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Author Topic: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings  (Read 433408 times)  Share 

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brenden

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Re: Monash University - Subject reviews & ratings
« Reply #75 on: June 18, 2013, 12:03:33 am »
+9
Subject Code/Name: ATS1314 - Human Rights Theory 1 

Workload:  2 x 1 hour lectures (auto-allocated), 1 x 1 hour tutorial.

Assessment: 
  • Assessment Task (AT) 1: Worth 10%. Three short-answer questions, one devoted to each week's reading for the first three weeks. (Or it might have been two questions based on different readings required from Week Two). There is a word limit of 400 words, which makes it sound easy, because you think "they won't want me to say much in 400 words", but if you don't provide a really comprehensive answer for each question, they'll mark you down, so be very concise and make sure you answer the question with as much information as you can in a little amount of words :P.
  • AT 2: 10%, three short-answer question, 400 word word limit. Same as AT 1, but different questions on different readings.
  • AT 3: 40%, an 1800 word essay. There were questions covering Week One through to Week Nine, so you wouldn't be screwed for the essay if you missed something - you could just pick a question that required only one week's reading and do the essay based on that.
  • Exam: 40% (obviously), two hour examination in which you should aim to write about 2,000 words, however, they specify very strongly that they care about quality, not quantity. From the way they made it sound, you'd be fine with a really good essay of like 1,600 words - it's really about the argument. I think mine ended up around 1,650. The exam had three prompts, with one prompt devoted to each of Week Ten, Week Eleven, and Week Twelve. In Sem 1, 2013, we got give each of the prompts ahead of time so we could develop our ideas and the exam was testing our understanding of the material and the quality of our arguments, rather than our ability to think on the spot. I should note, they weren't originally going to give us the prompts, but the coordinator had a change of heart, so I'm unsure if they'll stick with this next year.
  • Oh, I should also note, there is a tutorial attendance hurdle requirement. I think you could miss three tutorials before they docked you points.

Recorded Lectures:  Yep, no screen capture so you'll have to download the slides. There were more microphone muffles in the recordings of this unit than other unit, so wagging lectures is sometimes a gamble, as you might have a muffle-obstructed recording.

Past exams available:  None. They said if we wanted to practise writing essays, we should go back to AT 3 and write on a prompt that we haven't already written on. Evidently, in Sem 1, 2013, practise exams weren't a problem once they gave us the prompt. You would probably be better off doing the readings that will be tested in the exam and summarising them etc. rather than practicing an essay on readings that won't be assessed in the exam.

Textbook Recommendation:  You have to buy the ATS 1314 Reader, and that is all. You definitely need it.

Lecturer(s): Dr Linda Barclay and Dr Andy Lamey

Year & Semester of completion: ...Woops. 2013. Semester 1.

Rating:  5/5

Your Mark/Grade: 86

Comments:
  • Andy and Linda are very fantastic lecturers. Andy has a slight Canadian accent and a fucking brilliant yet subtle sense of humour that gets his point across excellently and has the bonus of giving you a giggle. Linda is also a really great lecturer, but be wary of talking during her lectures, because she will be like "Oi, stop talking." -- Not in an annoying way; every time she told people to shut up, there was a collective sense of "thank you, God those people were dickheads" within the lecture theatre. I also think she isn't a fan of seeing heads on desks - so no sleeping! But yes, she presents the material well and has a very good understanding. Andy could give any lecture and make it interesting because of the way he lectures. Linda's lectures are interesting because the content is interesting AND she presents it in an interesting way, but she isn't blatantly entertaining in and of herself.
  • The subject itself was extremely well thought out and very well structured. Each week was a very logical progression from the last, even when you were moving onto a topic that didn't really interconnect with the previous topic in any meaningful way... It's as if each week, I was at the correct level of thinking for whatever topic we were moving on to. Further to the logical structure and progression of the unit, the content itself was very interesting. Of course, I say this assuming you're interested in Human Rights. Andy has conducted research into the rights violations of asylum seekers, and his work was contained within the unit, which was actually pretty genius. A note on the content, though: Whilst it was extremely interesting and gripping, it could occasionally be very emotionally draining. For example, there were times during lectures where I felt like I wanted to vomit because of the sheer atrocity of what was being spoken about, eg. female circumcision. After my first lecture on poverty I got extremely depressed and it threw me off the rails for a day or two. So, just be warned, if you're an overly sensitive person, this unit will challenge you on a personal level - but this is definitely not a reason to avoid the unit - it was still excellent.
  • Human Rights Theory 1 and Philosophy: Life, Death and Morality - my evaluation of which is here: Re: Monash University - Subject reviews & ratings - worked in very strong cohesion, as you can imagine. I felt as if taking these subjects in conjunction gave me a strong advantage in both subjects. They go together like two peas in a pod. Human Rights is a very philosophical based subject (it's from the school of Philosophy, after all) - but the philosophy is more concentrated on the Human Rights sphere. In later years, you can take units where you can either be credited with Human Rights OR Philosophy points, because the same unit applies to both areas of study
  • The longest reading in Human Rights was Week Three - fifty four pages.
  • I should note: everyone struggles with the reading for Week One - Jeremy Benthem's Anarchical Fallacies. It's written in 18th century English so a lot of people had nfi idea what was going on until they got to the tutorial. I found it okay, I just needed to focus a little bit more when I was doing the readings. Week One readings are the hardest readings, so don't think you don't like the unit just after doing Week One (I honestly thought "what the fuck have I gotten myself into" after I had to really knuckle down to understand Week One).
  • If you value your sanity (and are aiming for a high grade), keep up to date - or even ahead of - the readings. Because if you fall behind, well... not many people come back :P... I think I might have been the only person in my tute to have done the readings on time for the last half of semester once people started getting bogged down with assessments etc.
  • Participate in tutorials as much as you can, because it hugely reinforces your knowledge for the essay. I don't take notes in lectures or tutorials, and I think I was much better off than other people who took more notes but discussed things less.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 12:02:59 am by alondouek »
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Re: Monash University - Subject reviews & ratings
« Reply #76 on: June 18, 2013, 12:51:39 am »
+7
Subject Code/Name: BMS1031 - Medical Biophysics

Workload:
  • 2 x 1hr physics lectures
  • 1 x 1hr physiology lecture
  • 1 x 3hr lab

Assessment:
  • 20% labs
  • 7.5% online quizzes
  • 2.5% question set
  • 10% factsheet
  • 60% exam

Recorded Lectures:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:  Some. Most relevant ones uploaded to Moodle page by course admins, others available by searching the online library database.

Textbook Recommendation:

  • Physics for Biosciences - Jasmina Lazendic-Galloway (custom book, contains sections from Physics by Giancoli and other books)
  • Neuroscience - Exploring the Brain - Bear et al.

Not necessary to buy either, really - but Physics for Biosciences is extremely useful, especially for those who haven't done physics before.

