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.


Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs):

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

The learning activities included in this course include:

  1. Online pre-recorded lectures where syllabus material will be presented and explained, and the subject will be illustrated with demonstrations and examples;
  2. Online weekly live Q&A tutorial and discussion sessions
  3. Interactive virtual laboratory simulations designed to provide self-paced practice in the application of modern laboratory methods and techniques
  4. Critical reflection on laboratory simulations, and their applications in modern bioscience laboratories
  5. Development of written and oral communication skills and interpersonal awareness;
  6. Completion of assignments teaching basic laboratory problem solving capabilities based on learned topics;
  7. Private study, working through the course as presented in lectures and other learning materials.


Overview of Learning Resources

The course website on Canvas provides a syllabus, lecture slides, lecture video recordings, and supporting material such as virtual simulations, videos, online assessments and links to additional resources. A textbook (Jeff Hardin and Gregory Bertoni Becker's Word of the Cell.) is recommended.

Overview of Assessment

This course has no hurdle requirements.

This course will be assessed by the following assessment tasks:

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

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

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