SCIGEN 399 : Capstone: Science


2024 Semester One (1243) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

A multidisciplinary capstone for students coming from any science discipline. Students apply their cumulative knowledge and skills to a scientific phenomenon from a list of topics, considering the science in the context of sociocultural, ethical, or environmental challenges. Emphasises team as well as self-directed work to support mastery of academic competencies and key transferable skills.

Course Overview

A capstone learning experience for students in their final semester of their BSc coming from any science discipline. Students will be able to build on prior undergraduate experiences and competencies, skills and knowledge, and integrate and apply those to real world challenges or messy problems and scenarios in the sciences. Projects are multidisciplinary and offer flexibility so that students can engage in a topic or approach that interest them. Students apply their discipline-specific knowledge and skills learnt so far more broadly to investigate the bigger questions of science within ethical, regulatory, environmental and sociocultural contexts and the ways the sciences operate in these spaces.
Guided by instructors, students participate in individual as well as group-based learning tasks and assignments exploring broader scientific and discipline-specific approaches, their implications and limitations within various academic and non-academic contexts to which the capstone course work  are directed. The course supports the development of key graduate competencies including effective teamwork and constructive peer feedback skills, science communication, analytical skills, and academic writing for science. Depending on the topic and students' interests, key stakeholders could be involved in shaping a project recognizing students’ diverse future career ambitions and the need for transferable skills for employability or postgraduate study.

Course Requirements

Prerequisite: 45 points passed at Stage III and Associate Dean (Academic) or nominee approval Restriction: Any other BSc capstone

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: People and Place
Capability 2: Sustainability
Capability 3: Knowledge and Practice
Capability 4: Critical Thinking
Capability 5: Solution Seeking
Capability 6: Communication
Capability 7: Collaboration
Capability 8: Ethics and Professionalism
Graduate Profile: Bachelor of Science

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Draw upon existing theoretical and conceptual discipline knowledge and integrate or apply to academic and non-academic contexts in which science operates and apply to a capstone project. (Capability 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8)
  2. Select and evaluate appropriate scientific procedures, techniques, tools and rules to propose solutions to complex global and New Zealand issues within ethical, regulatory, cultural, environmental and social contexts of a discipline. (Capability 1, 3, 4, 5 and 8)
  3. Clearly communicate scientific ideas and arguments according to purpose and audience using appropriate informal and formal communication approaches such as discussions, oral presentations, video, scientific writing. (Capability 1, 3, 6, 7 and 8)
  4. Reflect upon the feedback of others as well as your own self-reflections to identify and act on opportunities for developing personal qualities, employability and teamwork competencies. (Capability 1, 2, 6, 7 and 8)
  5. Develop effective skills to collaboratively and cooperatively work in multidisciplinary teams respectful of diverse viewpoints and prior experiences, demonstrating a range of academic, research, aesthetic and/or creative skills. (Capability 1, 2, 6, 7 and 8)
  6. Examine and critique sources, data and journal articles to generate reports and presentations appropriate to a topic in science. (Capability 3, 4, 5 and 6)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Scoping Presentation 10% Group Coursework
Scoping Report 20% Individual Coursework
Peer Reviews 20% Individual Coursework
Reflections 15% Individual Coursework
Final Project Report and Poster Presentation 35% Group & Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6
Scoping Presentation
Scoping Report
Peer Reviews
Final Project Report and Poster Presentation


Tuākana Science is a multi-faceted programme for Māori and Pacific students providing topic specific tutorials, one-on-one sessions, test and exam preparation and more. Explore your options at

Key Topics

The course is designed to be interactive, and students have the opportunity to participate in discussions with guest speakers, course teachers and peers during weekly seminars. Topics vary from semester to semester and depend on students' disciplinary background and interests.

Special Requirements

Compulsory participation in the weekly seminars, attendance will be monitored.

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in. You will be working individually and as part of a group project on set learning tasks.

For this course, a typical weekly workload includes:

  • 2 hours of contact time with instructors and peers during timetabled on campus seminar sessions (attendance required); 
  • 6-7 hours contributing towards academic pieces of writing and presentations, including team meetings and individual work;
  • 1-2 hours completing peer evaluations, reflections and individual learning tasks.

There is no test or final exam for this course.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is required at weekly seminars on campus to receive credit for components of the course.
There are no lectures. In-person seminars will not be recorded. The course delivery is hybrid in the sense that students are expected to engage with learning activities and discussions in-person during the seminars as well as  online tasks.
The  activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable. 

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

No specific learning resources required; all materials will be available in Canvas. The seminars are in-person on campus and will not be recorded. However, if students cannot attend at times due to sickness or other urgent matters (urgent personal/family matters) every attempt will be made to provide a Zoom link to enable online participation bearing in mind that the learning experience will be somewhat comprised due to the audio quality during face-to-face class room discussions. 

Student Feedback

During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.

At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.

Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.

Class reps speak and advocate on behalf of the students and are the go-to point for students with any course-related enquiries or concerns. They may also collect class feedback from students during the semester to feed forward to instructors to inform improvements to the course delivery.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed for potential plagiarism or other forms of academic misconduct, using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.


The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.

You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

The delivery mode may change depending on COVID restrictions. Any changes will be communicated through Canvas.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 24/01/2024 10:08 a.m.