Course Title: The Professional Scientist

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: The Professional Scientist

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


135H Applied Sciences


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 2 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 1 2016


City Campus


135H Applied Sciences


Sem 2 2016


City Campus


171H School of Science


Sem 1 2017

Course Coordinator: Susanne Tepe

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 2899

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 3.2.3

Course Coordinator Availability: by appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

This is a capstone work integrated learning (WIL) course. You will be in the final year of your Science program, having completed at least the first four  semesters of your Science program   or an equivalent program,  or having provided evidence of equivalent capabilities



Course Description

This is a Work Integrated Learning course which prepares you for employment through a combination of 

  • lectures on topics important to the professional scientist, such as working in teams, legal and ethical aspects of science, risk recognition
  • workinginteamstodevelopamockresearchgrantapplicationonatopicofinteresttoindustry
  • This course is construed as simulated WIL

The skills and knowledge that you gain will be used throughout your career. This course is taken in the final year of an undergraduate program and provides an introduction to those areas of professional practice not generally covered within your technical program.




Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the Program Learning Outcomes of:

PLO-3 Inquiry and Problem Solving
PLO-3.1 You will be able to concisely state research questions, and use them to design and plan a research project.
PLO-3.2 You will be able to gather, critically review and synthesise information relevant to a scientific inquiry or research project.

PLO-4 Communication
PLO-4.1 You will be able to communicate the solution to a problem or the results of a scientific investigation using effective oral, written and presentation skills.
PLO-4.2 You will be able to communicate the solution to a problem or the results of a scientific investigation using appropriate terminology for the intended audience.

PLO-5 Personal and professional responsibility
PLO-5.1 You will demonstrate accountability for your own learning and professional conduct.
PLO-5.3 You will work responsibly, safely and ethically.
PLO-5.4 You will develop an ability to work collaboratively.



After successful completion of this course, you will be able to: 

  1. Represent your personal achievements in a job application and resume
  2. Engage in problem solving activities
  3. Critically review information relevant to your discipline and project topic and communicate about the relevance of this information to your topic
  4. Contribute to the process of developing a research proposal and recognise the value of working in teams
  5. Recognize the risk to ethical, legal and social impacts of your research
  6. Communicate in visual and written form about your research topic


Overview of Learning Activities

The Work Integrated Learning activities included in this course are:

  • Attending lectures where syllabus material relevant to work skills will be presented and explained
  • Working in teams to develop a research project on a topic of interest to industry
  • Writing up a research proposal 
  • Presenting a poster at a mock community consultation event where you, the academic staff and industry representatives will be asked to act as ’the community’ to judge the posters
  • Private study, group work, and being mentored by experienced researchers

Total Study Hours

26 teacher guided hrs plus approximately 60 hr working in teams and individual study

Overview of Learning Resources

You will be expected to seek out relevant texts, library resources (Including appropriate journals) and freely accessible internet sites of relevance to your research topic. Resources will be available through the RMIT library and the internet.

Lecture materials will be provided on the myRMIT intranet  Blackboard.

Overview of Assessment

Note that:

☐This course has no hurdle requirements.

☒ All hurdle requirements for this course are indicated clearly in the assessment regime that follows, against the relevant assessment task(s) and all have been approved by the College Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning & Teaching). 

Assessment will include:

  1. Application for a job in a research team (10%). This assessment contributes to CLO 1
  2. Group literature review of information relevant to your research topic (20%).This assessment contributes to CLO 3
  3. Group risk assessment exercise examining the legal, ethical, safety, environmental and other risks associated with your project. (10%). This assessment contributes to CLO 5
  4. Group critical thinking exercise where you define your hypothesis and your method for assessing your hypothesis (15%). This assessment contributes to CLOs 2 and 3
  5. Group poster presentation which will be assessed by your peers, academic staff and industry representatives (20%) This assessment contributes to CLOs 6, 4
  6. Individual write up of research proposal (25%) This assessment contributes to CLOs 2, 3, 4, 6. This is a Hurdle requirement.