Lecturer(s):
  • Associate Professor John Cashion (Fluids, Forces and Energy)
  • Dr. Jasmina Lazendic-Galloway (Fluids, Forces and Energy)
  • Associate Professor Ross Young (Physiology - Cardiovascular Systems)
  • Dr. Leo Cussen (Electricity/Radiation)
  • Professor Helena Parkington (Physiology - Bioelectricity, Optics)
  • Mr. Ali Moghimi (Waves and Optics)

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1, 2013

Rating:  3.5/5

Your Mark/Grade: D

Comments: This is a core (and therefore compulsory) unit in the Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences. It is partly paired with PHS1030, so you'll be sharing 2/3 lectures with them per week (labs are separate, and you'll be split up for a couple of lectures during Electricity, Radiation and Waves and Optics. They also aren't part of your physiology lectures).

This is an interesting unit for those who like physics and how it relate to the body/to medical practices. The lecturers aren't the best, and the content can be a bit tough (especially at the beginning) for those who have no background in physics. Reading the textbook and doing questions helps, but ultimately lectures are the best source of information.

The unit is co-handled by the School of Physics (represented by Professor Kris Helmerson) and the School of Physiology (represented by Professor Helena Parkington).

You will have 8 physics labs (buoyancy, fluid flow, forces in biomechanics, energy, centrifuges, electricity, optics and radiation) and 2 physiology labs (cardiovascular systems and membrane potentials). The labs are reasonable easy, and you work in groups of 3.

There are 4 online Moodle quizzes throughout the unit (Fluids/Energy, Electricity, Waves and Optics, Radiation). These can be a little tricky, but you get two attempts and they take the highest grade. There are non-assessed quizzes with similar question for each topic that you can take prior to the actual quizzes, as many times as you want.

Two assignments are set during the course:
  • Question set - basically a worksheet.
  • Factsheet - a research project on a topic that you select from a list. The report/poster that you create can only be a single-sided A4 paper.

As for lecturers:
  • Associate Professor John Cashion (Fluids, Forces and Energy) - Fairly old, prone to pausing for pretty significant periods of time after asking a question (no-one ever answers). Decent lecturer otherwise, and will answer any question you have after the lecture.
  • Dr. Jasmina Lazendic-Galloway (Fluids, Forces and Energy) - Good lecturer, has a slight accent but it's not a problem. Also happy to answer your questions after the lecture.
  • Associate Professor Ross Young (Physiology - Cardiovascular Systems) - Good lecturer, bit of a weird sense of humour but gets the lecture material across in a effective manner. Will sometimes use a prop for demonstrations (i.e. balloon etc)
  • Dr. Leo Cussen (Electricity/Radiation) - Okay lecturer, tends to gloss over some of the harder stuff but is very well-meaning and will stay back long after the lecture to answer questions in a helpful manner.
  • Professor Helena Parkington (Physiology - Bioelectricity, Optics) - Good lecturer, but slightly insane. Has a fairly strong accent (Irish/Scottish? Not easily identifiable), and uses a lot of British colloquialisms. Not the most helpful of people (assumes a lot from you, won't post answers to the pre-exam prep questions she posts on Moodle). Will answer questions via email and the Moodle forum, but can be a little bit roundabout.
  • Mr. Ali Moghimi (Waves and Optics) - Decent lecturer, but hard to understand. Has a very thick Arabic accent, and mispronounces words a bit. Will answer questions but not very patient.

The exam is decent. I found it quite easy (having no physics background whatsoever), as it was generally just applications of formulae (a formula sheet is provided). Only trick they put in is unit conversion; I recalled just after the exam that m3≠L :-X. The exam is in two parts; Part A - Physics (116 marks, this may vary each year) and Part B - Physiology (24 marks, also subject to variation by year). The only real revision I did for the exam was past papers (for the physics component) and rewatched lectures (for physiology).
« Last Edit: July 17, 2014, 04:24:25 am by alondouek »
2013-2016
Majoring in Genetics and Developmental Biology

2012 ATAR: 96.55
English [48] Biology [40]

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Re: Monash University - Subject reviews & ratings
« Reply #77 on: June 18, 2013, 01:20:01 am »
+5
Subject Code/Name: BIO1011 - Biology I

Workload:
  • 2 x 1hr lectures
  • 1 x 2.5hr lab

Assessment:
  • 35% labs
  • 5% MasteringBIO online quizzes (weekly)
  • 15% Moodle quizzes
  • 45% exam

Recorded Lectures:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available:  Nope. Exam is reworked every year, but a 100-question practice quiz is available on Moodle close to exam time.

Textbook Recommendation:
  • Campbell Biology, 9th Edition - Reece et al. 8th edition is fine.

Lecturer(s):
  • Dr. Gerry Rayner (biomacromolecules, evolution, ecology)
  • Professor John Beardall (enzymes, respiration, photosynthesis)
  • Dr. Heather Verkade (cell biology, genetics)
  • Dr. Sandra Floyd (plant diversity)
  • Dr. Marien de Bruijne (animal diversity)

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1, 2013

Rating:  4/5

Your Mark/Grade: HD

Comments: Quite an easy unit, not significantly harder than VCE biology (in fact, all content other than plant and animal diversity was exactly the same as VCE biology).

There are 6 labs, 5 of which are practical and one being a poster that you create and present with a lab partner. Labs are fine, especially if you have a good TA (shout out to Claire!).

Over the course of the unit, there are 4 online Moodle tests. These questions are mostly taken from the Pearson database. Also, you have a Pearson MasteringBIO quiz to do each week, of material that will be lectured on in that following week. These are fairly easy, and often have video tutorials built in.

The textbook is good, but I used it maybe once - I didn't do the readings at all, but they'd definitely help someone who's never done biology before. Diagrams and explanations are good.

All of the course material and lecturers are fine (John Beardall (and his plant Boris) and Gerry Rayner are particularly good), but personally I found plant diversity to be incredibly boring.

Labs are alright, I had a good lab partner so that definitely helped. My one serious gripe about the labs were the weird 'quizzes' that we had prior to the labs - you needed to sign into a (fairly crap) system via Authcate and do a MC quiz (usually 4 questions) based on powerpoint slides. These quizzes counted for some of the lab mark.

The exam is 144 multiple-choice questions, with ~6 questions from each lecture.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2014, 04:22:11 am by alondouek »
2013-2016
Majoring in Genetics and Developmental Biology

2012 ATAR: 96.55
English [48] Biology [40]

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brenden

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Re: Monash University - Subject reviews & ratings
« Reply #78 on: June 18, 2013, 07:01:13 am »
+5
Subject Code/Name: ATS1371 - Philosophy: Introduction A (Life, Death, and Morality) 

Workload:  2 x 1 hour lectures (not auto-allocated), 1 x 1 hour tutorial.

