NATS 2042 Science Research Methods

Credit Points 10

Coordinator Clarissa House Opens in new window

Description This unit aims to introduce students to the theories and practices underpinning the scientific processes. Students will learn to identify an issue, review the literature to identify gap(s) and formulate a hypothesis or a question to address the gap(s). Students will then explore research methods and designs to safely and ethically conduct an experiment or study to collect data to answer the hypothesis/question. They will also learn to analyse and interpret the data and report on the findings of the research in a written format. The unit is structured so that lectures will provide theoretical expertise and workshops will reinforce student learning with practical experience. This knowledge and skills are essential for stage 3 units and a career in science.

School Science

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 2 10cp

Check your HECS Band contribution amount via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 2 subject

Equivalent Subjects LGYA 5920 - Research Communities and their Environments NATS 2028 - Research Methods LGYA 6151 - Animal Research NATS 2025 - Natural Science Research Methods

Restrictions Successful completion of 60 credit points at Level 1.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:
  1. Identify an issue and formulate research aim and research hypothesis or question
  2. Gather, critically evaluate and synthesise information from a range of sources
  3. Design and conduct an experiment or study to test a hypothesis or answer a research question
  4. Identify and address potential risks and ethics relevant to a research project
  5. Collect data, conduct simple analysis, present results of the experiment or study, discuss the findings and draw conclusions
  6. Report on a research project in the written format
  7. Reflect on practices and experiences for personal and professional development

Subject Content

1. The research process
- how is research conducted? most research begins with An observation that requires explanation and ends with data collection, analysis and interpretation of The patterns in The data.
2. Identifying the aim of the research, formulate hypothesis and prediction
- structure of A Hypothesis/ question(s)
3. Research methods and research designs
4. Collect data to test predictions
- data types (i.e. Continuous, categorical, ordinal etc.)
- data collection tools (i.e. sample size, units of replication etc.)
5. Develop methods to analyse data
- what statistical test is appropriate for The data?
6. Reporting data consistent with scientific and industry guidelines
- skills to learn: tools to present results (tables, Graphs, stats)
- skills to learn: Integrating Numerical evidence to support arguments
- Linking our predictions to The data and The probability that our predictions are valid
7. Academic writing:
- understand how to report data


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 quizzes multiple choice /short answer 30 N Individual
Mini Literature and Data Review 800 words 25 N Individual
Applied Project 2 forms 20 N Individual
Report 1,000 words 25 N Individual

Prescribed Texts

  • Asking Questions in Biology
  • Experimental Design for the Life Science

Teaching Periods

2022 Semester 1



Subject Contact Clarissa House Opens in new window

Attendance Requirements 80% attendance rate is imposed in all core subjects’ due to the nature of class activities that are aligned with subject assessments.

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