Course Title: Professional Experience

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Professional Experience

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


160H Medical Sciences


Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009

Course Coordinator: Dr Peter Rich

Course Coordinator Phone: +(61 3) 9925 7593

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 201.2.40

Course Coordinator Availability: Email for appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Completion of second-year courses in B.App.Sc. (Biomedical Science) or equivalent, so that the student has sufficient knowledge and skill to be able to function effectively in a workplace.   The course is best taken before or from the beginning of the student’s final year, to allow maximum benefit from the course during the work experience and report writing.  Information on the requirements is given in formal sessions held early in the semester to ensure that students understand the requirements.

It is important to understand that this is a very "self-driven" course - the student will be responsible for finding a relevant work experience site (with consultation with the coordinator)

Course Description

This subject has a vocational focus. It helps to prepare students for a career in biological sciences, biomedical sciences and biotechnology.

Its aims are as follows:
1. To develop students’ understanding of the practical issues in working in a workplace in biological sciences, biomedical sciences and biotechnology.
2. To introduce students to scientific methods as applied in the workplace.
3. To develop students’ critical thinking abilities in evaluating and critiquing a workplace.
4. To develop students’ ability to use information services, e.g. libraries, databases, computers and their software to find and use information.
5. To develop students’ skills in scientific communication in oral and written presentation.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

By the end of the subject, students should be able, at an intermediate standard, to:

1. understand and be able to apply the main methods used in a workplace
2. evaluate the experience and critique the workplace methods and organisation
3. know and use basic information services available in the library, including computer-based services, e.g. catalogues, databases
4. use computer applications for word-processing (Word) and spreadsheet/database/graphics (Excel) for presenting reports
5. write a formal written report on the work experience, including selection of material and its satisfactory presentation in tables and graphs
· literature citation and referencing in a conventional manner.

This course is particularly important in the graduate capabilities of: knowledgability, critical-thinking ability, employability, self-directed learning skills and good communication skills (written and verbal). 

Overview of Learning Activities

Students will receive job seeking skills through workshops presented by professionals (reusme writing, report writing, interview skills)  during the first semester. During placement, students will be guided by supervisors  "on site".

 Instruction will take the form of workshops (previously mentioned) and assignments coupled with a minimum of 140 hours’ work placement found by the student at a venue to be decided upon in consultation with the course coordinator. This venue must be approved by the course coordinator before the work experience commences. Obviously, the learning activities will be largely determined by the responsibilities assigned to the student during the actual work experience and any training that might be provided there.

Overview of Learning Resources

There are no prescribed texts for this course. Students are expected to use the resources available on the internet and in the workplace to assess their environment.

Distributed Learning System (DLS)
The DLS Blackboard has copies of the documents to be handed to supervisors for their certification, and a full description of the assignment and other requirements are provided there too as part of the comprehensive course guide

Prescribed Text
There is no prescribed text.

For style of report:
Commonwealth of Australia (1994). Style Manual for Authors, Editors and Printers, 5th edn. AGPS, Canberra.

For content of report:
References on regulations that govern workplaces and management of workplaces are available through the library and at the workplaces themselves.

Overview of Assessment

The subject is graded as PASS/NO PASS only.

Students must attend the workshops offered and complete any associated assignments unless they have already commenced/completed the work placement

Assignments will include writing a "phantom" job application and a final critical report on the work experinced unteraken. Guidelines for the report are provided with the detailed course guide. Briefly, it includes an overview of the worksite (where it is, what it does, responsibilities undertaken); detailed descriptions of the skills practiced (lab test etc); description of the workflow; major occupational health and safety issues (how OHS training was provided); strengths and weaknesses of the experience.

The professional experience undertaken will be assessed as follows:· workshop attendance; completion of any assignments; formal written report (described briefly above) and an assessment of the student’s performance provided by the professional experience supervisor (see Supervisor Documents in full guide).