Assessment: 
  • Assessment Task (AT) One: 5%, 400 words. Three short-answer questions. Some comprehension, but you're also required to make an argument
  • AT Two: 10%. Same as AT One.
  • AT Three: 15%. 600 words. More focused on your arguments/logic, but comprehension still required.
  • Essay: 30%, 1100 words. Many people struggle with this word limit, for the School of Philosophy is harsh in ensuring you are concise and effective in your communication. This essay asks for a very different style to what you will be used to, but there are many resources available on Moodle that you should check out when the time comes.
  • Exam: 40%. Two hours. You get given seventeen possible exam questions ahead of time. Nine of these questions will appear on the exam. You must answer eight of these questions. (Which means you only have to prepare for sixteen of the questions before the exam :P). They want 300 words per question, so 2,400 words total. A mixture of comprehension and argument, probably favoured towards comprehension
  • There are also 10 x 0.5% online quizzes that motivate you to do the readings ahead of time (So, Week Two's quiz opens in Week One and closes the Monday morning of Week Two). So theoretically, you could get 105% for this unit :P
  • This unit has a hurdle requirement that requires that you only fail a maximum of one AT. So, if you fail two ATs, you fail the unit. That said, you would have to blutack an array of knives onto a wall, with the point outwards, and proceed to violently headbutt that wall in order to fail two of those ATs.

Recorded Lectures:  Chyup, but no screen capture. Lecture slides provided every week on Moodle.

Past exams available:  No, because that would be pointless - they give you seventeen potential questions ahead of time as aforementioned.

Textbook Recommendation:  Definitely need to buy the Unit Reader. (Really well written, too). Practical Ethics by Peter Singer is also a compulsory textbook and you definitely need to read some of it to get the marks on the ATs. I suppose you could borrow it from a library every time an AT comes around and prior to the exam, and only do the readings required for the various ATs - however, this will leave you with an extremely stunted and shallow understanding of the course material. I really would just buy Practical Ethics (very interesting read, anyway!). These two are all you will ever require.

Lecturer(s): Dr Justin Clark-Doane and Dr Toby Handfield.

Year & Semester of completion: 2013, Semester 1.

Rating:  5/5

Your Mark/Grade: 90

Comments:
  • The lecturers were second to none in this unit. Toby takes  the first half of semester, and Justin the second half. Toby positively exudes experience and passion, and he's just deadset fucking brilliant. If I didn't have a girlfriend, I would try to grow facial hair so I looked older and try to get Toby to go out with me. (Oh, wait, am I supposed to remain objective ??? ). Justin probably has less experience, and I suppose if you had to pick one you'd choose my one true love (Toby), but Justin is still brilliant. People with a mathematical background will especially love Justin's lectures, as he compares fucking everything to Math - (in a good way). You can't blame the guy, he did his dissertation on a comparison between moral realism and number theory something something (pretty good read). So, yep, 10/10 lecturers, both are happy to answer questions after the lectures and are just generally pretty cool guys that doesn't afraid of anything.
  • The Reader was brilliant, flawlessly written and an excellent learning tool.
  • If you were looking for a GPA-boosting unit and you aren't totally horrible with English skills, this unit is probably the way to go. It's crazy interesting, easy to do well in providing you do the work, and they give you the exam questions ahead of time. What more can you want, Oliver?
  • This unit acts hand in hand with Human Rights Theory 1 - my evaluation of which is here: Re: Monash University - Subject reviews & ratings
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 12:03:25 am by alondouek »
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Re: Monash University - Subject reviews & ratings
« Reply #79 on: June 18, 2013, 07:51:51 am »
+5
Subject Code/Name: ATS1903 - Introducing Literature: Ways of Reading 

Workload:  2 x 1 hour lectures (auto-allocated), 1 x 1 hour tutorial.

Assessment: 
  • Assessment Task (AT) One: Passage Analysis on Hamlet. 10%. 300 words (contrary to the handbook's 450 words - Unit Guide backs me up).
  • AT Two: 10%. "Close exercise on metaphor, symbols and symbolism".  300 words. This will actually be the third AT you hand in, as even though this is "AT Two", you hand it in after the essay. You basically rock up to the tute, go through a poem and identify metaphor et al, (which they teach you about in the tute), then go home and write 300 words on it.
  • AT Three: Essay Task. 30%. 1,500 words. Would just like to say - submitted this essay one minute before its due time - like a boss. You'll have  a lot of varying things to write about - all of the texts covered so far in the unit. There's about a 1% chance that you will have read all of the texts you're supposed to read, so you're limited only by the expanse of your own work ethic (or lack of).
  • AT Four: 10%. 300 words. "Class exercise on translation". Pretty much get given a literal translation of a passage - probably Kafka's Metamorphosis (brilliant story), and then get given translations of varying accuracy of different authors. Go through this in tute. Go home. Write assessment. *Ended up writing close to 400 words and didn't get penalised if you're into living off the rails.
  • Examination: 40%. 2 hours. Closed book (they didn't even let me have my dictionary :'() The exam is consisted into two parts. Part A and Part B. Part A is worth 60% of the exam, whereas Part B is worth 50%. Just tricking - it's worth 40%. Part A is a comparative text-response style essay (if you did mainstream VCE English) between two different novels/plays/poems. Part B is a passage analysis. You do not get the prompts or the passages in advance. You do get the pairs of texts that you'll be allowed to compare. For example, the examination information will specify something similar to "You will be able to compare Harry Potter and Twilight; 50 Shades of Grey and The Puppy That Lost His Way;" etc. You will also be told what novels/texts/plays/poems the passages will be drawn from.
  • I think you can miss three tutorials before they start docking you points (and pretty savagely, too).

Recorded Lectures:  Yeah, with screen capture.

Past exams available:  That's a negatory. However, you can practice with the essay prompts from AT 3 - which are highly relevant, as many of the same texts will be on the exam.

Textbook Recommendation:  If you want to be dodgy, you don't need to buy the Unit Reader. I bought the Reader and to be honest, I used it once, to read nine chapters of Don Quixote - the nine chapters were contained within the Reader, evidently. Otherwise, the reader is full of poems that you're supposed to read, but they don't discuss in the tutorials or lectures. Reading these poems would probably greatly enhance your understanding of the material. Perhaps not, I honestly have no idea due to not having read them. There are also novels that you need to read, but don't need to buy. You could easily source them from any local library, as they're relatively famous novels. You could theoretically get away with not reading Hamlet and just SparkNotes-ing the passage they give you - but good luck with that. Moreover, you could theoretically read zero novels this entire unit and still pass the exam, as you could look at the exam specifications, choose poems for comparison and analysis, and then Google the poems. This is likely a recipe for failure. I recommend finding out the booklist ahead of time, borrowing the books in February and reading some of them then. This will significantly decrease your workload.

Lecturer(s): Dr Peter Groves is the main lecturer, but they change frequently corresponding to their level of expertise in relation to the current topic (realism, modernism etc). I only listened to two other lectures other than ones of Peter's, and both of those lecturers are nice, but I'd have no idea who they are.

Year & Semester of completion: 2013, Semester 1.

