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ninwa

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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #240 on: September 20, 2014, 08:23:48 pm »
+9
Subject Code/Name: LAW7019 - European Union law and policy
Please note that this is a JD/LLM elective. The undergraduate equivalent is LAW4161 - Introduction to European Union law 406. Judging from the handbook descriptions, the postgrad and undergrad units cover substantially the same topics, but I can't guarantee that everything in this review is relevant. The assessments are obviously different as well.

For information on how you can study postgraduate law subjects as an undergraduate student please see the bottom of this post.*

Workload: Intensive - 9am to 4pm for 4 days.

Assessment: (NB: the unit handbook is wrong on this)
- Take-home exam: 1,000 words with 10% leeway, worth 20%
--- Not the usual law exam - there are no fact scenarios to apply legal principles to - rather, you are required to write an essay on the basis of a statement.
This year it was: "EULEX has a lot of work ahead of it to prepare Kosovo for EU membership. In particular, we need to train Supreme Court judges and staff so that they are familiar with the Union Acquis, for they are the ones that will be ensuring it is applied in Kosovo."

- Research assignment (case note): 3,500 words with 10% leeway, worth 80%
--- Case note on a significant, recent European Court of Justice case of your choice. You are required to provide a summary of the facts of the case, including the Advocate-General opinion where relevant, followed by an analysis of the legal issues and their relevance in the context of European Union law (e.g. whether the case has now settled the law in that area).

Recorded Lectures: No

Past exams available: No

Textbook Recommendation:
No prescribed textbooks. The reading guide is 119 pages long because it is actually the course notes, rather than a guide to what to read. The classes are simply intended to be elaborations on those notes, so if you want to get the most out of the classes, then read the notes beforehand.

If you want further information on any particular topic(s), The ABC of European Union law by Professor Klaus-Dieter Borchardt is very good. You can download a soft copy for free from that link.

Lecturer(s): Professor Geert Van Calster

Year & Semester of completion: 2014, term 3

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Comments:
Lecturer
It really pains me to say bad things about Geert because he is such a nice person. As a European Union lawyer, he also has a lot of practical experience, and often will go on tangents about actual EU court of justice cases that he defended, which is really cool. He also speaks like 6 languages fluently *fangirl squeals* However, the structure of the classes left a lot to be desired. He does not use Powerpoint slides and does not appear to use any notes while lecturing. Some lecturers can manage this fine, but he would wander off on tangents, or jump between topics in a very confusing way. I struggled to follow him sometimes and judging from conversations with my classmates, I was not the only one. Thankfully the notes provided in the reading guide and the "ABC of EU Law" book were good supplements.

Subject content
For me, this subject was too humanities-like. It felt more like a course in international studies or politics or history than a law subject. Most of the people in my class were Masters of International Business (or something like that) students rather than law students, which meant Geert actively veered away from the really legalistic topics (i.e. he actually said that that is what he would do). However, it is probably different in the undergraduate version of this subject.

The topics covered included:
- Basic constitutional framework of the EU, both current and historic
- EU institutions, decision-making process and legal instruments
- Division of competences (i.e. where the EU can legislate) between the EU and member states
- Primacy and direct effect
- Judicial protection in the EU i.e. the courts

Some people enjoy looking at the politics/history side of things and if you do, you'll probably love this subject! I just personally prefer subjects with a little bit more actual legal relevance. The only really law-related stuff I did was in my case note and very little of that was actually taught in class. I would have liked to have delved more deeply into some of the more important EU court of justice cases, for example.

On another note, this was my final subject and also the highest mark I've ever received in a law subject, so it's nice to end my degree on a high, even if I didn't like the subject that much :P



*Monash offers a Master of Laws Elective Program for undergraduate students, whereby you can take up to two electives from the JD or LLM course. You will study at Monash's city campus for JD students, which is right next to the County Court and is seriously so much prettier than Clayton. The classes are much smaller - 15 to 20 maximum - which means it's a lot more interactive. Some of the postgrad lecturers are really great and have amazing credentials. I also found that a lot of my classmates were older students who had already had years of experience in various fields and so could make really interesting contributions to class discussions - some of them were international or top tier Australian lawyers, for example. I highly recommend you take up this opportunity if you have the chance!
« Last Edit: September 20, 2014, 08:28:32 pm by ninwa »
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keltingmeith

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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #241 on: October 29, 2014, 03:57:54 pm »
+7
Subject Code/Name: MTH2222 - Mathematics of Uncertainty (note: I suggest reading this in tandem with my review for MTH2232, here)

Workload (per week):
  • 3x1 Hour Lectures
  • 1x2 Hour Support Class
Assessment:
  • Weekly Homework (12%)
  • 3 Assignments (12% all up)
  • Mid-semester Test (6%)
  • Examination (70%)
Recorded Lectures: No - however, this was due to the lack of equipment in S14, not because Kais is against recording lectures.

Past exams available: Yes, 2 exams provided with solutions

Textbook Recommendation: Introduction to Probability 2ed, Bertsekas D & Tsitsiklis J (Recommended)
Personally, I didn't use it, I didn't think it was that great a resource. However, my tutor loved it and had it with him every tutorial.

Lecturer(s):
  • Daniel Tokarev
  • Kais Hamza
Daniel was alright, however it was obvious he was only a step-in while Kais was busy with work. He wasn't bad, he often went on completely irrelevant tangents (although they were interesting), but he's nowhere near as good as Kais (which is something he very much hinted at during our last lecture). He did put in a real effort, though, despite the fact he was only a step-in.

Kais was an AMAZING lecturer. He REALLY cares about you, and he works hard to help you understand the material. He's my favourite lecturer so far into my university experience, and for good reason.

Year & Semester of completion: 2014, Semester 2

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 82, HD

Comments: This is your basic Introduction to Probability unit, and can be separated into 5 different topics which I'm going to go over:

1. Basics of Probability
Most of this chapter isn't really assessed (one question on the both the mid-sem and exam, one or two questions on the first assignment), however it covers extremely important concepts. You go over Kolmogorov's axioms, which is the basis of probability theory, and learn some important notation along with De Morgan's laws. The most important part of this section, though, is the law of total probability and Bayes' Law. LTP will come up again in future problems, Bayes' Law is just an important thing. Basic conditioning is also covered. This first section is very similar to what you'll have seen from your high school probability days.

2. Discrete Distributions
This chapter is all about common discrete distributions (from methods, you may remember binomial), including Bernoulli, binomial, Poisson, geometric and discrete uniform. You go over the PMFs of the distributions, what makes them a valid PMF (in reference to the axioms), and derive their means and variances through various methods. You also learn about basic concepts that can be applied to all distributions (such as moments, variance, etc.).

