Course Title: Scientific Communication

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Scientific Communication

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


145H Mathematical & Geospatial Sciences


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 1 2014,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 1 2016


City Campus


171H School of Science


Sem 1 2017,
Sem 1 2018

Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Chris Bellman

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 99253269

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Building 12, Level 11, Room 13

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

In this course you will learn about academic writing, teamwork, time management, oral presentation skills, library skills, critical thinking and creative thinking. The course is divided into two components: The first is an intensive, one week introduction to the tertiary learning environment and the fields of Geospatial Science and Surveying. This provides context for your studies and ensures you have an adequate skill base on which to found your academic learning. The second is a series of lectures and tutorials to allow you to develop these skills that will be of value to you throughout your program and in later life.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

On completion of this course you should be able to:

  1. Know and apply the skills necessary to succeed in an academic environment, including essay and report writing, critical thinking, presentation skills and teamwork skills
  2. Undertake basic research into topics in geospatial science
  3. Perform a variety of written and numerical tasks commonly required in the geospatial sciences
  4. Understand the importance and relevance of occupational health and safety, and ethical responsibilities in geospatial science practice and research

This course contributes to the development of the following Program Learning Outcomes for BH116 Bachelor of Applied Science (Surveying)(Honours) and BH117 Bachelor of Science (Geospatial Science) (Honours):

1.1 Describe the fundamental and applied scientific knowledge that underpins the geospatial sciences.

1.5 Discern research directions and advances within geospatial science.

4.1 Communicate effectively by means of oral, written and graphical presentations to peers and a wider audience.

5.1 Appreciate the environmental, social, legal and international aspects of actions and decisions in Surveying and the geospatial sciences.

5.2 Demonstrate a clear understanding of professional expectations and ethical requirements

6.1 Be self-motivated and personally responsible for your actions and learning.

6.2 Work with others and contribute in a constructive manner to group and team activities.

Overview of Learning Activities

In this course you will be actively engaged in a combination of lectures, tutorials, studio workshops, and computer laboratories plus a field project at RMIT’s Yarra Bend field station. We encourage you to work collaboratively with fellow students through the use of group projects and to engage in problem-based learning. You are strongly encouraged to actively participate in class discussion whereby topics can be openly and freely challenged by all participants.


Total study hours

A total of 117 study hours is expected, comprising:

Teacher-guided activities: 

Week 1 intensive (26 hours)

Lectures and interactive group learning sessions (31 hours).

Learner-directed activities (60 hours): independent study including watching online videos, group work, researching and writing assignments. 

Overview of Learning Resources

As an RMIT student you have access to extensive learning resources provided in the school and in the RMIT Library. The library offers comprehensive services and facilities, geared to assist you in completing your studies successfully. Further references will be advised in lectures. You will gain access to Canvas, where you will find a range of learning materials and recommended readings.  Use of computer labs will allow you to work with discipline-specific software.

A library subject guide is available at:

Overview of Assessment

This course has no hurdle requirements

Assessment tasks

Early Assessment Task: Report on Industry Speakers
Weighting 10%
This assessment task supports CLO 1


Assessment Task 2: Table & Graph Exercise

Weighting 10%

This assessment tasks supports CLOs 1 & 3

Assessment Task 3: Report of Field Project  

Weighting 20%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1 & 3


Assessment Task 4: Risk Assessment Report

Weighting 5%

This assessment task supports CLOs 4


Assessment Task 5: Individual Written Report

Weighting 30%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3


Assessment Task 6: Group Presentation on a contentious topic to a wider audience

Weighting 25%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1 & 2