Course Title: Practical Biomedical Sciences

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Practical Biomedical Sciences

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


160H Medical Sciences


Sem 2 2010,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 2 2014,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 2 2016


Bundoora Campus


173H School of Health and Biomed


Sem 2 2017

Course Coordinator: Dr Simon Potocnik

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7074

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 223.02.020

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

System Enforced Pre-requisites (Enforced by SAMS)


Assumed Knowledge

Course Description

This course will enable you to gain practical experience of typical activities and objectives of a biomedical scientist.

This course aims to develop the capabilities and advanced analytic skills required for fulfilling employment in a range of biomedical environments including research and anatomy laboratories and the wider work place. The course comprises a series of workshops and a practical project, which may be in a research or teaching laboratory at RMIT or another work place.

The work integrated learning (WIL) projects are run according to a timetable devised between you and your project supervisor. The aim is to provide laboratory experience in which you should learn essential skills for biomedical scientists. These projects are in areas such as, cell and tissue culture, practical anatomy, epidemiology, experimental physiology, confocal and fluorescence microscopy.

This is a capstone experience and includes summative assessment tasks that evidence program learning outcomes and graduate attributes, including communication skills.

This course includes a Work Integrated Learning experience in which your knowledge and skills will be applied and assessed in a real or simulated workplace context and where feedback from industry and/or community is integral to your experience.

Students who would prefer to work in other parts of the industry will be supported to seek a work placement and to develop a project on which you report.

A series of seminars and workshops designed to develop understanding and application of research skills and methodologies and also job search and application skills will be presented. These should enrich the capabilities developed in the practical component with a theoretical understanding of experiment design, planning and execution.

You may choose from several projects late in semester 1 and work in a collaborative group to achieve the stated outcome of the project. The selection process for projects is based on competency in both practical and theoretical areas and may depend on your completion of previous courses.


Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the following program learning outcomes in

Biomedical Science (BP231):

  • Demonstrate a coherent understanding of Biomedical Science (PLO 1);
  • Critically analyse and solve scientific problems (PLO3);
  • Demonstrate effective communication of biomedical science (PLO 4)
  • Demonstrate accountability for your own learning and scientific work (PLO 5).

Bachelor of Science (Biotechnology)/ Biomedical Science (BP293)

  • Demonstrate a coherent understanding of biotechnology and biomedical sciences (PLO 1);
  • Critically analyse and solve scientific problems (PLO 3);
  • Demonstrate effective communication of biotechnology and biomedical science (PLO 4):
  • Demonstrate accountability for your own learning and scientific work (PLO 5)

Upon successful completion of the course, you should be able to demonstrate some of the following skills:

  1. Prepare and present both written and oral reports in scientific language, including referencing specialist literature.
  2. Search, read and review relevant literature
  3. Design experiments, develop and perform an experimental protocol. Analyse experimental data.
  4. Maintain laboratory records. Develop an understanding of record keeping procedures and ethics in biomedicine.

Overview of Learning Activities

Your major activity will be working in a laboratory in small groups, investigating a research topic.
Secondary to this, considerable time should be used in self-directed learning, exploring project specific literature and data analyses.
The course will include workshops to support your project, including literature searching, bibliographic tools, scientific writing and also job search strategies, CV and job application preparation.

The novel learning activity in this course is the nature of the project supervision. In the biomedical research environment work is collaborative and you are expected to provide draft versions of your data, written and planned oral presentations for discussion, critic and improvement by your supervisor. Discussion on draft material and laboratory procedures is formative assessment as are your responses to feedback.


Overview of Learning Resources

There are no prescribed textbooks for this course. Students should refer often to the course site (myRMIT) for workshop materials, announcements and course specific resources.

Your project supervisor is a major resource and should review drafts of written and oral presentations provided there is timely opportunity.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment includes demonstration of competency for the capability skills required to complete the research project.

  1. Feedback from the laboratory supervisor
  2. An oral presentation, 3 min, in support of your poster presentation
  3. Written report on your project.

Assessment Tasks

Early Assessment task: Annotated Bibliography

Weighting 15%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1 & 2

Assessment task 2: Job Search related – portfolio of CV, applications and identified job opportunities

Weighting 10%

This assessment task supports CLO 1

Assessment task 3: Poster presentation, 3 minute oral

Weighting 15%

This assessment supports CLOs 1, 3 & 4

Assessment task 4: Written project report

Weighting 50%

This assessment supports CLOs 1, 2, 3 & 4

Assessment task 5: Supervisor workplace assessment

Weighting 10%

This assessment supports CLOs 1, 2, 3 & 4