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Unit of study_

SCDL1991: Science Dalyell Showcase

Semester 1, 2021 [Normal day] - Remote

Scientific research is one of the keys to expanding our understanding of the workings of the universe, and is a key driver of technological innovation, which in turn drives many social changes. This unit of study introduces scientific research at a tertiary level to students with a passion and enthusiasm for research science and a demonstrated aptitude in science. In small groups, you will engage with cutting-edge problems studied by research groups across the Faculty of Science. Led by a senior undergraduate group leader, and supported by an academic expert, you will learn about a field of study related to this problem. Together you will collect and critically investigate data, then create models, formulate hypotheses, and draw conclusions supported by these data. Your group will collectively develop collaboration and communication skills, and engage a wide audience in the Showcase event where you will present your results to other students, academics, and the general public. You will also develop your scientific writing skills by preparing a scientific report on the outcomes of your study.

Unit details and rules

Unit code SCDL1991
Academic unit Science Faculty
Credit points 6
must be in the Dalyell stream
Assumed knowledge

strong understanding of the scientific method. Students should have completed a science subject at HSC level.

Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Derrick Roberts,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Skills-based evaluation Individual performance
The supervisor and/or mentor evaluate student's individual contribution.
15% Ongoing Ongoing — see Canvas for details.
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO6 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
Assignment group assignment PowerPoint slide summary
Summary slides of the final presentation.
5% Week 12
Due date: 28 May 2021 at 23:59
Two slides
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO4 LO6
Assignment group assignment Showcase presentation
Slides due 5pm day before. Groups present findings. One delegate for Q&A.
30% Week 12
Due date: 26 May 2021 at 17:00
5 minutes plus Q&A
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Assignment group assignment Written report
Fully referenced scientific report summarising project findings.
30% Week 13
Due date: 03 Jun 2021 at 23:59
Approximately 2000-3000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO6 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
Assignment Reflective Journal: Executive Summary
Executive summary of reflective journal and research contributions.
15% Week 13
Due date: 04 Jun 2021 at 23:59
300-400 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Assignment Reflective task: journal
Journal reflecting on research progress and experience.
5% Weekly 200 words per week minimum
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
group assignment = group assignment ?

Assessment summary

  • Written report: The report will be a group effort and each student in the group will contribute equally. This report can be written in a style suitable for the informed reader (supervisor and in-field academics) and specific terms and jargon can be used. References and figures should be included (but are not included in the word count) just like a professional report or a review in a scientific journal. Specific details will be provided on Canvas.
  • Showcase presentation: You will present your findings as a group at the Dalyell Showcase evening during week 12. Your 5-minute presentation will be assessed by all academic supervisors and Dalyell coordinators present. Part of the assessment is a Q&A session at the end of the Showcase, for which you will nominate one group member as a representative.
  • Individual performance: The third year leader and supervisor will assess the individual research contribution of each first year student. Informal tasks (e.g., writing samples, research notes, reflective tasks) may be used to help assess individual performance and contributions.
  • Reflective tasks: Students will individually engage in structured weekly reflection about the process and experience of research. Please prepare this as a Google Document with History sharing, and supply the URL. You will also be required to provide an executive summary of these reflections. Instructions for both will be provided on Canvas. 
  • PowerPoint slide summary: Each group should compile two PowerPoint slides that summarise their project. A non-specialist scientist should be able to understand what’s on the slide. Slides may be used for promotion of the Dalyell Showcase with, of course, appropriate acknowledgement of the group that did the project.

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas, including assessment rubrics.

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.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100

At HD level, a student demonstrates a flair for the subject as well as a detailed and comprehensive understanding of the unit material. A ‘High Distinction’ reflects exceptional achievement and is awarded to a student who demonstrates the ability to apply their subject knowledge and understanding to produce original solutions for novel or highly complex problems and/or comprehensive critical discussions of theoretical concepts.


75 - 84

At DI level, a student demonstrates an aptitude for the subject and a well-developed understanding of the unit material. A ‘Distinction’ reflects excellent achievement and is awarded to a student who demonstrates an ability to apply their subject knowledge and understanding of the subject to produce good solutions for challenging problems and/or a reasonably well-developed critical analysis of theoretical concepts.


65 - 74

At CR level, a student demonstrates a good command and knowledge of the unit material. A ‘Credit’ reflects solid achievement and is awarded to a student who has a broad general understanding of the unit material and can solve routine problems and/or identify and superficially discuss theoretical concepts.


50 - 64

At PS level, a student demonstrates proficiency in the unit material. A ‘Pass’ reflects satisfactoryachievement and is awarded to a student who has threshold knowledge.


0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory 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 02 Showcase information session from UoS coordinator Dr Derrick Roberts — general advice, guidelines and Q&A session about how to get started with your research projects, and information on presentation and report writing skills. Lecture (2 hr)  
Week 06 Groups will check in with the Unit Coordinator for progress and planning. Please bring any questions or concerns. Everyone is welcome, but at least two representatives from each group should attend. Timeslots for this will be released on Canvas. Workshop (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO6
Week 12 An evening Showcase event, including presentation practices and the main presentations. Each group will have 5 minutes per talk, and will provide a representative to answer questions on a panel. Presentation (5 hr) LO2 LO3
Weekly You will be sorted into project groups of 4-8 students each, according to project preferences. Each group will be assigned a senior student mentor in addition to the academic supervisor. You will be expected to meet with the student mentor and/or the supervisor, as well as teammates on a weekly basis, and put in approximately 12 hours of effort per week as a combination of meetings and individual work. Independent study (12 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6

Attendance and class requirements

Students are expected to attend all group meetings unless evidence of valid absence (e.g., medical certificate, unmovable commitment) is provided to the group supervisor and unit coordinator. All students are expected to attend the final Showcase seminar.

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.

Required readings

There are no prescribed readings for this unit. Each project group will need to engage with the academic literature of their field in consultation with their supervisors and group leaders.

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. solve a scientific problem independently, in collaboration with a team of researchers.
  • LO2. effectively communicate and collaborate in a group.
  • LO3. work effectively as part of a team.
  • LO4. obtain and integrate information from a range of scientific resources (books, journals, online, meetings with experts).
  • LO5. critically analyse the information you obtain.
  • LO6. formulate innovative and creative ideas.

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.

In response to student feedback, there is now an early-semester lecture from the Unit coordinator where students are provided with guidelines about starting their research projects, managing literature, preparing their reports and final presentations. There is also a mid-semester meeting with the Unit Coordinator for groups to share their research progress so far, followed by a general Q&A.

Site visit guidelines

Some projects may involve work at other locations. In these cases, consult project supervisors for specific site visit guidelines.

Work, health and safety

We are governed by the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 and Codes of Practice. Penalties for non-compliance have increased. Everyone has a responsibility for health and safety at work. The University’s Work Health and Safety policy explains the responsibilities and expectations of workers and others, and the procedures for managing WHS risks associated with University activities.


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