (2 weeks)
- Dr Kellie Vanderkruk
- Prof Philip Marriott

Weeks 9-12: Chemical Equilibria (2 weeks) | Chemical Kinetics (2 weeks)
- Prof Alan Chaffee
- A/Prof Bayden Wood [unit co-ordinator]

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1, 2018.
This unit is only available in Semester 1.

Rating:  3.5 out of 5. A few kinks which needed to be fixed, but overall a good level 1 Science unit.

Your Mark/Grade: Not yet available

Comments:
This is probably one of the most popular first year science units at Monash, with a massive cohort. It is a prerequisite for higher level chemistry units at Monash, but surprisingly, it is not a prerequisite for CHM1022 (Chemistry 2) in semester 2.

This year was also the trial of a newly structured first year chemistry course, so you might notice a few differences if you read past reviews (e.g. my CHM1022 review from last semester, and others). In terms of assessment, there is now less weighting on tutorials, only pre-lectorial work is assessed, and lab work submission is via a Moodle quiz (rather than you having to print, fill out, and scan a proforma). In terms of classes, the lectorials have adopted a more blended learning approach, with group activities embedded into the lectures (all the lectorials were held in one of the new blended learning lecture theatres in the new LTB). The teaching staff have definitely tried to make this unit more engaging, and I noticed lecture attendance was much higher this semester (even towards the end of semester) :P.
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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #410 on: July 04, 2018, 09:01:02 pm »
+5
Subject Code/Name: BMS2021 - Human molecular cell biology 

Workload: 
Per week: 1 x 2 hour lecture, 1 x 2 hour workshop

The lecture content was divided into 6 topics (A-F), with a different lecturer taking each topic. Some lectures had associated pre- and post-class activities (which were assessable).

The workshops this year were all held in the 'Learning in the Round' learning space in the new LTB. We were allocated into table groups of 6, with 3 of these groups assigned to a tutor. One of the unit coordinators would facilitate each lesson. There were whiteboards available for each table group to use, and these were often used for brainstorming ideas, and as a visual aid for oral presentations.

Assessment: 
5 x Moodle quizzes (2% each; 10% total)
After the lectures blocks for topics A-E were complete, a Moodle quiz consisting of 7-12 MCQs (with 1.5 mins per question) about that topic was available for about a week. They were not overly difficult, but required that you stayed up to date with lecture content. There was no quiz for topic F.

Workshop assessment (35%)
Workshop material covered topics A-E, and was closely aligned with the lecture material of the previous weeks. Depending on the lecturer teaching the topic, workshops took on a variety of formats, including case studies, team oral poster presentations, and worksheets. Assessment for the workshops included pre-class Moodle quizzes, team MCQs, individual SAQs, team reports, and team oral presentations. Workshops were held each week, with weeks 2-11 being assessed. Each week's assessment was worth approximately 3% of the total unit grade, although two of the oral presentations stretched over two weeks (one week of preparation, with the presentation held in the second week), in which case they were worth 7% (7*3% + 2*7% = 35% total). Workshop material was not assessed in the exam.

End of semester exam (55%)
The end of semester exam was 3 hours long, and consisted of 40 MCQs (40 marks) and some short answer questions (80 marks) on all lecture material. Hurdle requirement of 45% (on the exam) to pass the unit.

Recorded Lectures:  Yes, with screen capture. Livestreaming was also available.

Past exams available: None. Some practise SAQs (with answers) were provided for each topic on Moodle.

Textbook Recommendation: 
These textbooks were not essential, but may be useful for some of the workshop assessments, or if you would like to do further reading.
Prescribed:
  • - Molecular Biology of the Cell (6e) by Alberts et al.
  • - Lehninger - Principles of Biochemistry (7e) by Nelson & Cox.

Lecturer(s):
- Prof. Janet Macaulay [unit co-ordinator] - Topic A
- Dr Jessica Gibbons [assistant unit co-ordinator] - Topic B
- Dr Richard  Loiacono - Topic C
- Prof. Mike Ryan - Topic D
- A/Prof. Craig Smith - Topic E
- Dr Caroline Speed - Topic F

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1, 2018.
This unit is only available in Semester 1.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5. The unit overall was relatively well run and structured, although there were a few hiccups with some of the assessment.

Your Mark/Grade: Not yet available

Comments:
This unit serves as somewhat of a continuation of BMS1011 (Biomedical chemistry) and BMS1062 (Molecular biology). The lecture content was divided into Topics A-F (described briefly below), with each topic covering a different field of biomedical science. Note that the focus of the unit is on the molecular aspects of each topic, with relevance to disease discussed throughout.