3. Continuous Distributions
This chapter extends our knowledge into continuous distributions. You cover much more in this case, including continuous uniform, exponential, gamma (including the gamma function) and normal. Once again, you learn about the PDF and what makes them valid PDFs, and look at their CDFs. After this, you extend your knowledge into joint distributions (also applying this knowledge to discrete distributions), and look at conditional distributions.

4. Further Topics
This is where you no longer expand on year 12 knowledge, and instead learn all new material. Important topics include transformation of distributions (for example, ), and combining distributions (for example, ). The latter you look at through the use of Moment Generating Functions (MGFs) and by convolution. You also look at the application of MGFs to find any moment of a distribution (the th moment of is defined as ). Conditioning is also explored in more depth, including a proper look at the law of total expectation and law of total variance (which are introduced in topics 2 and 3). You also explore the idea of the bivariate normal distribution, and then extend this into the multivariate normal distribution.

5. Limit Theorems
This part of the course is very analytical - if you've done Real Analysis, you may find it helpful. However, having only done 1030 before this (I did do 1035, didn't understand most of the extra content...), I was able to understand the material fine. There are 5 laws you work with, each will be proven. Very little of this is assessed, just one question on the exam. The laws are,
  • Markov's Inequality
  • Chebyshev's Inequality
  • The Weak Law of Large Numbers
  • Central Limit Theorem
  • The Strong Law of Large Numbers
You also go over the idea of "convergence in probability" compared to "true convergence". Personally, I found this chapter very interesting, and the best part of the unit.

Chapters 1-3 seem very fiddly and tedious, however the assignments are super interesting which made up for it. Chapters 4 and 5 were easily the most interesting, however it makes sense that they are left to the end.

There are also a LOT of parallels between this unit and the first 4 weeks of MTH2232 - in fact, everything in the first 3 topics (And some in the fourth and fifth) will be seen in 2232 before you get to it in 2222. So, if you're considering a stats major/minor, I highly suggest doing them together.

The overall difficulty isn't that high, however the unit as a whole is not as interesting as MTH2232. If you're looking for a fun unit, do MTH2232, however if you want to go onto further stats units, do this one for obvious reasons. If you have to put either MTH2232 or MTH2222 off for a year, do this one. It's not as fun, but it'll be much easier for you when you get to MTH2232 having seen all this before.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2014, 06:16:49 pm by EulerFan101 »
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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #242 on: October 29, 2014, 04:49:14 pm »
+5
Subject Code/Name: ATS2869 – Political Philosophy

Workload:  1x1hr lecture, 1hr tute.

Assessment:
Weekly tute papers: (300 words, 50 words) worth 5% each for a total of 30%. You submit 8, only your best 6 count, so if you wanna take a gamble you can technically skip two weeks. And I guess if you're perfect, you can safely skip at least one.

Major essay (2500 words): This was a very lax sort of assessment task. You pick one topic from six topics, but if you like, you have the option to come up with your own topic that you’re interested in and just write on that. If you submitted it before a certain date, you got it back with feedback and you’re given a week to edit it in view of the feedback, resubmit it, and get a new grade formed from the average of your two submissions. Worth 70% of your grade.

Recorded Lectures:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:  No exam :)

Textbook Recommendation:  Unit reader is essential.

Lecturer(s): John Thrasher & Toby Handfield

Year & Semester of completion: 2014 Semester 2

Rating: 5 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: TBA

Comments:

I gave the least helpful SETU evaluation for this unit. Something to the effect of “I have absolutely no complaints*** for this subject”. This is easily the best unit I’ve taken so far at Monash. It’s also the second subject run by Toby that I’ve taken, and I’m noticing some trends there. He cares a lot about pedagogy, and has a greater concern for the extent to which people learn the content than to the extent to which assessment tasks can be used to discern the good students from the great students. To this end, none of the assessment in this course was particularly challenging. Political Philosophy manages to be intellectually stimulating, while remaining juuust easy enough to keep you motivated throughout the semester. In the first week, the idea of weekly paper submissions sounded very demanding, but they were super short, marked extremely generously, and were a great way to keep you on your toes with the readings. In the 2nd year flavour at least, these papers were mostly expository, with the main criteria being your ability to express philosophical ideas with appropriate sophistication and language.

If it’s not clear enough from the unit description or guide (which, apparently, it wasn’t), this unit isn’t concerned with exploring the philosophical underpinnings of different political ideologies like conservatism or communism or authoritarianism. It seems some students were anticipating a type of hybrid polisci/philosophy unit. This isn’t the case, and while that sounds like an exciting subject, I think the actual content of this unit is far more interesting.

Pol Phil is mainly concerned with the question of how we ought to conceptualize “justice”. It was structured really well in this regard – we introduced some classical conceptions of liberal justice in week one, then got some quasi-economic tools to bring to contemporary perspectives on the matter. John Rawls (probably the main philosopher of the unit, like Peter Singer in ATS1371) comes in in week 3, then some feminist criticisms of Rawlsian justice, and then the idea of desert (pronounced like the culinary item, spelt like the arid geographic area, actually the noun form of deservingness) is introduced in opposition to Rawlsian egalitarianism. The unit then roughly shifts to a sort of desert V equality debate, which, in my opinion, is where the unit got really interesting. My essay was a defence of justice as desert, and I got a little obsessed, and haven't been able to stop thinking about it. Make my day, ask me about Rawls's metaphysical argument against desert.

I would definitely recommend this to any philosophy major, or, hell, anybody with a spare elective. Top unit.



***If I have one complaint, though, it’s this: for no apparent reason, ATS2869 does not constitute a Human Rights elective. In 2015 and 2013, it is a HR elective. In 2014, for whatever reason, it’s not. The third year flavour is, but ATS2869 is a bioethics elective (despite only having one week, sort of just tacked on at the end, that gives any sort of biological context to justice). Like I said, if you’re taking this up post-2014, this doesn’t apply to you at all. But yeah, bit annoying.

