Course Title: Fundamentals of Biochemistry

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Fundamentals of Biochemistry

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


120H Civil, Environmental & Chemical Engineering


Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013


City Campus


135H Applied Sciences


Sem 2 2015,
Sem 2 2016


City Campus


171H School of Science


Sem 2 2018,
Sem 2 2019,
Sem 2 2020,
Sem 2 2022,
Sem 2 2023

Course Coordinator: Assoc Prof Donald Wlodkowic

Course Coordinator Phone: 03-9925-7157

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Bundoora 223.1.32A

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

Fundamentals of Biochemistry course is designed to introduce engineering students to essential concepts of biological chemistry processes underlying all life on Earth. During this course you will explore chemical fundamentals underpinning the structure and function of cells, the building blocks of life.

You will learn unifying themes of biological chemistry such as: the chemistry of life, roles of major macromolecules, levels of biological organization from molecules to cells, bioenergetics, enzymes and their role in key metabolic pathways such as aerobic, anaerobic respiration and photosynthesis..

Finally, a brief outline of practical examples of laboratory techniques used to study biochemical processes will be demonstrated using online, virtual simulations.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the Program Learning Outcomes for BH079 Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical Engineering) (Honours) and BH098 Bachelor of Science (Applied Chemistry)/Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical Engineering) (Honours)

PLO 1.1. Comprehensive, theory based understanding of the underpinning natural and physical sciences and the engineering fundamentals applicable to the engineering discipline.

PLO 1.3. In-depth understanding of specialist bodies of knowledge within the engineering discipline.

PLO 1.5. Knowledge of contextual factors impacting the engineering discipline.

PLO 3.2. Effective oral and written communication in professional and lay domains.

PLO 3.4. Professional use and management of information.


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

  1. Demonstrate conceptual knowledge of fundamentals concepts in biochemistry;
  2. Explain the role of various classes of macromolecules and explain the way in which assembly of biological membranes as well as higher orders of supramolecular organization contribute to cellular functions;
  3. Explain the chemistry and energy flows underpinning cellular metabolism including fundamentals of bioenergetics, enzymatic biocatalysis, cellular respiration and photosynthesis;
  4. Explain how genetic information is stored in DNA and how this information is further expressed into proteins;
  5. Explain what selected models and laboratory techniques can be utilized in biochemistry;
  6. Apply basic theoretical concepts to experimental data in online simulation laboratory sessions.

Overview of Learning Activities


You will be actively engaged in a range of learning activities such as lectorials, tutorials, practicals, laboratories, seminars, project work, class discussion, individual and group activities. Delivery may be face to face, online or a mix of both. 

You are encouraged to be proactive and self-directed in your learning, asking questions of your lecturer and/or peers and seeking out information as required, especially from the numerous sources available through the RMIT library, and through links and material specific to this course that is available through myRMIT Studies Course

Overview of Learning Resources


A textbook, Jeff Hardin and Gregory Bertoni Becker's Word of the Cell, is recommended.

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through myRMIT Studies Course

There are services available to support your learning through the University Library. The Library provides guides on academic referencing and subject specialist help as well as a range of study support services. For further information, please visit the Library page on the RMIT University website and the myRMIT student portal.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment Tasks:

Assessment Task 1: Mid-semester formative online quiz
Weighting 15%
This assessment supports CLOs 1-4

Assessment Task 2: Authentic formative laboratory methods written assessment
Weighting 45%
This assessment support CLOs 5-6

Assessment Task 3: Oral viva
Weighting 40%
This assessment supports CLOs 1-6

If you have a long-term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or Equitable Learning Services if you would like to find out more.