University of Technology Sydney

60116 Risk Assessment and Management for Science

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2023 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Science
Credit points: 2 cp
Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


This subject provides students with the foundational knowledge about risk assessment in science, providing them with the necessary skills to identify and mitigate risks in a scientific context. Students are introduced to the concepts that are paramount to risk assessment and management, including the ability to identify risks and hazards, as well as introducing them to the risk management framework that is upheld throughout UTS Science. Upon completion of this subject students are able to successfully identify and mitigate risks as well as design and create risk assessments and a risk management plan. These foundation skills prepare students for a range of professional and academic pathways in science.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:

1. Distinguish risks and hazards within a scientific context and determine the appropriate strategies to manage these risks
2. Correctly use the risk assessment templates and forms that are common in a scientific context
3. Clearly communicate to succesfully convey risks and their appropriate mitigation strategies
4. Interpret information that is provided in Safety Data Sheets and identify the pertinent information for hazardous chemical labels and risk assessments

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes specifically to the development of following course intended learning outcomes:

  • Critically appraise and apply advanced knowledge and technical skills to discipline specific projects to inform professional practice in science and medical biotechnology. (1.1)
  • Assess, argue for, and conduct independent research and solving complex problems by applying a research methodology to address a research need in a relevant professional context. (2.1)
  • Present and communicate complex ideas and justifications using appropriate communication approaches from a variety of methods (oral, written, visual) to communicate with discipline experts, scientists, industry, and the general public. (5.1)

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

This subject is intended to assess the following attributes:

Graduate Attribute 1.0 - Disciplinary knowledge
You will develop your knowledge of risks and their management by building on skills that have been introduced in previous science subjects. By specifically focussing on risk management and assessment you can become familiar with the forms and templates commonly used in UTS science by creating risk assessments and risk management plans for a number of chemistry experiments. You will be introduced to in depth knowledge during the online modules with optional feedback through online activities to check your understanding. You will also be given the chance to deepen your knowledge further through the online quizzes associated with each module.

Graduate Attribute 2.0 – Research, inquiry and critical thinking
Throughout the session you will be required to research a range of risk related topics, giving you the opportunity to critically analyse resources and select information that is pertinent. As the format of the risk assessments is quite succinct, this will enable you to gain valuable practice at looking critically at information and sources to determine what information is specific and appropriate to the task at hand. Through developing the skills to identify risks you will advance your critical thinking skills, enabling you to analyse a situation and determine likely hazards and/or risks. Through further research you will then also be able to identify relevant strategies to mitigate these hazards and/or risks.

Graduate Attribute 5.0 - Communication
You will develop your written communication skills throughout the session, mainly focussing on your ability to accurately and effectively portray scientific information in a concise format. You will be given feedback on your tasks to enable you to build on your skills and apply your feedback to the main written assignment. Your written communication with be developed through the implementation of the risk assessment template task, which will require you to identify the correct and incorrect use of the templates. You will then expand on this to create your own risk management plan, enabling the further development of your communication skills within a scientific context.

Teaching and learning strategies

This subject will be delivered entirely online through the learning platform Canvas. You will work through content areas or ‘modules’ which are designed to build your knowledge in the foundational aspects of risk assessment and management in science.

At the beginning of the subject, you will be introduced to the topic and start to interact with a range of materials in different formats. All materials are designed to provide you with an active learning experience and you will be expected to think critically about the information you receive. You will have the opportunity to connect with your peers during the subject by using the discussion board within Canvas, allowing you to ask questions of each other and discuss the subject content.

At the end of each module, except module 5, you will be assessed on your comprehension of the topic with a quiz. Each quiz will give you the opportunity to cement the knowledge introduced in the online spaces. The assessments will provide you with the opportunity to refine the practical skills of identifying risks and hazards while also building on your written communication. This will be done through the practice of recognising and identifying the important components in risk assessments and writing comprehensive risk management plans. To further build on your skills throughout the session you will receive automatic feedback/marks from the online quizzes and you will also receive automatic online feedback from the activities within the modules. The feedback throughout the semester can then be used to assist in the final risk management plan assignment.

Content (topics)

Identification of risks and hazards
Chemical SDS and labels
Risk assessment and management
Risk assessment templates
Dealing with events
Large scale disasters


Assessment task 1: Multiple Choice Quizzes


The following graduate attributes are assessed in this task:
1. Disciplinary Knowledge
2. Research inquiry and critical thinking
5. Communication


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

1, 2 and 4

This assessment task contributes to the development of course intended learning outcome(s):

1.1, 2.1 and 5.1

Type: Quiz/test
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 45%

Correct responses to multiple choice questions and demonstration of comprehension and critical thinking in a number of different question styles including matching and sequencing.

Assessment task 2: Risk Management Plan


The following graduate attributes are assessed in this task:
1. Disciplinary Knowledge
5. Communication


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

1, 2 and 3

This assessment task contributes to the development of course intended learning outcome(s):

1.1 and 5.1

Type: Report
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 55%

You will be assessed on your ability to successfully identify the important aspects of a risk assessment and correctly determine what information should be included in each of the sections.