DisaFear

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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #243 on: October 31, 2014, 07:04:00 pm »
+5
Subject Code/Name: CHM3922 - Advanced Organic Chemistry

Workload:
  • 3x 1hr lectures
  • 1x 4hr laboratory
Assessment:
  • Laboratory reports - 30%
  • Mid-semester test - 23%
  • End of semester exam - 47%
Recorded Lectures:  Depends. Two of the three lecturers used screen capture, last lecturer used transparencies

Past exams available:  Yes, about 2-3 past exams available. Answers are not available

Textbook Recommendation:
  • Organic Chemistry by Clayden et al. - helped in second year and continues to be useful in third year, an amazing summary of what you need to know with colourful and helpful diagrams and tables
Lecturer(s):
  • Professor Steven Langford
  • Dr. Kellie Tuck
  • Assoc. Prof. David Lupton
Year & Semester of completion: 2014 Semester 2

Rating:  4.5/5

Your Mark/Grade: TBA

Comments:
  • This unit will give you a firm understanding of organic chemistry - many bits are a continuation of second year organic chemistry but it goes a notch higher
  • Langford talks about NMR, Electrophilic Aromatic Substitution, Nucleophilic Aromatic Substitution and Heterocycles. The mid-semester test is solely on his section and removes it from the final exam.
  • Tuck talks about reagents/conditions for chemoselectivity, regioselectivity and stereoselectivity with regards to reduction, oxidation and protecting groups. Conformational analysis and kinetic/thermodynamic control are discussed, alongside pericyclic reactions such as cycloadditions, sigmatropic rearrangements and electrocyclic reactions. Goodies thrown in include the Felkin-Anh model, Frontier Orbital theory and the Woodward-Hoffman rule
  • Lupton talks about everything catalysis - wherether biocatalysis, organometallic catalysis or anything else (When writing this review, I am not up to date with his section, so sorry ;) )
  • Labs in this unit were quite interesting, they do tie into the lecture material well
  • The lecturers themselves were great, they are the flagship of the organic chemists and really know what they're talking about. They will teach you something and then show you a paper that depicts that type of chemistry in action
  • Personally, I found Tuck's bit the most interesting - she goes into a lot of things that was not covered in second year, it explains 'why' a lot of things happen that we take for granted in second year
  • Revision lectures were provided during SWOTVAC too :)
  • Definitely recommend this unit if completing a chemistry major as it gives you a solid approach to organic chemistry which you may need for Honours or whatever you may do after graduating.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2014, 07:06:20 pm by DisaFear »



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BSc (Hons) @ Monash (Double major in Chemistry)

keltingmeith

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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #244 on: November 01, 2014, 11:30:13 pm »
+6
Subject Code/Name: MTH2232 - Mathematical Statistics (note: I suggest reading this in tandem with my review for MTH2222, here)

Workload:
  • 3x1 Hour Lectures
  • 1x2 Hour Tutorial
Assessment:
  • Weekly Homework (12%)
  • 3 Assignments (12% all up)
  • Mid-semester Test (6%)
  • Examination (70%)
Recorded Lectures:  Yes, with screen capture/blackboard recording.

Past exams available:  Yes, three available with solutions. However, one of these wasn't very relevant to the unit.

Textbook Recommendation: Probability & Statistical Inference 8ed PNIE, Hogg R (Recommended)
Honestly - I LOVED this textbook. I originally had it borrowed from the library, but I loved it so much that I actually went out and bought it. (Note, I got it off of fishpond for $60 as opposed to Monash's price of $116.51)

Lecturer(s):
  • Pavel Chigansky
  • Kais Hamza
Pavel was... Not my favourite lecturer, to say the least. He got sidetracked a lot early on, and so when we got to the end of week 4 he had to rush through all the content. Unfortunately, the content that he rushed through is the single most important content in the whole unit (NOT an understatement. You'll see why later)

Kais, I have nothing but love for. He felt we were so far behind at one point, he actually spent a whole week to consolidate information, cancelling the week's assessment. Seriously, he is an amazing man.

Year & Semester of completion: 2014, Semester 2

Rating: 5 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 90, HD
Don't let the higher mark than MTH2222 fool you - I would rate this as higher in difficulty. The marks only reflect how much more enjoyable I found this over MTH2222, rather than a reflection on difficulty.

Comments: This unit is (from what I could tell) actually very similar to STA1010. The reason for that is quite simple, though - STA1010 is a unit to teach statistical methods that are very useful for one in the sciences. MTH2232, however, is designed so that one can create these statistical tests. As such, a lot of the content is similar, however in MTH2232 you are expected to be able to derive any form of statistical test through what you've learned. Funnily enough, MTH2232 and STA1010 aren't prohibitions - means you can get a nice bludge if you do MTH2232 first. (and I do often help my friends with STA1010, so there is a lot of relevance). MTH2232 can be broken up into three sections, like so:

1. Probability
This section is a doozy - basically, to do statistical inference, you need to understand probability. This is because probability is the language of statistical inference. So, you spend the first four weeks in intense work, learning about all the necessary skills. It's basically 2/3 of the MTH2222 course condensed into four weeks - minus limit theorems (except Central Limit Theorem) and some of the bits from section 4. We also don't have the time to extend all the different techniques to the distributions we know as a result.

Something that is done, however, is we consider three "extra" distributions - the chi-squared distribution, which is a special case of the gamma distribution, and the F and t-distributions. The latter 2 just randomly pop up for no reason in chapter 5's content, however it makes sense very quickly why we considered them. There is a much heavier emphasis on the transformations of random variables in this unit.

Finally, the most important content of the whole unit is in section - often referred to as "chapter 5" (since this is where the content is in the textbook). This is no understatement, either - EVERYTHING you learn in chapter 5 is ESSENTIAL to later parts of the unit, whereas earlier chapters are only really necessary so that you can understand chapter 5 and play around with populations.

2. Statistical Tests
This is the bulk of the unit, and can be further separated into two parts - confidence intervals and hypothesis testing.

There's not really much else to say - you consider how to create confidence intervals using the content from chapter 5, and do this for a bunch of different cases. For means, variances, proportions, and you also consider the optimal sample sizes for different situations.

Hypothesis testing then extends on from confidence intervals, but you also consider hypothesis tests for other situations, such as when you have m different sets of n samples. (ANOVA tables)

The proofs from this section are often hard to follow, but nothing a good sit-down and looking at can't help.

3. Other things
I can't comment too much on this - Kais said he wanted to go over some "very nice" results from chapter 10 (the chapter is literally titled "Some Theory"), but we ran out of time. We did go over chi-squared tests, which are designed to check lots of different things. One thing they can do is check how well a distribution fits to a sample (which is why the tests are often called "chi-squared goodness-of-fit tests). These particular tests are based the multinomial distribution, which is some new theory to add on from section 1.