Rating:  3/5

Your Mark/Grade: 82

Comments:
  • Lectures: Peter is a very brilliant man. Seriously, you look into his eyes, and they scream at you "Hello, I am a set of very intelligent eyes". He is quite charismatic and has a wonderful Pommy accent that makes listening to him talk a pleasure. I think there were many people in my tutorial that got quite frustrated and his tendency to mumble or speak extremely quickly. He does try to fit an extreme amount of content into each lecture, and often runs out of time. However, I didn't take notes during the lectures, so his tendency to speak fast didn't bother me at all. I just sort of sat there and basked in the genius, and tried to soak in as much as possible. So I like him a lot, but some others didn't, despite agreeing he's a genius. *Pro tip: Peter is a freak for language. He's written a book on meter (language) and loves iambic pentameter etc, so if you find yourself in one of his tutes, discussing language will get you a long way. There were also two other lecturers in this unit who I found really good. I only experienced these three lecturers, but I think there's five or six in total.
  • *Attention to guys who didn't take Lit in VCE* -- I also went into this unit having only done mainstream English. Subsequently, I had not a clue as to how to write a passage analysis for AT1 (or the exam, for that matter, hahaha). Check the Lit boards on this website for EZ's recommendations, and check the sample essays he and others have posted up. You should also be able to email your tutor and request to meet them in their consultation hour and have them teach you how to write a passage analysis. Me being a total jaffy, I didn't even know this was an option, and proceeding to totally guess the passage analysis which resulted in my first and only credit for any unit this semester. Cry cry cry. You'll definitely want to get someone to teach you passage analyses before the exam; my exam was yesterday, and it was only yesterday morning that I searched the forums to ensure I wasn't totally screwed. The essay I approached as I would with any normal VCE text-response essay and used my old style/structure. I ended up with 78 - a big improvement from the passage analysis - so I assume this approach is fine to use. I should note: the tutors in this subject are very experienced writers and readers. You cannot bullshit them. It would be difficult to rush an essay at the last minute and hope to score a good mark. I wrote my essay over a 48 hour period, and the subsequent expression flaws were sliced through with a red hot blade (in the form of red pen... metaphorically) by my tutor.
  • The Unit is very well structured. It takes you through romanticism, realism, naturalism, modernism - and certainly some other isms which I ended up skipping. It does this in a way that your learning can build off the prior forms of learning, as there are many interconnections between styles, or reasons that the styles are the way they are due to the styles that preceded them.
  • Take this unit if you are passionate about Literature. Take this unit if it will help you grow as a person or otherwise give you something by nature of the learning. If you only care about your GPA, and you don't want to 'get anything' out of your degree that Lit might be able to offer you, I would seek out an easier unit. I'm taking this unit because I need a Lit minor in order to be a qualified English teacher, however, I occasionally appreciated what I could 'get' from the unit. The lectures I did go through were fulfilling and inspiring, and the lectures I didn't go to, well, I wasn't all that heartbroken, despite missing some undoubtedly interesting opportunities to learn things, sometimes it just didn't assist with the ATs (or maybe they did and I could have done better).
  • The readings. Each week, you will have a text to read. Not necessarily of full length. For  example, I think we first read Hamlet, then Northanger Abbey, then nine chapters of Don Quixote, then some poems, and some short-plays or short stories somewhere in there which I'm pretty sure no one read. Throughout this unit I read one play and four novels, which suited me just fine, but there is probably readings you are supposed to do each week, most of which will never be directly assessed (though you could choose to do a poem on the essay etc). I really do recommend reading on the holidays to lower your load, as nearing the end of the semester I was one of very few left still managing to read the entirety of the novels prior to the tutorial
.
  • I would just like to reiterate: Do not take this unit because you think you did great in VCE English and it will be a breeze. You will wake up with a really sore backside if you decide to take the unit for that reason. It is simply not a breeze. Only take this unit if you are passionate about Lit. That said, it might be a bit breezier for the VCE Lit people, as you will be much more familiar with the passage analyses and poems and stuff.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 12:03:57 am by alondouek »
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Re: Monash University - Subject reviews & ratings
« Reply #80 on: June 18, 2013, 09:42:00 am »
+8
Subject Code/Name: LAW5152 - Taxation Law 506

Workload: 3 hour lecture per week

Assessment: Optional assignment (40%) + exam (60%), otherwise you do a 100% exam

Recorded Lectures: No

Past exams available: Yes, on the library database

Textbook Recommendation: Prescribed textbook (definitely necessary), plus a book of all the relevant taxation legislation which is twice the size of the textbook. You can print it yourself for free from AustLII of course, but the book contains annotations explaining the provisions, also I'm pretty sure printing that much legislation is going to cost you about the same anyway.

Lecturer(s): Stephen Barkoczy

Year & Semester of completion: 2012 semester 2

Rating: 2/5

Comments: Look, honestly, many people aren't going to enjoy tax law. It can be tricky and complicated, there's some maths involved (not very complicated maths thankfully) and it's just generally quite dry - you'll learn a bunch of rules on how to calculate income tax, GST, capital allowances and so on. It's handy knowledge to have if you're doing commerce/law I think, or wanting to supplement your knowledge if you intend on pursuing careers in accounting/finance or tax law.

If you're interested more in the policy issues behind taxation, this is a newly introduced subject that looks interesting and is taught by a highly competent person: http://www.monash.edu.au/pubs/2013handbooks/units/LAW4243.html
edit: I've now taken this subject and written a review on it here

Stephen is very good. The only criticism I have is that he wrote all the prescribed books and every single lecture he will talk about how brilliant the books are because he wrote them, hah. 
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 12:04:19 am by alondouek »
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Re: Monash University - Subject reviews & ratings
« Reply #81 on: June 18, 2013, 09:54:13 am »
+6
Subject Code/Name: LAW4155 - International Human Rights

Workload: This semester we started in week 6 and had a 4-hour lecture per week

Assessment: Optional assignment (40%) + exam (60%), otherwise you do a 100% exam. For the optional assignment, you are free to choose your own research topic (subject to approval by Adam), provided it has some relevance to the topics covered by this subject. This is a good chance for you to do some research into an area of human rights you are passionate about! Some of the topics approved in 2012 included offshore processing of refugees, abortion, environmental rights, humanitarian interventions, ASIO assessments and the right to a fair trial, and freedom of religion.

Recorded Lectures: Yes, with video capture

Past exams available: Yes, on the library database

Textbook Recommendation: Prescribed textbook is very good for getting more detail on the stuff talked about in lectures. The lecturer is one of the authors, so he sticks quite closely to what the textbook covers.

Lecturer(s): Adam McBeth

Year & Semester of completion: 2013 semester 1

Rating: 5/5

Comments: This is one of the very few law subjects I genuinely enjoyed. It is less intense (in my opinion anyway) than the compulsory law subjects in the sense that it is more policy-based and open-ended, and there have been many interesting discussions in lectures because of the nature of the subject.

The course focuses generally on the two primary international human rights treaties (ICCPR and ICESCR), but we do go into some depth (that is, looking into some of the international jurisprudence) on some of the specific civil and political rights, such as the right to life and the obligation on states to avoid discrimination. NB: the right to life case studies are about the death penalty, not abortion (if abortion is something that you're not comfortable discussing etc). You'll also learn about the limits on these rights and how the UN enforces them.

