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SLE123 - Physics for the Life Sciences


2020 unit information

Important Update:

Classes and seminars in Trimester 2/Semester 2, 2020 will be online. Physical distancing for coronavirus (COVID-19) will affect delivery of other learning experiences in this unit. Please check your unit sites for announcements and updates one week prior to the start of your trimester or semester.

Last updated: 2 June 2020

Enrolment modes:Trimester 2: Cloud (online)
Credit point(s):1
Previously coded as:


EFTSL value:0.125
Unit Chair:Trimester 2: Kieran Lim




Incompatible with:


Typical study commitment:

Students will on average spend 150 hours over the teaching period undertaking the teaching, learning and assessment activities for this unit.

Scheduled learning activities - cloud:

Students can choose to attend either a 1 x 1 hour scheduled online seminar per week, or 1 x 1 hour campus seminar per week.


Students of the life sciences have a growing need to acquire an effective working knowledge of the physical sciences. In this unit, physics concepts such as energy, sound and waves, the properties of atoms, electric fields, optics, fluids and mechanics will be explored and related to biology and medicine. Students will use evidence to demonstrate and evaluate knowledge of fundamental physics principles, and will also have the opportunity to design and conduct their own experiments to evaluate how physics enables life.


These are the Learning Outcomes (ULO) for this Unit

At the completion of this Unit
successful students can:

Deakin Graduate Learning Outcomes


Use evidence to demonstrate and evaluate knowledge of physics principles.

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities
GLO4: Critical thinking


Design and conduct experiments to evaluate how physics enables life.

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities
GLO2: Communication


Use the lens of physics to question aspects of life and demonstrate how physics is important for fundamental biological principles.

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities
GLO2: Communication

These Unit Learning Outcomes are applicable for all teaching periods throughout the year


Assessment Description Student output Weighting (% total mark for unit) Indicative due week
Quizzes Multiple choice quiz (approximately 20 questions) 20% Weekly
Experimental demonstration Collaborative 3-minute video presentation 30% Week 9
Examination 2-hour written examination 50% Examination period

The assessment due weeks provided may change. The Unit Chair will clarify the exact assessment requirements, including the due date, at the start of the teaching period.

Learning Resource

Prescribed text(s): Giambattista et al, 2019, Physics, 5th edition, Mcgraw Hill.

The texts and reading list for the unit can be found on the University Library via the link below: SLE123 Note: Select the relevant trimester reading list. Please note that a future teaching period's reading list may not be available until a month prior to the start of that teaching period so you may wish to use the relevant trimester's prior year reading list as a guide only.

Unit Fee Information

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