2 x 50-minute lectures weekly
4 x 50-minute tutorials per semester
4 x 3-hour practicals per semester
1 BIOL1102 - Molecular Basis of Life
2 1 of CHEM1201, CHEM1101
Must Satisfy: (1 and 2)
Topic description

In this topic, students will learn the principles and the regulation of: DNA structure, replication, damage and repair; gene transcription and translation; and protein synthesis, structure, folding and function. Students will gain an overview of the subject matter, will work in teams to apply their knowledge to solve problems in genetic engineering and will discover the relationship between DNA structure and function and develop skills in DNA manipulation, experimental design and scientific report writing.

Educational aims

This topic aims to develop students' knowledge and understanding of the structure and function of DNA, RNA and proteins and to provide them with opportunities to apply their knowledge and understanding to the solution of 'real-world' problems related to genetic engineering.

Expected learning outcomes
On completion of this topic you will be expected to be able to:

  1. Develop their understanding of the concepts of molecular biology: from the processes and regulation of DNA structure, gene transcription and translation
  2. Develop skills in independent and team-based laboratory work and practical skills in experimental design, handling and manipulating DNA
  3. Perform routine numerical calculations required for the preparation of laboratory reagents and interpretation of experimental results
  4. Maintain a laboratory notebook such that others can reproduce their work. This includes the presentation of experimental results in tables and figures in the laboratory note book and processing and interpreting results suitable for a formal report
  5. Develop and apply their critical thinking skills in molecular biology
  6. Develop their ability to present data and scientific ideas in writing, using scientific language or plain English as appropriate

Key dates and timetable

(1), (2)

Each class is numbered in brackets.
Where more than one class is offered, students normally attend only one.

Classes are held weekly unless otherwise indicated.


If you are enrolled for this topic, but all classes for one of the activities (eg tutorials) are full,
contact your College Office for assistance. Full classes frequently occur near the start of semester.

Students may still enrol in topics with full classes as more places will be made available as needed.

If this padlock appears next to an activity name (eg Lecture), then class registration is closed for this activity.

Class registration normally closes at the end of week 2 of each semester.

Classes in a stream are grouped so that the same students attend all classes in that stream.
Registration in the stream will result in registration in all classes.
  Unless otherwise advised, classes are not held during semester breaks or on public holidays.