We also cover regional human rights systems, Australia's international human rights record (spoiler alert: our record on refugees is atrocious) and the relationship between human rights and terrorism. Recently (May 2013) the optional protocol for the ICESCR (treaty for economic, social and cultural rights) came into effect, which allows individuals to make complaints about states. So if you're studying this in 2014 or beyond, you'll hopefully get to see some interesting jurisprudence about that treaty as well. Unfortunately for us, we only really had the ICCPR-related (treaty for civil and political rights) decisions.

Finally, there is some discussion about the expanding scope of human rights - does it cover environmental rights? The rights of animals? Future generations? What are the obligations of non-state actors like corporations?

Adam himself is very knowledgeable, obviously, considering he wrote the textbook :P

I highly recommend this subject to anyone who is interested in human rights law.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2014, 03:37:52 pm by ninwa »
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Re: Monash University - Subject reviews & ratings
« Reply #82 on: June 18, 2013, 10:12:54 am »
+8
Subject Code/Name: LAW5216 - Professional Practice 512

Workload:
This unit is run in 17-week blocks:
- Compulsory half-day (9am to 12:30pm) legal service session every week (this is where clients come into the service. You will be required to interview them and provide legal advice if necessary).
- Compulsory seminar (approx 2 hours) every week for the first 10 weeks. The service invites guest "lecturers" (including lawyers from other community legal centres, social workers and other professionals). You will learn about dealing with the most commonly encountered client matters, such as motor vehicle accidents, divorces/domestic issues, and basic criminal procedure.

The remainder of the time is spent on working at the legal service. Your time commitment will really depend on your caseload. The supervisors generally expect you to be at the service at least one other full day in addition to your legal service session, but I've had weeks where I've only needed to come in 2 days and other weeks where I was there 9am-6pm the entire week because I had so much to do.

You are expected to prioritise your prof prac work over any other academic commitments, such as lectures/tutes etc.

Assessment:
- 60% legal service work (interviewing, paperwork, court appearances if applicable)
- 20% "community engagement" - you will get a choice of activities. In my intake, this included working with troubled youth and updating the Lawyers Practice Manual.
- 20% "written assignment" - every fortnight you are required to write a reflective journal, which is pretty much a diary where you talk about how the subject makes you feel and then your supervisor reads it and discusses your feelings with you (seriously)

Recorded Lectures: No lectures, the seminars aren't recorded.

Past exams available: No exams.

Textbook Recommendation: No textbooks unless you feel like forking out $2000 to buy a Lawyers Practice Manual (I'm being facetious, please don't do this you don't need it)

Lecturer(s): No lecturers, you'll be assigned a supervisor who will be one of the solicitors at the legal service (either Monash Oakleigh or Springvale)

Year & Semester of completion: 2012-13 summer semester

Rating: 5 billion out of 5

Comments:
What this subject actually entails:
You are assigned to either the Monash-Oakleigh Legal Service (MOLS) or the Springvale-Monash Legal Service (SMLS).

The services have either opening hours where clients can drop in for legal advice (Springvale) or make an appointment for legal advice (Oakleigh). You are assigned to one of those sessions (at Springvale they were 9:30-12:30 every morning except Friday) along with about 4-5 other students and a supervising solicitor. From here I will only be speaking for SMLS since I have no experience of MOLS.

During the sessions, clients will come in. You will first do a conflict check using the CLSIS system, which basically involves you taking their name and the names of any other person involved in their matter, entering it into the system, and checking to see if the service has advised any other parties to the matter. If it has, this creates a conflict of interest and the service is NOT allowed to assist them. You will have to tell them to seek advice elsewhere.

If there is no conflict, then you will interview them to find out what their legal issue is. This can be frustrating because clients generally do not know how to only give you the salient legal details - you will need to know what questions to ask and how to stop them from going off on tangents, or you'll end up there for 3 hours listening to their life story. For some clients, this will also require you to use the services of a telephone interpreter. Many clients who come to the service speak very little English.

Then, you will speak to your supervising solicitor, telling them what the issue is (hopefully in a succinct and clear manner). Your supervisor will then tell you what legal advice to give the client. If it's just a minor issue they can sort out themselves then you will tell them what to do. If it's a more complicated matter (but not so complicated that the client will need to engage a private lawyer), the service may agree to take the client.

If a client's matter is taken on by the service, the file is assigned to one of the students. If you are assigned a file, from that point you are pretty much responsible for handling that case (though obviously you can always approach your supervisor for help). Handling files may involve paperwork like completing divorce applications or wills, as well as things like speaking to police, contacting government departments/agencies, and speaking to the other parties in the matter (e.g. one of my friends spent weeks trying to get in touch with the uncooperative spouse who just refused to accept that her husband wanted a divorce).

Generally, the supervisors will try to assign files so that you get a range of matters to deal with. Some of the stuff I handled included a will, power of attorney for a dying client, motor vehicle accident, theft (which I appeared in court for), body corporate disputes in VCAT, divorces, a debt matter, and a restraining order application.

If you are lucky enough to get a client who has to show up to court for a relatively minor offence (e.g. minor theft, divorce hearing, drink driving), you may be able to present a plea-in-mitigation for them in court as a barrister would. This will always be at the Magistrates' Court (no student would be allowed to present at a higher court). A supervising barrister will be present and ready to step in if you make a major screw up, but otherwise he/she is out of the picture and you are expected handle everything yourself in court.

This is an AMAZING experience - JUMP at it if you get the chance! I got some first-hand experience of court processes and received some fantastic advice from my supervising barristers (you generally only have one, I had two because the matter got adjourned and the first barrister couldn't make it to the second hearing) and the magistrate as well. It is not as scary as it sounds - apparently my magistrate had a reputation for being a hardass in court, but as soon as I sought leave to appear as a student I could see her demeanour change and everyone - the judge, the prosecution policemen, the court staff - was immensely supportive and encouraging.

I loved this subject and so did most people. I learned so much about running a client file - stuff you'll never learn in law school. And you also grow as a person, I think. Personally I learned to be more assertive - after dealing with abusive clients and incompetent police/govt departments, you kind of have to be or your matter will never be taken seriously! Not to mention, of course, that if you get to do a plea you'll have the chance to work with a barrister and pick their brain. I got a lot of "inside" knowledge about what to expect if you want to be a barrister this way.

If you are considering becoming a lawyer and want a taste of what it may entail, this is the subject for you.

It's worth 12 credit points, not 6, but this is for a reason - it is quite a heavy workload and I would not advise doing more than 2 law subjects alongside it. The supervisors will not take kindly to you leaving your work undone because you had an unrecorded lecture to go to! You WILL be expected to prioritise your prof prac work over everything else.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2014, 03:39:04 pm by ninwa »
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Re: Monash University - Subject reviews & ratings
« Reply #83 on: June 18, 2013, 03:17:58 pm »
+5
Subject Code/Name: BMS1011 - Biomedical Chemistry

Workload:
  • 3 x 1hr lectures
  • 1 x 3hr tute

Assessment:
  • 25% SGS (small group sessions (tutes)) and SDL (self-directed learning exercises)
  • 15% mid-semester test
  • 60% exam

Recorded Lectures:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available:  No, but practice questions are available on Moodle prior to the exam.

Textbook Recommendation:
  • Introduction to Organic Chemistry - Brown and Poon
  • Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry, 6th Edition - Nelson & Cox
  • Molecular Biology of the Cell, 5th Edition - Alberts et al.
None of these are absolutely critical, but Lehninger and MBOTC are extremely good texts and will be used in later units.

Lecturer(s):
  • Professor Patrick Perlmutter (Section A)
  • Professor Rob Pike (Section B)
  • Associate Professor Jackie Wilce (Sections C and D)

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1, 2013

Rating:  3.7/5

Your Mark/Grade: D

Comments: This is a good unit, pretty interesting and full of content. There is a lot to know, but assessment is done fairly and simply, so it's quite easy to score well. Tutorials are long, but often finish very early and you can usually leave as soon as you complete your work.

The unit is split into four sections:

Section A - Biological Chemistry
    • Water -  its role in biological systems and as a solvent, the structure of water, acid-base equilibria, acid and base strength, indicators, buffer solutions.
    • Functional groups - functional groups in biologically active molecules, structures of alkanes, cycloalkanes, sources of alkanes, structure of alkenes, physical properties of alkenes, naturally occurring alkanes and alkenes, structure of alcohols, aldehydes and ketones and their physical properties, structure of carboxylic acids and their functional derivatives (esters and amides).
    • Isomerism - constitutional isomers, chirality, molecules with more than one chiral centre, properties of stereoisomers, optical activity, the significance of chirality in the biological world, chiral drugs.
    • Organic chemistry of metabolism - oxidation and reduction, (Alcohols → Aldehydes/(Ketones) - Carboxylic acids, NAD+ → NADH), reduction (Ketones → Alcohols, Pyruvate → Lactate), dehydrogenation (Alkanes → Alkenes, oxidation of fatty acids), hydrolysis (Esters → Acids, ATP→ ADP).
    • Carbohydrates - monosaccharides, physical properties, cyclic structure of monosaccharides, disaccharides and polysaccharides.
    • Lipids - fatty acids and glycerol, triacylglycerols, effect of structure on the physical properties of triglycerides, soaps and detergents.
    • Amino acids and peptides - amino acids, chemical properties, ionisation, peptide bonds.
    • Peptide and protein structure - polypeptides and proteins, primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary structure, proteins as biological polymers, protein composition.

Section B - Enzymes: Structure & Mechanism of Action
  • Enzyme catalysis and classes of enzyme-catalysed reactions, mechanism of enzyme action.
  • Enzyme-substrate complexes, active sites, substrate binding and enzyme specificity.
  • Enzyme kinetics, enzyme inhibition, zymogens and isozymes, Michaelis-Menten equation, competitive and non-competitive inhibition.

Section C - Metabolic Release of Energy - the Body's Power Supply
  • ATP the energy currency of the cell - introduction to metabolism, bioenergetics and thermodynamics, phosphoryl group transfers and ATP, biological oxidation-reduction reactions.
  • Oxidation of dietary carbohydrates - digestion and fate of dietary carbohydrates in mammals, the glycolytic pathway for conversion of glucose to pyruvate, oxygen dependent conversion of pyruvate to acetyl CoA, anaerobic production of lactate, mobilisation of glycogen to glucose 6-phosphate, glucose 6-phosphate as precursor for glycolysis and of pathways for the synthesis of glucose, role of glucose 6-phosphatase in maintaining blood glucose levels.
  • Oxidation of dietary lipids - digestion, absorption and storage of triacyglerols, mobilisation and metabolism of fats in liver, adipose tissue and muscle, transport of free fatty acids into mitochondria, reactions for the conversion of saturated fatty acids to acetyl CoA, formation of ketone bodies.
  • How the cell produces its energy - citric acid cycle, no net synthesis of oxaloacetate from acetyl CoA, ATP yield from oxidation of acetyl CoA in the CAC cycle, metabolic poisons (malonate, fluorocitrate), oxidative phosphorylation, NADH/FADH/cytochromes, sites of coupling in the electron transport chain, uncouplers, inhibitors, energetics of carbohydrate and fatty acid oxidation.

Synthesis of Macromolecules
  • Synthesis of carbohydrates - gluconeogenesis and regulation of blood glucose, synthesis of glucose by gluconeogenesis, relationship of gluconeogenesis and glycolysis.
  • Substrates for gluconeogenesis - lactate (Cori cycle), pyruvate (glucose-alanine cycle), amino acids (protein digestion; muscles) and glycerol.
  • Glycogen synthesis - role of UDP-glucose, glycogen synthase and glycogenin.
  • Synthesis of lipids - fatty acid synthesis, palmitic acid, the malate shuttle as a source of NADPH for fatty acid synthesis, the pentose phosphate pathway as a source of NADPH for fatty acid synthesis and ribose for nucleic acid synthesis, ketogenesis and role of ketone bodies in long-term starvation.
  • The Big Picture of metabolism - tissue specific metabolism

Section A is covered by the mid-semester test, and is therefore NOT on the exam.

The exam consists of 75 multiple choice questions, and is 3 hours long.

All lecturers are of extremely high quality, and are very enjoyable to listen to. All present their material in a very effective manner.[/list]
« Last Edit: July 17, 2014, 04:23:46 am by alondouek »
2013-2016
Majoring in Genetics and Developmental Biology

2012 ATAR: 96.55
English [48] Biology [40]

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Re: Monash University - Subject reviews & ratings
« Reply #84 on: June 19, 2013, 02:31:31 am »
+6
Subject Code/Name: LAW3101 - Administrative Law 306

Workload:  3 hours of lectures per week + 1 hour tutorial every second week.

Assessment:  Examination with optional assignment (worth 40% in my year)

Recorded Lectures:  Yes, with/without screen capture

Past exams available:  Yes - but due to the nature of the subject it is difficult to do more than 1-2 past exams.

Textbook Recommendation: Control of Government Action by Creyke and McMillan (prescribed)

Lecturer(s): Changes each year.

Year & Semester of completion: 2013 sem 1

Rating:  4 out of 5

Comments: A lot of people find this subject boring but honestly I thought it was really interesting and fairly straightforward. The crux of the course involves challenging decisions of the executive and involves a lot of political tussling between the Courts and the Executive, which leads to some interesting policy issues. The course is structured a little bit back to front but ultimately you will learn about the main steps for seeking judicial or merits review of administrative decisions (e.g. decisions made by government bodies and specialist tribunals such as the Refugee Review Tribunal). It is more interesting than it sounds.

The exam involves a lot of statutory interpretation and will require you to read up on a short piece of legislation beforehand. Make sure you know it back to front before going into the exam. Unfortunately, because each exam is tailored to its particular legislation, it is difficult to do practice exams (as you won't have the legislation from those years).