  • - Topic A: Regulation of metabolism. This is a continutation of the metabolism content of BMS1011. While BMS1011 introduces the different metabolic pathways (glycolysis, the CAC, GNG, lipid metabolism, etc), Topic A covers how these pathways (carbohydrate, lipid, and nitrogen metabolism) are regulated in both starvation and fasting states.
  • - Topic B: Cell talk - Communication networks inside and outside the cell. This topic provides an overview of the different types of signalling cells use to communicate to each other, with a specific focus on paracrine signalling. In particular, this topic covered the G-protein coupled receptor, nuclear receptor, ion channel-coupled receptor, and enzyme-linked receptor paracrine signalling pathways. Probably my least favourite topic, as there was a lot of molecular pathway information to learn.
  • - Topic C:  The autonomic control of energy, exercise and metabolism. This topic was essentially the pharmacology part of the unit, and covered the noradrenergic system of the autonomic nervous system, and how it can be targeted using drugs to control energy metabolism and exercise. Pharmacokinetics (absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion of drugs) was also discussed. This was probably the most interesting topic for me :)
  • - Topic D: Trafficking, life and death of the cell. As stated in the topic name, Topic C covered the molecular aspects of mitosis; how proteins are trafficked, starting from translation on the ribosome, to their final functional location; and finally how apoptosis is activated.
  • - Topic E: Introduction to developmental biology. This topic is taken by Craig Smith, who you may remember from the Developmental biology topic of BMS1021. Many of the aspects covered significantly overlap with the BMS1021 dev bio series (e.g. gastrulation, Hox genes, stem cells) with more of a molecular focus, so a good grounding from BMS1021 may be useful here.
  • - Topic F: The molecular basis of cancer. This is probably the first real exposure BMS students will have to cancer in the course. This topic is a relatively light introduction to cancer, and covers the three types of genes (with specific examples) which can be mutated in cancer: oncogenes, tumour suppressor genes, and mismatch repair genes.
Overall, I found the content relatively interesting (although there is a lot to know).
« Last Edit: July 04, 2018, 09:12:16 pm by VanillaRice »
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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #411 on: July 04, 2018, 10:03:08 pm »
+5
Subject Code/Name: BMS2011: Structure of the Human Body: An evolutionary and functional perspective 

Workload: 1 x 2 hour lectures, 1 x 2 hour Practicals

Assessment: Practical Tests (25%), Group Project (10%), Mid Semester Test (25%) and End of Semester Exam (40%)

Recorded Lectures:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available: None.

Textbook Recommendation: Clinically Oriented Anatomy 8ed (Moore)

Lecturer(s):
- Dr Luca Fiorenza
- Prof Paul McMenamin
- A/Prof Anne Peters
- Dr GC Stephens
- Dr Michelle Lazarus
- Dr Julia Young
- Dr Olga Panagiotopoulou

Year & Semester of completion: 2018, Semester 1

Rating: 5 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: TBA

Comments:

Firstly, I think itís important for me to say that this is one of my favourite units Iíve taken at uni and I feel itís going to be hard to beat. I talk a little about the difficulty of the unit, but content wise it has been one of the best Iíve taken. Overall, this is a really interesting unit with very worthwhile practicals which are neatly linked to concepts taught during the lectures. A lot of the practical content includes things that you wonít be able to see elsewhere (e.g. internet or a textbook) so itís important to pay attention there. As any biomedicine unit it is extremely content heavy and historically this unit is thought to be one of the hardest BMS core units due to an excessive overload of this content where even the most minute details were assessed. Also 90% of your ultimate score is tests/exam and not much free marks as some other units would have. With that being said unlike some other biomed core units most of the content connects back to previously learnt concepts in the semester so helps a little when you have to learn it all. Furthermore, one of the main places where students lose marks is during the Mid Semester Test I think this is due to it being quite early (week 6) for something worth so much (25%) and many students are caught off guard by how much detail they require us to know. In terms of difficulty I personally found the MST harder than End of Semester Exam, but others thought the other way around, I believe my stance is due to the MST helping me know what sort of concepts to focus on and which ones arenít too important for the assessment.

Lectures:

They are quite standard although a bit high paced, so you might have to rewatch parts to make sure you understand it all and know exactly what you need to learn because everything is basically impossible. There are some online lectures which I found much more content heavy as the lecturer which just be continuously be stating information with no pauses for ~50 mins.

Masterclass:

This is basically 2 more lectures in the final week of uni which were dealt out via a flipped classroom model. There were a few readings required before the masterclass but wasnít that crucial for your understanding. The masterclass is not recorded since it was mainly interactive. So, this is the one time nearly everyone actually comes to the lectures. I found it to be quite interesting since the contents integrated anatomy with the possible evolutionary causes for those particular anatomical features. There were 3 activities which included a lot of group discussion but I wouldnít be too worried if you have to miss the masterclass as everything you need to know is posted on moodle, although working out exactly what they want is probably the hard part of it.

Practicals:

Practicals for BMS2011 were compulsory, although you might getaway with missing 1, in past years you didnít have to go to any of the practicals. These practicals were 2 hours long and usually consisted of 4-6 different activities which were 15 minutes long. These activities were pretty diverse and ranged from working with cadavers, prosections, SECTRA tables or anatomical models. Make sure to bring your student ID since they scan it for attendance.  Although there was no assessment during the practicals we were assessed on the content outside of the practical lab. This included 3 online tests which were conducted on campus along pre-practical Moodle quizzes based on the readings. In a normal practical we would go in and grab a worksheet and then split off into around 6 groups into each activity. At each activity a demonstrator would either quiz us on the stuff on the worksheet or helps us through it (depending on how nice or mean the demonstrator was ahaha). Usually it is pretty tough to get everything the demonstrator says down so itís useful to collaborate with others before the online test to make sure you got everything accurately down. Conversely you could also check out the textbook or the internet Ė although the internet wasnít always accurate. 

There were 8 pre-practical quizzes which were worth 1% each and needed to be submitted before the start of the first practical class of the week. The quizzes were very short (8mins) which was kinda weird but after the first quiz you realise that you really only need 3-4mins to finish it if you know the content. All the questions are based from the  readings that are given from the textbook and any additional readings supplied on Moodle. 

