Skip to main content
Unit of study_

Experimental Design for Life Sciences - OLET5616

Year - 2020

This Open Learning Environment unit of study is targeted at students undertaking a research degree. The development of a design is crucial for the scientific and statistical validity of research in the life sciences. These are needed for a range of situations from controlled laboratory studies where we are comparing specific drug treatments to field-based studies where we are surveying a particular bird species. No matter the context there are fundamental concepts common to all types of designs that all life scientists should know, and these form the basis for deeper knowledge. This unit will initially reinforce these fundamental concepts with a focus on both laboratory and field research with an emphasis on experimental and sampling designs. You will learn the vocabulary used in designing experiments and how this relates to their scientific and statistical validity. Using a series of published papers and ongoing research projects you will engage with the different types of designs and when and why they are used. Online modules and optional workshops will offer you the opportunity to gain experience in designing experiments and analysing the datasets they generate. By doing this unit you will develop the ability to describe and critique the key features of sampling and experimental designs, analyse the data they generate and use this knowledge to generate your own designs in your future career.

2hr optional workshops/week, 1 x 3hr compulsory workshop in week 4, online material

4 x online quizzes (12.5% each, total 50%), 1 x presentation (25%), 1 x group written assignment (25%)

Assumed knowledge
It is expected students have had exposure to introductory statistics from prior learning.


Faculty: Science

Intensive May

20 Apr 2020

Department/School: Life and Environmental Sciences Academic Operations
Study Mode: Block mode
Census Date: 08 May 2020
Unit of study level: Postgraduate
Credit points: 2.0
EFTSL: 0.042
Available for study abroad and exchange: No
Faculty/department permission required? No
More details
Unit of Study coordinator: Thomas Bishop
HECS Band: 2
Courses that offer this unit

Non-award/non-degree study If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student. Cross-institutional study If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to undertake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.