Finally if you are interested in administrative law then I recommend taking part in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal moot which will give you practical insight into how merits review is conducted. It is also a very well run competition.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 12:07:05 am by alondouek »

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Re: Monash University - Subject reviews & ratings
« Reply #85 on: June 19, 2013, 02:53:55 am »
+7
Subject Code/Name: LAW5147 - Intellectual property II: Patents, Trade Marks and Unfair Competition 506

Workload:  3 hours of lectures per week.

Assessment:  Examination with optional assignment

Recorded Lectures:  No, but the lectures are based heavily on the textbook which the lecturer co-authored

Past exams available:  Yes - but due to the nature of the subject it is difficult to do more than 1-2 past exams.

Textbook Recommendation: Australian Intellectual Property Law by Davison, Monotti and Wiseman (also used for Intellectual Property I)

Lecturer(s): Ann Monotti

Year & Semester of completion: 2013 sem 1

Rating:  3.5/5

Comments: This subject is divided into two parts. The first 6-7 weeks covers patents (including the requirements for a valid patent + infringement of patents). The rest of the course covers trademarks (including the tort of passing off). Patents can be a little confusing to begin with because there are a lot of technical legal terms that you will need to get use to. Once you get the hang of it is is not too bad. Trademarks and passing off are more straightforward but can be a little confusing here and there.

There is actually not that much content in the course (as an indicator, my exam notes were only 14 pages). The exam requires a lot more factual analysis than other subjects, and less reciting legal principles (which is great IMO). Before the exam, you will be given a sample 'patent specification' along with some 'prior art' (see what I mean about terminology!) which you will need to study for the patents section of the exam. There is also a bit of policy. Policy doesn't feature that heavily in the course but during the first few weeks you will look at 'patentable subject matter' which is pretty topical with things like gene patenting and such.

Lectures move through the material quite quickly which can make it a bit difficult to follow along. The first few weeks will be the most confusing, but once you get on top of it it isn't too bad. Occasionally you will have guest lecturers who are typically legal practitioners in the IP industry. They can be a bit hit and miss.

Finally you don't have to have done IP I to do IP II as they each cover different topics (IP I is more about copyright and registered designs).
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 12:08:49 am by alondouek »

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Re: Monash University - Subject reviews & ratings
« Reply #86 on: June 19, 2013, 03:12:57 am »
+6
Subject Code/Name: LAW5162 - Cyberlaw

Workload:  3 hours of lectures per week.

Assessment:  Examination with optional assignment

Recorded Lectures:  Yes with video capture

Past exams available:  Yes (roughly 2-3 available)

Textbook Recommendation: No prescribed textbook. The reading guide lists Internet and E-Commerce Law by Fitzgerald but I never used it all semester.

Lecturer(s): David Lindsay

Year & Semester of completion: 2013 sem 1

Rating:  3/5

Comments: So. Much. Content. This subject is HUGE - easily one of the biggest subjects I have done content wise. The subject covers the following topics: theories of internet governance, the domain name system, establishing jurisdiction, e-contracting, content regulation and classification, privacy and spam, trademarks and passing off, intermediary liability for copyright infringement, internet defamation and cyber-bullying and sexting (this last topic was cut my semester because of time constraints). Each topic has 100+ slides. Should give you an indication just ow huge this course is.

It helps (but is not strictly necessary) to have done/be doing the following subjects when doing this subject: Contracts, Equity, Civil Procedure, Media Law, IP I and II. It also helps if you have some basic understanding of computers and how the internet works (this is covered in the introductory lectures but it can be very technical if you don't know much about IT).

IMO this subject tries to squeeze too much in and as a consequence, lectures move ridiculously fast and I found it very hard to follow along in some topics. Topics range from the more philosophical (internet regulation), to understanding extremely complicated statutory schemes (content regulation), to understanding technical/political aspects of the internet (DNS Governance) and you will also learn a bit of comparative law (for instance, you learn a bit of US law here and there). The mix between content and policy is reflected in the exam, which has a 40% policy component if you don't do the optional assignment. I found these policy questions to be quite specific and challenging.

That said, some topics are really interesting, particularly intermediary liability which deals with issues such as whether ISPs should be liable for copyright infringement by their customers. You will learn about pretty recent cases such as the iiNet case and the Google Adwords case.

Overall a difficult subject but some parts near the end are quite interesting.

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Re: Monash University - Subject reviews & ratings
« Reply #87 on: June 21, 2013, 11:25:15 pm »
+6
Subject Code/Name: CHM2911 - Synthetic Chemistry I 

Workload: 
  • 3x 1 hour lectures
  • 1x 1 hour tutorial (not compulsory)
  • 1x 4 hour lab

Assessment: 
  • Lab work - 30% (hurdle - must be passed)
  • End of Semester Exam - 70%

Recorded Lectures:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:  A few, but no solutions manual

Textbook Recommendation: 

  • Organic Chemistry by Clayden et al - highly recommend, has great diagrams and explanations
  • Inorganic Chemistry by Horace et al - used it from the library, useful in its own way, but buy only if you want to continue on with inorganic chemistry

Lecturer(s):
  • Professor Leone Spiccia (Inorganic Chemistry)
  • Professor Cameron Jones (Organometallic Chemistry)
  • Dr. Kellie Tuck (Organic Chemistry)
  • Dr. Brendan Wilkinson (Carbonyl Chemistry)

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1, 2013

Rating:  4.5/5

Your Mark/Grade: 86 HD

Comments:
  • Overall, a really interesting unit if you enjoy Chemistry - brings together lots of different parts of Chemistry and interlinks them at many points
  • The lecturers were decent, two of them were lecturing for the first time, did good jobs
  • Tutes can be useful, especially when the lecturer goes through problems on the board instead of having tutors roaming about
  • Labs are quite interesting, and we still have proformas, much better than writing lab reports
  • Inorganic carries a lot from first year. Organometallic would be the truly new section (I hated it). Organic is pretty much first year, extended by a bit, more in-depth. Carbonyl chemistry is also a major extension of the basic concepts from first year
  • Inorganic Chemistry consists of the usual - looking at transition metals, ligands, crystal field theory, bonding, UV-spec and some applications
  • Organometallic Chemistry introduces stuff like back bonding and alkene complexes, 18 electron rule, basically links a bit of inorganic with organic
  • Organic Chemistry is your standard nucleophilic substitution, elimination, addition, etc reactions, as well as a look at some bonding stuff and carbocations, etc
  • Carbonyl chemistry consists of pretty much a bit of everything related to carbonyl compounds (ketones, aldehydes, esters, etc), their properties, their synthesis, etc. Also included is pericyclic chemistry and aromatic chemistry
  • If you enjoy Chemistry in any form or shape, go for it! You won't regret it! ^-^
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 12:10:21 am by alondouek »



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Re: Monash University - Subject reviews & ratings
« Reply #88 on: June 22, 2013, 01:16:52 am »
+6
Subject Code/Name: PSY1011 - Psychology 1A 

Workload:  1 x 2 hour lecture, 1 x 1 hour "lab" per week.