The three online tests were worth 5%, 6% and 6% each. They were each based on the teachings from roughly 3 practical classes along with all the pre-practical readings and labelling activities. The labelling activities are basically a booklet of anatomy which you would need to label in your own time. To save time I would just go on google images for that part of anatomy and it wasnít too hard to find the completed version. You can either do the test at a Monash computer with invigilators or at home on a lockdown browser + webcam to ensure there is no cheating. You wouldíve used this system for BMS1052 (if you have completed it) and doing an online test ensures that students are able to receive results quickly. The turnover for results was roughly 4 days.

Group Assignment (Poster):

This project was worth 10% and didnít take too long to complete as long as you had capable and willing group members. You get to choose half of your group members. This worked by you being able to pair up with someone else from the same practical class and submit that to Moodle. The unit coordinators would then randomise and pair two groups up to give 4 group members. Donít worry if you have no one to pair up with since they will randomly allocate you to a group even if you donít have a partner. Each group would then be given a topic from a list of 5 topics. The topic you got wasnít too important because the purpose of this project was not answering questions or getting information but being able to present scientifically and appropriately. From memory 70% of the marks were based on sticking to protocol, grammar, formatting and design. Whilst only around 30% was based on the actual content of the poster.

Mid Semester Test:

As Iíve outlined earlier this is probably one of the hardest pieces of in semester assessment youíll have in biomed up to this point and also the weighting of this assessment which is 25% for a 1 hour test. The difficulty lies in the unknown of exactly what possible questions could be asked on this test and the staff donít exactly try to guide you in this unit. I personally found the actually lectures pretty good in terms of knowing what parts are important however there are numerous amounts of online videos which count as lectures in this units. Those lecturers basically use a script so itís difficult to discern which parts are just context and what is examinable. I personally thought the MST was quite fair, but the average score was quite low for a biomed unit.

End of Semester Exam:

The exam is worth 40% of your final grade and covers all the lecture content, online lecture content and masterclass with a larger emphasis on the content taught post the mid semester test. The exam is 2 hours in length and was very fair as long as you had gone through the lectures thoroughly.

Final Remarks:

Ultimately, if you are doing biomed you will have to take this unit in the first semester of 2nd year (or 3rd year if you are double degree student). It is generally regarded as the hardest unit you do in the first half of biomed but it's definitely possible to do well as long as you try your best to stay up to date and leave enough time to study for all the assessments.

epicviolinsolo

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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #412 on: July 05, 2018, 03:42:35 pm »
+5
Subject Code/Name: ATS2548 - Environmental Policy and Management

Workload:  1x1hr lecture, 1x1hr tutorial

Assessment: 
10% Attendance and participation:
Tutes are compulsory and there is a sign-in sheet to prove you attended. Most tutes were enjoyable and involved working together in small groups (these small tasks weren't assessed). These small tasks often were slightly related to the lecture content for that week, or were an extension of something mentioned in the lecture (eg. using a specific environmental assessment framework/method to analyse an environmental problem we are familiar with).

30% Reading diary:
Each week had a key reading related to the lecture content. The idea of this task was that you read the article/book chapter, write a 3-4 dot point summary and then critically analyse the article, using other resources/articles/reviews to discuss why you enjoyed/agreed/disagreed with the key reading. Some weeks also had recommended readings that might help in critically analysing the main article, or you could find your own (eg. a review of the article/book could be helpful). Each week (summary and analysis) required around 400 words. Weeks 1-4 and 5-8 were submitted together, hence each one is worth 15%.

30% Tutorial presentation:
In groups of 3-4, you pick an environmental policy problem (eg. air pollution in a city, overfishing in a specific location). You need to look at how it came about, the policy response to the issue and whether it has been effective or not. This is all put into a 20-minute PowerPoint presentation to be presented in one of the tutorial sessions (weeks 9-12). I would recommend trying to present in one of the first few weeks, because after that, in tutes all you have to do is sit and listen to the other groups. You may also want to present early to have a head-start on writing the policy proposal (discussed below). I really enjoyed this task as I had a great group that regularly met and worked together well.

30% Brief environmental policy proposal:
This task was the final assessment of the unit, due on the first day of the exam period. It is a 2000 word essay/report in which you choose an environmental policy problem, discuss its causes, evaluate the current policy response and suggest improvements to better manage it. This is essentially the same task as the tutorial presentation, except in an essay format as opposed to a presentation. You are even allowed to do the same topic as your group did for the presentation, however most people I knew wanted to do a different topic that was of more interest to them. I found this task to be relatively okay, however trying to study for exams and write this essay at the same time was quite stressful, so I would recommend trying to start writing as soon as you can.

Recorded Lectures:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:  No exam for this unit (the 2000 word policy proposal serves as the final assessment)

Textbook Recommendation:  No textbook required. The articles required for the reading diary are on the reading list, which can be found on the moodle page.

Lecturer(s):  Dr. Bruce Missingham

Year & Semester of completion:  2018, Semester 1

Rating:  4 out of 5

Comments:
This subject has changed a little bit since ShortBlackChick's review in 2014 so I thought I'd provide an update!

