Course Title: Molecular Biology and Genetics

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Molecular Biology and Genetics

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


155T Vocational Health and Sciences


Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 1 2014,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 1 2016


City Campus


174T School of VE Engineering, Health & Science


Sem 1 2017,
Sem 1 2018

Course Coordinator: Judi McCann

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 8366

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 51.07.05

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Enforced Pre-requisites: ONPS2429 Introduction to Genetics & Microbiology

Students are not permitted to enrol in this course until the prerequisite is satisfied by a pass grade in the above specified RMIT course, or credit granted for the prerequisite course.

Assumed knowledge: BIOL2365 Biological Principles & BIOL2363 Biochemical Principles

Course Description

This course provides you with further knowledge associated with molecular biology and inheritance at the molecular, cellular and phenotypic levels. You will gain laboratory skills in molecular biology techniques such as micropipetting, PCR and electrophoresis.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes for AD012 Associate Degree in Applied Science
1. Knowledge Capability: develop an understanding of appropriate and relevant fundamental and applied scientific knowledge with the ability to use and apply that knowledge in a wide range of situations, including new situations within the professional discipline.
2. Technical Capability: the selection and use of appropriate laboratory and other materials and equipment and the ability to employ them in a safe and responsible manner to achieve the desired outcome. This will include the ability to follow standard operating procedures.
3. Problem Solving: apply scientific principles and methods to identify and solve problems associated with a particular area of professional expertise.
4. Communication Capability: This capability is being able to communicate by means of oral, written, symbolic and pictorial presentations to a wide range of audience types as well as an understanding of the systems of communication in science.
5. Teamwork: contribute in a constructive manner to group and team activities and decision making processes

On completion of this course you should be able to:
1. explain concepts such as gene structure and function, gene regulation, microbial genetics, mutation and DNA repair, PCR and sequencing, cancer genetics and evolution.
2. Safely carry out a range of laboratory techniques used for the isolation, purification and manipulation of biomolecules, for example PCR, DNA recombination techniques and electrophoresis
3. Describe the importance of recent discoveries and the applications and potential of molecular biology and the ethical issues associated with these new technologies
4. Research specific scientific topics and present the information to peers

Overview of Learning Activities

• Laboratory exercises: to give you skills in a range of DNA manipulation and routine laboratory techniques
• Face to face teaching: to obtain an understanding of genetics & molecular biology principles & concepts
• Personal study: using text books, journal articles and the internet to reinforce and broaden your understanding of this topic
• Personal research: to become familiar with recent developments and discoveries in this area
• Simulation, videos & class discussions: to understand key concepts and gain insight into some of the ethical issues raised by recent developments in this area
• Group work & peer teaching: to broaden your understanding of a range of issues in genetics & molecular biology

Overview of Learning Resources

You will use the current laboratory manual for each practical class. You will need to access Blackboard on a weekly basis to prepare for theory and practical classes. You will also need to read sections of the recommended textbook and may be referred to other resources available in the Library, such as videos and the subject learning guide.

Recommended text book: Tortora, Funke & Case. (2015) Microbiology: An Introduction, latest edition, Pearson/ Benjamin Cummings

Overview of Assessment

This course has no hurdle requirements.

Assessment tasks

Early Assessment Task: Online quiz
Weighting 5%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1

Assessment Task 2: Exams (two)
Weighting 60%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1 & 3

Assessment Task 3: Research assignment & presentation
Weighting 25%
This assessment task supports CLO 1, 3 & 4

Assessment 4: Logbook
Weighting 10%
This assessment supports CLOs 2