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SCI1901 Science Fundamentals

Semester 1, 2021 Online
Short Description: Science Fundamentals
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Sciences
Student contribution band : Band 2
ASCED code : 019999 - Natural and Physical Sciences
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Carolyn Brown


An enthusiasm for and an understanding of science and its processes is essential if we are to produce skilled individuals with the capacity to identify, and develop effective solutions to current and future challenges for the world and Australia in particular. A basic knowledge and understanding of key areas of science and skills in critically analysing new developments and proposed solutions to problems is required if we are to adequately evaluate options proposed by science and technology. The course will be suitable for current teachers and future teachers and other professionals seeking to upgrade their knowledge of science.


This course provides an introduction to science as a process of inquiry and to key areas of science that underpin many of the disciplines of science and technology. The course examines energy and forces, physical and chemical properties of materials, the Solar System, the shaping of the Earth and the properties of its rocks and minerals, evolution of living things and their characteristics, human impacts on ecosystems and landscapes and the concept of sustainability. The course is aimed primarily at students with little prior knowledge of science, who seek increased knowledge and skills in science, to assist in professional accreditation and personal development.


On successful completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. Display a fundamental knowledge of the main branches of Science;
  2. Apply a range of skills, associated with the Scientific Method, to determine and explain probable achieved result;
  3. Apply current methods and technologies to communicate Scientific knowledge;
  4. Communicate effectively to a range of audiences to deliver specific knowledge;
  5. Apply a knowledge base of the fundamentals of Science to a range of different contexts and problems.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Science: A Process of Enquiry 10.00
2. Energy and Forces 15.00
3. Materials 15.00
4. The Solar System 15.00
5. Shaping the Earth 15.00
6. Living Things 15.00
7. Human Impacts on the Earth 15.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

Paul G. Hewitt, Suzanne A Lyons, John A. Suchocki, Jennifer Yeh (2013), Conceptual Integrated Science, New International Edition, 2nd edn, Pearson Higher Ed, USA.
(ISBN: 9781292023083.)

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
OpenStax free online Science Textbooks:

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Directed Study 71.00
Examinations 2.00
Online Tutorials 24.00
Oral Presentations 20.00
Private Study 45.00
Quizzes 10.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Objectives Assessed Notes
Oral Presentation 60 30 01 Apr 2021 1,2,3,4 (see note 1)
Quizzes 40 20 27 May 2021 1,2,5
Open Exam - Online 50 50 End S1 1,2,5 (see note 2)

  1. The Oral Presentation will be in the form of both an audio and visual recording combined, of a slide presentation given by the student. More information will be given on the course StudyDesk.
  2. This will be an online exam. Students will be provided further instruction regarding the exam by their course examiner via StudyDesk. The examination date will be available via UConnect when the Alternate Assessment Schedule has been released.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students' responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks or a grade of at least C. (Depending upon the requirements in Statement 4 below, students may not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to receive a passing grade in this course.)

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    Due to COVID-19 the requirements for S1 2021 are:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

    Requirements after S1 2021:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must obtain at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course (i.e. the Primary Hurdle).

    To be awarded a passing grade for a supplementary assessment item (if applicable), a student must achieve at least 50% of the available marks for the supplementary assessment item as per the Assessment Procedure (point 4.4.2).

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the weighted aggregate of the marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    Due to COVID-19 the requirements for S1 2021 are:
    An Open Examination is one in which candidates may have access to any printed or written material and a calculator during the examination.

    Requirements after S1 2021:
    This is an open online examination. The examination is timed at 3 hours (2 hours working time plus 1 hour of perusal, download and upload time), but available over an extended period of time as dictated by the official USQ examination timetable. Candidates are allowed access to all materials available to them during the online examination. USQ’s expectations for academic integrity apply to this assessment.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Normally Deferred and Supplementary Examinations are held in the next Examination period. In S1 2021 selected courses will pilot an early Deferred and Supplementary Examination period held within 30 business days of results release. The list of courses involved can be found at

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. Electronic submission of assignments is required for this course. All submissions must be made through the allocated Assignment Submission areas located on the USQ StudyDesk for this course, unless directed otherwise by the Examiner of the course. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. This must be despatched to USQ within 24 hours if requested by the Examiner.

  2. Students who, for medical, family/personal, or employment-related reasons, are unable to complete an assignment or to sit for an examination at the scheduled time may apply to defer an assessment in a course. Such a request must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation. One of the following temporary grades may be awarded IDS (Incomplete-Deferred Examination; IDM (Incomplete Deferred Make-up); IDB (Incomplete-Both Deferred Examination and Deferred Make-up).

  3. In accordance with Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences and USQ regulations, applications for extensions to assignment due dates must be made before the assignment due date. Extension requests are to go through the USQ central Assignment Extension Request online system. This area can be found at the following link:

    Applications for extensions must be accompanied by appropriate documentary evidence.

  4. Harvard (AGPS) is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use Harvard (AGPS) style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The Harvard (AGPS) style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide.

Date printed 18 June 2021