Overall, I found this unit to be quite enjoyable. It involved a lot more reading than I had done in previous units which I found difficult to adjust to, and I didn't really enjoy the reading diary task. However, the content in the lectures was interesting. Bruce was also a fantastic lecturer and tutor. He was really engaged and enjoyed what he was teaching, which I think helped keep lecture attendance relatively high. Lectures usually ran for 30-40mins and introduced key frameworks and examples that could be used in the assessment tasks. The four main assessment tasks (two reading diary submissions, tutorial presentation, policy proposal) were well spread out throughout the semester and allowed for a better understanding of the main ideas presented in the unit.

So in general, a fun unit with very few contact hours and a lot of relevant knowledge for someone interested in environmental management.

epicviolinsolo

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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #413 on: July 05, 2018, 03:44:50 pm »
+7
Subject Code/Name: CHM2951 - Environmental Chemistry: Water

Workload:  2x1hr lectures, 1x4hr lab

Assessment:
25% Laboratory reports
Hurdle requirement - you need an overall grade of 50% in lab reports to pass the unit. There were six lab sessions throughout the semester. There are 12 possible experiments, and at the start of the semester you are allocated a lab partner, a group of four (two pairs combined) and what experiments you'll be doing. I had a wonderful partner and group, which made the labs more entertaining! The labs consist of a pre-lab activity (usually a few questions to prepare you for what you'll be doing in the lab), doing the experiment in class and writing up the report afterwards. These reports were often quite long (1000+ words) and sometimes had questions not really discussed/explicitly related to the lab that had to be researched and referenced. The reports took up a lot of my time each week and most involved a bit of excel work/data analysis that also was time-consuming. Each report is due one week after your lab starting time.

15% Field trip reports
There were two field trips during semester that occurred during your lab time (instead of a lab experiment, you go on a field trip), so each report is worth 7.5%. The first trip was to the Yarra River, and the second was to Dandenong Creek. At each location, water quality and light measurements were taken, sediment and water samples were collected and site descriptions were written. I found that being able to take samples and do tasks that an environmental scientist/chemist/manager would do when looking at the health of a waterway was extremely beneficial and enjoyable. The following week, a 1-2hr tutorial takes place during the lab session where you go through the data and questions with your lab co-ordinator to help you know what to do when you start writing the report. You get two weeks to complete these reports and I would recommend trying to start as soon as you finish the tutorial session, because there is a lot to get done.

10% Weekly online quizzes
There were 10 quizzes throughout the semester, worth 1% each. They are based on the lecture content of that week and aim to reinforce ideas/concepts taught in lectures. Because this year there were only two lectures each week (as opposed to three), some weeks have online videos with content that is examinable and appears in the quizzes. You get two attempts in the 'assessment mode' and unlimited attempts in the 'tutorial mode' which isn't assessed, so you're able to practice before taking the assessed quiz.

50% Exam
Hurdle requirement - you need 30% on the exam to pass the unit. A two-hour exam with a calculator and double-sided A4 notes sheet in the exam period. The first half of the exam focuses on weeks 1-6, and the second half on weeks 7-12 (so there is equal weighting on all parts of the course). I found the exam to be not too bad, with a mixture of simple and difficult questions. I would recommend doing the sample exams and re-doing some of the quizzes. New this year was the ability to bring in a double-sided A4 cheat sheet/notes page to the exam. Because of this, they removed the formula sheet, so any formulas needed had to be on your cheat sheet. I only found the cheat sheet to be helpful in a few circumstances, however as there was quite a bit of content in this subject, it was nice to have something in the exam with information on it to help in answering questions.

Recorded Lectures:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:  No past exams, but two sample exams. One had no answers, and one had answers given in a revision session during swotvac (that wasn't recorded).

Textbook Recommendation:  Environmental Chemistry - A Global Perspective, 4th edition by vanLoon & Duffy. To be honest, I didn't actually use the textbook at all. In some weeks of lectures, chapters in the textbook were referenced and they were said to have good explanations in them, however I didn't really have enough time to read them, as most of my time spend on this subject each week was on the lab and field trip reports. I found that the lectures were sufficient in teaching me the required information.

Lecturer(s): A/Prof Mike Grace (weeks 1-6), A/Prof Perran Cook (weeks 7-12)

Year & Semester of completion:  2018, Semester 1

Rating:  4 out of 5

Comments:
This subject hasn't really changed since DisaFear's review in 2013, however I thought I'd just give a little update to a few things. The main changes are dropping down from three to two lectures (with the missing lecture made up in online content/videos) and bringing in a cheat sheet to the exam.

Despite its high workload, I did enjoy this subject. I found the content we learnt was interesting and relevant to my potential career, especially the lab sessions and field trips. However, you are writing lab reports almost every week, which do require quite a bit of time and can be frustrating at times. Both lecturers were passionate about what they were teaching, and the lab TA's were very helpful and kind!

So in summary, an enjoyable unit that looks at important aspects of chemistry in the environment, with a high workload and field trips.

epicviolinsolo

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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #414 on: July 05, 2018, 03:46:21 pm »
+5
Subject Code/Name: EAE2011 - Environmental Problem Solving and Visualisation

Workload:  2x1hr lectures, 1x1hr tutorial, 1x2hr computer lab

Assessment:
40% Assignments
The computer labs each week involved using R Studio (a coding program) to solve problems/answer questions related to the environment (eg. pollution inflow vs water outflow of a lake, how the populations of two species that rely on each other coexist). Computer labs run for all 12 weeks, and 8 of these involve an assignment (so each assignment is worth 5% of the final mark). You start the assignment in the comp lab, and it is due on the Monday of the following week. The assignments usually involve being given a bit of starting code, and then having to finish/fill in/copy and paste parts of it to solve questions. Assignments 1-3 are done alone and relatively simple if you have background knowledge of statistics, hypothesis testing and linear regression. Assignments 4-8 are done in small groups (2-3 people) and look at much more complex topics (eg. derivatives and integrations). Computer lab work was a struggle for most people, as the majority of us has not done a programming/coding subject before and a fair few had also not done a maths or statistics unit either.

10% Mid-semester test
This test was run in the first lecture of week 5 and was based on the lecture content of weeks 1-4. There was a practice/sample test online with answers that could be completed for revision, and it was very similar to the actual test. It was quite short and most people finished before the lecture ended. The questions themselves were relatively simple, with only one or two curveball/outside the box questions.

50% Exam
The exam was two hours and a calculator was allowed. There was a sample exam with answers for revision which was similar to the exam. There were also the tutorial sheets with answers that could be completed for revision. Like the midsem test, the exam was quite short, and most people left the exam before finishing time. Questions were made up of multiple parts worth 1 or 2 marks and involved either analysing data, looking at computer code, performing a simple hypothesis test or doing short calculations.

Recorded Lectures:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:  No past exams, but one sample exam with answers.

Textbook Recommendation:  No textbook required.

Lecturer(s):  Dr. Dietmar Dommenget, Dr. Ruth Reef

Year & Semester of completion:  2018, Semester 1

Rating:  3 out of 5

Comments:
This unit is fairly new and was initially designed to be a stepping stone for the atmospheric science major (it can be used as a prerequisite for EAE2122 - intro to atmospheric physics and dynamics), however now that there are a lot of people using it as an elective or minor subject for environmental science, earth science or geography, it may be changed a little bit to reflect that.

There were good and bad parts of this unit. The first few weeks included fairly simple content, including statistics, hypothesis testing, regression, correlation and time series analysis. Halfway through the unit, the difficulty suddenly increased and the topics taught included rate of change/derivatives, integrations, vectors and principal component analysis. Having taken methods in VCE, I was familiar with differentiation and integration, however some people had done very little maths prior to taking this unit, making the difficult stuff even more challenging. The speed at which the content was taught made it difficult to find time to review these harder aspects. Many people agreed that the jump in difficulty in this unit between the different sections was hard to manage.

In general, lectures were very poorly attended and not super interesting, sometimes dragging on or dwelling on unimportant aspects, but they taught the content sufficiently. Tutorials did not have marked attendance, so attendance also slipped throughout semester, especially because no work done in the tutorials were assessed and the questions and answers were available on moodle. Tutorials essentially aimed to reinforce the lecture content by presenting problems and questions that needed to be solved using either a hypothesis test (eg. chi-square test), determining the rotation and divergence of a vector field or developing a model/equation to describe a environmental relationship. As mentioned, the computer labs used R Studio to model and solve environmental problems.

In summary, this was an okay unit that may need a bit of changing to help support students more, with an average workload.

epicviolinsolo

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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #415 on: July 05, 2018, 03:48:37 pm »
+4
Subject Code/Name: EAE2111 - Introduction to Climate Science

Workload:  3x1hr lectures, 1x2hr practical/computer lab

Assessment:
16% Practical reports
There were 5 practicals run throughout the semester. Pracs 1, 3 and 4 were run over two weeks, and pracs 2 and 5 were run over one week. Each week was worth 2% of the total grade. The pracs usually involved using excel or a website to analyse climate data or look at future climate possibilities. Only prac 5 had compulsory attendance and the others only had recommended attendance, however around half the class tended to turn up anyway to get assistance with questions. The pracs are handed in by completing a quiz online where you enter in your answers to the questions.

10% Practical field report
One Saturday towards the start of the semester was the 'Climate Science Field Day', where we went out to the baseball field and used equipment to measure/note down the state of the atmosphere (eg. wind speed/direction, temperature, humidity). It was raining quite heavily on the day we were supposed to have the field day, so unfortunately we only got through 1.5 rotations of the equipment before we had to stop and cancel the rest of the day. Then, the next two practical sessions and your own time is spend on using the data collected to answer questions about the state of the atmosphere at that time. 4% of the grade is made up of your attendance on the day and 6% is for the report itself, which I thought was a pretty good deal.

20% Major assignment (essay)
This is a 2000 word essay, written about one of four topic choices. It was explained that this essay was strictly about climate science, hence no discussion about the impacts/effects of the topic were necessary. The four choices we had related to land-surface interactions and drought, how the land surface can influence local circulations, the Southern Annular Mode, and causes of the Millennium drought. I chose the last topic and enjoyed learning about the possible causes, however there were a lot of journal articles to read, which took a long time.

4% Topic quizzes
The unit was broken up into four topics. After the end of each topic, an online quiz was available, made up of 25 multiple-choice questions to answer about the lecture content. Each quiz was only worth 1%, and it was emphasised that very little time should be spent on these quizzes, and that they were instead a good way for Shayne to work out which areas he should include in the revision lecture. Almost all the answers were directly from the lecture notes.

50% Exam
A two-hour exam with no calculator or notes. There were three sections in the exam. In section A, you had to answer 8 of 13 short-answer questions. In section B, you had to answer 1 of 4 long-answer questions, based on topics 1 and 2. Section C was the same, based on topics 3 and 4. In general, I found the exam to be quite accessible, as there was quite a bit of choice in what you could choose to write about.

