University of Technology Sydney

91556 Professional Experience in Biomedical Science FT

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 2020 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Science: Life Sciences
Credit points: 24 cp
Result type: Grade and marks

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

Description

This subject provides students with the opportunity to gain real-world work experience in order to prepare them as employment-ready graduates. The subject provides approved professional experience in a (bio)medical science service provider laboratory in the private or public sector. It is designed to provide students with appreciation of the technical, organisational, social, cultural, ethical and legislative dimensions of workplace practice in science. The focus is on the attributes required for a successful job application; orientation to workplace practices; self-analysis of current skills, attributes and learning needs; effective written and oral communication skills; application and extension of knowledge; technology proficiency; and early workplace experiences.

The subject aims to introduce students to the major specialties in a pathology or research laboratory, e.g. immunology, microbiology and biochemistry. Students may have the opportunity to rotate through these specialty laboratories or they may be allocated to one specialty for the entire placement. Students experience the entire business process including work, health and safety; quality assurance and control; sample handling, processing and storage; data reporting; stakeholder interaction; and an overview of technical and experimental procedures.

This subject may provide students with a competitive advantage for future employment.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

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

  • Apply: Use contemporary technologies for the collection and analysis of data and apply evidence-based practice at all levels of laboratory investigation. (1.1)

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

Professional Experience in Biomedical Science FT is designed to be taken after stage 3 in Medical Science, Biomedical Science or Biotechnology degrees, but can be taken at any later time. This subject builds upon the foundation of many subjects in earlier stages, including Human Anatomy and Physiology, General Microbiology and Metabolic Biochemistry, as well as complementing stage 5 and 6 subjects, including Haematology 2, Medical and Diagnostic Biochemistry, and Biochemistry, Genes and Disease. This subject provides you with the opportunity to apply your theoretical knowledge and practical laboratory skills, learned in previous subjects, to a professional setting.

There are seven graduate attributes that are expected to be developed by students on completion of their studies within the Faculty of Science. These are:

  1. Disciplinary knowledge and its appropriate application: An understanding of the nature, practice & application of the chosen science discipline.
  2. An Enquiry-oriented approach: An understanding of the scientific method of knowledge acquisition. This encompasses problem solving, critical thinking and analysis attributes, and the ability to discover new understandings.
  3. Professional skills and their appropriate application: The ability to acquire, develop, employ and integrate a range of technical, practical and professional skills, in appropriate and ethical ways within a professional context, autonomously and collaboratively and across a range of disciplinary and professional areas.
  4. Ability and motivation for continued intellectual development: The capacity to engage in reflection and learning beyond formal educational contexts, that is based on the ability to make effective judgments about one’s own work. The capacity to learn in, and from, new disciplines to enhance the application of scientific knowledge and skills in professional contexts.
  5. Engagement with the needs of Society: An awareness of the role of science within a global culture and willingness to contribute actively to the shaping of community views on complex issues where the methods and findings of science are relevant.
  6. Communication skills: An understanding and application of the different forms of communication - writing, reading, speaking, listening - including visual and graphical, within science and beyond and the ability to apply these appropriately and effectively for different audiences.
  7. Initiative and innovative ability: An ability to think and work creatively, including the capacity for self-starting, and the ability to apply science skills to unfamiliar applications.

All seven Faculty of Science Graduate Attributes are developed within this subject. While participating in this subject you will gain real-world industry experience in order to prepare yourself as an employment-ready graduate. You will use and develop your disciplinary knowledge (1) and professional skills (3), both of which are applied during day-to-day work experience. You will use an enquiry-oriented approach (2) as you carry out tests and experiments. Your motivation for continued intellectual development (4) will be tested and strengthened as you self-reflect on your current skills and learning experience, through preparation of a job application and your professional development portfolio. You will be engaged with the needs of society (5) as you work in health related disciplines, providing services to the public both in diagnosis, and research and development. Your communication skills (6) will be used and developed as you interact with co-workers within a professional setting, and prepare assessment tasks for the subject. You will use your initiative and innovative ability (7), as you take your in-class knowledge and apply it to new situations in the workplace.