On the Exam...
One thing I wanted to highlight special is that this unit's exam is different to many other unit's exams. Firstly, you don't get a scientific calculator like in STA1010. Secondly, you're allowed a double sided summary sheet which you can take into the exam (we were also allowed this for the mid-sem). Thirdly, it's split up into two sections, but these two sections don't work like many other units. Unlike in most units, where it's a case of "here's the content from weeks 1-6, and here's the content from weeks 7-12". Rather, section A is a "Theory" section, in which you need to be able to derive your own statistical tests (as well as some minor probability questions, nothing like MTH2222 though), and section B is an "Application" section. Unlike in section A, for section B you're allowed to just blindly use formula without any explanation as to why (much like how I'd expect STA1010 to be).

In terms of MTH2222, the crossover was very nice. For the most part, it made MTH2222 a lot easier because I had already seen the material (I nearly started skipping lectures altogether for MTH2222 as a result, and sometimes did skip the lecture because I knew what was coming), but near the end it helped consolidate what I'd learned in MTH2232 (this was probably due to the rush at the end, though).

I found MTH2232 to be a lot more fun that MTH2222, however MTH2222 was obviously much more necessary for future probability/statistics units. Same advice from my other review if you're unsure of which to pick.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2014, 06:15:54 pm by EulerFan101 »
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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #245 on: November 14, 2014, 03:17:41 pm »
+5
Subject Code/Name: MED3062 - Medicine and Surgery 2

Workload: per week: varies between sites, you're expected to stay between 7-8am (former for surgery, latter for medicine) to 4-5pm each day giving a total of ~50 contact hours per week, whether you stay that whole time depends on how you study and what you want to get out of being on the wards. Each site usually has lectures on Wednesday and it varies between sites how many lectures there are. This is identical to MED3051.

Assessment: 70% Mini Case Records (MCRs - four summative in this unit), 30% Evidence Based Clinical Practice "Therapy" Task, attendance (80% hurdle), completion of online pathology quizzes (14 in all - hurdle), complete submission of portfolio (hurdle).

Recorded Lectures: No.

Past exams available: No, the Faculty has now published a document with threats to expel students from the course if they are caught compiling past questions or distributing or using past compilations. All past compilations have been removed from the MUMUS site. Many EMQ/MCQ books can substitute for official exams though.

Textbook Recommendation: (these are going to be a bit different to MED3051 as I discovered some better books ;))
  • Browse’s Introduction to the Symptoms and Signs of Surgical Disease 4th - Black, Browse, Burnand and Thomas
  • Clinical Examination A Systematic Guide 7th - O'Connor and Talley
  • Davidson's Principles and Practice of Medicine 22nd - Colledge, Ralston, Penman and Walker*
  • Examination Medicine A Guide to Physician Training 7th - O'Connor and Talley
  • Examination Surgery A Guide to Passing the Fellowship Examination in General Surgery 1st - Gladman and Young
  • Netter's Clinical Anatomy 2nd - Hansen
  • Oxford Handbook of Clinical Medicine 9th - Baldwin, Longmore, Wallin and Wilkinson
  • Robbins Basic Pathology 9th - Abbas, Aster and Kumar
  • The ECG Made Easy 8th - Hampton
  • Toronto Notes 2014 30th - Vojvodic and Young*
*Pick one depending on how keen or lazy you are, I don't feel a need to go into more high-power texts

I'd also recommend utilising UpToDate as much as possible.

Lecturer(s): Many, depending on the series of lecture (reproductive, haematology, neurology, psychiatry, pharmacology, pathology, etc.)

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2, 2014

Rating: 5/5

Comments:
So this unit follows on from and is almost identical to MED3051. It's a continuation of the Monash MBBS clinical training, and I'd advise you read up on my previous review for how typical days entail for medicine and surgery from my experience.

If I were to add an additional piece of advice to prospective students taking this unit, it would be "take advantage of clinics"! Go to as many as possible as they are a fantastic learning opportunity. I went to a number of clinics from units I didn't have a chance to rotate in and you'll find that if you ask nicely and appear keen most consultants and registrars are me than happy for you to sit in and participate. It really adds an extra dimension to your clinical learning, and I'd highly recommend stalking these out-patient clinics as much as possible.

I guess with this unit, comes the big assessments of MED3200 (next review!) so I think whilst MED3051 is more of an "intro to the wards, have some fun with procedures, etc", this unit is more about "knuckling down and trying to learn as much as possible". Practice is the key here, and I'll be talking more about this in the MED3200 review.

With the format being the same as MED3051, there really isn't a great deal more to add. Make sure you stay on top of your assessments and you stay on top of your study, it's difficult to cram a year's worth of material into SWOTVAC.

Again, as with my reviews of the previous MBBS units, I think it's really important to get involved with the course outside of the teaching periods too. Something I did which I found amazing, was volunteer for the practice and real FRACP clinical exams. These are exams sat by medical registrars in order to progress to become advanced trainees in their desired specialty, so the stakes are very high :P In some ways they are OSCE-esque, and I found helping out to be useful on two fronts:
1) I'm interested in the Physician pathway myself, so found this to be really exciting!
2) You get to see high-standard clinical examinations, and get to see what the required knowledge it like, it's really amazing and I picked up a lot of tips.

Again, I'd highly recommend getting involved in inter-year study groups (teaching in Year 2/3, learning from Year 3/4) and getting involved in the social events such as the "Year 3B AXP" which was a pretty sweet night (last night) from what I can remember of it ;)

All-in-all, whilst this is again a very exciting unit, it's also one that is a bit more stressful with the big assessments coming your way. As mentioned, far better than pre-clinical learning, and I wouldn't trade my experiences here for any other course :)
« Last Edit: November 15, 2014, 08:03:12 pm by pi »

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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #246 on: November 14, 2014, 03:30:32 pm »
+6
Subject Code/Name: MED3200 - Introductory clinical studies

Workload: N/A, this unit consists of an OSCE and a written examination and occurs throughout this Year III. There are revision lectures held every 2 weeks run by MUMUS.

Assessment: 55% OSCE, 45% End of year written examination.

Recorded Lectures: N/A

Past exams available: No, the Faculty has now published a document with threats to expel students from the course if they are caught compiling past questions or distributing or using past compilations. All past compilations have been removed from the MUMUS site.

Textbook Recommendation: (specific to OSCE and written exam)
OSCE:
  • Browse’s Introduction to the Symptoms and Signs of Surgical Disease 4th - Black, Browse, Burnand and Thomas
  • Clinical Examination A Systematic Guide 7th - O'Connor and Talley
  • Clinical Orthopaedic Examination 5th - McRae
  • Examination Medicine A Guide to Physician Training 7th - O'Connor and Talley
  • Examination Surgery A Guide to Passing the Fellowship Examination in General Surgery 1st - Gladman and Young
  • Robbins Basic Pathology 9th - Abbas, Aster and Kumar
  • The ECG Made Easy 8th - Hampton

Written exam:
  • 500 Single Best Answers in Medicine 1st - Dugg, Koppel, Patten, Schachter and Shanmugarajah
  • EMQs and Data Interpretation Questions in Surgery 1st - Keshtgar and Syed
  • EMQs and MCQs for Medical Finals 1st - Bath and Morgan
  • EMQS in Clinical Medicine 1st - Syed
  • Anything by PasTest (including the online 6 month question package)
  • If you're keen, I found some MKSAP 16 books to be of use too

I'd also recommend utilising UpToDate as much as possible.

