Botany Research Project Major

Subject BOTA90009 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 37.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2015:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 02-Mar-2015 to 31-May-2015
Assessment Period End 26-Jun-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 13-Mar-2015
Census Date 31-Mar-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 08-May-2015

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 27-Jul-2015 to 25-Oct-2015
Assessment Period End 20-Nov-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 07-Aug-2015
Census Date 31-Aug-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 25-Sep-2015

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: .
Total Time Commitment:

This subject is an individual research project and weekly contact hours will vary depending on the nature of the project. Students should discuss this with their supervisor but as a guide, a student enrolled in a 50 point research project subject would be expected to be engaged in their research for an average of forty hours per week or 800 hours for the semester. Students enrolled in a 37.5, 25 or 12.5 point research subject would be expected to be engaged in their research on a pro-rata basis.


Entry to the MSc (Botany program), or by approval of course coordinator.

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study and reasonable steps will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. This subject requires all students to actively and safely participate in laboratory activities. Students who feel their disability may impact upon their participation are encouraged to discuss this with the subject coordinator and the Disability Liaison Unit.


Dr Mike Bayly



Subject Overview:

This subject is the major research component for the Master of Science – Botany. The research project provides an opportunity for independent research under supervision in the School of Botany, in the areas of environmental science, molecular biology and biotechnology, functional plant biology, marine botany and plant systematics and evolution. The research project will provide: experience in reviewing scientific literature, hypothesis testing, design of laboratory and/or field experiments, training in experimental techniques, data analysis and interpretation, and development of written and oral presentation skills. The major research project has the potential to lead to research publication of results. The project will be designed in consultation with a supervisor(s) and approved by the School’s coordinator.

Learning Outcomes:

The objectives of this subject are to provide students with:

  • high-level experience in, and ability to conduct independent research in a field of plant science;
  • ability in reviewing and assessing scientific literature;
  • ability in hypothesis testing, design of laboratory and/or field experiments;
  • ability in advanced scientific techniques, data analysis and interpretation;
  • written and oral presentations; and
  • potential to proceed to the PhD degree.

The assessment requirements below are applicable to the entire 125 point research project.

  • a research proposal of 1,000 words due in the first month of the first semester of research project enrolment (hurdle requirement);
  • a comprehensive literature review due at the end of year 1 (10%; 3,000 words);
  • an oral presentation (20 minutes) on research progress due at the end of year 1 (pass/fail);
  • a presentation based on the research findings (5%; 40 minutes) due after the full 125 points of research project enrolment;
  • a research thesis (85%; 17,000 - 22,000 words) due after the full 125 points of research project enrolment.
  • Students are expected to attend the School’s general weekly seminar series held during semesters.
Prescribed Texts:


Recommended Texts:


Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

At the completion of this subject, students should gain skills in:

  • designing, managing and executing a research project;
  • demonstrating a breadth of knowledge in a particular discipline;
  • analysing and interpreting scientific data;
  • providing persuasive intellectual arguments;
  • exercising critical judgement, independent thinking and a problem solving approach;
  • written report presentation and oral communication; and
  • time management and self-organisation.
Related Course(s): Master of Science (Botany)

Download PDF version.