Biology Experimental Design and Analysis (BIOL2022)


This unit considers how biology is practiced as a quantitative, experimental and theoretical science. It focuses on the underlying principles and practical skills required to explore questions and test hypotheses, particularly where background variation (error) is inherently high. In so doing, it provides an understanding of how biological research is designed, analysed and interpreted using statistics. Lectures focus on sound experimental and statistical principles, using examples in biology to demonstrate concepts. In the practical sessions, students design and perform, analyse (using appropriate statistical tools) and interpret their own experiments to answer research questions in topics relevant to each student's particular interest. The unit provides foundational skills essential for doing research in biology and for critically judging the research of others. This unit of study provides a suitable foundation for senior biology units of study.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


Two lectures per week and one 3-hour practical per week.


Practical reports/presentations (60%), one 2-hour exam (40%).


Required: Ruxton, G. and Colegrave, N. 2010. Experimental design for the life sciences. 3rd Ed. Oxford
University Press
Recommended: Quinn, G. P. and M. J. Keough. 2002. Experimental Design and Data Analysis for Biologists. 1st Ed. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Recommended: Field, A. 2009. Discovering statistics using SPSS. 3rd Ed. SAGE Publications, London.

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules


12cp from (BIOL1XXX, MBLG1XXX)


BIOL2922 or BIOL3006 or BIOL3906

Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.