The unit aims to develop an appreciation of the need for and role of governance policies and procedures related to biotechnology experimentation, industrialisation, intellectual property, commercialisation, and patenting. It aims to build an in-depth knowledge of developments such as transgenic foods, human genetic testing, environmental technologies and to introduce the diverse types of biotechnology industries and trends worldwide.


BIO80004 Advanced Topics in Biotechnology II

87.5 credit points

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:

  • Appreciate the advancements in biotechnology research and development in a range of areas
  • Develop the concepts of biotechnology research, development and professional practice-related topics
  • Engage into considerations of the ethical, legal, social and moral issues associated with some of the above developments
  • Identify and critically analyse published literature and/or utilise computer-based tools to analyse topics such as above
  • Present written reports or assignments, critically appraising the literature and the issues, challenges, new trends and opportunities in areas such as above

Teaching methods


Type Hours per week Number of weeks Total (number of hours)
2.00 12 weeks 24
Live Online
1.00 12 weeks 12
Unspecified Activities
Independent Learning
9.50 12 weeks 114


Type Task Weighting ULO's
AssignmentIndividual 20 - 30% 1,2,3,4,5 
ExaminationIndividual 30 - 35% 1,2 
Mid-Semester TestIndividual 25 - 30% 1,2,3 
Online QuizzesIndividual 5 - 10% 1,2,3 
AssignmentIndividual 20 - 30% 1,2,3,4,5 
ExaminationIndividual 24 - 36% 1,2 
Mid-Semester TestIndividual 24 - 36% 1,2,3 
Online QuizzesIndividual 10 - 20% 1,2,3 


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) obtain at least 40% in the final exam.Students who do not successfully achieve hurdle requirement (ii) will receive a maximum of 45% as the total mark for the unit.


Specialised aspects in different areas of biotechnology that may include but are not limited to:

  • Introduction to regulating frameworks, policies and procedures, and safety considerations related to areas of biotechnology such as transgenic organisms, genetically modified foods
  • Introduction to IP, commercialisation and patenting issues
  • Introduction to human genetic testing, molecular basis and methods, its applications
  • Ethical, legal, social considerations of areas of biotechnology such as GM food or genetic testing
  • Biomaterials and nanotechnology and diverse applications of these
  • Molecular advances in disease diagnosis and therapeutics
  • Introduction to the biotechnology industry worldwide, and professional careers and pathways in biotechnology
  • Topics of international relevance, so the students develop an understanding of the relevance of their training in biotechnology towards addressing the priority areas of different countries

Study resources

Reading materials

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