Recorded Lectures:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:  No past exams available. :(

Textbook Recommendation:  The 'recommended' textbook is Weather and Climate of Australia and New Zealand, 1ed or 2ed by Sturman and Tapper. For each lecture, specific pages in the textbook were identified to read, and some weeks included an online link to an article related to the week's content. I did not buy/use that textbook at all and found that the lecture content was sufficient.

Lecturer(s): Dr. Shayne McGregor

Year & Semester of completion:  2018, Semester 1

Rating:  4 out of 5

Comments:
Overall, I found this unit to be quite enjoyable. The unit was divided up into four topics:
   1. Energy in the climate system (simple climate models, surface energy budget, energy in the climate system)
   2. General circulation of the climate system (wind, oceans, climate zones)
   3. Climate variability and modelling (climate modes, aerosols, palaeoclimatology)
   4. Climate change detection and attribution (projections, modelling of climate change, response to climate change)

Each topic ran for about 2-3 weeks each. Lectures were mostly pretty interesting but had heaps of content. Given that there were 3 hours of lectures each week, there was a lot of content taught in this unit, meaning that revising for the exam was difficult at times. Computer labs were also pretty fun.

An interesting part of this unit were the bonus questions. At the start of each week, Shayne would put up a bonus question about something related to climate science that we'd be learning about that week in lectures. It was a chance to do a bit of research before learning the content. The best answers to the bonus question posted on the forum would get a bonus 3, 2 or 1 marks added on to their final result of the unit. Some easier questions were quite heavily contested and had 7-8 people answering.

So in summary, this unit was pretty good with a moderate workload and interesting content.

K888

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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #416 on: July 07, 2018, 06:40:16 pm »
+10
Subject Code/Name: PTY2031 - Physiotherapy 3

Workload:
- 2 x 1.5hr CBL sessions
- 7 x 1hr lectures
- 2 x 2hr physio pracs
- 1 x 2hr anatomy prac
+ weekly online lectures (varying between 1-3)

Assessment:
Formative/hurdles:
- Attendance at 80% of pracs and tutes
- Attendance as a patient for first year OSCEs
- Participation in group exercise rehab class during prac
- Professional conduct

Summative:
- 2 x 2hr written exams - 30%
- OSCE - 25%
- Written assignment (2,000 words) - 15%
- Research quizzes - 15%
- Physiology quizzes - 5%
- Anatomy assessments (mid sem & end of sem) - 5%
- CBL performance - 5%

Recorded Lectures: 
Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:
One practice exam & practice OSCE scenarios are made available on Moodle by teaching staff later in the semester

Textbook Recommendation:
Cardiorespiratory Physiotherapy: Adults and Paediatrics - Main & Denehy (2016)

Anatomy textbook as per first year physio is Moore's Clinically Oriented Anatomy, physiology textbook is the same as first year also (Human Physiology: An Integrated Approach).

I also recommend investing in the Physiotherapist's Pocketbook (Kenyon & Kenyon), it's a really handy book to have to refer to in CBL and such because you'll encounter a lot of unfamiliar terms and things that you want to check on. It also nicely summarises some of the principles and essentials of cardiorespiratory physiotherapy

Lecturer(s):
Dr Annemarie Lee (physio theory)
Jo-Anne Corbett (anatomy)

Year & Semester of completion:
2018 - Semester 1

Rating: 
3.5 out of 5

Comments:
This unit is quite different to what you cover in first year, and developing good clinical reasoning skills is critical if you want to do well in the unit. The content gets a bit dry and can get complex, it's pretty medical and there's lots of new terms to learn, but overall it's not too bad. Wasn't my favourite unit as I found it poorly organised at times (and cuts to the budget resulted in less tutor contact time), but overall it's not the worst. It can be hard to stay engaged if it's not an area of physio that you want to go into, so it's important to make sure you stay disciplined during the semester.
2017-2020: Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours)

bearableguy123

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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #417 on: July 08, 2018, 06:11:12 pm »
+6
Subject Code/Name: ECC3810 - Public Finance

Workload:
-1 hour tutorial and a 2 hour lecture

Assessment:
Project (2500 word essay) - 40 %
Examination (2 hours) Ė 60 %
The assessment of the project will be split up as follows:
(a) Abstract (5 %) which is due at the end of week 3, i.e. COB, Friday, week 3, namely, 16
March, 2018.
The Abstract will include Title, question, data source and availability. The Abstract will not
exceed 200 words.
(b) Research Proposal (15 %) which is due at the end of week 6, namely, 13 April, 2018. It
should include explanation of why the topic is important and relevant for this unit, the
hypothesis or hypotheses that will be tested, the methodology and some summary
features of the data, and the policy implications.
(c) Final Project (80 %), which is due at the end of week 11, i.e. 5 pm of
Friday, 18 May, 2018. A penalty of 10 % per day will be imposed on all projects that miss
the deadline

Recorded Lectures: No Lectures are recorded :(

Past Exams Available: yes, Ranjann gave out 1, but no solutions are provided.

Textbook Recommendation: Not necessary, the main text is online (Hendricks and Myles). However, I'd highly recommend using this as your main source of study, Ranjaans lecture notes can be overly dense and confusing.

