University of Sydney Handbooks - 2021 Archive

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Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology is taught within the School of Life and Environmental Sciences in the Faculty of Science. Units of study in this major are available at standard and advanced levels.

About the major

Students who complete a major in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology will gain a thorough understanding of the chemistry of life and the molecules that regulate living processes, with an emphasis on how these molecules pass information and energy within and between cells, as well as from generation to generation, and how these processes impact form and function. This major is ideally suited for students who wish to understand the molecular mechanisms that underlie normal physiology and disease in all kingdoms of life.

Requirements for completion

The Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major and minor requirements are listed in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology unit of study table.

Contact and further information


Professor Jacqui Matthews

Learning Outcomes

Students who graduate from Biochemistry and Molecular Biology will be able to:

  1. Exhibit a broad and coherent body of knowledge in the chemical and physical principles governing the structure and function of biomolecules.
  2. Exhibit a deep and integrated understanding of the underlying principles and applications of current techniques and model systems commonly used in biochemistry and molecular biology.
  3. Examine the relationships between biomolecules, cells and tissues in health and disease.
  4. Execute laboratory-based experiments using acquired knowledge and technical expertise.
  5. Collate, analyse and critically interpret biochemical data acquired through experimentation.
  6. Source, collate and critically evaluate a range of information sources in biochemistry and molecular biology, from primary literature to multimedia.
  7. Communicate biochemical concepts and findings through a range of modes for a variety of purposes and audiences, using evidence-based arguments that are robust to critique.
  8. Assess how molecules regulate living processes, using integrated knowledge of the structure, function and dynamics of biomolecules.
  9. Implement ethical protocols and adhere to safe working conditions in their laboratory practice, including ensuring the accuracy, secure storage and curation of data.
  10. Design an experimental plan in biochemistry and molecular biology, including: development of hypotheses and aims, identification of controls, and choice of relevant measurable outcomes.
  11. Address authentic problems in biochemistry, working responsibly and ethically, and with consideration of social and cultural differences, in collaborative, interdisciplinary teams.