Extending from the fundamentals of biochemistry, molecular biology and genetics, this unit provides students with an exposure to the interface between biotechnology and computer science. This field is now an essential aspect of biotechnology, and relates to rapid and extensive computer-based analysis of the genetic information of organisms, for purposes such as analysing the structures and roles of genes and proteins, comparative and evolutionary studies, disease detection and drug design. The topics covered provide a strong foundation for diverse research and development opportunities.


BCH20002 Introduction to Biochemistry
BCH20001 Biochemistry of Genes and Proteins


BCH20002 Introduction to Biochemistry
BCH20001 Biochemistry of Genes and Proteins

Teaching periods
Start and end dates
Last self-enrolment date
Census date
Last withdraw without fail date
Results released date
Semester 1
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:

  • Identify and assess the structural properties of nucleic acids, proteins and other biomolecules using industry-standard computer tools
  • Taking a systems-level approach and the sciences of ‘omics’ technologies, use technology to discern diverse biological complexities and their related challenges
  • Assess the role of bioinformatics to reflect on diverse areas such as health and medicine, agriculture and the environment
  • Record scientific observations correctly and interpret these critically and accurately

Teaching methods


Type Hours per week Number of weeks Total (number of hours)
3.00 12 weeks 36
Directed Online Learning and Independent Learning
1.50 12 weeks 18
Unspecified Activities
Independent Learning
8.00 12 weeks 96


Type Task Weighting ULO's
Online QuizzesIndividual 5 - 20% 1,2,3 
Online TestsIndividual 20 - 40% 1,2,3 
ReportIndividual 15 - 35% 1,2,3,4 
Tutorial ExercisesIndividual 35 - 55% 1,2,3,4 


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 the computer tutorials/computer laboratory work, based on the criteria for successful completion as explained in the unit outline, and(iii) Obtain at least 40% of the possible marks for the computer tutorials/computer laboratory work. Students who do not successfully achieve hurdle requirements (ii) and (iii) will receive a maximum of 45% as the total mark for the unit.


The indicative content of this evolving field is as follows:

  • Molecular genetic analysis of DNA and protein sequence data for purposes such as directional manipulations, restriction mapping, determining gene structures, regulatory sequences
  • Translation of DNA into predicted proteins, analyses of the predicted proteins for biochemical signatures and roles
  • Primer design for amplifications and analyses of genes
  • Alignments and comparisons of DNA and protein sequences for assessing sequence similarities, mutations, evolutionary relationships.
  • Introduction to omics technologies and related databases including genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics
  • The tasks guide the students through a query process using numerous computer-based tools. Exercises vary from year to year.

Study resources

Reading materials

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