Assessment: 
  • 5 x 2.5% lecture preparation quizzes. Can pretty much skim the recommended readings and smash these; very simple/free marks.
  • Critical Thinking Exercise 1, 15%, 1500 words.
  • Critcial Thinking Exercise 2, 15%, 1500 words.
  • 5 x Class Participation Exercises, 7.5% -- (but there are 6 exercises in total, meaning you can miss one. Each one is worth 1.5% obvs) - pretty sure you just have to turn up and talk a little. Free marks.
  • Research Participation Assignment, 300 words, 2.5%, very simple/free marks.
  • Exam, 50%, not a hurdle requirement. I found the difficulty slightly above VCAA standard, but not as skillfully written as VCAA if that makes sense. Stalkerspace post crying about how hard the exam was So, I didn't find it too difficult, if you've some experience with multi-choice exams it was a pretty chilled time.

Recorded Lectures:  Yes, I think with screen capture.

Past exams available:  Nope, but there's this thing called 'MyPsychLab' which generates multi-choice questions for you. I can't attest to how good it is 'cause I never used it (there's a code in the back of the textbook to redeem and I just borrowed the textbook).

Textbook Recommendation:  If you want to do well in the exam, you should probably get the compulsory Lillienfield textbook. If you took Psych Units 1-4 in VCE, you could probably skate through pretty nicely on lecture slides or something like that. If you have never done any Psych before... I probably wouldn't recommend winging it.
There is also a text that is referred to as "Findlay" which is quite useful for the written assignments they want you to hand n. Has how to reference, what font to use, what size to use, how to structure and whatever. If you wanted very high marks, get it. If you just want solid marks, you could probably navigate with your common sense and any sample-assignments provided by the lecturer and still get pretty good marks. In sum: If you want brilliant marks, get both Lillienfield and Findlay. If you don't give a fuck and you've taken VCE Psych, you could probably get away with not having either. If you don't give a fuck and you haven't taken VCE Psych, you'll probs fail.
Edit: If you're going to minor in Psych, get Findlay, because it's pretty cheap and I've got a friend in second year who's still using it, so it'll pay for itself. I also think the Lillienfield textbook might be used in second semester, but I'll come back and let you know.
Lecturer(s): Did not attend lectures (8am, good joke) or listen to majority of recordings, so, not sure.

Year & Semester of completion: 2013, Semester 1.

Rating:  2/5

Your Mark/Grade: TBA 88

Comments:
  • As you can see, this unit was not my favourite of units, but I will try to be somewhat objective ;)
  • The Critical Thinking Exercise assessments were incredibly frustrating and ambiguous. The Moodle forum discussion seriously skyrocketed close to the due date for these assessments because no one knew what they were supposed to do, what the goal of the assessment was, etc. I should note: This is not me being subjective, they really are relatively ambiguous. That being said, I think one of my tutors hinted at me that they made it ambiguous deliberately to see how well we could 'think critically' without any sort of instruction, and marked it simply due to this. They really do mark it simply. For both tasks I wrote 1,500 words of well written, well punctuated, expressive bullshit and got full marks back for both  - and I STILL can't tell you what the fuck you're supposed to do on those assessments. Those assessments will forever remain one of life's major mysteries for me. That being said - in defence of this unit, some people DID need to learn how to think critically. Some people scored very low on the assessments despite putting effort in, so I can only assume that teaching people how to 'think critically' is a priority, despite it being ridiculously redundant for people that already think critically.
  • The content is somewhat interesting but I was slightly disengaged with this unit. Without SACs to study for, regular study of the material just didn't happen, and the assessments in no way, shape, or form, related to the content. I'm not being subjective here; the CT Exercises weren't do to with the content, nor were the labs, but the quizzes did assess the content. And, well, obviously the exam did, too. The content should hold your attention enough, I'd say, if you don't get frustrated by the unit or let your study fall behind. In hindsight, I would have enjoyed myself more if I studied a bit more instead of covering half the unit in SWOTVAC lol.
  • The labs are worth going to for the marks but I can't really remember anything I did in the labs that were useful. Mostly I did drawings and ensured I was very outspoken when I knew the participation exercises were going on. Even the participation exercises were more like... chat with your group and then bullshit answers when the tutor asks you. So yeah, I think there is a document somewhere that tells you what participation exercises correspond to what week - so if you can identify the labs without the participation exercises, you're definitely okay to skip those labs.
  • The exam was 100 multi-choice questions in 2 hours. Many people finished early and waltzed on out of there. I think they were very generous in making it only multi-choic, and very generous in making it not a hurdle requirement. What I did to study was download the examinable key words, then I went through the textbook typing the definitions into the document with the keywords. I guess this could be potentially dangerous to your score because you might not understand the concepts at all if you're just defining shit but -- I think a lot of the key words made up the exam. Otherwise there was a few curveball questions where I was like "Where the fuck did that come from?" which I think would come from the examinable readings they upload onto Moodle that no one reads. (Well, I can only assume no one would bother, but some might I suppose). In sum, be grateful that the exam is how it is, even though some people were whinging about it.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 12:10:41 am by alondouek »
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Re: Monash University - Subject reviews & ratings
« Reply #89 on: June 24, 2013, 10:58:12 am »
+6
Subject Code/Name: ATS2547 - Cities and Sustainability 

Workload:  2X 1 hr lectures per week, plus 1 weekly hour long tutorial

Assessment: 
participation -- 5
field trip -- 15
tute presentation -- 20
major essay -- 30
exam -- 30

Recorded Lectures:  yep, with screen capture. Stephen Legg likes to ramble though, so expect to miss the last few minutes of each lecture if you listen to them exclusively online.

Past exams available:  In the exams database. You need to look for 'Cities and Sustainability', not the unit code.

Textbook Recommendation:  None. Some readings, which I didn't do.

Lecturer(s): Stephen Legg

Year & Semester of completion: 2013 sem 1

Rating: 3.5/5

Your Mark/Grade: HD

Comments: Walk in the park if you are a geography student. The content itself was interesting enough, if you are into environmental issues and stuff like that. The assessments are generally easy marks, as long as you spend a little time doing the work before hand. Field trip is optional, if you don't go on it you have to do some alternate report, but I'd recommend going on it, the fieldtrip is only 1 day long and cost about 30 dollars. The major essay wasn't due til week 10 but I knocked mine out over the course of a few days, research and all during the Easter break so I could forget about it, and still got an easy D+. Having good writing skills is a prerequisite for doing well in this subject, you will be writing a fair few essays, and the exam is basically just 3 essays in 2 hours. The beauty about Geography is that even though it's a 'science' subject too, you can walk into the exam knowing that you've already passed.

Lectures were okay, when I went to them but I didnt find myself taking many notes. You can easily get away with not going to them because the slides have a lot of writing on them. Tutes were quite fun, but I think I was just lucky cause I had a good tute group. During the tutes you basically all take turns giving a presentation, and you get your participation marks by turning up to most of them and asking relevant questions/making relevant statements etc. I guess I'd recommend this unit if you are interested in Geography at all. It was pretty easy.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 12:10:56 am by alondouek »
VCE 2010 | BA/BSc, MTeach (both Monash)

Current teacher of VCE maths