Lecturer(s): Various presenters depending on revision topic being discussed.

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2, 2014

Rating: 5/5

Comments:
This is an unconventional "unit", like MED2000. It runs "throughout" the year and is essentially the bulk of assessment for Year III. The OSCE, unlike pre-clinical ones, is 10 stations (+ 2 rest stations) in a single day, held at clinical sites (not your own) or on campus. The written exam is a 3 hour examination with 100 MCQ and EMQ questions only.

The key to doing well, is consistent practice.

For the OSCE, try and take as many histories and exams as you can, practice in study groups, practice on patients, practice in bedside tutes. Be that guy who sticks up their hand and volunteers to see the patient in the group, you'll get a lot out of it even if it does mean a few minutes in the hot-seat. I'd also recommend, when practicing in groups, to throw a lot of "curve-balls" as stations as this is what Monash likes to do. Make sure you can perform every clinical exam, do every procedure, explain consent for anything, describe pathology specimens, interpret ECGs, etc.

For the written exam, I think there are really two ways to go about this:
1) The "proper" way - consulting textbooks and learning a huge amount of detail. You'll be very well versed in pretty much anything Monash can throw at your but it will take a lot of time and persistence.
2) The "lazy" way - learning how Monash writes exam questions. Get hold of past papers and try and smash them out. Do MCQ/EMQ books, learn what the "buzzwords" are for various conditions. You may struggle if a consultant asks you a detailed question, but you should be alright for the exam.

In the end, I think most people start off with Option 1 and during the tail-end of the year end up falling onto Option 2. Not a bad way to go about it. Either way, finding which way works for you is something you should have discovered in your prep for pre-clinical exams, but make sure you don't fall behind and leave too much to do in the last moment.

To be perfectly honest, the best part of this assessment unit, is finishing it :P On to Year IV! :D
« Last Edit: November 14, 2014, 10:01:01 pm by pi »

ChloeCameleon3

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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #247 on: November 19, 2014, 10:21:17 am »
+4
Subject Code/Name: ATS2624 - Global Governance 

Workload:  1 x 1 hour lecture and 1 x 1 hour tutorial weekly

Assessment:
1: 20%, "The Limits and Possibilities of Global Governance from Different Theoretical perspectives"
2: 35%, "A Critical Analysis of Governance in Film"
3: 35%, exam
4: 10%, tutorial participation

Recorded Lectures:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:  No, with no sample exams either.

Textbook Recommendation:  Prescribed is 'Weiss, T 2013, Global Governance: Why? What? Whither?, Polity Press, Cambridge'. It is the main textbook used every week for the readings. Additional articles are accessible online.

Lecturer(s): Anne McNevin, Sara Meger

Year & Semester of completion: 2014, Semester 2

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: N/A

Comments:
Overview of Semester: The first month focused on looking at the history and elements of global governance, and covered the main theories of international relations (i.e., Realism, liberalism, critical theories). These weeks were pretty boring, but necessary for the first assignment. From weeks 5-11, more specific types of governance were covered, including economic governance, development governance, environmental governance, security governance, and humanitarian governance. These were more interesting, especially as the lecturers were mixed up and the content much more relevant to current global affairs.
Assessment: The first assignment was a real pain, as it was 'NOT AN ESSAY' (Anne emphasised this a lot), but there was no great guidance given to us on what was expected etc. I've heard that heaps of people failed this assignment, due to harsh marking and lack of guidance. Average mark was around 55% I think. For the assignment, we basically had to pick a theory (e.g., realism), and describe what that theory says about global governance.
The second assignment was a lot better. At first, I was a little disappointed that there were no set essay questions, but as I was actually writing the assignment, I enjoyed having the freedom to choose what to discuss and not be limited by the essay question. For the essay, we watched a film that addressed a global governance issue (e.g., Hotel Rwanda, Outbreak), and applied knowledge of global governance to the film's events.
I am writing this review before sitting the exam (in fact, the exam is in about 4 hours), so I can't comment about the quality of the exam.
Comments:   Overall, this unit was run in a fairly basic and organised manner. There were some issues with the online library reading list, which the tutor (Anne) basically blamed on the students. I don't think anyone enjoyed the first assignment , but I can kinda see the value in doing it (in hindsight). Generally, there was not a lot of support from the staff throughout the semester. I found some staff to be condescending and unsympathetic when students skipped the reading for one week. In tutorials, students were individually picked on to justify why they had not done the readings. I can see that it would be frustrating to have 25% of the class not do the readings, but for most people, there were extremely legitimate reasons.
Things I liked: the low contact hours, the second assignment, and the guest lecturer for week 11 (Tom Bamforth).
Things I didn't like: lectures were pretty boring, tutes were not engaging, the first assignment as bad. I was really hoping to have some lively discussions in class, and was really disappointed in how dull they were.

DisaFear

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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #248 on: November 19, 2014, 10:19:13 pm »
+2
Subject Code/Name: CHM3972 - Sustainable Chemistry

Workload:
  • 3x 1hr lectures
  • 1x 4hr laboratory
Assessment:
  • Laboratory reports: 30%
  • Group assessment: 10%
  • End of semester exam: 60%
Recorded Lectures:  Yes

Past exams available:  None because it was the first year the unit ran when I did it

