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Unit of study_

HPSC3888: HPSC Interdisciplinary Project

Semester 2, 2022 [Normal day] - Remote

Our ever-changing world requires knowledge that extends across multiple disciplines. The ability to identify and explore interdisciplinary links is a crucial skill for emerging professionals and researchers alike. This unit presents the opportunity to bring together the concepts and skills you have learnt in your discipline and apply them to a real-world problem. You will work on a project which involves evaluating theories in HPS based on knowledge drawn from collaborators in another discipline, for instance by taking a recent scientific controversy or theoretical innovation as a case study. For example, you might test a proposal about the theoretical basis of neuroscience by comparing it to a predictive coding model of brain function, or test assumptions about how scientific models work by studying specific models in climatology or ecology. In this unit, you will continue to understand and explore disciplinary knowledge, while also meeting and collaborating with students from across the University through project-based learning; identifying and solving problems, collecting and analysing data and communicating your findings to a diverse audience. All of these skills are highly valued by employers. This unit will foster the ability to work in interdisciplinary teams, and this is essential for both professional and research pathways in the future.

Unit details and rules

Unit code HPSC3888
Academic unit History and Philosophy of Science Academic Operations
Credit points 6
12 credit points of HPSC2XXX
Assumed knowledge

Students should have demonstrated the ability to explain topics and concepts in HPS at an intermediate level

Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Dominic Murphy,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Assignment Definition of Question
Reflective Essay
10% Week 05
Due date: 04 Sep 2022 at 23:59
Details on Canvas
Outcomes assessed: LO5 LO6 LO7
Assignment Mid-term essay
Individual written essay
35% Week 08
Due date: 25 Sep 2022 at 23:59
Detailed information on canvas
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO5 LO4 LO2
Presentation Project Proposal Presentation
In-class Oral Presentation
10% Week 11 Detailed information on canvas
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO7 LO6 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
Assignment Project Prosal outline
Presentation outline
15% Week 11
Due date: 23 Oct 2022 at 23:59
Details on Canvas
Outcomes assessed: LO5 LO6
Assignment group assignment Written Group Report
Written Group Report
30% Week 13 Details on Canvas
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO7 LO5 LO6
group assignment = group assignment ?

Assessment summary

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

For more information see

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week -01 Takling about survival in disciplinary contexts Workshop (2 hr) LO2 LO3 LO5 LO6
Working with your team to solve a problem Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO6
Week -02 Introduction to group projects Lecture and tutorial (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO5 LO6
Week 02 Intro to Project work: Industry panel Workshop (2 hr) LO2 LO3 LO5 LO6
Week 03 Project work: Writing workshop; Intro to definition of question assessment Workshop (2 hr) LO2 LO3 LO5 LO6 LO7
Disciplinary Lecture- Philosophy of Biology perspectives on adaptation Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO7
Week 04 Project work: Writing workshop; Intro to definition of question assessment Project work: literature search Workshop (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO6
Philosophical issues in ecology Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 05 Project work Workshop (2 hr) LO2 LO3 LO6 LO7
Causation in complex natural systems Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 06 Project work paired with expert Workshop (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO6 LO7
De-extinction and rewilding; ethical and social issues Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO6 LO7
Week 07 Project work Workshop (2 hr) LO6 LO7
Philosophy of biology lecture; topic to be decided by class Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 08 Project work: Overview of Project presentations assessment, Science communication workshop Workshop (2 hr) LO2 LO3 LO5 LO6
Mid-semester short paper: discussion and preparation Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO7
Week 09 Labor day - no classes Workshop (2 hr)  
Week 10 Project work Workshop (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7
Week 11 Project presentations Workshop (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7
Week 12 Project work - final report Workshop (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7
Week 13 Project work -final report Workshop (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. Apply disciplinary knowledge to solve problems in an interdisciplinary context.
  • LO2. Find, define and delimit authentic problems in order to address them
  • LO3. Create an investigation strategy, explore solutions, discuss approaches and predict outcomes.
  • LO4. Analyse data using modern information technology and digital skills.
  • LO5. Demonstrate integrity, confidence, personal resilience and the capacity to manage challenges, both individually and in diverse teams
  • LO6. Collaborate with diverse groups and across cultural and disciplinary boundaries to develop solutions(s) to the project problems.
  • LO7. Communicate project outcomes effectively to a broad audience.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

This is the first time this unit has been offered.


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

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