Total average


Learning Materials ( 76.3 )
Learning Activities ( 58.8 )
Blackboard Management ( 79 )
Course Content ( 76.3 )
Course Structure ( 58.8 )
Contact Availability ( 68.8 )
Course Difficulty ( 65 )

Reviews (4)

PHYS1171 – Physical Basis of Biological Systems 54.3

Frustrating course. There's far too many topics with little opportunity for retention time between lectures, and with many many assessment pieces ranging between 0.71%-1.5% each while demanding a lot of time each. Entire reports for example worth 1.5%. The compulsory modules on "Five minute Physics" website often has embedded videos going for 7-10 minutes. Modules themselves can be really wordy without explaining much, lots of formulas dropped although half of them are meaningful and the other half are just ways to present relationships in a system. Problem solving sometimes assumed you could recall certain constant values of a material property that was randomly mentioned weeks ago.

The best way you have of learning something in this course is committing to the tutorials as everything else is inefficient.

Also not sure why but a lot of Physics staff seem to have shocking handwriting and it can get frustrating deciphering greek letters, capital and lower case variables that are not written very well!

Semester taken

Semester 1 - 2017

Your program/major

Engineering (Honours)

Is lecture attendance necessary?


Is the textbook necessary?


  • Wide range of topics, fascinating
  • Not overly complicated
  • Algebra focussed
  • Poorly explained concepts
  • Time inefficient, not much you can do about it.
  • Can be overwhelming for beginners
Posted on November 16, 2020 12:11 am
PHYS1171 – Physical Basis of Biological Systems 36.7

I was disappointed by this course and felt I didn't get very much out of it. I say this mostly because it tries to cover way too much material in too little time. Moving from topic to unrelated topic on a weekly basis does not really allow for any meaningful understanding to form, and I found the final exam to be a case of plugging values into formulae, without having much meaningful insight into how and why they worked.

The other bad aspect of the course were the practicals - I found them very basic, boring, tedious and a waste of time. Whilst this was 'compulsory' because I didn't do high school physics, this has not helped me at all and I recommend considering whether you should take it.

Oh and the textbook is a waste of money.

Semester taken

Semester 1 - 2012

Your program/major

BE Elec/Comp

Is lecture attendance necessary?


Is the textbook necessary?


Positives No positive points
  • No understanding of content
  • Bad pracs
  • Not useful
Posted on July 18, 2014 4:07 pm
PHYS1171 – Physical Basis of Biological Systems 94.3

Excellent course! I struggled in the first weeks as I had never done any physics before and was overwhelmed. The content moves quite quickly, however, the lecturers are great (Tim especially - add him to your Facebook group!!! He will contribute and answer questions too!!) and there are so many resources to get everyone up to speed.

The 5 minute physics readings are excellent - they cover all the basics of what you need to know and the tutorial questions are all posted online with answers - make the most of these for exam revision!

Semester taken

Semester 2 - 2013

Your program/major


  • Tim McIntyre
  • Lots of resources
  • Fast content for beginners
Posted on July 12, 2014 7:39 am
Corneels de Waard
PHYS1171 – Physical Basis of Biological Systems 95.0

PHYS1171 is a highly enjoyable course. It is well structured and has a decent amount of practical as well as theoretical content.

The biggest downside to the course is that it has three lecture hours every week, on separate days of course. This is necessary though given how much content there is to cover.

The Five Minute Physics provided on the UQ Physics website are incredible and completely negate the need for a textbook. I would hold off on buying a textbook until about halfway through the course, to determine if you'll need it at all.

Tim McIntyre is by far the best lecturer out of the three that I had over the semester. Dr Wegner is passable, but Tim's teaching style is exceptional and I guarantee you will enjoy his use of the clicker questions in particular.

Semester taken

Semester 1 - 2014

Your program/major


  • Dr Tim McIntyre is excellent
  • A lot of contact hours
Posted on June 25, 2014 11:23 am

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