BIOL12105 - Scientific Analysis and Statistics

General Information

Unit Synopsis

An understanding of experimental design, statistical methods, ethics and the ability to critically analyse scientific reports is essential for graduates in the biological sciences. In this unit, you will study experimental design, ethics and commonly used statistical procedures. You will be introduced to hypothesis testing and experimental design, parametric and non-parametric analyses, one, two and multi sample analyses (including one way, two way, nested and randomised block ANOVA designs), correlation and regression, and data transformation. The learning and teaching strategy uses a clear, conceptual approach, which assumes that you have little or no statistical background.


Level Undergraduate
Unit Level 2
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band 2
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125
Pre-requisites or Co-requisites

Prerequisite: SCIE11024 Science Investigation

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

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Residential School Optional Residential School
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Unit Availabilities from Term 3 - 2018

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Term 3 - 2019 Profile
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Term 3 - 2020 Profile

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Undergraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Written Assessment 25%
2. Practical Assessment 25%
3. Examination 50%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%).

Consult the University’s Grades and Results Policy for more details of interim results and final grades

Past Exams

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Previous Feedback

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Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Source: Self-reflection.
The replacement of the residential school with Zoom practical sessions appeared to contribute to students being less engaged with the unit material, throughout the term.
Replace the Zoom practical sessions with face-to-face tutorials that can be recorded for students that cannot attend.
Action Taken
Face to face tutorials were conducted.
Source: Self reflection.
Face to face tutorials were conducted, however, attendance was very low (one student). This was likely due to students not being able to attend at the time specified by timetabling.
Allow students an opportunity to select a preferred day/time for tutorials, form a list of available day/time slots.
Action Taken
Unit learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  1. Describe the uses, pitfalls and limitations of parametric and non-parametric statistical tests
  2. Choose an appropriate statistical test for a set of data
  3. Correctly use software programs for analysing scientific data
  4. Know when experiments require ethical clearance and explain the basic principles of ethical experimentation
  5. Critique scientific reports and research proposals in terms of the quality of their experimental design
  6. Design realistic experiments with appropriate control and replicates
  7. Explain the rationale behind statistical testing and probability levels.

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
1 - Written Assessment
2 - Practical Assessment
3 - Examination
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
1 - Communication
2 - Problem Solving
3 - Critical Thinking
6 - Information Technology Competence
8 - Ethical practice
Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
1 - Written Assessment
2 - Practical Assessment
3 - Examination