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UNCC100 Self and Community: Exploring the Anatomy of Modern Society AND BMSC201 Communicating Ideas in Science

Unit rationale, description and aim

The skills developed by students studying the sciences are valued by employers, and these graduates can enter a wide range of employment fields, including further study, after their courses. Employers, particularly those in the rapidly-developing fields of science, health and medicine, are looking for attributes well beyond mere technical ability, and thus problem-solving and communication skills (‘employability skills’) are considered particularly important for success in the industry. Even when students have developed these abilities in their biomedical science classes, it can be difficult to demonstrate to potential employers how they can put them into practice.   

Work-integrated-Learning (WiL) is recognised as a valuable way to help students to adapt and apply the skills and knowledge they have gained during the course to a high-skills workplace, and to understand the function of such workplaces, including ‘workplace culture’. Students will have the opportunity to identify skills important for their future careers, reflect on their own work readiness through examination of the employability skills framework, and address any skills gaps through specific training. They are encouraged to seek workplace experiences that will enable them to further develop these skills. The learning activities and assessments in the unit are designed to support students as they gain evidence of these skills and of their ability to contribute to a workplace.  

The unit will include a module on working with specific vulnerable populations that will focus on responding to concerns and strategies to keep ourselves and others safe and support these individuals and groups. This unit aims to prepare students for commencing work by identifying and consolidating requisite workplace skills, including the development of a professional resumé, a job application, and interview skills. 

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Identify relevant work readiness skills, practices and attitudes that contribute to employability in a biomedical setting (GA4, 5, 8, 9);

LO2 - Identify gaps in their own skills set and work readiness skills, and explain how their individual employability skills and attributes would contribute to the purposes, structure and functions of an organisation (GA4, 5, 10);

LO3 - Explain the importance, policies and strategies for building safe and supportive environments for working with children, young people, and vulnerable adults (GA1, 2, 3, 5);

LO4 - Apply an understanding of oneself, and a role within an organisation, to make a case for employment (GA1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10).  

Graduate attributes

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity 

GA2 - recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society 

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


Topics will include: 


Applying for work: 

Resumé preparation 

Selection criteria 

Writing a job application  

Interview skills 

Work readiness skills: 


Time management 



Understanding the job market 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Students focus on developing their own knowledge and skills for the tasks of finding and undertaking employment, while investigating how their biomedical science knowledge and skill may contribute to the work of a chosen organisation. The immersion of students in mock work-seeking scenarios provides an authentic experience, enabling them to develop key skills to assist in their transition to the workplace post University.   

Students will develop a resumé and job application, using online tools and templates as well as in-class activities to access best practice in resumé writing and interview preparation. Students will reflect on employability skills in the biomedical science sector, using validated surveys and open source training to identify and address their individual skills gaps. Reflection on learnings here will feed back into refinement of the resumé and application.  

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment strategy used in this unit is the development of a portfolio. The assessments focus on real world tasks in the process of finding, experiencing and reflecting on work, ensuring that students produce outputs that are specifically useful in the employment process. This enables students to curate evidence of their individual skills and attributes that are valuable for their potential employers. The assessment tasks allow students to focus on transferable skills developed through their degree as well as reflecting on how the content learned relates to potential workplace experience and its applicability in the wider workspace.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

ACU Child-safe Organisations online module (Hurdle) 

Online multiple choice or short answer questions. Note: Completion of this module does not exempt students from seeking a Working with Children Card or a Police Check where this is appropriate or mandated. 



GA1, 2, 3, 5

Assessment 1: Understanding the job market (Summative) 

Students will choose a number of jobs/roles relevant to biomedical sciences and will identify the skill requirements in these. They will also undertake research on the sectors and host organisations. The task mimics the type of research that a job-seeker would undertake. Students will write a report of their findings.  


LO1, 2

GA4, 5, 8, 9, 10

Assessment 2: Understanding myself (Summative) 

This task requires students to reflect on themselves in terms of their personality and skill set. Students will submit a personality-type assessment, skills audit, and a generic resumé, together with a reflection on these. 


LO1, 2

GA4, 5, 8, 9, 10

Assessment 3: Entering the job market (Summative) 

This assessment task requires students to integrate the knowledge and skills from Assessments 1 and 2 and mimics the process of applying for a job. 

Students will choose one job from a selection offered and produce a submission for it (such as a written resumé, cover letter, responses to selection criteria, and a short video of themselves giving an “elevator pitch”). A mock interview for the position will be held, and students will also write a reflection on the whole process.  


LO1, 2, 4

GA1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10

Representative texts and references

Anderson, G., Boud, D., & Sampson, J. (2014). Learning contracts: a practical guide. City: Routledge. 

Bolles, R. N (2013) What Colour is Your Parachute: 2014: A practical manual for job hunters and career changers. Berkeley: Ten Speed Press  

Boud, D. and Walker, D. (1991). Experience and learning: reflection at work. Geelong, Vic: Deakin University 

Bright, J. (2001) Job hunting for dummies. Warriewood: Hungry Minds 

Nierenberg, A.H. (2005). Winning the interview game: everything you need to know to land the jobNew York : American Management Association 

Parker, Y and Brown, B (2012). The Damn Good Resume Guide: A crash course in resume writing (5th ed) Berkeley: Ten Speed Press  

Universities Australia, ACCI, AiGroup, Business Council of Australia, ACEN (2015). National Strategy on Work Integrated Learning in university education. 

Villiers, A.D. (2011). How to write and talk to selection criteria: improving your chances of winning a job. Hawker, ACT: Mental Nutrition 

Williams, K., Woolliams, M. and Spiro, J. (2012). Reflective Writing. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan 

Yorke, M. and P. Knight (2006). Embedding employability into the curriculum. Place” Higher Education Academy. 

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