Direct assessment of graduate attributes will focus on disciplinary knowledge (1), ability and motivation for continued intellectual development (4), engagement with the needs of society (5), initiative and innovative ability (7), and professional (3) and communication skills (6). An enquiry-oritented approach (2) is not directly assessed in this subject.

Teaching and learning strategies

This Professional Experience subject provides you with the best of an off-campus learning environment with continued access to all the on-campus support structures. You will have the opportunity to learn in a real-world work place. You will work off-campus within a public or privately run (bio)medical laboratory, completing 420 hours of work, which is nominally 12 weeks of full-time work. You will have the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills you have learnt in your University study to a real-world environment, and at the same time adapt and develop these existing skills and learn new ones. You are encouraged to reflect on your experience, self-assess your current skills and knowledge, and learn from your workplace experiences so as to facilitate development of your self-directed learning skills.

While in the work place you are invited to make contact with other students in the subject, either at the same host organisation or others, and develop a network for collaboration and support.

You are encouraged to use the UTS language support service, HELPS, as well as the UTS Careers Service, during preparation of your assessment tasks. Also, the UTS Library website has information that may be of use to you during your placement. Your subject coordinator can help you with resources on working in teams, preparing oral presentations, and time management, and resources will be available on UTSOnline. Assessment tasks have preparation guidelines, marking criteria and rubrics available on UTSOnline in order to help you maximise the quality of your work.

A brief report on your perceived progress, achievements, strengths and weaknesses will be requested from your workplace supervisor upon completion of your professional placement. This report may be provided to you as a developmental guide, in agreement with your workplace supervisor.

Assessment

Assessment task 1: Job Application

Intent:

To prepare an application for a professional position, encompassing a recent curriculum vitae (CV), cover letter, and statement of claims against selection criteria.

To critically assess your current skills, and be able to present generic and scientific knowledge, and skills to an employer.

To be able to clearly and succinctly present yourself as a candidate to a prospective employer.

This assessment task contributes to the development of the following graduate attributes:

3. Professional skills and their appropriate application

4. Ability and motivation for continued intellectual development

6. Communication skills

Objective(s):

This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

1 and 2

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

.0, .0 and .0

Type: Portfolio
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 10%
Length:

CV not to exceed three (3) A4 pages. Cover letter not to exceed one (1) A4 page. Statement of claims to be completed in the pro forma supplied.

Criteria:

Your professional skills (3) will be assessed by your ability to complete the job application as stated in the advertisement. You will be assessed on your written communication skills (6), covering such things as grammar, formatting and typographical errors, as well as usage of succinct and appropriate language. Your ability and motivation for continued intellectual development (4) will also be assessed based on self-reflection on your skill set.

Assessment task 2: Professional Development Portfolio

Intent:

To reflect on, and critically assess, your learning experience during your entire placement.

To adequately and appropriately chronicle your learning experience.

To write in a descriptive, yet succinct manner, that is accessible to a diverse audience.

To self-assess your current knowledge and skills, identify areas for improvement, and develop methods to close this gap.

To consider and identify your role as a future professional scientist.

This assessment task contributes to the development of the following graduate attributes:

1. Disciplinary knowledge and its appropriate application

2. An enquiry-oriented approach

3. Professional skill and their appropriate application

4. Ability and motivation for continued intellectual development

5. Engagement with the needs of society

6. Communication skills

7. Initiative and innovative ability

(You are not directly assessed on Graduate Attributes 2 nor 7).

Objective(s):

This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

2, 4 and 5

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

.0, .0, .0, .0 and 1.1

Type: Reflection
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 50%
Length:

25 A4 pages maximum.

You should aim for quality and not quantity. You do not need to reach the maximum page limit.

Criteria:

You will be assessed on your written communication skills (6), covering such things as grammar, formatting and typographical errors, as well as usage of succinct and appropriate language. Your disciplinary knowledge (1) will be assessed through your understanding of the techniques used and learned, including reference to published literature (as required). Your professional skills (3) will be assessed by preparation of the report as specified in the guidelines. Your ability and motivation for continued intellectual development (4) will be assessed via critical reflection on your experience during your placement. Your engagement with the needs of society (5) will be assessed through you references to ethics, confidentiality, and the importance of your industry to health and safety of the human population.

