Molecular Biology and Biochem-Genes (Adv) (BCHM3971)


This unit of study is designed to provide a comprehensive coverage of the activity of genes in living organisms, with a focus on eukaryotic and particularly human systems. The lecture component covers the arrangement and structure of genes, how genes are expressed, promoter activity and enhancer action. This leads into discussions on the biochemical basis of differentiation of eukaryotic cells, the molecular basis of imprinting, epigenetics, and the role of RNA in gene expression. Additionally, the course discusses the effects of damage to the genome and mechanisms of DNA repair. The modern techniques for manipulating and analysing macromolecules such as DNA and proteins and their relevance to medical and biotechnological applications are discussed. Techniques such as the generation of gene knockout and transgenic mice are discussed as well as genomic methods of analysing gene expression patterns. Particular emphasis is placed on how modern molecular biology and biochemical methods have led to our current understanding of the structure and functions of genes within the human genome. The practical course is designed to complement the lecture course and will provide students with experience in a wide range of techniques used in molecular biology laboratories.

The lecture component of this unit of study is the same as BCHM3071. Qualified students will attend seminars/practical classes in which more sophisticated topics in gene expression and manipulation will be covered.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


Two 1-hour lectures per week; two 3-hours practicals per fortnight


One 2.5-hour exam (theory and theory of prac 70%), in-semester (practical work and assignments 30%)


Lewin, B. Genes XI. 11th edition. Jones & Bartlett. 2011.

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules

Prerequisites and assumed knowledge

[An average mark of 75 in 12 credit points of (MBLG2071, MBLG2971, BCHM2071, BCHM2971, BCHM2072, BCHM2972)] OR [BMED2401 and (a mark of 75 in BMED2405) and (6 additional credit points from BMED240X) and (a mark of 75 in MBLG2071 or MBLG2971 or BCHM2071 or BCHM2971)]


BCHM3901 or BCHM3001 or BCHM3071 

Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.