Textbook Recommendation:  None

Lecturer(s):
  • Prof. Alan Chaffee
  • Dr. Chenghua Sun
  • Dr. Kei Saito

Year & Semester of completion: 2014, Semester 2

Rating:  3.8/5

Your Mark/Grade: TBA

Comments:
  • I did the unit in the first year it came out so my review may not be relevant to the people who do it later on as it may have improved.
  • Prof. Alan Chaffee talked about Biofuels and CO2 utilisation- probably the most dry section of the course. This section also had the most content. Chemical engineers have probably done all this stuff before. How do you make ethanol fuel on an industrial scale? Biodiesel? Hydrocarbons? Stuff like that. Attend lectures - half his recordings are incomplete and you will have a very hard time listening to the lectures anyway............
  • Dr. Chenghua Sun talked about Fuel cells and hydrogen generation/storage - the hydrogen storage part was probably my favourite bit of the course. A lot of experimental technology, stuff that is in development and could be seen in a few years.
  • Dr. Kei Saito talked about The 12 principles of Green Chemistry - this would be the most intuitive part of the course for any Chemistry major, it is just how processes can be made more environmentally-benign (safer solvents, less energy use, etc)
  • The labs were quite interesting in this course - being the first year it ran, there were problems but they were still enjoyable. They are also indirect exam revision as you can talk about them when answering questions about green chemistry
  • There were two debate activities throughout the semester - these had hiccups too but expecting them to be sorted out in the following years. Pracs included biosynthesis of ethanol, solvent-free reactions, using water as a solvent, etc. Green things. Green things are good (I like orange though)
  • There isn't much hardcore chemistry in this unit, more so applications - is a rather light unit for a chemistry student to take if they are having a tough unit
  • Overall, it was an enjoyable unit. It is not too difficult. 2/3 of the course was interesting, the other third is sort of okay but very dry.



(AN chocolate) <tisaraiscool> Does it taste like b^3's brain?
BSc (Hons) @ Monash (Double major in Chemistry)

jeanweasley

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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #249 on: November 19, 2014, 10:20:09 pm »
+4
Subject Code/Name: ATS1282 - CRIMINAL JUSTICE (IN) ACTION 

Workload:  1x 2 hour lecture, 1x 1 hour tute

Assessment:  Research Task & Online activity (10%, 5% each) and Major Essay 2,000 words (40%) Attendance (10%) End of semester Exam (40%)

Recorded Lectures:  Yes

Past exams available:  Yes, until 2011 but 2011 does not really count as the unit was changed since then. The format of the exams now consists of two sections which ask you to write a short essay instead of just the definition questions like in 2011.

Textbook Recommendation:  The custom textbook is a must for tutorial discussions as readings are often discussed in the tutes. If you don't want to buy it, though, you definitely can just exist with reading the slides and listening to the lectures as most of the information is cross-presented, however, there are just some little facts and other theories that were not covered in depth, that you could probably benefit from reading. If you want to do well in the exam, having this book is also helpful as the lecturers really are keen in you using the criminology terms such as overpolicing, underpolicing, recidivism etc.

Lecturer(s): Lecturers varied depending on the module. First three weeks was Asher Flynn specialising on Police, then James Roffee on Courts, others also included the co-ordinator Bree Carlton, & also Danielle Tyson.

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2, 2014

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: (Optional) TBA

Comments: To be honest, I was going to take this unit instead of Philosophy this year as one of my possible minors but I was turned off by the handbook description as it sounded really dry and tedious. However, while I still took this unit instead of Philosophy because I thought why not give it a try.

I was disappointed. First of all, I really would have to say that Wednesday afternoons listening to the 2 hour lecture was my favourite, mainly because I was genuinely interested in the content and that the lecturers were often interesting and they really did present tough questions for us to think about. I also wished that I had done this earlier in the year as the unit really was interesting and it did give me insight to crime.

But and this is really big but, there was no depth. I felt like while I was able to argue about crime and provide solutions, there was no real discussion in tutorials. It was like a regurgitation of what was spoken about in the lecture. The tutorials always begin with questions about definitions and we were tasked to talk into groups and then explain our thoughts. While this seems ideal, group talk doesn't always work, especially in tough groups. But the main complaint here is that the questions were far too basic, they didn't really prompt any discussion. Like I said, they were just definition questions which asked us what x definition was and why it happened, there was no, challenging this definition or questioning its acceptance.  There was no scenario scenes where we could have used the new terms we learnt and came up with, or tried to come up with solutions to a possible problem.

In short, I felt like we weren't trusted enough to share our opinion and that as long as we put in the terms that were mentioned in the lecture in our essay, that we'd be guaranteed a good mark. It's really disappointing because we could have talked more about Bentham's theory, the positivist model, and the theory of technologies of power as reasons for why people choose the criminal life. Now, I don't know if this was covered in Semester 1 but I know that this would have made the unit more interesting.

Another criticism is that while the first two lecturers were amazing , the rest didn't really exude any enthusiasm. There wasn't enough feeling that hey, as future criminologists, your viewpoint should be challenged and you should think about things. To me, it felt like we were being taught but not really taught. Like we were good enough to participate but not really learn. Now I don't know if that's too harsh a review but I really felt like with all the interesting topics covered that at least the tutorials could have had some challenging questions instead of "what is this and that and why does this and that happen", because in all honesty anyone can define why things happen and why. It's in the readings, it's not that hard. The real thinking comes when real scenarios happen. To be fair though, we did have extra readings but again, the questions in those readings were pretty simplistic. eg. what is mandatory sentencing and why is it important etc. They were all questions we could all answer.

Nonetheless, it is a good unit and if you are interested in doing Criminology, it is not that bad to take, but be prepared to not have real class discussions.
2014: BA @ Monash University
2015: LLB(Hons)/BA @ Monash University

JinXi

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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #250 on: November 20, 2014, 08:22:22 pm »
+4
Subject Code/Name: MAE3401 - Aerodynamics II

Workload:  3 x 1hr lectures, 1 x 2hr tutorial

Assessment:  10% Tutorial Marks (Basically just rock up and you'll get your marks), 20% Written Report

Recorded Lectures:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:  Yes, dating back to 2007. Solutions to at least 2 papers were provided.

Textbook Recommendation:  None, but it would be useful to have "Fundamentals of Aerodynamics by Anderson" from Aerodynamics I

Lecturer(s): A/Prof Greg Sheard

Year & Semester of completion: 2014, Sem 1

Rating:  3.5 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 87

Comments: This unit was just an extension of Aerodynamics I, with some revision. Typical aerodynamics stuff like Boundary layers, flows (This time with compressible flows instead of just incompressible flows, which adds extra terms to the NSE), basic circulation etc. were covered. I would assume that you've already had Greg previously from Aerodynamics I, and the way he delivers Aero II is EXACTLY the same.

For the assignment, you basically have to use a software called VIPER which was developed by Greg, run some flow simulations, then extract the data and analyse them using a program called tecplot. It was fairly time consuming analysing the data and would require reading up on some past articles (there are plenty available) to get a high mark. I would definitely suggest learning how to use macros on tecplot when you come across it as the process is really repetitive.

As with Aero I, the lecture notes and tutorial were very well documented, which lead to low attendance in lectures. This is a unit that you can cram 2 days before the exams and wing a HD so no complaints on my side. One of the easier 3rd year unit.
Monash B.Aero Eng/Sci Discontinued in Sem2 2012 [2011-2015]

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^ SNORLAX, I chooosee You!!!

