Course Title: The Professional Scientist

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: The Professional Scientist

Credit Points: 12.00

Important Information:

To participate in any RMIT course in-person activities or assessment, you will need to comply with RMIT vaccination requirements which are applicable during the duration of the course. This RMIT requirement includes being vaccinated against COVID-19 or holding a valid medical exemption. 

Please read this RMIT Enrolment Procedure as it has important information regarding COVID vaccination and your study at RMIT: 

Please read the Student website for additional requirements of in-person attendance: 

Please check your Canvas course shell closer to when the course starts to see if this course requires mandatory in-person attendance. The delivery method of the course might have to change quickly in response to changes in the local state/national directive regarding in-person course attendance.


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


135H Applied Sciences


Sem 1 2015,
Sem 1 2016


City Campus


171H School of Science


Sem 2 2017,
Sem 2 2018,
Sem 2 2019,
Sem 2 2020,
Sem 2 2021


City Campus


171H School of Science


Sem 2 2017,
Sem 2 2020,
Sem 2 2021

Course Coordinator: Dr Blanca del Rosal Rabes

Course Coordinator Phone: Contact via email

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: City Campus

Course Coordinator Availability: by appointment, by email

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

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

- Opportunities to develop your resume and job interview skills.

- Recorded Lectures on topics important to the professional scientist, such as working in teams, legal and ethical aspects of science, cultural awareness, and risk management.

- Working in teams to develop a mock research proposal on a topic of interest to industry or government.

- Presenting your work at a virtual conference where you will engage with fellow students and academic staff.

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.

Our course motto is: "Employability; Professionalism; Development". The course provides the broad, transferable, and practical skills and learning outcomes that the market demands and are appropriate for enhancing employability in any organisation for science graduates

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the development of the following Program Learning Outcomes at AQF level 9

  • PLO 1.1 a body of knowledge that includes the understanding of recent developments in enviornmental science and the technological advances related to measurement techniques, remediation processes and pollution control
  • PLO 1.3 knowledge of the regulatory frameworks and ethical principles relevant to enironmental science and development of associated technologies.
  • PLO 2.1 cognitive skills which demonstrate mastery of theoretical knowledge about environmental processes enabling critical reflection on environmenal theory and professional practice or scholarship
  • PLO 2.4 communication and technical research skills to enable you to justify and interpret theoretical propositions, methodologies, conclusions and professional decisions to specialist and non specialist audiences
  • PLO 2.5 technical and communication skills to design, evaluate, implement, analyse and theorise about developments that contribute to environmental professional practice or scholarship
  • PLO 3.1 creativity and initiative to new situations in your role as an enviornmental professional practitioner and/or in your further studies
  • PLO 3.2 high level personal autonomy and accountability
  • PLO 3.3 due regard to ethical conduct, the law and the safety of yourself and others around you.

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

CLO 1: Identify and understand the roles played by professional scientists in a range of contexts; Represent your personal achievements in a job application and resume

CLO 2: Prepare professional documents and presentations in selected industry contexts; Critically review information relevant to your discipline and project topic and communicate about the relevance of this information to your topic

CLO 3: Establish a project proposal for a selected professional industry context

CLO 4: Assess the issues related to the design and implementation of the proposal including background, methods, budget, logistics, ethics, and safety, and consolidate this information into your project proposal

CLO 5: Work effectively, responsibly, ethically and safely in an individual or team context

Overview of Learning Activities

This course will run fully online. In this course you will be actively engaged in a series of recorded lectures from experienced professional scientists, as well as using learning through extensive online content and activities. 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 where topics can be openly and freely challenged by all participants.

Total Study Hours

36 teacher guided hrs plus approximately 60 hr working in teams and on 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 Canvas.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment will include:

Early Assessment Task: Job Application and Interview

Weighting 20%

This assessment contributes to CLO 1.

Assessment Task 2: Research Scoping Report

Weighting 30%

This assessment contributes to CLO 2 and CLO 3

Assessment Task 3: Group Research Proposal

Weighting 30%

This assessment contributes to CLOs 4 & 5.

Assessment Task 4: Group Research Poster and Presentation

Weighting 20%

This assessment contributes to CLOs 4 & 5.