NATS 1028 Scientific Literacy (BLOCK)

Credit Points 10

Coordinator Jack Isherwood Opens in new window

Description This Subject is designed to provide students with scientific literacy, personal and employability skills and attitudes required to successfully undertake science-related undergraduate studies and to prepare for professional life. Students learn, develop and utilise academic and interpersonal methodologies and approaches within the context of applied scientific principles and take responsibility for their own learning and develop a work ethic. Students are introduced to the contestable and uncertain nature of science and the scientific method that underpins academic integrity and ethical behaviour. Activities encourage development of oral and written communication skills, self-confidence, self-efficacy, creative and critical thinking through problem solving, group process and peer support and assessment. Academic and employability skills include scientific reading and writing, time management, researching scientific information and library skills, oral presentation, taking tests and exams, effective personal and group based learning strategies and approaches to online learning.

School Science

Discipline Natural and Physical Sciences, Not Elsewhere Classified.

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 2 10cp

Check your HECS Band contribution amount via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 1 subject

Equivalent Subjects NATS 1018 Prof Skills for Sci
NATS 1019 Scientific Literacy
NATS 1020 Scientific Literacy (UWSC)


Students must be enrolled in one of the following courses:

7175 – Undergraduate Certificate of Environmental Sustainability  

Learning Outcomes

  1. Communicate effectively through a written report that meets the professional standards of scientific discipline
  2. Present a structured argument confidently in front of peers, as audience, and assessors

Subject Content

  1. Academic reading in the sciences — understanding the question; 
  2. Note-taking & summarising information; 
  3. Getting the most from lectures, workshops, tutorials & practicals; 
  4. Time management & procrastination;
  5. Scientific literacy – the field of study, & the scientific method  
  6. Personal, academic and employability skills
  7. Learning styles & theories of adult learning; 
  8. Writing in science – structure, logic & constructing academic arguments; Using the library - critical thinking & evaluation of research literature; 
  9. Using evidence to support your case - referencing and citation; 
  10. Plagiarism & academic integrity; 
  11. Other scientific writing formats – essays, literature reviews, lab books & posters; 
  12. Working as a member of a group – personal and group skills; teamwork and peer assessment.
  13. Reflective thinking & problem solving; 
  14. Visual literacy — using and reading graphs and charts; 
  15. Oral presentation skills; debating, using visual aids.
  16. Taking exams — approaches for success.
  17. Creation of a peer support network - enhanced enjoyment through making friends

Special Requirements

Essential equipment

Students need a computer with reliable internet connection, Microsoft Office, webcam and microphone


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Item Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Online Quiz x 3 60 mins 15 N Individual
Portfolio 750 words Part A 300 words Part B 450 words 25 N Individual
Oral Presentation 5 mins per person 20 N Group
Report 5 mins per person 40 N Individual

Prescribed Texts

Zeegers, P, 2011 Essential skills for science and technology.  Revised edn, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, Vic.

Teaching Periods

Block B Session



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Block C Session



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