Science Faculty Courses for Summer Term 2020

Please note: The following information is provided as a guide only to help you find information about Summer Term courses. Offering information may change so please refer to the Handbook for more current information.

An Introduction to the Sydney Environment

Course Code: BEES6601

This course provides an introduction to the physical, biological and social environment of Sydney.  Topics include the geophysical environment, the Indigenous people of Sydney, the natural and biological hazards of Sydney and the development of Sydney into a global city. The course also consists of a series of workshops which consider the contemporary environmental issues facing Sydney. A series of optional field visit(s) are designed to introduce the diversity of Sydney's biophysical environment.

Note: Students have the option of participating in field visits and students may incur personal expenses. Details will be provided during the first week of the course.

Advanced Special Project in Chemistry

Course Code: CHEM3998

The Marine Environment

Course Code: MSCI0501

This course covers aspects of both the physical and biological environments of the sea and their inter-relationships. It depicts marine science as a body of knowledge and a process of continual enquiry and testing of ideas. It considers human impacts on the marine environments and how the principles and methods of science in general are used to predict and to solve the problems created by human activities.

The course includes discussion of: i) the marine environment, its physical, geological, chemical and biological characteristics and their interactions; ii) beach safety and marine biodiversity and iii) the effects of development and climate change on the marine environment and how science can contribute to providing solutions to these problems.

Throughout the course, emphasis is placed on case studies. Two to three field excursions (generally held on a weekend) take the place of weekly practicals to supplement the lectures.

Introduction to Astronomy

Course Code: PHYS1160

Note: Fully Online Course.

Introduction to Astronomy and the search for life elsewhere. This course provides a broad overview of Astronomy and our place in the Cosmos. It covers the solar system and its exploration, stars, galaxies and cosmology, the Earth as a habitable planet and the search for life elsewhere in the universe. The course is delivered wholly on the internet through Moodle. The course is suitable as an introductory course for science students or as a general education course for non-scientists.

The Psychology of Addiction

Course Code: PSYC1022

Note: Fully Online Course

This course deals with transdisciplinary issues pertinent to the understanding and treatment of drug addiction. Topics include: historic origins of drugs; manufacture, global distribution and black market economics; epidemiology of population uptake; biomedical harms; neuropharmacological actions; effects on learning, motivation, cognition and behaviour; psychiatric comorbidity; individual differences in vulnerability; brain mechanisms of reward and impaired cognitive control; treatment by behavioural interventions and pharmacotherapy; prevention by education; prohibition by criminal justice; and the role of scientific evidence in government policy. The course will provide a broad understanding of drug use and the systems in place to counteract it.

Clinical Perspectives on Anxiety, Mood and Stress

Course Code: PSYC1024

Note: Fully Online Course

This course will provide a comprehensive overview of some of the most common mental disorders including the mood disorders (e.g. depression) and anxiety disorders. Students will learn about psychology as a science and how psychological research is performed (including animal and human studies). We will then examine how the findings from this research informs the clinical description and treatment of psychological disorders. There will be a strong emphasis on the role of environmental stress factors in the development and maintenance of depression and anxiety. Students will also explore, apply and reflect on practical strategies for managing stress.

This course is appropriate for students with and without a background in science and is taught entirely online through Moodle. The final exam will be held on the Kensington campus (i.e. not on Moodle) during the official exam period.

N.B. This course is not a treatment program for mental health disorders and should not be viewed as a substitute for professional intervention.

Science and the Cinema

Course code: SCIF1004

Note: Fully Online course

Can you imagine Dennis Quaid, Uma Thurman, Sam Neill or Kate Winslet as scientists? Well Hollywood has, in a series of movies which use real scientific concepts as an integral part of the plot. Often the script writers stretch these concepts beyond the realms of reality to make the movies even more exciting. In this general education online elective you will view a series of movies which deal with a range of scientific issues with accompanying lectures to help you understand the concepts.

Movies you will watch include Gattaca (starring Ethan Hawke, Jude Law and Uma Thurman), Jurassic Park (Sam Neill, Jeff Goldblum and Laura Dern), The Day After Tomorrow (Dennis Quaid, Jake Gyllenhaal and Emmy Rossum) and more. So enrol, see some movies and you might learn enough science to create your own genetically modified organism, alternative source of energy, deep space exploration vehicle or help save the world from a cataclysmic disaster.

Science Work Placement

Course code: SCIF2199

This course has been developed for students who find a work placement/internship (unpaid or paid) and would like to receive academic credit for the placement. his course will enable students to explore and gain a practical understanding of the requirements and expectations of the professional workplace through experiential learning. Students will develop their knowledge, capabilities and employability skills. Internships/work placements enable students to gain practical, supervised experience in the work place. Please click here for further information and a list of current opportunities.

Research Internship

Course code: SCIF2041/3041

Short theoretical or experimental research project, supervised by a member of academic staff. The internship may encompass project planning, literature review, project development, fieldwork, experimental work, statistical analyses and oral and written reporting. Internships may also involve a placements outside of UNSW, in the form of externally funded research programs. In these cases students will require an academic member of staff to supervise the internship.

Note: Enrolment in this course is by application, and subject to availability of places. Interested students should have identified a potential supervisor and research placement prior to applying.
To apply, download the form at and submit to the Science Student Centre or online via the webform.

Sustainable Tourism in Regional Australia

Course Code: SCIF3900

Note: This course involves a field trip with extra costs

This course offers an introduction to concepts and tools necessary for understanding the challenges of sustainable development in the transport-environment-tourism nexus. Students will develop skills in comprehending and assessing the environmental, social and economic sustainability of societal decisions in the context of tourism. A field excursion to Lady Elliott Island – located in the Southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef - will be undertaken with the objective of allowing students to develop an understanding of these societal trade-offs. The field-based learning will emphasise teamwork, as well as independent observational and enquiry skills using remote eco-resort as a context. Topics will include issues at the interface of transport and tourism management and sustainable development principles. Students will engage in preparatory learning leading up to the excursion, as well as reflective learning through assignments during- and post-trip. Around 24 hours of class, including education tours, fieldwork and presentations, are delivered on the island during the field excursion. This is a summer intensive course. Students should be aware that additional costs associated with the field trip will be incurred including return airfare to Lady Elliott Island (LEI), accommodation and food. This course is also available as AVIA3900.