Offered to students admitted to Year 1 in ALL
Major/Minor ALL
Course Type
Offer in 2019 - 2020 Y N
Course Code SCNC1112
Date2019/09/21 13:22
Enquiry for Course Details
SCNC1112 Fundamentals of modern science (6 credits) Academic Year 2019
Offering Department Faculty Quota ---
Course Co-ordinator Dr J C S Pun, Physics < jcspun@hku.hk >
Teachers Involved (Dr H Y Au-Yeung,Chemistry)
(Dr J C S Pun,Physics)
(Dr J D Gaitan-Espitia,Biological Sciences)
(Dr L Ashton,Biological Sciences)
(Dr M H Lee,Earth Sciences)
Course Objectives This course aims to provide students an overview of the giant web of knowledge that makes up science.  This course adopts an integrated approach and encompasses physics, astronomy, earth sciences, chemistry, and biology, and focuses on the general principles and unifying concepts of science used in various disciplines to describe the diverse phenomena and objects in the natural world.  The fundamental laws of each discipline, the historical developments and the modern frontiers, and the interconnectedness of different science disciplines will be introduced and highlighted.
Course Contents & Topics (1) Universal principles and unifying concepts of science
(2) Fundamental structure of matter
- Structure of matter
- The quantum world
- Elementary particles and standard model
(3) Atoms and molecules
- Matters and atoms: The periodic table
- Chemical bonds and chemical reactions
- Important molecules: water, carbon, molecular cluster
- Nanoscience and nanotechnology
(4) DNA/Genetic
- Molecules of life
- Genomics and DNA; Genetics and inheritance
(5) Cells and systems
(6) Organism and environment
- The origin and evolution of life
- Ecology and environment
(7) Earth and Beyond
- Solid Earth, Earth's atmosphere and hydrosphere
- Earth's motion in space
- Planets, the Sun, and the solar system
- Cosmology
Course Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

CLO 1 acquire an understanding of the historical development of modern science, the essence and spirit of scientific inquiry methods, and the role of science in the advancement of civilization over time
CLO 2 understand and be familiar with the fundamental scientific principles and concepts
CLO 3 appreciate the diversity of different scientific disciplines and develop multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives on scientific issues
CLO 4 critically and creatively appraise received ideas and established knowledge
CLO 5 develop curiosity in science and an appreciation of sciences as related to different Science Majors and as a form of life-long learning
Pre-requisites
(and Co-requisites and
Impermissible combinations)
NIL
(This course is compulsory for all students taking a Science major offered by the Faculty of Science. Students should take this course in their first year.)
Course Status with Related Major/Minor /Professional Core 2019 Major in Biochemistry ( Core/Compulsory )
2019 Major in Biological Sciences ( Core/Compulsory )
2019 Major in Chemistry ( Core/Compulsory )
2019 Major in Chemistry (Intensive) ( Core/Compulsory )
2019 Major in Decision Analytics ( Core/Compulsory )
2019 Major in Earth System Science ( Core/Compulsory )
2019 Major in Ecology & Biodiversity ( Core/Compulsory )
2019 Major in Ecology & Biodiversity (Intensive) ( Core/Compulsory )
2019 Major in Environmental Science ( Core/Compulsory )
2019 Major in Food & Nutritional Science ( Core/Compulsory )
2019 Major in Geology ( Core/Compulsory )
2019 Major in Geology (Intensive) ( Core/Compulsory )
2019 Major in Mathematics ( Core/Compulsory )
2019 Major in Mathematics (Intensive) ( Core/Compulsory )
2019 Major in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology ( Core/Compulsory )
2019 Major in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology (Intensive) ( Core/Compulsory )
2019 Major in Physics ( Core/Compulsory )
2019 Major in Physics (Intensive) ( Core/Compulsory )
2019 Major in Risk Management ( Core/Compulsory )
2019 Major in Statistics ( Core/Compulsory )
2018 Major in Biochemistry ( Core/Compulsory )
2018 Major in Biological Sciences ( Core/Compulsory )
2018 Major in Chemistry ( Core/Compulsory )
2018 Major in Chemistry (Intensive) ( Core/Compulsory )
2018 Major in Decision Analytics ( Core/Compulsory )
2018 Major in Earth System Science ( Core/Compulsory )
2018 Major in Ecology & Biodiversity ( Core/Compulsory )
2018 Major in Ecology & Biodiversity (Intensive) ( Core/Compulsory )
2018 Major in Environmental Science ( Core/Compulsory )
2018 Major in Food & Nutritional Science ( Core/Compulsory )
2018 Major in Geology ( Core/Compulsory )
2018 Major in Geology (Intensive) ( Core/Compulsory )
2018 Major in Mathematics ( Core/Compulsory )
2018 Major in Mathematics (Intensive) ( Core/Compulsory )
2018 Major in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology ( Core/Compulsory )
2018 Major in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology (Intensive) ( Core/Compulsory )
2018 Major in Physics ( Core/Compulsory )
2018 Major in Physics (Intensive) ( Core/Compulsory )
2018 Major in Risk Management ( Core/Compulsory )
2018 Major in Statistics ( Core/Compulsory )
2017 Major in Astronomy ( Core/Compulsory )
2017 Major in Biochemistry ( Core/Compulsory )
2017 Major in Biological Sciences ( Core/Compulsory )
2017 Major in Chemistry ( Core/Compulsory )
2017 Major in Chemistry (Intensive) ( Core/Compulsory )
2017 Major in Decision Analytics ( Core/Compulsory )
2017 Major in Earth System Science ( Core/Compulsory )
2017 Major in Ecology & Biodiversity ( Core/Compulsory )
2017 Major in Ecology & Biodiversity (Intensive) ( Core/Compulsory )
2017 Major in Environmental Science ( Core/Compulsory )
2017 Major in Food & Nutritional Science ( Core/Compulsory )
2017 Major in Geology ( Core/Compulsory )
2017 Major in Geology (Intensive) ( Core/Compulsory )
2017 Major in Mathematics ( Core/Compulsory )
2017 Major in Mathematics (Intensive) ( Core/Compulsory )
2017 Major in Mathematics/Physics ( Core/Compulsory )
2017 Major in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology ( Core/Compulsory )
2017 Major in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology (Intensive) ( Core/Compulsory )
2017 Major in Physics ( Core/Compulsory )
2017 Major in Physics (Intensive) ( Core/Compulsory )
2017 Major in Risk Management ( Core/Compulsory )
2017 Major in Statistics ( Core/Compulsory )
2016 Major in Astronomy ( Core/Compulsory )
2016 Major in Biochemistry ( Core/Compulsory )
2016 Major in Biological Sciences ( Core/Compulsory )
2016 Major in Chemistry ( Core/Compulsory )
2016 Major in Chemistry (Intensive) ( Core/Compulsory )
2016 Major in Decision Analytics ( Core/Compulsory )
2016 Major in Earth System Science ( Core/Compulsory )
2016 Major in Ecology & Biodiversity ( Core/Compulsory )
2016 Major in Ecology & Biodiversity (Intensive) ( Core/Compulsory )
2016 Major in Environmental Science ( Core/Compulsory )
2016 Major in Food & Nutritional Science ( Core/Compulsory )
2016 Major in Geology ( Core/Compulsory )
2016 Major in Geology (Intensive) ( Core/Compulsory )
2016 Major in Mathematics ( Core/Compulsory )
2016 Major in Mathematics (Intensive) ( Core/Compulsory )
2016 Major in Mathematics/Physics ( Core/Compulsory )
2016 Major in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology ( Core/Compulsory )
2016 Major in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology (Intensive) ( Core/Compulsory )
2016 Major in Physics ( Core/Compulsory )
2016 Major in Physics (Intensive) ( Core/Compulsory )
2016 Major in Risk Management ( Core/Compulsory )
2016 Major in Statistics ( Core/Compulsory )
2015 Major in Astronomy ( Core/Compulsory )
2015 Major in Biochemistry ( Core/Compulsory )
2015 Major in Biological Sciences ( Core/Compulsory )
2015 Major in Chemistry ( Core/Compulsory )
2015 Major in Chemistry (Intensive) ( Core/Compulsory )
2015 Major in Decision Analytics ( Core/Compulsory )
2015 Major in Earth System Science ( Core/Compulsory )
2015 Major in Ecology & Biodiversity ( Core/Compulsory )
2015 Major in Ecology & Biodiversity (Intensive) ( Core/Compulsory )
2015 Major in Environmental Science ( Core/Compulsory )
2015 Major in Food & Nutritional Science ( Core/Compulsory )
2015 Major in Geology ( Core/Compulsory )
2015 Major in Geology (Intensive) ( Core/Compulsory )
2015 Major in Mathematics ( Core/Compulsory )
2015 Major in Mathematics/Physics ( Core/Compulsory )
2015 Major in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology ( Core/Compulsory )
2015 Major in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology (Intensive) ( Core/Compulsory )
2015 Major in Physics ( Core/Compulsory )
2015 Major in Risk Management ( Core/Compulsory )
2015 Major in Statistics ( Core/Compulsory )
Course to PLO Mapping 2019 Major in Biochemistry < PLO 3,4 >
2019 Major in Biological Sciences < PLO 1,4 >
2019 Major in Chemistry < PLO 3,4 >
2019 Major in Chemistry (Intensive) < PLO 3,4 >
2019 Major in Decision Analytics < PLO 5 >
2019 Major in Earth System Science < PLO 1,5 >
2019 Major in Ecology & Biodiversity < PLO 1,5 >
2019 Major in Ecology & Biodiversity (Intensive) < PLO 4 >
2019 Major in Environmental Science < PLO 1,2 >
2019 Major in Food & Nutritional Science < PLO 1,2,3 >
2019 Major in Geology < PLO 1,5 >
2019 Major in Geology (Intensive) < PLO 1,5 >
2019 Major in Mathematics < PLO 4 >
2019 Major in Mathematics (Intensive) < PLO 4 >
2019 Major in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology < PLO 1,3,4 >
2019 Major in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology (Intensive) < PLO 1,3,4 >
2019 Major in Physics < PLO 1,3,4 >
2019 Major in Physics (Intensive) < PLO 1,3,4 >
2019 Major in Risk Management < PLO 5 >
2019 Major in Statistics < PLO 2,5 >
2018 Major in Biochemistry < PLO 3,4 >
2018 Major in Biological Sciences < PLO 1,4 >
2018 Major in Chemistry < PLO 3,4 >
2018 Major in Chemistry (Intensive) < PLO 3,4 >
2018 Major in Decision Analytics < PLO 5 >
2018 Major in Earth System Science < PLO 1,5 >
2018 Major in Ecology & Biodiversity < PLO 1,5 >
2018 Major in Ecology & Biodiversity (Intensive) < PLO 4 >
2018 Major in Environmental Science < PLO 1,2 >
2018 Major in Food & Nutritional Science < PLO 1,6 >
2018 Major in Geology < PLO 1,5 >
2018 Major in Geology (Intensive) < PLO 1,5 >
2018 Major in Mathematics < PLO 4 >
2018 Major in Mathematics (Intensive) < PLO 4 >
2018 Major in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology < PLO 1,3,4 >
2018 Major in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology (Intensive) < PLO 1,3,4 >
2018 Major in Physics < PLO 1,3,4 >
2018 Major in Physics (Intensive) < PLO 1,3,4 >
2018 Major in Risk Management < PLO 5 >
2018 Major in Statistics < PLO 2,5 >
2017 Major in Astronomy < PLO 1,4 >
2017 Major in Biochemistry < PLO 3,4 >
2017 Major in Biological Sciences < PLO 1,4 >
2017 Major in Chemistry < PLO 3,4 >
2017 Major in Chemistry (Intensive) < PLO 3,4 >
2017 Major in Decision Analytics < PLO 5 >
2017 Major in Earth System Science < PLO 1,5 >
2017 Major in Ecology & Biodiversity < PLO 1,5 >
2017 Major in Ecology & Biodiversity (Intensive) < PLO 4 >
2017 Major in Environmental Science < PLO 1,2 >
2017 Major in Food & Nutritional Science < PLO 1,6 >
2017 Major in Geology < PLO 1,5 >
2017 Major in Geology (Intensive) < PLO 1,5 >
2017 Major in Mathematics < PLO 4 >
2017 Major in Mathematics (Intensive) < PLO 4 >
2017 Major in Mathematics/Physics < PLO 1,4 >
2017 Major in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology < PLO 1,3,4 >
2017 Major in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology (Intensive) < PLO 1,3,4 >
2017 Major in Physics < PLO 1,3,4 >
2017 Major in Physics (Intensive) < PLO 1,3,4 >
2017 Major in Risk Management < PLO 5 >
2017 Major in Statistics < PLO 2,5 >
2016 Major in Astronomy < PLO 1,4 >
2016 Major in Biochemistry < PLO 3,4 >
2016 Major in Biological Sciences < PLO 1,4 >
2016 Major in Chemistry < PLO 3,4 >
2016 Major in Chemistry (Intensive) < PLO 3,4 >
2016 Major in Decision Analytics < PLO 5 >
2016 Major in Earth System Science < PLO 1,5 >
2016 Major in Ecology & Biodiversity < PLO 1,5 >
2016 Major in Ecology & Biodiversity (Intensive) < PLO 4 >
2016 Major in Environmental Science < PLO 1,2 >
2016 Major in Food & Nutritional Science < PLO 1,6 >
2016 Major in Geology < PLO 1,5 >
2016 Major in Geology (Intensive) < PLO 1,5 >
2016 Major in Mathematics < PLO 4 >
2016 Major in Mathematics (Intensive) < PLO 4 >
2016 Major in Mathematics/Physics < PLO 1,4 >
2016 Major in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology < PLO 1,3,4 >
2016 Major in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology (Intensive) < PLO 1,3,4 >
2016 Major in Physics < PLO 1,3,4 >
2016 Major in Physics (Intensive) < PLO 1,3,4 >
2016 Major in Risk Management < PLO 5 >
2016 Major in Statistics < PLO 2,5 >
2015 Major in Astronomy < PLO 1,4 >
2015 Major in Biochemistry < PLO 3,4 >
2015 Major in Biological Sciences < PLO 1,4 >
2015 Major in Chemistry < PLO 3,4 >
2015 Major in Chemistry (Intensive) < PLO 3,4 >
2015 Major in Decision Analytics < PLO 5 >
2015 Major in Earth System Science < PLO 1,5 >
2015 Major in Ecology & Biodiversity < PLO 1,5 >
2015 Major in Ecology & Biodiversity (Intensive) < PLO 4 >
2015 Major in Environmental Science < PLO 1,2 >
2015 Major in Food & Nutritional Science < PLO 1,6 >
2015 Major in Geology < PLO 1,5 >
2015 Major in Geology (Intensive) < PLO 1,5 >
2015 Major in Mathematics < PLO 4 >
2015 Major in Mathematics/Physics < PLO 1,4 >
2015 Major in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology < PLO 1,3,4 >
2015 Major in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology (Intensive) < PLO 1,3,4 >
2015 Major in Physics < PLO 1,3,4 >
2015 Major in Risk Management < PLO 5 >
2015 Major in Statistics < PLO 2,5 >
Offer in 2019 - 2020 Y        1st sem    2nd sem    Examination Dec    May     
Offer in 2020 - 2021 Y
Course Grade A+ to F
Grade Descriptors
A Demonstrate thorough mastery of extensive knowledge and skills required for attaining all the course learning outcomes. Show strong analytical and critical abilities and logical thinking, with evidence of original thought, and ability to apply knowledge to a wide range of complex, familiar and unfamiliar situations. Apply highly effective lab skills and techniques. Critical use of data and results to draw appropriate and insightful conclusions Apply highly effective organizational and presentational skills.
B Demonstrate substantial command of a broad range of knowledge and skills required for attaining at least most of the course learning outcomes. Show evidence of analytical and critical abilities and logical thinking, and ability to apply knowledge to familiar and some unfamiliar situations. Apply effective lab skills and techniques. Correct use of data of results to draw appropriate conclusions. Apply effective organizational and presentational skills.
C Demonstrate general but incomplete command of knowledge and skills required for attaining most of the course learning outcomes. Show evidence of some analytical and critical abilities and logical thinking, and ability to apply knowledge to most familiar situations. Apply moderately effective lab skills and techniques. Mostly correct but some erroneous use of data and results to draw appropriate conclusions. Apply moderately effective organizational and presentational skills.
D Demonstrate partial but limited command of knowledge and skills required for attaining some of the course learning outcomes. Show evidence of some coherent and logical thinking, but with limited analytical and critical abilities. Show limited ability to apply knowledge to solve problems. Apply partially effective lab skills and techniques. Limited ability to use data and results to draw appropriate conclusions. Apply limited or barely effective organizational and presentational skills.
Fail Demonstrate little or no evidence of command of knowledge and skills required for attaining the course learning outcomes. Lack of analytical and critical abilities, logical and coherent thinking. Show very little or no ability to apply knowledge to solve problems. Apply minimally effective or ineffective lab / fieldwork skills and techniques. Misuse of data and results and/or unable to draw appropriate conclusions. Organization and presentational skills are minimally effective or ineffective.
Course Type Lecture with laboratory component course
Course Teaching
& Learning Activities
Activities Details No. of Hours
Lectures 36
Tutorials 12
Assessment 1 hour in-class quiz 1
Reading / Self study 94
Assessment Methods
and Weighting
Methods Details Weighting in final
course grade (%)
Assessment Methods
to CLO Mapping
Assignments tutorials and homework 20 CLO 1,2,3,4,5
Examination 50 CLO 1,2,3,4,5
Presentation project presentation 20 CLO 1,2,3,4,5
Test 10 CLO 1,2,3,4,5
Required/recommended reading
and online materials
Textbook: Sciences: An Integrated Approach by Trefil & Hazen 7th Edition (2013, Wiley)
References: Integrated Science by Tillery, Enger, & Ross 5th Edition (2011, McGrawHill)
Biology: Concepts and Connections by Campbell, Mitchell, & Reece 2nd Edition (1999, Benjamin/Cummings)
Chemistry: An Atoms First Approach by Zumdahl & Zumdahl (2012 Cengage)
Course Website NIL
Additional Course Information NIL
Back  /  Home