Lecturer:  Ranjaan Ray

Semester/Year: Semester 1 2018

Rating/5: 3 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 84 HD

Comments: This unit is one of the harder econ subjects. You need to be able to understand the basic graphical/intuitive approaches to public finance, as well as the mathematical approaches, and be able to distinguish the strengths and weaknesses of the different models . If you're not comfortable deriving mathematical proofs, I do not recommend you taking it.
The unit has the following topics: Economic Efficiency, Public Goods, Poverty and Equality, Commodity Taxation, Externalities, The Role of the Public Sector, Income Taxation and Tax Evasion. 

Economic Efficiency  : You're introduced to the main 2 theorems of welfare economics. This will expose you to some concepts like pareto efficiency,  competitive efficiency and you'll also be introduced to the edgeworth  box that depicts the two theorems in a two person economy. There's a little bit of calculus in regards to proving the competitive equilibrium.

The role of the public sector: You're pretty much taught the role of the government, how they have to balance equity and efficiency but arn't able to do this in a world with an invisible hand.

Externalities: Pretty Much exposed to a few simple examples of externalities

Public goods: This topic is pretty big, and I'd highly recommend you understand the calculus behind the Samuelson condition, this pretty much shows the efficiency condition behind the two main ways of allocating the private provision of public goods between two people.

Poverty and Equality: This topic isn't a major focus as ranjaan teaches a lot of people taking his development economics unit. However you'll learn about the gini coefficient, some conditions that are described as the optimal equality measures. You'll also learn about some different measures, most notabley RGT, SEN. The major distinction was understanding the decomposable component of an inequality measure.

Commodity Taxation: This is the big bad boy of this unit. You need to understand the inverse elasticity rule, the ramsey rule as well as the equity consideration to commodity taxation ( the many person situation).

Income taxation: you learn about the income and substitution effects behind income taxes (slutsky rule), as well as why taxes must be below 100% and above 0% at the marginal rate. You also learn that the optimal income tax is 0 for the highest earning person in an economy.

Tax Evasion: not a big topic but teaches you that theirs a payoff for the government to target tax evaders.

Overall I absolutely loved this unit. Not the teaching , but I thoroughly enjoyed learning the content. To be absolutely honest, the  essay is not super relevant to the exam, but it was enjoyable. Ranjaan doesn't record his lectures and his lectures can be dense and boring. I definitely fell asleep in a few classes. The tutorial work you get is super mathematical, and can be very confusing, but the exam is nothing like the mathematical problems you get in your tutorials each week. The major focus areas  on the exam are on public goods, the theories of the public sector and commodity taxation and his "additional slides" mostly relating to public expenditure of the past 150 years or so as well as climate change and taxation within Australia. He can be a bit cheeky with some of the questions in the exam with these additional slides with questions like. "Derive public expenditure for the past 50 years with evidence and statistics", for 30 marks. So definitely know your stats inside and out. In preparation for the exam you should definitely do the practice exam and know what kind of questions are examinable. usually they'll come with different wording, so get a good grasp of the main topics.


« Last Edit: July 08, 2018, 08:29:58 pm by bearableguy123 »

Springyboy

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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #418 on: July 08, 2018, 07:41:33 pm »
+5
Subject Code/Name: BFC2140 - Corporate Finance 1 

Workload: 
1x 2hr lecture
1x 1hr tute

Assessment: 
5% tutorial participation
20% online exercises
25% Mid-semester test
50% Exam

Recorded Lectures:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:  No past exams provided, only one sample paper. However past exams can be obtained from past students or by looking online

Textbook Recommendation: 
Fundamentals of Corporate Finance 3rd edition by Berk is the only prescribed textbook for this unit. Previously, the Parrino textbook was prescribed however an error with the bookstore on my.monash lead to this being displayed as the prescribed textbook when in fact a newer model had been introduced. Despite this, I found the textbook to not be that valuable of a resource, as I only used it for the weekly tutorial questions. The lecture slides are a far more reliable tool as to what is going to appear in the exam.

Lecturer(s):
Dr Emma Zhang - Wks 1-6, also Chief Examiner
Dr Ying Dou - Wks 7-12

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1, 2018

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Comments:

Despite there being past reviews on this subject, the assessment structure has changed over the past few years warranting me to write a new review for it.

Firstly, I'd have a look at my review for BFC1001 here, as a lot of the content in this subject builds upon the basics discussed in BFC1001, despite it not being a pre-req for this subject. Mostly this subject focuses upon capital budgeting and capital structure, with some lectures covering things like dividend policy and net-working capital management.

The lecture outlines were:

Week 1 - Introduction to business finance and financial mathematics - reviews discounting and PV and FV discussed in BFC1001
Week 2 - Corporate Financial Mathematics - looks at annuities & perpetuities and how to value them
Week 3 - Valuation of bonds and equities - looks at pricing bonds and shares both ordinary and preference, which helps in later topics
Week 4 - Capital Budgeting 1 - NPV method discussed
Week 5 - Capital Budgeting 2 - discussed alternative methods of valuation such as matching cycle method and equivalent annual annuity
Week 6 - Mid-semester test held in your allocated lecture
Week 7 - Working capital management
Week 8 - Capital Budgeting 3 - looked at sensitivity analysis, was hardly examinable
Week 9 - Risk and return - Looked at means and standard deviations of returns, as well as covariance and correlation
Week 10 - Cost of capital - Showed how to calculate weighted average cost of capital (WACC) applying previous knowledge
Week 11 - Capital structure - Looked at Modigliani & Miller (M&M) assumptions and how they change for values of levered firms (firms that consist partially or fully of debt) and unlevered firms (firms with no debt in the value of their company)
Week 12 - Payout policy - Looked at market efficiency as will as the dividend payout policy

Emma lectured for all the lectures up to the mid-semester test, whilst Ying conducted the last 6 lectures. Both lecturers were decent, although personally I preferred Ying due to his humour and knowledge in the topics taught, particularly as he also lectures Corporate Finance 2.

