Course Title: Advanced Bioinformatics

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Advanced Bioinformatics

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


135H Applied Sciences


Sem 2 2006,
Sem 2 2007,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 2 2014,
Sem 2 2015


City Campus


135H Applied Sciences


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2009

Course Coordinator: Dr Peter Smooker

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7129

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Building 223 Level 1 Bundoora West

Course Coordinator Availability: By Appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Advanced Molecular Biology or equivalent (can be done simultaneously for those with sufficient prior knowledge)

Course Description

Bioinformatics is the computational management and use of biological information to solve biological problems. This course will cover several aspects of this rapidly evolving field. Topics will include descriptions of genetic and biological databases and relevant tools available to retrieve and analyse the information within these. An introduction to proteomics will be given, including protein identification, molecular modeling and methods to determine protein structure. This course is designed to enable you to evaluate biological data using bioinformatic techniques, and to become adept at performing such analyses.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs):
2.1. You will exhibit depth and breadth of knowledge by demonstrating a well-developed understanding of biological sciences.
3.1. You will be able to critically analyse and solve problems in biotechnology by gathering, synthesizing and critically evaluating information from a range of sources.

By the end of the course, you should be able to:

 Understand the theoretical basis behind bioinformatics.

• Search databases accessible on the internet for literature relating to molecular biology and biotechnology.

• Manipulate DNA and protein sequences using stand-alone PC programs and programs available on the internet.

• Find homologues, analyse sequences, construct and interpret evolutionary trees.

• Analyse protein sequences, identify proteins, and retrieve protein structures from databases. View and interpret these structures.

• Understand structure determination, homology modeling and computational drug design.

• Query biological data, interpret and model biological information and apply this to the solution of biological problems in any arena involving molecular data.

You will be able to query biological data, interpret and model biological information and apply this to the solution of biological problems in any arena involving molecular data.

Overview of Learning Activities

It is recommended that you attend and participate in all scheduled teaching sessions and complete formal items of assessment to achieve satisfactory completion of the course. Formal teaching sessions are
available only at the times specified and cannot be repeated. You are expected to spend an appropriate
amount of time out of classes reviewing theoretical and practical material in journals and on the internet, preparing self directed leaning exercises and writing reports.

You will be asked to provide oral and written evaluations of the course which will be considered by the
Program Team in order to improve the quality of the course.

Overview of Learning Resources

All of the literature and documentation will be accessible via the internet. For a general introduction to
Bioinformatics, any basic Bioinformatics textbook may be useful. Key scientific papers will be posted to MyRMIT.


Overview of Assessment

Assessment will be by a combination of computer assignments, a written report and an examination.

Data analysis (2 x 2 h) - 30%
Project report- 30%
Theory examination (1 x 2 h) - 40%

Tasks must be submitted at the due date, unless an application for Special Consideration is successfully made.
Requests for special consideration must be made on the RMIT prescribed form no later than two working days after any formal assignment or examination date and submitted to the RMIT Hub.

Final grades available are high distinction (HD - 80%), distinction (DI - 70 - 79%), credit (CR - 60 - 69%), pass (PA - 50 - 59%) and fail (NN - < 50%) as defined in RMIT Operating Procedures. Temporary gradings RNF (result withheld) or DEF  (deferred assessment) will be converted to final gradings after assessment is complete.