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


City Campus


171H School of Science


Sem 2 2017


Bundoora Campus


135H Applied Sciences


Sem 2 2006,
Sem 2 2007,
Sem 2 2009

Course Coordinator: Dr Kylie Boyce

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7101

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 223-1-0006G Bundoora West campus

Course Coordinator Availability: by appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

It is assumed that you have the 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 through the completion of an equivalent course, or if you can provide evidence of equivalent capabilities as approved by the Course Coordinator.

Course Description

This course focuses on developing your understanding of several selected molecular aspects of topics relevant to modern genetics. This course is content-rich, incorporating a problem-based approach applied to real life examples.

The course aims to build on your basic knowledge in biology and cell biology developed in prior years. It should develop your advanced level critical thinking, problem solving and communication skills in molecular and classical genetics and developments – the skills that professional scientists require during their career in solving problems in classical and molecular genetics and developmental processes.

Lectures in microbial genetics and gene structure and function will complement studies in classical genetics, gene mapping, recombinant DNA techniques, mutations, genetic abnormalities and an introduction to population and quantitative genetics. This should provide you with detailed understanding and the necessary skills to analyse complex genetic systems encountered in the professional practice of biology or biotechnology, either in industry or in a research environment.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

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

  1. Plan, conduct and interpret data generated in introductory experiments to demonstrate understanding of genetics, metabolism and development and relate these results to current theories and models in genetics.
  2. Explain and communicate to others current understanding of the roles of molecular genetics underpinning aspects of bacterial life metabolic processes and gene regulation, eukaryote genetics and gene regulation, eukaryote developmental processes and basic principles of population and quantitative genetics.
  3. Report, defend and disseminate experimental findings according to conventions appropriate to scientific and non-scientific audiences.
  4. Articulate and adhere to safe working practice in a biochemistry or molecular biology laboratory.


This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs) for BP226P7 Bachelor of Science (Biotechnology):

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.

Overview of Learning Activities

You will learn in this course by:

  • 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 your 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.

Total study hours

A total of 120 hours of study is expected during this course, comprising:

Teacher-directed hours (48 hours): Each week there will be 2 hours of face-to-face lecture plus for 8 weeks of the semester there will be 3 hours of laboratory practical sessions and for 8 weeks of the semester there will be 1 hour of formal tutorials. You are encouraged to participate during lectures and tutorials through asking questions, commenting on the lecture material based on your own study.

Student-directed hours (72 hours): You are expected to be self-directed, studying independently outside class. A minimum of 6 hours per week is recommended.

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

Note that: This course has no hurdle requirements.
The assessment will be a combination of formal examination, tests and assignments, and will assess your knowledge and your ability to solve high level problems in genetics.

Assessment task 1: Worksheets and Online Tests
Worksheets (4) and online tests (4-6) during semester enable you to demonstrate your understanding of the material and give you feedback on your progress. These will be worth in total 30% of the final grade in the course.
This assessment task supports CLOs 2 & 3.

Assessment task 2: Practical Reports and Problems
The practical reports and practical problem sheets will comprise 20% of the final grade in the course.
This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2 & 4.

Assessment task 3: Examination
An end-of-semester exam enables you to further demonstrate your understanding of the material and your ability to apply it to solving university-level problems in genetics & molecular biology.
This examination will be worth 50% of the final grade of the course.

This assessment task supports CLOs 1 & 2.