JinXi

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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #251 on: November 20, 2014, 08:38:30 pm »
+5
Subject Code/Name: MAE3404 - Flight Vehicle Dynamics

Workload:  3 x 1hr lectures, 1 x 2hr tutorials (optional)

Assessment:  5 x 6% Assignment, 70% Final Exam

Recorded Lectures:  No

Past exams available:  Yes, but without solutions

Textbook Recommendation:  None

Lecturer(s): Prof. Bijan Shirinzadeh

Year & Semester of completion: 2014, Sem 1

Rating:  3 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 70

Comments: So first day of lecture, and this man walks into a 3rd year Aerospace class and announces that he's Bijan and is our lecturer. Then, he drops the bomb. "WHY ARE YOU ALL STUDYING AEROSPACE ENGINEERING? You realize that the job market has gone to shits and there is NO JOBS for you out there?" I mean what the heck can you tell us when we're in first year and not when we've already invested 2 years in the degree?

The he follows up with "THIS IS THE HARDEST UNIT IN THE UNIVERSITY, BAR NONE! There is NOOOOO other subject in your ENTIRE course that is similar to this UNIT!" I'll give him credit for this though... This unit is easily one of the hardest unit (until Flight Vehicle Propulsion which will rekt your life) and he isn't joking when you says you'll fail if you don't study. I know 3 people that failed this unit and they've haven't previously failed a unit before. Let this be a warning to all future victims to keep up to speed on this unit. I am a massive last minute crammer and procrastinator but not for this unit.

Also, be prepared to hear countless stories of Bijan life, from conferences in the states, to rants about star trek technologies to dissing the university system. Also, please don't try and be smart and pick an argument with this man as he'll make you'll immediately regret your decision. Attend ALL lectures as it isn't recorded but most importantly, because he drops massive assignment hints in lectures. Without the hints, it is near impossible to complete the assignments so make sure you have friends who are covering your back if you have to skip lectures.

Now onto the more serious stuff, I found the content covered in this unit to be really interesting albeit really complicated to grasp. Nothing will click into place until the final few lectures where everything just links together and you feel awesome.

Anyway, if you still haven't got the message, THIS IS NOT A UNIT YOU CAN SLACK AND GET AWAY WITH IT WITHOUT GETTING OWNED. Have fun.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2015, 08:07:15 pm by JinXi »
Monash B.Aero Eng/Sci Discontinued in Sem2 2012 [2011-2015]

"I will always choose a lazy person to do a difficult job… because, he will find an easy way to do it." ~ Bill Gates
^ SNORLAX, I chooosee You!!!

JinXi

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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #252 on: November 20, 2014, 08:53:28 pm »
+4
Subject Code/Name: MEC4426 - Computer-aided Design 

Workload:  2 x 1 hr lectures, 1 x 2hr computer labs

Assessment:  30% Assignments, 20% Mid-Semester, 50% Final

Recorded Lectures:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:  Yes, with a couple of solutions.

Textbook Recommendation: -

Lecturer(s): Dr. Wenyi Yan

Year & Semester of completion: 2014, Sem 1

Rating:  4.5 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 85

Comments: This unit is an introduction to the different type of industrial simulations, with high focus on meshing techniques, computational problems, computational costs, and is really applicable to the engineering industry. The maths involved in this unit is fairly simple and nothing harder than 2nd year engineering maths. To do well, you will need to be able to select different type of model set-ups depending on the applications.

The content in this unit was well organized, but there are a fair number of students who found it difficult to understand Wenyi's accent (Chinese) which lead to some confusion. However, he is really helpful and approachable when you need extra clarification and goes out of his way to help students understand the material.

The main component of this course was the computer labs (duh) and you will be required to learn some basic coding in Abaqus. (a CFD software) I've used Abaqus previously during a summer internship thus I found it really basic and straightforward, but a few of my peers took some time to get used to the new language. The tutors are really helpful during the computer labs, so do approach them for help. The will also guide you in the right direction for the assignments which isn't too tricky but takes some time to set up properly so I would advise you to get started early.

Overall, I'm not the best person to rate this unit as it is a computer based unit as I really like programming/simulations but I really enjoyed this unit as I found it relevant to what I may be doing in the future.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2014, 09:59:19 pm by alondouek »
Monash B.Aero Eng/Sci Discontinued in Sem2 2012 [2011-2015]

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JinXi

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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #253 on: November 20, 2014, 09:32:18 pm »
+5
Subject Code/Name: MAE3402 - Aerospace Design Project 

Workload:  3 x 1hr lectures, 1 x 2hr tutorial (Optional)

Assessment:  50% Design Project (35% Final Report, 10% Concept Report, 5% Presentation), 50% Final Exam

Recorded Lectures: No

Past exams available:  Yes, dating back to 2009 with solutions.

Textbook Recommendation:  Library

Lecturer(s): Prof. Hugh Blackburn

Year & Semester of completion: 2014, Sem 2

Rating: 1 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: Pending

Comments: Me and a few of my friend had really high expectations of this unit after hearing about it from the previous cohort (Unit was taken by Daniel Mitchell in 2013). We've formed our group of 8 members before the semester started, and began conceptualizing ideas, planning our timetables and brushing up on our specialization (each of us in the group were good in something). Come's first week, Hugh walks in and announces that this year, the groups will be allocated randomly which caused a huge uproar. When asked why he simply said there were too many good groups and too many bad groups in the previous year and so he wanted to even out the field. I would be fine if it was a small assignment, but for 50% with 8 randoms? Hugh tried to justify his choice by saying that we have to work with different type of people in the workforce, and was met with the retort of the year:"But retards won't get a job in the Aerospace Industry". He just smirked and went on with this lectures.

Let me tell you, pray to god that you have a decent group and a couple of hardworking members in your group. Meeting were impossible to schedule and the only time we had all 8 members present was during the presentation (One member didn't bother to show up to sign the coversheet of the final submission report and got 0, which was fair cause he didn't do anything) Only 2-3 members were working in each group, and say goodbye to your sleep leading up to the final report submission. The week prior to the submission, the earliest I left uni was 3am in the morning and coming back to uni no later than 9am for 5 consecutive days. On the day before submission, I brought my toothbrush and stayed throughout the night. It definitely wouldn't be so hectic if everyone in the team pulled their weight, but naturally, that will never be the case in a group of 8 randoms.

