Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology is taught within the School of Life and Environmental Sciences in the Faculty of Science. Units of study in this major are available at standard and advanced levels.

About the major

Students who complete a major in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology will gain a thorough understanding of the chemistry of life and the molecules that regulate living processes, with an emphasis on how these molecules pass information and energy within and between cells, as well as from generation to generation, and how these processes impact form and function. This major is ideally suited for students who wish to understand the molecular mechanisms that underlie normal physiology and disease in all kingdoms of life.

Requirements for completion

A major in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology requires 48 credit points, consisting of:

(i) 12 credit points of 1000-level core units
(ii) 6 credit points of 2000-level core units
(iii) 6 credit points of 2000-level units according to the following rules:
(a) 6 credit points of 2000-level biochemistry units or
(b) 6 credit points of 2000-level MEDS coded units for students in the Medical Science stream
(iv) 12 credit points of 3000-level core units
(v) 6 credit points of 3000-level selective units
(vi) 6 credit points of 3000-level interdisciplinary project units

A minor in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology requires 36 credit points, consisting of:

(i) 12 credit points of 1000-level core units
(ii) 6 credit points of 2000-level core units
(iii) 6 credit points of 2000-level units according to the following rules:
(a) 6 credit points of 2000-level biochemistry units or
(b) 6 credit points of MEDS coded units for student in the Medical Science stream
(iv) 6 credit points of 3000-level minor selective units from depth units
(v) 6 credit points of 3000-level minor selective units from breadth units

First year

Core: CHEM1XX1 Chemistry 1A and BIOL1XX7 From Molecules to Ecosystems.

Second year

Core: BCMB2X01 Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (Medical science students enrol in MEDS2003 instead) and BCMB2X02 Proteins in Cells.

BCMB2X01/MEDS2003 will provide students with a solid foundation in molecular biology, human metabolism and metabolic biochemistry. BCMB2X02 will enable students to understand how communication, transport and response to stimuli are mediated by proteins and biomolecular interaction networks within cells.

Third year

BCMB3X01 Gene and Genome Regulation,
BCMB3X02 Protein Function and Engineering
and 6 credit points from:
BCMB3X03 Biochemistry of Human Disease
BCMB3X04 Beyond the Genome
PCOL3X12 Drug Design and Development.

In your third year you must take at least one designated project unit.
3000-level units will focus on the molecular basis of key biological processes such as gene regulation, advanced metabolic biochemistry and causes of disease, as well as tools and techniques that can be harnessed to modulate these processes including protein engineering and inhibitor development.

Fourth year

The fourth year is only offered within the combined Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Advanced Studies course.

Advanced coursework
The Bachelor of Advanced Studies advanced coursework option consists of 48 credit points, with a minimum of 24 credit points at 4000-level or above. Of these 24 credit points, you must complete a project unit of study worth at least 12 credit points.

Honours
Meritorious students in the Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Advanced Studies may apply for admission to Honours within a subject area of the Bachelor of Advanced Studies. Admission to Honours requires the prior completion of all requirements of the Bachelor of Science, including Open Learning Environment (OLE) units. If you are considering applying for admission to Honours, ensure your degree planning takes into account the completion of a second major and all OLE requirements prior to Honours commencement.

Unit of study requirements for Honours in the area of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology: completion of 36 credit points of project work and 12 credit points of coursework.

Contact and further information

W sydney.edu.au/science/life-environment/
E

Professor Jacqui Matthews
E

Learning Outcomes

Students who graduate from Biochemistry and Molecular Biology will be able to:

  1. Exhibit a broad and coherent body of knowledge in the chemical and physical principles governing the structure and function of biomolecules.
  2. Exhibit a deep and integrated understanding of the underlying principles and applications of current techniques and model systems commonly used in biochemistry and molecular biology.
  3. Examine the relationships between biomolecules, cells and tissues in health and disease.
  4. Execute laboratory-based experiments using acquired knowledge and technical expertise.
  5. Collate, analyse and critically interpret biochemical data acquired through experimentation.
  6. Source, collate and critically evaluate a range of information sources in biochemistry and molecular biology, from primary literature to multimedia.
  7. Communicate biochemical concepts and findings through a range of modes for a variety of purposes and audiences, using evidence-based arguments that are robust to critique.
  8. Assess how molecules regulate living processes, using integrated knowledge of the structure, function and dynamics of biomolecules.
  9. Implement ethical protocols and adhere to safe working conditions in their laboratory practice, including ensuring the accuracy, secure storage and curation of data.
  10. Design an experimental plan in biochemistry and molecular biology, including: development of hypotheses and aims, identification of controls, and choice of relevant measurable outcomes.
  11. Address authentic problems in biochemistry, working responsibly and ethically, and with consideration of social and cultural differences, in collaborative, interdisciplinary teams.