Course Title: Biological Chemistry

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Biological Chemistry

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


135H Applied Sciences


Sem 1 2016


City Campus


171H School of Science


Sem 1 2017,
Sem 1 2018

Course Coordinator: Dr Rajesh Ramanathan

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 2887

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 3.3.15 (City campus)

Course Coordinator Availability: E-mail for appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

This course assumes the prior knowledge and understanding of cells and their functions at first year university level, as obtained in BIOL 2146 (Cell Structure & Function) or an equivalent course, or evidence of equivalent capabilities.

Course Description

This course will provide you with an in-depth knowledge and practical skills on the structural and functional components of cells, tissues and organisms (at undergraduate year level 2). It provides a study of the chemical processes taking place in organisms and the technical skills needed to investigate these processes. It introduces key concepts of biological chemistry and relates them to cell physiology, with an emphasis on structure-function relationships.


The course aims to develop your knowledge of different aspects of biochemistry through lectures, and the application of skills and knowledge is demonstrated in practical sessions, which help develop the employability skills required in biochemical analysis in a range of industries.

The course also develops skills related to the critical assessment of scientific data and the presentation of scientific results used in all disciplines within the sciences.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

On successful completion of this course you should be able to:

  1. State the key chemical components in different organisms, their key functions, locations and understand how they are synthesised and degraded; recall the key metabolic pathways, the enzymes involved and how they are regulated; apply knowledge to explain how enzymes are integral to the functioning of organic systems (Assessments 1 and 4)
  2. Prepare biological samples for chemical analyses and enzyme assays (Assessment 2 and 3)
  3. Apply common biochemical techniques including centrifugation, chromatography, biochemical assays for analysing different biological samples and discuss experimental results using tables, plots, and interpret them using knowledge acquired through lectures, tutorials and private study (Assessment 2 and 3)
  4. Adhere to protocols and procedures, take appropriate precautions to ensure laboratory processes are followed with regard to environmental, occupational health and safety, and ethical standards and regulations (Assessment 2 and 3)
  5. Work independently and in teams in the laboratory and in tutorial-based exercises through practical classes and observations (Assessment 2 and 3)

This course contributes to the following BH090MEHDD, BP226P7, BH087SCBDD and BP229BISC Program Learning Outcomes:

  • PLO-2 Scientific knowledge
  • PLO-3 Inquiry and Problem Solving 
  • PLO-4 Communication

Overview of Learning Activities

The learning activities in this course include the following:


  • Attendance and participation in lectures where syllabus material will be presented and explained, and the subject will be illustrated with demonstrations and examples. Students will have opportunities to ask questions and contribute to lecture discussions.
  • Completion of quizzes and pre-labs questions designed to give practice in the application of theory as it applies to solving biochemical problems. You will be given feedback on your progress and will actively identify your knowledge gaps which will be addressed during subsequent lectures/practicals.  
  • You will be provided with knowledge on scientific writing, data generation and interpretation (conceptual and numerical problems) to generate high quality reports relevant to biochemical industries.
  • You are also expected to undertake independent study, working through the course materials and prescribed reading to build the knowledge required to satisfy the requirements of the course.

Total study hours

A total of 120 hours of study is expected in this course.

The normal modes of teaching will be about 2 hours of lectures (every week) and 4 hours of laboratory practical classes (every alternate week) at the City campus over the semester (44 contact hours in total).

A minimum of 5-6 hours per week of independent study is recommended (60-72 hours).

Overview of Learning Resources

You will be provided with lists of relevant texts, library resources (including appropriate journals) and freely accessible internet sites. Other material will be provided in class.

You will be able to access course information and learning material through CANVAS.

Overview of Assessment

Note that: This course has hurdle requirements – attendance at all practical sessions.


Assessment 1: Quizzes 10%

This assessment supports CLO 1.

Quizzes aim to help you identify areas for improvement.



Assessment 2: Pre-Labs 10%

This assessment supports 2-5.

You must attend all practical classes and complete all practical-related activities including Pre-labs and Prac reports. Pre-labs are designed to ensure you understand the underlying principles of different biochemical techniques



Assessment 3: Practical Reports 30%

This assessment supports CLOs 1-5.

You must attend all practical classes and complete all practical-related activities including Pre-labs and Prac reports. Practical reports are aimed to help you apply theoretical knowledge and through the prac reports you learn scientific writing and data interpretation



Assessment 4: End-of-semester Exam 50%

This assessment supports CLO 1.