Quantitative Life Sciences

Unit outlines will be available through Find a unit outline two weeks before the first day of teaching for 1000-level and 5000-level units, or one week before the first day of teaching for all other units.
 

QUANTITATIVE LIFE SCIENCES (HONOURS)

The Bachelor of Advanced Studies (Honours) (Quantitative Life Sciences) requires 48 credit points from this table including:
(i) 6 credit points of 4000-level Honours coursework experimental design units, and
(ii) 18 credit points of 4000-level Honours coursework selective units, and
(iii) 24 credit points of 4000-level Honours research project units

Honours Coursework Experimental Design

LIFE4000 Data and Technology for the Life Sciences

Credit points: 6 Session: Intensive March Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Prerequisites: 144 credit points of units of study including a minimum of 24 credit points at the 3000- or 4000-level and 18 credit points of 3000- or 4000-level units from Science Table A or 1 Assumed knowledge: Completion of units in quantitative research methods, mathematics or statistical analysis at least at 1000-level. Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Campus: Remote Mode of delivery: Block mode
Advances in digital technology are creating new ways to quantify biological processes and properties, from the scale of molecules to ecosystems. The life scientist of the 21st century needs to understand how to collect, manage, synthesise, and communicate this information within a reproducible workflow in order to make robust inferences about the natural world. This intensive unit of study will introduce you to key concepts and tools across three modules: digital project and data management, evidence synthesis and meta-analysis, and scientific coding using R. The focus is on active learning, discussion, and problem-solving across intensive workshop-based practicals, rather than the traditional lecture format. By completing this unit you will further understand the practical realities of scientific inquiry. To that end, you will develop a flexible skillet for conducting reproducible and open research to ensure the results of your work are maximally beneficial to both your future self and the broader community. Knowledge of how to work with data through the entire pipeline -from sampling to synthesis-will be useful wherever it is encountered in your education, career, and life.
Textbooks
Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units
SCIE4002 Experimental Design and Data Analysis

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Session: Intensive March Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Prerequisites: 144 credit points of units of study and including a minimum of 24 credit points at the 3000- or 4000-level and 18 credit points of 3000- or 4000-level units from Science Table A. Prohibitions: ENVX3002 or STAT3X22 or STAT4022 or STAT3X12 Assumed knowledge: Completion of units in quantitative research methods, mathematics or statistical analysis at least at 1000-level. Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Campus: Remote Mode of delivery: Block mode
An indispensable attribute of an effective scientific researcher is the ability to collect, analyse and interpret data. Central to this process is the ability to create hypotheses and test these by using rigorous experimental designs. This modular unit of study will introduce the key concepts of experimental design and data analysis. Specifically, you will learn to formulate experimental aims to test a specific hypothesis. You will develop the skills and understanding required to design a rigorous scientific experiment, including an understanding of concepts such as controls, replicates, sample size, dependent and independent variables and good research practice (e. g. blinding, randomisation). By completing this unit you will develop the knowledge and skills required to appropriately analyse and interpret data in order to draw conclusions in the context of an advanced research project. From this unit of study, you will emerge with a comprehensive understanding of how to optimise the design and analysis of an experiment to most effectively answer scientific questions.

Honours Coursework Selective

ENVX4001 GIS, Remote Sensing and Land Management

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 1 Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Prerequisites: 144 cp of 1000-3000 level units Assumed knowledge: Basic GIS knowledge. Completion of at least a major or minor Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Campus: Remote Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
This unit of study is aimed at advanced techniques in Remote Sensing RS linked with Geographical Information Systems GIS as applied to land management problems We will review the basic principles of GIS and then focus on advanced RS principles and techniques used for land resource assessment and management This will be followed by practical training in RS techniques augmented by land management project development and implementation based on integration of GIS and RS tools The unit thus consists of three separate but overlapping parts 1 a short theoretical part which focuses on the concepts of RS 2 a practical part which aims at developing handson skills in using RS tools and 3 an applicationfocused module in which students will learn the skills of how to design a land management project and actualize it using integrated GIS and RS techniques
Textbooks
Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units
LIFE4101 Advanced Life Science

