NATS 2024 Integrated Science (WSTC)

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 700096

Coordinator Virginia Shepherd Opens in new window

Description Science and the scientific process of discovery have been successful in offering explanations for the world we live in. Due to scientific advances, we have eradicated some disease, explored the moon and the deepest parts of our oceans and created communication across distances on the planet previously unimaginable. We now face the major challenge of creating a future world which is sustainable for life on Earth. Solving our contemporary complex human and environmental issues to create a sustainable future, however, requires integrative and multidisciplinary research frameworks, an understanding of the relationship between science and society including cultural, social, economic, political and ethical factors. Students will critically examine such perspectives in a series of contemporary 'real-life' case studies such as climate change, indigenous health, medical breakthroughs, biodiversity loss, environmental sustainability and human-animal interactions. They will undertake research into the relationship of science integrated with society, and the uncertainty and bias of evidence in decision making. They will demonstrate their understanding by analysis of a contemporary issue by producing a scientific report and a powerpoint or video.

School Science

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 2 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 2 subject

Equivalent Subjects NATS 1011 - Integrated Science 1 AGEN 2001 - Science in Society NATS 2023 - Integrated Science

Restrictions Students must be enrolled at Western Sydney University, The College. Students enrolled in Extended Diplomas must pass 40 credit points from the preparatory subjects listed in the program structure prior to enrolling in this University level subject. Students enrolled in the combined Diploma/Bachelor programs listed below must pass all College Preparatory subjects listed in the program structure before progressing to the Year 2 subjects.

Assumed Knowledge

Oral and written communication skills.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:
  1. Explain the nature of Science, the scientific process and discuss the role of science in society.
  2. Discuss how different disciplines and perspectives integrate to seek sustainable solutions to human and environmental issues.
  3. Identify and research a scientifically controversial topic and logically argue solutions from multiple perspectives (including ethical, social and political) to present a considered opinion.
  4. Describe the ways in which scientists interact with each other, policy makers, managers and the wider community in contemporary 'real-life' issues.
  5. Describe the cultural, social, economic and political factors underlying important scientific breakthroughs.
  6. Critically analyse a complex contemporary issue integrating scientific ideas and express the findings for a non-scientific audience in the media.

Subject Content

1. Nature of science and scientific research including bias, complexity and uncertainty.
2. Understanding complexity theory ? e.g. cynefin framework
3. Historical and policy context of science in society
4. Contemporary issues in modern science
5. Integrated and multidisciplinary framework required for sustainable solutions
6. Relationships between science and society including cultural, economic, political perspectives
7. Experts and knowledge ? the role of science in planning and decision making processes
8. Communication of science to the wider community


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.

Type Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Quiz 45 minutes 15 N Individual
Critique 500 – 600 words 20 N Individual
Scientific Report 800-1000 words 30 N Individual
Powerpoint presentation or video 10 minutes presentation 35 N Individual