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MB5300 - Sampling and Experimental Design

Credit points: 3
Year: 2021
Student Contribution Band: Band 2
Administered by: College of Science and Engineering

Available to Graduate Diploma of Research Methods, Graduate Certificate of Research Methods, Graduate Certificate of Science, Graduate Diploma of Science, Master of Applied Science, Graduate Certificate of Development Practice, Graduate Diploma of Development Practice, Master of Science, Master of Development Practice.

A two week intensive subject which aims at revising and extending knowledge of the design of sampling and monitoring programs in marine environments and the design of manipulative experiments. The subject concentrates on the development of sampling strategies and experiments, emphasising theoretical, practical and statistical considerations. The first week of the subject involves lectures and computer workshops on sampling design and statistical analyses. The 2nd week of the subject includes a field trip to Orpheus Island research station during which student's apply theoretical content acquired in week 1. The field trip is primarily devoted to student's developing and undertaking an independent, field based, research project in coral reef ecology. Students will incur extra costs for field expenses.

Learning Outcomes

  • have revised and acquired a thorough understanding of the necessary principles for designing scientifically sound sampling programs to address specific hypotheses;
  • have revised and acquired knowledge regarding the most suitable statistical analysis for a range of sampling regimes and data types;
  • appreciate the array of statistical analyses available in ecology and understand the use of the most fundamental and commonly used types;
  • appreciate the principles of manipulative experimental designs;
  • have learnt how to analyse and interpret ecological data, collected from any standard monitoring or experimental procedure, regarding the distribution and abundance of an organism or community.

Subject Assessment

  • Oral > Presentation 1 - (10%) - Group
  • Fish and Coral Sampling Methods - (15%) - Individual
  • Written > Research report - (60%) - Individual
  • Written > Workbook - (15%) - Individual.
Students enrolling in this subject should have an undergraduate degree in biological sciences or have acquired equivalent knowledge through other study. They should have an excellent understanding of level 3 science, an excellent understanding of ecological principles and have successfully completed a basic univariate statistics course at university level.


Townsville, Study Period 3, Intensive
Census Date 04-Feb-2021
Face to face teaching 01-Feb-2021 to 11-Feb-2021
Coord/Lect: Dr Naomi Gardiner.
Workload expectations:

The student workload for this 3 credit point subject is approximately 130 hours.

  • 22 hours lectures (didactic or interactive)
  • 13 hours workshops
  • 4 hours presentations
  • 30 hours fieldwork
  • assessment and self-directed study

Note: Minor variations might occur due to the continuous Subject quality improvement process, and in case of minor variation(s) in assessment details, the Subject Outline represents the latest official information.