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Session: Semester 1 Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Prerequisites: A WAM of 65 or greater. 144 credit points of units of study, including a minimum of 12 credit points from the following (AMED3XXX or ANAT3XXX or ANSC3105 or BCHM3XXX or BCMB3XXX or BIOL3XXX or CPAT3XXX or ENVX3XXX or FOOD3XXX or GEGE3XXX or HSTO3XXX or IMMU3XXX or INFD3XXX or MEDS3XXX or MICR3XXX or NEUR3XXX or NUTM3XXX or PCOL3XXX or PHSI3XXX or QBIO3XXX or SCPU3001 or STAT3XXX or VIRO3XXX). Assumed knowledge: This unit is advanced coursework related to understanding cellular and molecular processes in biology. It assumes background knowledge of cellular and molecular biological aspects of the life sciences consistent with a degree major in Biochemistry, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Cell and Developmental Biology, Cell Pathology, Genetics and Genomics, Immunobiology, Infectious Diseases, Medical Science, Microbiology, Molecular Biology and Genetics, Nutrition and Metabolism, Nutrition Science, or Quantitative Life Sciences. Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Campus: Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
Note: This unit must be taken by all students in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology honours or Microbiology honours.
Living organisms are impacted by processes that occur across a very wide range of scales. These range from rapid processes at the molecular and cellular scale to multi-year processes at environmental and evolutionary scales. One of the great challenges for modern systems biology is integrating measurements across these scales to understand gene x environment interactions. This unit will develop your skills in this area through critical analysis of a series of recent research papers on a themed topic in small group discussions. For each paper we will explore principles behind the key methods and the methods' practicality. We will look at how those methods were incorporated into an experimental design to address a biological question. We will critically assess the support for conclusions in their paper and their scientific significance. By doing this unit you will develop skills in reading and interpreting primary scientific literature and an advanced understanding of modern topic in systems biology. You will gain a high level of understanding of the theory of key biochemical and statistical methods for analysis of genes, proteins, and cells in biological systems. You will gain the confidence to apply these insights to planning, conducting and reporting your own research findings.
MATH4076 Computational Mathematics

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Session: Semester 1 Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Prerequisites: [A mark of 65 or above in (12cp of MATH2XXX) or (6cp of MATH2XXX and 6cp of STAT2XXX or DATA2X02)] or (12cp of MATH3XXX) Assumed knowledge: (MATH2X21 and MATH2X22) or (MATH2X61 and MATH2X65) Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Campus: Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Sophisticated mathematics and numerical programming underlie many computer applications, including weather forecasting, computer security, video games, and computer aided design. This unit of study provides a strong foundational introduction to modern interactive programming, computational algorithms, and numerical analysis. Topics covered include: (I) basics ingredients of programming languages such as syntax, data structures, control structures, memory management and visualisation; (II) basic algorithmic concepts including binary and decimal representations, iteration, linear operations, sources of error, divide-and-concur, algorithmic complexity; and (III) basic numerical schemes for rootfinding, integration/differentiation, differential equations, fast Fourier transforms, Monte Carlo methods, data fitting, discrete and continuous optimisation. You will also learn about the philosophical underpinning of computational mathematics including the emergence of complex behaviour from simple rules, undecidability, modelling the physical world, and the joys of experimental mathematics. When you complete this unit you will have a clear and comprehensive understanding of the building blocks of modern computational methods and the ability to start combining them together in different ways. Mathematics and computing are like cooking. Fundamentally, all you have is sugar, fat, salt, heat, stirring, chopping. But becoming a good chef requires knowing just how to put things together in creative ways that work. In previous study, you should have learned to cook. Now you're going to learn how to make something someone else might want to pay for more than one time.
SCIE4001 Science Communication

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Session: Semester 1 Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Prerequisites: 144 credit points of units of study and including a minimum of 24 credit points at the 3000- or 4000-level and 18 credit points of 3000- or 4000-level units from Science Table A. Assumed knowledge: Completion of a major in a science discipline. Basic knowledge of other sciences is beneficial. Experience in communication such as delivering oral presentations and producing written reports. An awareness of science in a societal context, e.g., of disciplinary applications. Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Campus: Remote Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Note: Mid-year honours students would take this unit of study in S1 (their second semester of study).
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough". This quote is widely attributed to Albert Einstein, but regardless of its provenance, it suggests that one measure of an expert's knowledge can be found in their ability to translate complex ideas so that they are accessible to anyone. The communication of science to the public is essential for science and society. In order to increase public understanding and appreciation of science, researchers must be able to explain their results, and the wider context of their research, to non-experts. This unit will explore some theoretical foundations of science communications, identify outstanding practitioners and empower students to produce effective science communication in different media. In this unit you will learn the necessary skills and techniques to tell engaging and informative science stories in order to bring complex ideas to life, for non-expert audiences. By undertaking this unit you will develop a greater understanding of the wider context of your honours unit, advance your communication skills and be able to explain your honours research to non-expert audiences such as friends, family or future employers. These transferable skills will equip you for future research - where emphasis is increasingly placed on public communication and/or outreach - or professional pathways - where effective communication of complex ideas is highly valued.
SCIE4003 Ethics in Science

