Advanced Seminars in Physiology

Subject PHYS90008 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 29-Feb-2016 to 29-May-2016
Assessment Period End 24-Jun-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 11-Mar-2016
Census Date 31-Mar-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 06-May-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 30
Total Time Commitment:

An estimated total time commitment of 170 hours (including non-contact time)


Students must be enrolled in the Bachelor of Biomedicine (Honours), Bachelor of Science (Honours) or Master of Science to complete this subject.

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Undergraduate 3 year sequence in relevant experimental science discipline.

Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Equitable Adjustment Procedure (SEAP), academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and the Disability Liaison Unit:


Dr Rene Koopman


Subject Coordinator:

Dr Rene Koopman

Administrative Coordinator:

Ms Lesley Robinson

Subject Overview:

This subject uses Research Seminars as a vehicle to teach students the experimental approach to contemporary physiological questions. The seminars will be presented by a mixture of Physiology Department faculty, invited speakers from outside the department, and postgraduate students. The seminars will be chosen to cover each of the three main research areas of the department; Cardiovascular Physiology, Neurophysiology, and Muscle and Exercise Physiology. Students will engage with a diverse range of physiological questions and the experimental strategies used to address them. Students will learn to critique seminars and to focus on the scientific essentials, i.e. what question is being addressed? What led up to this question? What strategies are being used to answer the question, and how well have they succeeded? Three seminars will receive particular attention. Questions and recommended reading, set by the speaker, will be distributed several days in advance, to assist the student to start thinking along helpful lines before each of these three seminars. After attending each of these seminars, students will participate in workshops in which directed questions and structured discussion will be used to engage students further with the scientific issues arising from the seminars.

Learning Outcomes:

To develop student awareness and knowledge of how contemporary physiological questions are addressed in a broad range of sub-disciplines; To cultivate an appreciation and understanding of the major sub-disciplines of physiological research; To increase students’ knowledge of the experimental approaches and strategies used in different areas of physiology, and to think of ways that these could be applied to their own research projects; To teach students to think critically about the limitations and weaknesses that are associated with virtually all experimental strategies; To encourage students to conceptualize their own experimental strategies and approaches to physiological questions.


75% of assessment is from written assignments (three 1500-2000 word assignments submitted during semester, each worth 25%).
15% of the assessment is from workshop presentations.
10% of assessment is attendance at the weekly seminars.

Prescribed Texts:

No specific text. Recommended reading will be given with the pre-seminar questions for the three seminars used for assignments.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

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

Analysing complex scientific issues.
Identifying critical and essential factors from a large body of information
Making a constructive critique of a scientific presentation
Performing written and oral communication skills at a high standard.
Contributing to intellectual discussion
Generating new ideas for scientific experiments

Links to further information:

Related Course(s): Master of Science (BioSciences)
Master of Science (Zoology)
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Honours Program - BioSciences
Honours Program - Zoology

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