University of Technology Sydney

91820 Biosensors

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: 6 cp
Result type: Grade and marks

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

Recommended studies:

72 credit points of UTS: Science undergraduate subjects


In this subject, students undertake an internship either internally or externally (e.g. business or external research institute) in a laboratory where where relevant biosensor technology is used. This develops professional attributes related to employability, discipline knowledge and professional networks which can contribute to their career goals in the field of biosensor technology. Students undertake approximately 100 hours of work in their placement. The specific terms and timeframe of the placement experience can be negotiated as a learning contract between the student and the host organisation in consultation with the subject coordinator. Students develop an appreciation of how education and training in the sciences is applied in a workplace by reporting on the outcomes of their internship experience.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

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

1. Apply disciplinary knowledge and scientific practice around the use of biosensors in the workplace
2. Engage, liaise and communicate professionally with their workplace supervisors, managers and colleagues in a workplace setting
3. Critically reflect on laboratory experiences and use this to both respond to feedback and to develop a set of laboratory skills
4. Work according to occupational health and safety guidelines consistent with current Acts and Regulations; as well as the ethical and legal practices relevant to the internship workplace
5. Communicate outcomes of placement via a report consistent with the correct scientific language,

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

This subject contributes to the following graduate attributes in the Faculty of Science:

Graduate attribute 1 – Disciplinary knowledge

Students have a unique opportunity to engage in the use of biosensor techniques in the laboratory and will apply and extend their disciplinary knowledge within authentic tasks as directed by their supervisor at their host organisation.

Graduate attribute 2 - Research, Inquiry and Critical Thinking

Students will conduct an independent research project. In this way they will develop, employ and integrate a range of skills (e.g. experimental design, data collection) to research a biosensor application in a research setting, autonomously and collaboratively. In producing their report they will hone and exercise research skills such as critically reviewing the pre-existing literature, collating & analysing data, and critical assessment of the research findings in terms of the project's aims and objectives and the existing work in the area.

Graduate Attribute 3- Professional, Ethical and Social Responsibility

This subject is centred around an internship in a research laboratory as such students will develop and apply generic work skills such as time management, personal organisation, teamwork and negotiation with co-workers in the workplace. An awareness of the risks and hazards in the workplaces in which scientists operate will also be developed. The student's degree of development will be evaluated by their supervisor.

Graduate attribute 4 - Reflection, Innovation and Creativity

Reflective practice is a key skill that students will develop throughout the subject. In the employability task students reflect upon what contribution the placement experience has to their developing employability. Students will have to think analytically when performing data analysis and in experimental design. These practices are fundamental to their development as a scientist.

Graduate attribute 5 - Communication

Workplace communications will also include meetings, small group presentations, collaborative work and written reports, which will help students to develop their communication skills in the professional context. Written communication is further developed with the placement laboratory report, which draws on developing proper science communication skills.

Teaching and learning strategies

The student will learn by way of laboratory training, online collaborative activities, independent learning and reflection. The nature of the laboratory placement is unique to each student, and relies heavily on the student to be self-directed and motivated, seek feedback, and make the most of their laboratory learning opportunities through interactions with the student’s supervisor and workplace colleagues.

The student will complete any induction procedures on workplace issues before commencement of any work, as required by the internship provider. This should include environmental/occupational health and safety, ethical and legal responsibilities.

During the laboratory placement, the student will learn about the application of biosensor techniques to the laboratory, participate in laboratory tasks, and receive ongoing onsite evaluation and feedback from their workplace supervisor(s) during their placement.

Content (topics)


  • Any workplace induction procedures.

During the laboratory placement

  • Staged and scaffolded guidance in developing research based around biosensor technologies.


  • Scientific report.
  • Supervisor’s evaluation
  • Reflection on employability


Assessment task 1: Internship Scientific Report


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

Disciplinary knowledge

Research Inquiry and Critical Thinking



This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

1, 3 and 5

Type: Report
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 50%

This will be commensurate with the requirements of the place of the internship but 3000 to 5000 words (+/- 10%) would be a general guide


At the conclusion of the internship the student will prepare a report that documents, using scientific language, the work completed during the internship. The purpose of the report is to document the student’s work undertaken during the internship. This report will be prepared in consultation with the internship supervisor and with the agreement of the subject coordinator. The report constitutes a piece of authentic assessment that the student can include in her/his portfolio for potential employers to demonstrate that the student is capable of producing outcomes commensurate with the position for which they have applied.


The report will take the form of a research paper formatted in accordance with standard scientific practices. A guide which explains how to write the report (and how they will be marked) will be provided on UTS Online.


The final report will be sent to the internship supervisor who will assess the quality of the science presented. The supervisor will provide a mark of 10 using a marking guide. This will constitute 20% of the mark assigned to the report, the remaining 80% will be the mark provided by the Subject Coordinator as to the quality of the written communication using a rubric available to students prior to submission.


In cases where the student was part of a team, a statement that details the student’s specific contribution must be submitted with the product/report. The statement of contribution should be no more than one A4 page and signed by the Internship supervisor. It must be clear that the student’s contribution is equivalent to a substantive report, forming at least 50% of the total assessment of the 6 credit point subject.

Assessment task 2: Supervisors Assessment


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

Professional, Ethical and Social Responsibility



This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

2, 3, 4 and 5

Type: Report
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 25%

Placement supervisors will be asked to complete a short online survey which assesses the student’s performance along the following criteria:

  • Professionalism
    • Was on time and kept to the agreed upon work hours
    • Was dressed in accordance with the expectations of the supervisor and workplace and in accordance with EHS requirements
    • Displayed ability to organise and plan
    • Completed tasks in timely manner
    • Completed tasks effectively and achieved defined goals
    • Behaved respectfully and worked well with others in the organisation
    • Worked in accordance with work place EHS, legal and ethical requirements
    • Accepted tasks willingly
    • Actively sought and was alert to potential learning opportunities
    • Understood and followed organisation rules and policies
    • Accepted suggestions and criticism readily
  • Professional performance:
    • Clearly communicated ideas and concerns verbally
    • Demonstrated initiative in conducting duties
    • Solved problems that arose
  • Professional knowledge:
    • Displayed appropriate basic knowledge initially
    • Learnt effectively on the job
    • Applied knowledge in a practical way

Assessment task 3: Employability Task


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

Reflection, Innovation and Creativity


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

1 and 5

Type: Reflection
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 25%

This task will be evaluated in terms of

1. Depth of critical reflection
2. Appropriateness of strategies to improve capacity to address the selection criterion including evidence and examples
3. Quality of written communication skills

Minimum requirements

Students must achieve at least 50% of the subject’s final total marks. Additionally, in order for students to have deemed to pass the subject: all assessments must be submitted and the mark for the final report must exceed a minimum score equal to 40% of the total possible marks.