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Session: Intensive August,Intensive March Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Prerequisites: 144 credit points of units of study and including a minimum of 24 credit points at the 3000- or 4000-level and 18 credit points of 3000- or 4000-level units from Science Table A Prohibitions: HSBH3004 or HPSC3107 Assumed knowledge: Successful completion of a Science major. Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Campus: Remote Mode of delivery: Block mode
In the contemporary world, a wide variety of ethical concerns impinge upon the practice of scientific research. In this unit you will learn how to identify potential ethical issues within science, acquire the tools necessary to analyse them, and develop the ability to articulate ethically sound insights about how to resolve them. In the first portion of the unit, you will be familiarised with how significant developments in post-World War II science motivated sustained ethical debate among scientists and in society. In the second portion of the unit, you will select from either a Human Ethics module or an Animal Ethics module and learn the requirements of how to ensure your research complies with appropriate national legislation and codes of conduct. By undertaking this unit you will develop the ability to conduct scientific research in an ethically justifiable way, place scientific developments and their application in a broader social context, and analyse the social implications and ethical issues that may potentially arise in the course of developing scientific knowledge.
STAT4025 Time Series

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Session: Semester 1 Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Prerequisites: STAT2X11 and (MATH1X03 or MATH1907 or MATH1X23 or MATH1933) Prohibitions: STAT3925 Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Campus: Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
This unit will study basic concepts and methods of time series analysis applicable in many real world problems in numerous fields, including economics, finance, insurance, physics, ecology, chemistry, computer science and engineering. This unit will investigate the basic methods of modelling and analyzing of time series data (ie. data containing serially dependence structure). This can be achieved through learning standard time series procedures on identification of components, autocorrelations, partial autocorrelations and their sampling properties. After setting up these basics, students will learn the theory of stationary univariate time series models including ARMA, ARIMA and SARIMA and their properties. Then the identification, estimation, diagnostic model checking, decision making and forecasting methods based on these models will be developed with applications. The spectral theory of time series, estimation of spectra using periodogram and consistent estimation of spectra using lag-windows will be studied in detail. Further, the methods of analyzing long memory and time series and heteroscedastic time series models including ARCH, GARCH, ACD, SCD and SV models from financial econometrics and the analysis of vector ARIMA models will be developed with applications. By completing this unit, students will develop the essential basis for further studies, such as financial econometrics and financial time series. The skills gained through this unit of study will form a strong foundation to work in a financial industry or in a related research organization.
STAT4026 Statistical Consulting

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Session: Semester 1 Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Prerequisites: At least 12cp from STAT2X11 or STAT2X12 or DATA2X02 or STAT3XXX Prohibitions: STAT3926 Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Practical field work: Face to face client consultation: approximately 1 - 1.5 hrs/week Campus: Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
In our ever-changing world, we are facing a new data-driven era where the capability to efficiently combine and analyse large data collections is essential for informed decision making in business and government, and for scientific research. Statistics and data analytics consulting provide an important framework for many individuals to seek assistance with statistics and data-driven problems. This unit of study will provide students with an opportunity to gain real-life experience in statistical consulting or work with collaborative (interdisciplinary) research. In this unit, you will have an opportunity to have practical experience in a consultation setting with real clients. You will also apply your statistical knowledge in a diverse collection of consulting projects while learning project and time management skills. In this unit you will need to identify and place the client's problem into an analytical framework, provide a solution within a given time frame and communicate your findings back to the client. All such skills are highly valued by employers. This unit will foster the expertise needed to work in a statistical consulting firm or data analytical team which will be essential for data-driven professional and research pathways in the future.
STAT4027 Advanced Statistical Modelling

