Course Title: Science Work Project

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Science Work Project

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Coordinator: A/Prof Graeme Allinson

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 3561

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: City Campus: Bld 3, Level 2, Room 23

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

You must have completed at least 96 credit points (2 semesters) of your postgraduate Science degree.

Course Description

This course will extend your science knowledge and skills gained in your previous study; moreover it will allow you the opportunity to apply these in a real-work setting.

You will undertake a work experience of at least 120 hrs over a period of one semester in an organisation related to your area of study, either individually or in a group. You will use RMIT resources as necessary to find a position in an organisation relevant to your area of study.

You will engage in tasks similar to paid employees, and report to your university supervisor on a regular basis. You will keep a journal indicating your activities at the workplace and reflect on how this experience relates to your coursework experience. You will work safely, ethically and in a manner in keeping of your profession.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

On successful completion of this course, you should be able to:

  1. Apply for, commence and successfully complete your work experience assignment.
  2. Prepare a risk assessment of your workplace tasks, and update it if and when the tasks change and obtain approval by your University and workplace supervisors.
  3. Apply your skills in a workplace, displaying technical skills suitable to your chosen discipline
  4. Recognise professionalism in your workplace with respect to safety, ethics, teamwork and communication and adapt your own behaviour to demonstrate professionalism
  5. Reflect on how scientific principles are applied in a workplace setting and identify the similarities and differences between course work and your industry work.
  6. Communicate the outcomes of your work experience in a written report

This course is a University elective for most Science Masters by Coursework degrees. It is designed to contribute to the following PLOs at Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) level 8 and above:

  • Understanding Science
  • Communication and technical skills
  • Personal and Professional practice

Overview of Learning Activities

In this course you will be expected to find and apply for a work experience of at least 120 hrs with an organisation appropriate to your scientific discipline, utilising the various student support services available at RMIT.

You are expected to negotiate with the RMIT supervisor and the potential employer concerning the conditions, e.g. starting time and date, supervision, expected activities, and ensure necessary paperwork is completed. As an RMIT enrolled student, RMIT will provide insurance for your work experience.

In the workplace, you will be inducted into your expected activities and complete an OHS risk assessment of the expected tasks; this will be approved by both your RMIT and workplace supervisors. If the tasks change over the course of the work experience, you are expected to reassess your tasks and adjust your risk assessment accordingly.

Every fortnight, you are expected to submit a written journal to your RMIT supervisor indicating your activities over the past fortnight. You should also reflect/comment on what you have learned, particularly with reference to your course work and any similarities and differences between course work and industry work.

You will write a summary report and reflection at the end of the work experience.

You will be expected to supplement your knowledge with additional readings of journal articles, industry magazines, organisational policies and procedures, as required.


Total study hours

This activity is expected to consist of at least 120 hours (e.g. minimally10hr /wk x 12 wk) over one semester. If you are requested to continue working with the organisation, you will need to re-negotiate conditions (e.g. payments), and any such arrangement will be ‘extra-curricular’ to this course.  

You may need to allow additional time for independent study / reading to understand the technology and processes employed in your workplace.

Overview of Learning Resources

This is a ‘learning-by-doing’ course. As such, there is no set text book or required reading, however information and skills gained in previous courses will be called upon. You should access the RMIT library, the company’s resources and the internet to acquire information about technology and processes employed in your workplace.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment for this course consists of:

  • Work placement summary plan (5%)
  • Risk assessment(s) of the work experience tasks (10%) CLO 2
  • Regular activity and reflective practice reporting to your RMIT supervisor (50%) CLO 3,4 and 5
  • End of placement reflective summary including lessons learned (25%) CLO 3, 4.
  • Work Placement Supervisor assessment (10%) CLO1, 2, 3, 4, 5