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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2010

Seeking advice and help

All students enrolled in the science courses and units are encouraged to see their tutors or lecturers about any academic issues they may have. Academic staff may be approached at any time, including in relation to unit selection and academic advice about specialising in their area of study. Student services staff in the Faculty of Science office on the student's campus can advise students at any stage of their course on course requirements, including the requirements for major or minor sequences, or approval for changes to their program of study.

The structure of science courses

Science courses are structured as either:

(a.) generic courses, such as 0050 Bachelor of Science or 2340 Bachelor of Environmental Science, that include a small number of compulsory units, a specified number of major and minor sequences in a range of science areas of study, and some additional units available as electives, or

(b.) designated courses in a specialist area, such as 2006 Bachelor of Science (Biotechnology) or 3513 Bachelor of Science (Environmental Management), for which most units are compulsory but where a limited number of elective units may be taken.

Many double-degree courses, which combine studies for a science degree with the requirements for another degree, are also available. In most cases, students in double-degree courses are limited in the number of electives that they have available to them and can only take units that are offered for the two-component degrees. Students who wish to graduate with a Bachelor of Science, or undertake honours in science, prior to the completion of a science double-degree course must have completed at least 144 points of studies including all of the science requirements for that double-degree course.

The course requirements in this handbook apply to students who are admitted to a course in 2010. Students whose first year of study in their course was prior to 2010 should refer to the handbook for their commencing year, or consult with student services staff in the Faculty of Science office, to determine the requirements that apply to their course.

Course progression

Normal full-time load

The normal full-time load for undergraduate science courses is 24 points per semester, or four 6-point units. Units for most undergraduate courses are available at levels one, two and three, as indicated by the first number in the unit code. Students in science courses may not undertake any level two science units until they have successfully completed at least 12 points of science units at level one.

Approval to exceed a normal full-time load in any semester

Students must seek course advice and faculty approval to enrol in more than the normal full-time load in any semester, ie more than 24 points in first and second semester and 18 points in summer semester. Approval to exceed a normal full-time load by up to 6 points would not normally be granted unless the student had achieved an average mark of at least a credit over their previous 48 points of study. Students enrolled in the Science Scholar Program, or those in double-degree programs that require more than 24 points in particular semesters, will also be permitted to enrol in up to 6 points over a normal full-time load. Students must apply to the faculty for approval to exceed the normal full-time load by more than 6 points.

Unit prerequisites, corequisites and prohibitions

The unit entries in this handbook often include lists of prerequisites, corequisites and prohibitions:

  • 'Prerequisite' units must have been completed successfully prior to undertaking the unit for which they are listed.
  • 'Corequisite' units either must have been completed previously or may be taken concurrently in the same semester.
  • Units listed as 'prohibitions' to a unit cannot also be counted towards the relevant course requirements.

Responsibility for unit choice

It is important that students are familiar with the requirements for the course in which they are enrolled and choose the units taken with some care. When choosing level one units, students should aim to keep options open for the choice of level two and level three units at a later stage of their course. Students should peruse the units available in later years and check on the corequisites and prerequisites listed in the unit entries, but should also be aware that not all units are offered every year. Most areas of study have certain prerequisite units for progression to the next level.

Timetable constraints may influence unit choice. The faculty aims to minimise timetable clashes between appropriate unit combinations, however students are encouraged to consult the timetable prior to finalising unit selection.