In terms of the assessments:

Tute participation - Every week there are allocated questions uploaded to Moodle to be completed before each tutorial. The tutes run a week behind the lecture content, which is a good way to revise the content covered in the past lectures. Then in the tutes you go over the answers to these questions, as well as additional questions posted online. I had Yash as my tutor who was excellent as he's taught the subject previously and knows the content inside-out. However, it's a shame that he's heading off to America, so I'd recommend Sarah as well as a tutor as she's taught me in the past in Foundations of Finance and knows the content relatively well. As long as you complete the work beforehand and attend all your tutes, then you should have no trouble scoring the full 5%.

Online exercises - These consisted of a bunch of short-answer and multiple choice questions delivered on the Pearson website via a link from the Moodle page. After the last lecture of the week, which was on 5-7pm Friday, then the quiz would open at 9pm to cover the content taught from that lecture's week. You then had from 9pm of that Friday until 9pm the following Friday to complete the work. That way, week 2's quiz would cover week 1's content for example. However, I found these to be quite tedious as often they didn't correlate to what was taught in the lectures or what was being asked to be done in the tutes. Therefore, the questions often took a while to complete, even though there was unlimited time to complete them online. Sometimes they took me up to 4hrs to complete, which I found to be quite an annoyance to carry out in the first place.

Mid-semester test - This was held in your allocated lecture slot in week 6. However, due to there being over 900 people enrolled in the subject, some people based on surnames had to complete the test in the M2 lecture theatre, which isn't that far from South 1 where both lecture streams were held. This consisted of some true/false questions, multiple choice questions and short answer questions. There were tricks here and there, however most people that I know did well and the average was close to 70%, with 34% of people scoring a HD in this assessment. Personally, I found it relatively straightforward with just enough time to finish everything, although some careless errors did deprive me from receiving a higher mark.

Exam - The exam was 2hrs closed book, consisting of short-answer questions mainly focusing on stuff taught in the second half of the unit. However, I found this exam to be quite difficult as some of the terminology used in the exam, such as soft rationing limit was barely explained upon in the lectures. Therefore, if you had prepared heavily for the exam, then you'd be fine, however it was much harder than I was expecting, probably due to the 34% high distinction rate in the mid-semester test telling of the unit being made too easy up until that point. Despite this, with good revision habits and reading over the lecture slides and memorising as much as you can then you would be fine in the exam.

Overall, I found this unit to be a great introduction to a finance major, as for most students this is the first finance unit they are taking at Clayton, with BFC1001 not being offered this year. However, it could use a number of improvements, in particular more past exams to be provided that accurately highlight the structure of the final exam, rather than just a sample exam which pieced together parts of the course, some of which was not examinable at all.

clockerrs11

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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #419 on: July 09, 2018, 02:08:57 am »
+4
Subject Code/Name: BFF1001- Foundations of Finance 

Workload:
1 hr lecture, attendance recorded through in class quizzes that check you're there (doesn't matter if u get the answer wrong)
2 hr workshop, attendance required (but you can get someone to tick off your name as the sheet gets handed around from my experience)

Assessment:
8%: Out-of-class learning tasks
4%: In-class learning tasks   
7%: Team Business Presentation
18%: Mid-Semester test   
13%: Team Assignment: rba interest rate prediction and analysis
50%: Exam

Recorded Lectures:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:  Yeah 2 with worked answers for both theory and math. released near the end of sem

Textbook Recommendation:  i didn't use one. workshop and lecture readings sometimes told you to refer to a book but you can just google the information instead or wait till the workshop cause they'll cover it there anyways

Lecturer(s): Jason Choo

Year & Semester of completion: 2018 Sem 1

Rating: 5 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 86

Comments:
This subject was taught fairly well. as someone who is scared of math i was able to tackle the math portion of this unit head on. what was difficult for me was the last topic which was relating to global currency exchange and really trying to get my head around it.

the first assignment which is worth 5 per cent is an oral presentation with a group where you have to wear a formal attire and perform to an audience of a random tutor that is assigned to you. it is better to quickly form a group with people you know via your workshops or randomly through the forums so that you get your desired time slot when booking when to do the oral since you have a choice to do it before or after the mid semester holidays (did it after).

the second group assignment which was the rba prediction and analysis was quite difficult to do. i was surprised with my mark because we received no guidance on how to create a business report and we were heavily marked down because our format was incorrect.

to do well in this unit, you need to listen to jason's lectures and understand his content during that lecture, then make notes about the lecture, go to your workshop, combine notes from your workshop and then lecture which will provide you with everything you need to know about the topic.
the workshop is very much worthwhile going to because it teaches you how to do the math in a step by step process that even a fool like me can do it.

there are many online tests to do and i recommend you set a time to do 2 each week so that you do not miss them because i sadly missed two :(. but they take 8/10 of your best marks that contribute to your final score.