BIO3011 - Research methods in biology - 2019

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

School of Biological Sciences

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Matthew Hall


Dr Matthew Hall

Unit guides



  • First semester 2019 (On-campus)


12 points from level two BIO, BTH, ENV or GEN units and either SCI1020 or STA1010 or STA2010 or permission.


Biological data is inherently variable. It is essential therefore that modern biologists be able to assemble and analyse these data to make important scientific advances. This unit will provide students with the framework to understand biological information, to test hypotheses, and to design robust experiments in biology. The ability to critique the methods used by scientific studies, make inferences from quantitative data, and optimize experimental approaches will benefit students taking a wide range of research and project-based units. Focus will be placed on interpreting and evaluating studies from the scientific literature and communicating biological findings to a range of audiences. This unit is a prerequisite unit for Honours in Biology and Genetics (BIO4100 and BIO4200).


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Construct, test, and evaluate scientific hypotheses in biology;
  2. Design and optimize experiments for answering biological questions;
  3. Choose and justify an appropriate analysis for a biological dataset and research question;
  4. Critically evaluate biological findings and make inferences from analyses presented in the literature;
  5. Effectively communicate the outcomes of biological programs and experiments to a range of audiences.


Theory examination (2 hours): 50%

Continuous assessment: 50%

Workload requirements

  • Two 1-hour lectures
  • The equivalent of 3 hours laboratory/tutorials per week

See also Unit timetable information

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study