This page was last updated on 30/12/2015.
This review is written from the perspective of a student undertaking this paper with a background in the Medical Sciences (i.e. has done or is doing MEDSCI papers). This paper is relatively 'easy' when compared to other Stage II BIOSCI and MEDSCI papers and add on the fact that if you've done MEDSCI 142, MEDSCI 206 and BIOSCI 202, you've probably touched on most of the topics this course has to offer.
This course had 3 hours of lectures per week. This was usually split into a 1 hour lecture earlier in the week and a 2 hour lecture later in the week. This course had 4 lecturers each teaching a total of 9, 11, 2 and 11 hours of lectures. (That's a total of 33 hours of lectures with 36 possible teaching hours. The last 3 hours were distributed as follows: Good Friday break (2 hours of lectures cancelled) and the last hour was for exam format information.
Also, this course has no course guide and runs solely on either printouts or lecture slides.
There were overall 10 labs in total which took place from Weeks 2-4 and 7-12 in 2015. These were 2 hours labs in which the tutor mostly just went through either lecture content, essay prep, test prep etc. The labs definitely were assessable for the test but for the rest of the labs, they more-so helped consolidate understanding in lecture content or gave massive hints on how to do well in the essay. The labs were attendance based and you needed to attend the majority of them in order to be eligible for plussage. The labs themselves were pretty chill with pretty cool tutors going through the content in a relatively small group of students: 1 tutor to approximately 20 students. However, a lot of the labs simply required you to watch videos and could get relatively boring!
A quick note that for the exam, you can 'reference' or refer to examples given in the labs. Most the time, the examples videos given in the labs are covered by the lecturers themselves so when writing an essay in the final exam, by referring to the examples given in the labs, you can score easy marks there.
It was possible to have plussage in this course. There were two options in which your final grade could be calculated: 20% Test + 20% Essay + 60% Exam or 100% Exam thereby rewarding those who are good at taking exams. However, the conditions for plussage were as follows: achieved at least a pass in the Test, achieved at least a pass grade in the essay and no more than 2 labs were missed*. You didn't need to apply for plussage - the course organisers simply saw if you were eligible and took whichever mark was higher.
* If you could not attend a lab but could produce 'satisfactory evidence' (e.g. medical certificate), that would not be counted for the "2 labs missed". I.e. you simply could miss a maximum of 2 labs for absolutely no reason at all but had to attend the remaining 8 or produce a 'satisfactory' reason for your absence. Just check with your course coordinator to be absolutely sure about your eligibility especially since we are hardly an authoritative source!
This test was covered by two parts of the course: one of the lecturers Professor Ian Kirk had approximately 6 hours worth of lectures dedicated to this and also a few labs. This test was considered relatively easy not only by Medical Science students but also by most as the class average is historically quite high. However, medical science students definitely do not need to put in as much effort - most of it is prior knowledge from either MEDSCI 142 or MEDSCI 206. However, be warned that there were a few smaller, more intricate structures that you were required to be able to identify that you probably had not come across before. The test itself was just a combination of MCQs and SAQs with the SAQs mostly being 'label this diagram' type questions.
The essay topic was given by one of the lecturers. In 2015, it was the first lecturer Professor Russell Gray who set the essay topic. It was, thus, quite important to attend the lectures as he dropped many hints on how to do well in the essay. The rules for the essay were relatively strict requiring you to follow APA style formatting (note: APA is not only a referencing style but also a formatting style!) along with other rules about font size, reference list formatting, 2500 word limit etc. In 2015, the topic was "Being gay is innate. Critically evaluate this claim". There isn't much to say here because of just how extensive the labs and the lecturer went through their expectations. Note also that the essays were marked by the tutors (but not necessarily your own lab tutor).
The exam had three sections in 2015: Section A (50 marks): a collection of SAQs worth values ranging from 2 marks to 4 marks. Section B (25 marks) had two choices for an essay whereas Section C (25 marks) also had two choices for an essay. Section B was a choice between Professor Russell Gray's content and Professor Ian Kirk's content (both of whom had a certain part of the course already dedicated to them: i.e. the test and the essay). Section C was two choices from only Associate Professor Lynette Tippett (the final lecturer). Note, however, that this changes from year to year!
Professor Russell Gray's section - 9 hours worth of lectures
Russell is a really cool lecturer who has a great number of laughs during his lecture topic! He's very distinguished in academic circles as well and he's got his own Wikipedia page! Russell uploads both handouts (which contain most information summarised) and lecture slides prior to the lecturer which lets you annotate during the lecture.
The first block of lectures in PSYCH 202 in 2015, this block covered these topics:
Professor Ian Kirk's section - 11 hours worth of lectures
The second block of lectures in PSYCH 202 in 2015, this block covered these topics:
Dr Suresh Muthukumaraswamy's section - 2 hours worth of lectures
Suresh's section is on the topic of "Cognitive Neuroscience Methods" and goes through the many different technologies used in research. It's an incredibly useful topic that's been nicely condensed into a small 2 hour lecture. This section usually just gets one SAQ in the final exam, however, so it is *possible* to simply skip this section for revision, but unadvised due to how applicable this section is to general neuroscience research! If you're doing MEDSCI 317, this section is highly recommended to be studied as it's a nice introduction to the other methods described in MEDSCI 317. That said, this section is not particularly hard as the concepts behind most of the techniques have quite simple concepts anyways.
A/Professor Lynette Tippett's section - 11 hours worth of lectures
Lyn's section contains the following sub-topics: