Molecular Biology and Genetics


Molecular biology is an area of biochemistry which seeks to understand and unravel complex molecular mechanisms and the behaviour of living organisms by focusing on their molecular structure and the interactions among the biomolecules which constitute all living organisms. Molecular genetics is concerned with the control and function of genes at a molecular level and how the genetic information is transferred from one generation to the next.

Specific topic areas include the structure, information content and replication of genetic material; the organisation and expression of encoding genes and the structure of gene products (proteins); genetic and protein engineering; macromolecular structure and interactions; cell differentiation and organism development; the basis of inherited diseases; biotechnology and medical diagnostic molecular biology; genomics, proteomics and bioinformatics.

For more information on the program structure and content, view the Science Undergraduate Handbook.

Major outline

View a detailed study guide on the School of Molecular Bioscience website.

To prepare for a major in molecular biology and genetics, you should take at least one unit in biology and at least one unit in molecular biology and genetics. You may take the advanced molecular biology and genetics unit subject to eligibility requirements.

In your second year, you will take units that are prerequisites for your third year units. You will take two units in molecular biology and genetics, and least one unit in biochemistry. It is also highly recommended that you take units in biology, and chemistry or microbiology in conjunction with the defined units of study.

To successfully complete the major, you will be required to take 24 credit points worth of defined senior molecular biology and genetics units.

Human Molecular Cell Biology - compulsory
Molecular Biology and Biochemistry - Genes - compulsory
Molecular Biology and Biochemistry - Proteins
Medical and Metabolic Biochemistry
Proteomics and Functional Genomics
Gene Technology and Genomics
Evolutionary Genetics & Animal Behaviour

Graduate opportunities

With a major in molecular biology and molecular genetics, you will be able to continue on to work in a variety of settings or pursue further studies. Molecular biologists and geneticists are highly sought after in a wide variety of national and international research laboratories, in hospitals and industry. They work in organisations which include medical and agricultural research institutes; biotechnology companies; hospitals; diagnostic laboratories; universities; schools; the pharmaceutical industry; the biotechnology industries and the food manufacturing industries.

Further study for major

If you are interested in furthering your study of molecular biology and molecular genetics, you may wish to consider undertaking an honours year after you complete your undergraduate studies. An honours years comprises a research project within one of the research laboratories within the School of Molecular Bioscience, a small coursework module and participation in the School seminar program.

If you wish to pursue a career in biomedical research, you may choose to continue to postgraduate studies within the School, in the PhD by research program.

Related subject areas


Our courses that offer this major