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Session: Semester 2 Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Prerequisites: (STAT3X12 or STAT3X22 or STAT4022) and (STAT3X13 or STAT3X23 or STAT4023) Assumed knowledge: A three year major in statistics or equivalent including familiarity with material in DATA2X02 and STAT3X22 (applied statistics and linear models) or equivalent Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Campus: Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Applied Statistics fundamentally brings statistical learning to the wider world. Some data sets are complex due to the nature of their responses or predictors or have high dimensionality. These types of data pose theoretical, methodological and computational challenges that require knowledge of advanced modelling techniques, estimation methodologies and model selection skills. In this unit you will investigate contemporary model building, estimation and selection approaches for linear and generalised linear regression models. You will learn about two scenarios in model building: when an extensive search of the model space is possible; and when the dimension is large and either stepwise algorithms or regularisation techniques have to be employed to identify good models. These particular data analysis skills have been foundational in developing modern ideas about science, medicine, economics and society and in the development of new technology and should be in the toolkit of all applied statisticians. This unit will provide you with a strong foundation of critical thinking about statistical modelling and technology and give you the opportunity to engage with applications of these methods across a wide scope of applications and for research or further study.

Honours Core Research Project

QBIO4103 Quantitative Life Sciences Honours Project A

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Practical field work: Honours in some cases involves practical fieldwork. Arrangements will differ between students and be tailored to the specific requirements of research topics. Campus: Remote Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Independent research can be a life changing experience. In this unit you will complete a research project in the discipline of Quantitative Life Sciences. Together with your supervisor, you will identify a novel research question and develop a hypothesis. You will then design and carry out experiments to test your hypothesis. In terms of assessment, you will communicate the research plan and findings through written tasks and oral presentations culminating in a 20, 000 words honours thesis. Successful completion of your Honours will clearly demonstrate that you have mastered significant research and professional skills for either undertaking a PhD or any variety of future careers.
QBIO4104 Quantitative Life Sciences Honours Project B

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Corequisites: QBIO4103 Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Practical field work: Honours in some cases involves practical fieldwork. Arrangements will differ between students and be tailored to the specific requirements of research topics. Campus: Remote Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Independent research can be a life changing experience. In this unit you will complete a research project in the discipline of Quantitative Life Sciences. Together with your supervisor, you will identify a novel research question and develop a hypothesis. You will then design and carry out experiments to test your hypothesis. In terms of assessment, you will communicate the research plan and findings through written tasks and oral presentations culminating in a 20, 000 words honours thesis. Successful completion of your Honours will clearly demonstrate that you have mastered significant research and professional skills for either undertaking a PhD or any variety of future careers.
QBIO4105 Quantitative Life Sciences Honours Project C

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Corequisites: QBIO4104 Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Practical field work: Honours in some cases involves practical fieldwork. Arrangements will differ between students and be tailored to the specific requirements of research topics. Campus: Remote Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Independent research can be a life changing experience. In this unit you will complete a research project in the discipline of Quantitative Life Sciences. Together with your supervisor, you will identify a novel research question and develop a hypothesis. You will then design and carry out experiments to test your hypothesis. In terms of assessment, you will communicate the research plan and findings through written tasks and oral presentations culminating in a 20, 000 words honours thesis. Successful completion of your Honours will clearly demonstrate that you have mastered significant research and professional skills for either undertaking a PhD or any variety of future careers.
QBIO4106 Quantitative Life Sciences Honours Project D

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Corequisites: QBIO4105 and SCIE4999 Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Practical field work: Honours in some cases involves practical fieldwork. Arrangements will differ between students and be tailored to the specific requirements of research topics. Campus: Remote Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Independent research can be a life changing experience. In this unit you will complete a research project in the discipline of Quantitative Life Sciences. Together with your supervisor, you will identify a novel research question and develop a hypothesis. You will then design and carry out experiments to test your hypothesis. In terms of assessment, you will communicate the research plan and findings through written tasks and oral presentations culminating in a 20, 000 words honours thesis. Successful completion of your Honours will clearly demonstrate that you have mastered significant research and professional skills for either undertaking a PhD or any variety of future careers.
SCIE4999 Final Honours Mark

Teacher/Coordinator: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Campus: Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
All students in Science Honours must enrol in this non-assessable unit of study in their final semester. This unit will contain your final Honours mark as calculated from your coursework and research project units.