To provide students with an introduction to genetics, molecular biology, tools and applications of biotechnology, biochemistry, applied microbiology and immunology. To provide a strong foundation essential for subjects in the later years of the Biotechnology Science Major.


BIO10003 Concepts of Biotechnology

Assumed Knowledge
Basic knowledge of molecules, cells and organisms

Teaching periods
Start and end dates
Last self-enrolment date
Census date
Last withdraw without fail date
Results released date
Semester 2
Start and end dates
Last self-enrolment date
Census date
Last withdraw without fail date
Results released date

Learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete this unit will be able to:

  • Describe the fundamental biochemical processes of cells such as ion/molecule uptake, energy transfers, metabolism and the immune system
  • Describe the fundamentals of cell division and genetics, including the role of DNA as genetic material
  • Describe the basic principles and techniques used for the study and manipulation of DNA
  • Appreciate the application of biotechnology in diverse areas such as health and medicine, agriculture and/or the environment
  • Conduct and/or observe a variety of laboratory exercises where some of the above theoretical knowledge is applied to practical situations
  • Demonstrate the ability to work safely and communicate effectively

Teaching methods


Type Hours per week Number of weeks Total (number of hours)
3.00 12 weeks 36
3.00 6 weeks 18
Unspecified Activities
Independent Learning
8.00 12 weeks 96


Type Task Weighting ULO's
Laboratory PracticalsIndividual 25 - 30% 5,6 
Online QuizzesIndividual 10 - 15% 1,2,3,4,6 
Online TestsIndividual 45 - 60% 1,2,3,4,6 


As the minimum requirements of assessment to pass a unit and meet all ULOs to a minimum standard, an undergraduate student must have achieved:

(i) An aggregate mark of 50% or more, and(ii) Complete a minimum of 80% of laboratory (practical) work based on the criteria for successful completion as explained in the lab handout(s).Students who do not successfully achieve hurdle requirements (ii) will receive a maximum of 45% as the total mark for the unit.


  • Principles of cell division and genetics at chromosomal level
  • Introduction to molecular genetics: Overview of DNA structure, gene structure and function
  • Tools of biotechnology: introduction to select methods of DNA, RNA and/or protein analysis
  • Applications of biotechnology: introduction to applications of biotechnology in diverse fields such as medicine, forensics, agriculture, environmental aspects
  • Cellular transport: overview of transport proteins, cellular uptake of water, ions, molecules
  • Energy transformations in cells: overview of key biochemical pathways such as cell respiration and photosynthesis
  • Principles of the immune system and applications of immunology in disease diagnosis and/or control
  • Practical work related to selected topics from above areas

Study resources

Reading materials

A list of reading materials and/or required textbooks will be available in the Unit Outline on Canvas.