Although during your Professional Placement you will have the opportunity to develop your enquiry-oriented approach (2) and your initiative and innovative ability (7), these Graduate Attributes are not directly assessed in the task.

Assessment task 3: Oral presentation

Intent:

To use effective oral communication skills to summarise and present your professional experience learning opportunity to a varied audience.

To use slide presentation software to prepare an audio-visual presentation.

This assessment task contributes to the development of the following graduate attributes:

1. Disciplinary knowledge and its appropriate application

3. Professional skill and their appropriate application

4. Ability and motivation for continued intellectual development

5. Engagement with the needs of society

6. Communication skills

7. Initiative and innovative ability

Objective(s):

This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

2, 3, 4 and 5

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

.0, .0, .0, .0, .0 and 1.1

Type: Presentation
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 20%
Length:

The presentation is a total of 20 minutes, made up of 15 minutes presentation and 5 minutes question time.

Criteria:

You will be assessed on your communication skills (6) based on clarity of your presentation, ease of speaking and use of visual aids. Your disciplinary knowledge (1) will be assessed based in your understanding of techniques and skills required at your workplace. Your professional skills (3) will be assessed during your presentation, including time management. Your ability and motivation for continued intellectual development (4) will be assessed via critical reflection on your experience during the placement. Your engagement with the needs of society (5) will be assessed through you references to ethics, confidentiality, and the importance of your industry to health and safety of the human population. Your initiative and innovative ability (7) will be assessed in respect to the unique nature of your presentation.

Although during your Professional Placement you will have the opprtunity to develop your enquiry-oriented approach (2), this Graduate Attribute is not directly assessed in the task.

Assessment task 4: Supervisor report

Intent:

To examine your overall performance and improvement during your professional experience placement.

This assessment task contributes to the development of the following graduate attributes:

1. Disciplinary knowledge and its appropriate application

3. Professional skill and their appropriate application

4. Ability and motivation for continued intellectual development

6. Communication skills

7. Initiative and innovative ability

Objective(s):

This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

2, 3 and 4

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

.0, .0, .0, .0 and 1.1

Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 20%
Length:

A pro forma is used, and will be sent to your host organisation supervisor(s).

Criteria:

You will be assessed on your professional skills (3) as you apply theory to practise in a laboratory setting. Professional skills (3) will also cover behaviour in the workplace. Disciplinary knowledge (1) will be assessed with reference to your understanding of the techniques and skills required at your workplace. Your communication skills (6) will be assessed in your written work, and interaction with staff and stakeholders. Your initiative and innovative ability (7) will be assessed as you demonstrate a willingness to learn and independence in the workplace. Your ability and motivation for continued intellectual development (4) will be assessed through your critical assessment of data produced, and/or events in the workplace.

Minimum requirements

You are expected to attend all 480 hours (12 weeks) of professional experience. If you are absent from an agreed (timetabled) professional experience day, your workplace supervisor must be informed at the earliest practicable time. A medical certificate must be produced to explain the absence and given to the subject coordinator. Other reasons for absence will be assessed on their merits at the time. Another suitable time must be organised with the host organisation to make up time missed because of illness or misadventure.

Any assessment task worth 40% or more of the final, total assessment mark for the subject, requires you to gain at least 40% of the mark for that task in order to pass the subject. If 40% is not reached, a fail grade (X) may be awarded for the subject, irrespective of an aggregate mark of greater than 50% for the subject.

In order to pass the subject students must attain at least 50% of the collective total marks.

Recommended texts

As this is a professional experience subject there is no essential text. However, you are encouraged to keep up-to-date with relevant published material, including journal articles, and method reports by suppliers of consumables and reagents.

Recent textbooks relevant to the area of professional experience, for example microbiology or biochemistry, will also be of assistance for study in this subject. Many relevant textbooks are available in the UTS Library.