Course Title: Genetics and Molecular Biology

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Genetics and Molecular Biology

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


135H Applied Sciences


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 2 2016


Bundoora Campus


135H Applied Sciences


Sem 2 2006,
Sem 2 2007,
Sem 2 2009

Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Trevor Stevenson

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925-7138

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 223-1-71 Bundoora West campus

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Prerequisite capabilities are knowledge and comprehension of genetics, cells and their functions, as obtained in BIOL2146 Cell Structure & Function and BIOL2256, or BIOL2257 Introduction to Microbiology, Immunology and Genetics  or alternatively completion of an equivalent course and the you can provide evidence of equivalent capabilities.

Course Description

This course furthers your knowledge and understanding of traditional and molecular genetics and the molecular biology. It examines advanced aspects of genetics and inheritance at a phenotypic, population and molecular level. The topics covered include but are not limited to:

• microbial genetics
• molecular biology of genes (gene structure and function)
• recombinant DNA technology
• gene regulation 
• mutation and DNA repair
• population genetics and quantitative genetics 
• mapping of genes in prokaryotes and eukaryotes
• relationships of gene abnormalities to genetic traits in organisms.

Practical sessions will allow you to develop skills in:

• Extraction, purification and analysis of genetic material
• DNA manipulation and transfer
• Use of DNA manipulation to study gene regulation 
• Construction of genetic maps
• Experimental design and interpretation of results
• Presentation of results and their interpretation in a professional manner.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes (PLO)

  • 2.1 You will exhibit depth and breadth of knowledge by demonstrating a well developed understanding of biology sciences.
  • 3.3 You will be able to critically analyse and solve problems in biotechnology by selecting and applying practical and/or theoretical techniques with technical competence in conducting field, laboratory-based, or virtual experiments.
  • 4.1 You will be an effective communicator of biological sciences by effectively communicating scientific results, information or arguments using a range of modes (oral, written, visual) for a variety of purposes and audiences.
  • 5.2 You will be accountable for individual learning and scientific work by working effectively, responsibly, ethically and safety in an individual or team context.

You will gain knowledge and capabilities through demonstrated knowledge of the key concepts underpinning genetics of inheritance, molecular biology technologies, gene structure and function, gene regulation, microbial genetics, mutation and DNA repair, genomics, population genetics, quantitative genetics and the genetics underpinning development processes.

You will specifically develop technical capabilities through the participation in a number of practical laboratory based exercises. These exercises will develop competencies in fundamental genetic analysis, molecular biology, manipulations, including the extraction, purification, digestion, analysis and cloning of DNA fragments in prokaryotic systems.

Your capabilities will be developed through your involvement in both individual problem solving exercises and in group problem based activities designed to use knowledge capabilities and technical awareness to tackle new problems in genetic and molecular systems that require in depth critical analysis and problem solving.

Skills in communication will be developed during practical and laboratory based work and in the group problem based activities.

With your deeper understanding of genetics, molecular biology, aspects of the ethical perspectives in genetics and biotechnology, you will develop an increased awareness of the environmental, social, ethical, legal and economic implications of genetics, decisions involving principles of inheritance and biotechnology.

Overview of Learning Activities

The learning activities included in this course are:
• attendance at lectures where syllabus material will be presented and explained, and the subject will be illustrated with demonstrations and examples;
• completion of tutorial questions and laboratory projects designed to give further practice in the application of theory and procedures, and to give feedback on student progress and understanding;
• completion of written assignments consisting of numerical and other problems requiring an integrated understanding of the subject matter; and
• private study, working through the course as presented in classes and learning materials, and gaining practice at solving conceptual and numerical problems.

Overview of Learning Resources

The learning resources for this course include the lecture material which is presented in the scheduled lectures times as well as lecture notes provided online.  Whilst this material is important, by itself the powerpoints and lecture notes are not of sufficient depth for you to pass the course and as such you are expected to use the relevant referenced sections from the prescribed text.  The other learning resources provided will be prepared practical class notes, again these will be available via the RMIT online site.

Overview of Assessment

In addition to an end of semester examination held in the formal examination period examination assessment for this course also requires you to complete and submit practical reports and complete a number of online lecture tests that made available during semester. You must complete the practical component in the course in order to gain a pass.