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Unit of study_

SOMS4108: Research Project F

Semester 2, 2023 [Normal day] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

Undertaking Honours in the School of Medical Sciences will enable you to be part of world leading medical research at the Camperdown or Westmead campuses, or at one of our affiliated Medical Research Institutes. Your Honours year will include a 36cp research project giving you access to the latest biomedical technologies, whilst two 6cp coursework units will aid in the development of fundamental research and communication skills. Research in the School of Medical Sciences aims to understand diverse challenges to our health and society ranging from basic medical science research to translational and clinical applications. Our academic and clinical supervisors offer a diverse array of projects in eight Honours areas: Applied Medical Sciences, Anatomy & Histology, Immunology, Infectious Diseases, Neuroscience, Pathology, Physiology and Pharmacology. Specific projects are offered focusing on: chronic diseases, such as cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, infectious diseases, such as HIV, SARS-CoV-2 and Tuberculosis, chronic inflammatory and auto-immune diseases, respiratory medicine, molecular and cellular biomedicine, drug design, regenerative medicine, organ transplantation, medical devices, human development and reproduction, mental health, neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain conditions, sleep disorders, visual system and disorders, genetic disorders, bioinformatics and digital health, musculoskeletal disorders, allied health and medical science education. Completion of the project aims to provide training in advanced scientific methodologies, technical skills and critical thinking skills. You will be expected to design and carry out experiments, collect and analyse data and to statistically evaluate your experimental results. The findings you obtain will be interpreted in relation to previous research done in this area and to the general field in which the work is relevant. On successful completion of the honours project, you will have developed generic attributes of analytical and critical thinking, communication and laboratory research skills as well as an in-depth advanced knowledge of your chosen research topic.

Unit details and rules

Unit code SOMS4108
Academic unit Department of Medical Sciences
Credit points 6
SOMS4102 and SOMS4106 and SOMS4107 and SCIE4999
Assumed knowledge

At least one major within the School of Medical Sciences

Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Grant Parnell,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Presentation Oral Presentation
Final oral presentation
20% Formal exam period 25 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO2
Honours thesis Thesis
10,000 word thesis
Due date: 08 Nov 2023 at 23:59
10,000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1

Assessment summary

Thesis: You will prepare a thesis summarising your research project.

Oral Presentation: Each student will present a summary of their year’s research findings to the rest of the precinct cohort, honours coordinators, academics and thesis examiners.

Assessment criteria

Mark range Description
95-100 Outstanding quality of research thesis and presentation, demonstrating independent thought throughout, a flair for the subject, comprehensive knowledge of the subject area and a level of achievement similar to that expected in an international academic journal publication. This mark reflects an exceptional achievement with a high degree of initiative and self-reliance, considerable student input into the direction of the study, and critical evaluation of the established work in the area.
90-94 Very high standard of work similar to above but lower level of performance in certain evaluative categories.
80-89 Clear quality of research, showing a command of the field both broad and deep, and with the ability to present novel insights. The work will show clear conceptual framing, accurate and appropriate positioning of the research within the discipline, clear familiarity with and ability to use appropriate methodology and experimental practices relevant to the discipline, and the ability to report the significance of conclusions or findings. The student will have demonstrated clear evidence of independence of thought and made a major contribution to the originality of ideas presented in the work.  
75-79 The work shows a command of the theory and practice of the discipline. The student will have demonstrated their ability to conduct work at an independent level and complete tasks in a timely manner, and have an adequate understanding of the background factual basis of the subject. The student shows initiative but a lesser  originality of insights compared to higher grades. The work shows the student has a level of dedication  and capability for undertaking a higher degree.
70-74 The work shows some proficiency in the theory and practice of the discipline but has less  mastery or clarity of presentation, data analysis or research design.
65-69 Performance indicates that the student has successfully completed the work, but at a standard barely meeting Honours criteria. The student’s understanding of the topic is extremely limited and they have shown little or no independence of thought or performance.
Less than 64 Student has not demonstrated the learning outcomes.

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

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. To conduct scientific research and write a thesis
  • LO2. To conduct scientific research and deliver an oral presentation

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.

No changes made


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