We had to design a lame Short-Take off and Landing (STOL) amphibious fire fighting aircraft for our year while the previous year got to design a space tourism aircraft (not unlike what space X/virgin galactic is doing)...The final report is going to include alot of details, and will be well over 150 pages, with some groups going over 250 pages. You will need literature review, solidworks, flow simulations, matlab, design calculations, basically everything that you've learnt previously.

The lectures were really really boring as hugh basically faces the slides and reads off them. The amount of information on the slides doesn't help too as it's filled to the brim with calculations and words. My advice is to just skip the lectures completely and read the slides. Attendance were a record low for this unit and barely achieves 10 people on good days.

After the hell of finishing off the final report, you have to look forward to the presentations where Hugh will try his absolute best to pick out flaws in your design instead of giving constructive criticism. Past that, you have the final exam to look forward to which was incredibly hard in previous years and got us panicking as many of us were focused on the project and fell way behind in tutorials and lectures (I started doing my first tutorial sheet in swotvac). Luckily for us, the 2014 exam was reasonably simple and straightforward.

Anyway, the unit inspired me to make this image of our design.

Monash B.Aero Eng/Sci Discontinued in Sem2 2012 [2011-2015]

"I will always choose a lazy person to do a difficult job… because, he will find an easy way to do it." ~ Bill Gates
^ SNORLAX, I chooosee You!!!

alondouek

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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #254 on: November 20, 2014, 09:57:38 pm »
+4
Subject Code/Name: MON2002 - Improving Health Futures in a Global World

Workload: 1x 3-hr lecture/tutorial/discussion per week

Assessment:
  • 2,000-word literature review - 40%
  • Group oral presentation - 20%
  • 2,000-word case evaluation - 40%
  • 80% tutorial attendance hurdle - 0%

Recorded Lectures: Nope. You wouldn't need them to be recorded anyway.

Past exams available: No exam!

Textbook Recommendation: No textbooks required.

Lecturer(s): Mr. (Soon to be Dr.) Brad Crammond

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2, 2014

Rating: 4 out of 5

Comments:

Overview
This is a "Depth" unit, part of the Monash Passport "Enhance Program" set of units. I'm not going to elaborate much on this, but please have a read of what the Monash Passport program is about here.

This is a really interesting and very unconventionally structured unit. The unit is co-run at the Monash Caulfield campus and Oxfam in Carlton, and tutes were roughly divided between these two places. The aim of MON2002 was to look primarily at developing countries and communities and the health-based, social, economic, political and cultural problems they face. The unit provides an education of and a historical background on global development and how they relate to contemporary and major historical health problems and the many factors that contribute to them. Understandably, a lot of classes were spent getting distracted by discussing la maladie du jour - Ebola.


Unit location:
As mentioned above, the unit is partly run at Monash Caulfield and partly at the Oxfam offices in Carlton (pretty much opposite the UoM Law building, which I must admit is a pretty cool building *grumbles*).


The very impressive UoM law building...


...and the slightly less impressive Oxfam Australia offices. 10/10 bathrooms though.

Full disclosure: I went into the unit with a fairly poor opinion of Oxfam as an organisation; although they do a lot of good in the developing world I was, and am still, critical of the political skew they often lend towards their activities and opinions. However, in the interests of not being a douchebag, I didn't make a big deal of it because at the end of the day your opinions - positive, negative or anything in between - of Oxfam aren't relevant to the unit. What you might want to be aware of is that this unit is run jointly between Monash and Oxfam, so you pretty much aren't going to be seeing any material critical of Oxfam.


Classes
Classes are fairly informal - to an extent - which was a wonderful departure from the standard lecture/lab or lecture/tute combinations which are prevalent in biomed and science.

There is only one class per week, a 3-hour 'lectorial'/discussion session-type thing. Broadly speaking, the session is broken up into a 1-hour lecture from either Brad or a guest lecturer, then a ~2 hour discussion on a case study relevant to the global development topic covered that week. Inevitably the lecture and discussion sections were broken up by a coffee break, which was welcome.


Lecture topics
  • Week 1 - Intro to Global Development
  • Week 2 - Millennium Development Goals and the Human Development Approach
  • Week 3 - Poverty and Food Security
  • Week 4 - Corruption as a Barrier to Development
  • Week 5 - Humanitarian Effects of Nuclear Weapons
  • Week 6 - Health of Women and Children
  • Week 7 - Climate Change
  • Week 8 - Natural Disasters and Civil Conflict
  • Week 9 - Disability in Development
  • Week 10 - Labour Rights
  • Week 11 - Indigenous Peoples

All of these were really interesting, engaging and great for discussion. Because this unit doesn't really belong to any degree, the class consisted of a few biomed students, some health science students and one or two arts/law students. The diversity of opinions, experiences and paradigms on global development made for some intense but fascinating discussions, and Brad was really good in that he was more like a peer than as a teacher during discussions (albeit a peer who's responsible for your grades, lol).


Assessment:
Like so many other aspects of this unit, the assessments in MON2002 were unlike anything else I've experienced in biomed or science which was a generally welcome change.

A big benefit of this unit to me was that there are only 3 pieces of assessment in the entire course:

  • A 2,000 word literature review based on one of the case studies covered up to that point in the course, using external sources to build your review. I wrote mine on the social, political and economic impacts of the Global Financial Crisis on developing countries.
  • A 20ish-minute group oral. This is also based on a case study that was covered during semester, and your group needs to develop approaches to solving the problems described in that case study.
  • A 2,000 word "case note", which is basically a policy document where you outline an intervention to rectify problems linked to one of the case studies. I wrote mine on approaches to limiting the effects of climate change in KwaZulu-Natal.

All these assessments were relatively straightforward (barring the group oral, where true to form I went way, way over time), and 2,000 words really isn't a stretch to write in a fairly short period of time  - or it really shouldn't be in second year of university :P.

Personally I prefer having more assessments, worth less, throughout semester as opposed to the system in place here. However, it was good to have sparse assessments for a unit for once, which meant I could devote more time to some of my more time-intensive units this semester.

Exam? NO EXAM, get on my level. This may or may not have been a major factor in me picking the unit in the first place. That said, it certainly didn't disappoint in any way.


Overall, this is a fantastic unit on topics that aren't really available to students outside of the Bachelor of Health Science. It was refreshing to learn about health issues outside of the biomed/science spectrum where the presumption is often based on the presence of existing health infrastructure and abundant resources, which is often not the case in developing countries. This unit was coordinated well (it helped that the class size was initially very small, and halved after the first week), and the discussions were very engaging and in-depth. There are also some great pubs in Carlton, make sure to check those out after class during the Oxfam weeks :P
2013-2016
Majoring in Genetics and Developmental Biology

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

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