Scientific Skills and Communication - 2016

This page is for past year, View 2017 unit details.

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 1
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Web Dependent
  • Prerequisites: Yes
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP
  • Availability for 2016: SP1 , SP3
  • Assessment: Assignments (70%) , Test - Online tests (30%)

Unit provided by

2016 Fees
Domestic 1,114.00
International 1,364.00

The study and practice of science has its own procedures and protocols as well as an oral, written and visual language. Students entering a scientific profession must be familiar with fundamental skills and knowledge so they can communicate and excel in the sciences. This unit is designed to begin that foundation. It introduces you to health and safety issues, advanced computer and web skills, oral, written and visual communication. The unit will raise your awareness and knowledge of what is needed to work in the sciences, as well as teaching you practical skills that will support further study.

This unit is part of the Science Pathway.

OUA Pathways recommends the best units to start your studies, even if you're not sure which course you want to do. Each pathway includes four units based on your area of interest, plus the option to study preparatory units for free (PREP03, Preparing for University Learning Intensive, and PREP04, Preparing for Academic Writing).

Once you complete your recommended path you'll be able to choose from a range of courses in your area of interest. Plus, each of the units you complete through OUA Pathways can also be credited towards your chosen course.

Learn more about OUA Pathways.

At the completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. state and apply the main tenets of the scientific method (hypothesis, experimental observations, analysis of data, evaluation relative to hypothesis)
  2. use computer applications for word-processing, spreadsheets, graphics, presentations and databases
  3. understand the main methods of communication used in the disciplines
  4. know and use common scientific information services, including library catalogues and computer-based services, e.g. databases of current literature
  5. conduct an experiment and write a scientific report using conventional format, including presentation in tables and graphs
  6. construct a critical literature review in conventional format, including location of material in recent literature, referencing and formatting
  7. prepare a presentation on the basis of this material using PowerPoint, including constructing a laboratory report and a critical literature review
  8. state and apply legal requirements of regulations governing occupational health and safety in the sciences
  9. state and apply legal and moral responsibilities of a graduate in these disciplines.
  • Assignments (70%)
  • Test — Online tests (30%)

None, however basic computer competency and English proficiency will be advantageous.

This unit addresses the following topics.

1Scientific Methods and Practice (SMP) - Introduction
2SMP - Data presentation
3SMP - Referencing
4SMP - Scientific reports
5SMP - Literature Reviews
6SMP - Experimental Design
7Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) - Risk Management
8OHS - Housekeeping
9OHS - Glassware and Safety Signs
10OHS - General Chemical safety controls
11OHS - Electrical and mechanical safety
12OHS - Ionising and Non-ionising radiations
13OHS - Biosafety

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Print based materials

  • Book of Readings

Online materials

  • Online Assessment
  • Quizzes
  • Resources and Links

This unit is an approved elective in the following courses:

This unit may be eligible for credit towards other courses:

  1. Many undergraduate courses on offer through OUA include 'open elective' where any OUA unit can be credited to the course. You need to check the Award Requirements on the course page for the number of allowed open electives and any level limitations.
  2. In other cases, the content of this unit might be relevant to a course on offer through OUA or elsewhere. In order to receive credit for this unit in the course you will need to supply the provider institution with a copy of the Unit Profile in the approved format, which you can download here. Note that the Unit Profile is set at the start of the year, and if textbooks change this may not match the Co-Op textbook list.

Textbook information for this unit is currently being updated and will be available soon. Please check back regularly for updates. Alternatively, visit the The Co-op website and enter the unit details to search for available textbooks.

Enquire online

Need to ask a question that's best put down in words?
Make an online enquiry.

Enquire now

Got a question?

Get an answer from one of our friendly Student Advisors.