Credit points


Campus offering

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BMSC208 Research Design and Ethics

Unit rationale, description and aim

Employers, particularly those in the rapidly-developing fields of science, health and medicine, look for attributes well beyond mere technical ability. Problem-solving and communication skills are considered particularly important for a successful career in biomedical science. Students develop many of the desired transferable and technical skills during their degree, but it can be difficult to effectively communicate these competencies to prospective employers.   

In this unit students have the opportunity to identify skills important for their future careers, and reflect on their own work readiness via a thorough skills analysis. Students will develop their ability to effectively communicate their skills and better navigate the career opportunities available to them. The learning activities and assessments are designed to support students as they gain evidence of their skills and of their ability to contribute to a workplace environment. 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 - Examine the range of career pathways and employment opportunities available, and recognise the skills, practices and attitudes that contribute to employability in a biomedical setting (GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9)

LO2 - Analyse their employability skills, identify and plan to address skills gaps, and explain how their individual skills and attributes would contribute to the purposes, structure and functions of an organisation (GA4, GA5, GA10)

LO3 - Apply an understanding of oneself, and a role within an organisation, to make a case for employment (GA1, GA2, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9, GA10).  

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 

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: 

Understanding the job market 

  • Career opportunities 
  • Effective job searching 

Understanding myself 

  • Professional identity 
  • Work-readiness skills 
  • Resumé preparation 

Entering the job market 

  • Resumé preparation 
  • Preparing a job application  
  • Interview skills 

Reflective practice 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

An enhanced understanding of the job market and skills desired by employers impacts positively on the job application process and sets students up for a smoother transition to employment. In this unit, students explore trends in biomedical science jobs and career paths available to science graduates. They reflect on skills and knowledge gained from their degree and other life experiences. With this understanding, students learn to tailor a general resumé into a professional portfolio targeting future employment in their chosen profession.   

The immersion of students in mock work-seeking scenarios provides an authentic experience, enabling them to develop key skills to assist in their transition from university to the workplace. Students develop a professional resumé and job application, using online tools and in-class activities to access best practice in resumé writing and interview preparation. Students reflect on employability skills in the biomedical science sector, with reflection feeding back into refinement of the professional resumé and application.  

Assessment strategy and rationale

Assessments focus on real world tasks in the process of finding, experiencing and reflecting on work, ensuring that students produce outputs that are useful to the employment process. This enables students to curate evidence of the skills and attributes desired by potential employers. The assessments 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

Assessment 1: Understanding the job market (Summative) 

Students choose jobs/roles relevant to biomedical sciences, identify the skill requirements of the roles, and research the sectors and organisations. The task mimics the type of research undertaken by a job-seeker. Students write a report of their findings.  


LO1, LO2

GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9, GA10

Assessment 2: Understanding myself (Summative) 

This task requires students to reflect on their skills set in the context of future employment. Students submit a skills audit, and a generic resumé, together with a reflection on these. 


LO1, LO2

GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9, GA10

Assessment 3: Entering the job market (Summative) 

Requires students to integrate knowledge and skills from Assessments 1 and 2 to follow a process that mimics applying for a job, including a reflection on the process. 


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA1, GA2, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9, GA10

Representative texts and references

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

Bolles, R.N (2019) What Colour is Your Parachute: 2020: 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 job. New 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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