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Techniques in Molecular Science (BCMB20005)

Undergraduate level 2Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Overview

Year of offer2017
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 2
Subject codeBCMB20005
Campus
Parkville
Availability(Quotas apply)
Semester 1
Semester 2
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

This is a subject suitable for students taking life science and biomedical subjects. It offers an introduction to the techniques used in many areas of molecular science.

Students taking the course will develop practical skills in the laboratory and an understanding of the techniques used in biochemistry and molecular biology to investigate biological problems.

Students will develop practical and research skills by exploiting the physico-chemical properties of molecules in a variety of experimental techniques, and interpreting the data they generate.

Students will apply these skills to the:

  • separation and characterisation of proteins; and
  • isolation, manipulation and characterisation of nucleic acids: and
  • examination of cellular structures.

Students will report on their practical work and learn to relate principles to practical outcomes.

The lectures will cover the theory of standard laboratory techniques central to biochemistry and molecular biology and new methods driving the fields of genomics and proteomics.

Intended learning outcomes

Upon completion of the subject, the student should:

  1. understand the theory of many techniques used in molecular and cell biology and protein biochemistry;
  2. have developed the skills necessary to carry out experimental protocols in molecular biology, protein biochemistry and cell biology, and generate data for analysis;
  3. have developed the ability to perform biochemical calculations and analyse data (including trouble-shooting errors or inconsistencies) and make quantitative assessments of experimental results;
  4. understand how to collate and present data in a conventional standardised format for concise scientific reports;
  5. have developed the ability to work effectively in the laboratory, either in small groups or individually.

Generic skills

By completion of the subject, students should have:

  • gained hands-on experience in a number of biochemical techniques;
  • analysed experimental data and made quantitative assessments of their results;
  • learnt to write concise and accurate scientific reports;
  • gained the ability to understand and follow simple experimental protocols;
  • gained experience in working with others towards common goals.

Eligibility and requirements

Prerequisites

Both:

Code Name Teaching period Credit Points
CHEM10003 Chemistry 1
Semester 1
Semester 2
12.5
CHEM10004 Chemistry 2
Summer Term
Semester 2
12.5

Or One of:

Code Name Teaching period Credit Points
CHEM10006 Chemistry for Biomedicine
Semester 1
12.5
CHEM10009 Chemistry for BioSciences
Semester 1
12.5

Other combinations of subjects that provide a similar background may be considered by the coordinator.

Pre-requisites CANNOT be taken concurrently.

Corequisites

None

Non-allowed subjects

None

Recommended background knowledge

For BSc students

Level 1 biology is recommended.

Code Name Teaching period Credit Points
BCMB20002 Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Semester 1
Semester 2
12.5

is strongly recommended. Students may take BCMB20002 and BCMB20005 concurrently or in alternate semesters.

Core participation requirements

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry. The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Student Equity and Disability Support website: http://www.services.unimelb.edu.au/disability

Assessment

  • Continuous assessment: weekly performance in practical classes (10%)
  • Assessed Practical performance (Week 12) (5%)
  • Weekly computer-based quizzes (10 MCQ each) (6% total)
  • Written reports based on experimental data (4 reports, total of 2000 words) due thoughout semester (49%)
  • 2-hour written final examination held during the examination period (30%)

Students who are absent for more than 20% of practical classes and/or tutorials in this subject might be ineligible for the final exam assessment (coordinator decision).

Quotas apply to this subject

Dates & times

  • Semester 1
    Principal coordinatorAmber Willems-Jones
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Parkville
    Contact hours5 hours per week: 1 x lecture (online), 1 x tutorial, 1 x practical class (3 hours)
    Total time commitment170 hours
    Teaching period27 February 2017 to 28 May 2017
    Last self-enrol date 5 February 2017
    Census date31 March 2017
    Last date to withdraw without fail 5 May 2017
    Assessment period ends23 June 2017

    Semester 1 contact information

    Subject Coordinator

    Dr Amber Willems-Jones

    amber.willems@unimelb.edu.au

    Administrative Coordinator

    BiomedSci-AcademicServices@unimelb.edu.au

  • Semester 2
    Principal coordinatorAmber Willems-Jones
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Parkville
    Contact hours5 hours per week: 1 x lecture (online), 1 x tutorial, 1 x practical class (3 hours)
    Total time commitment170 hours
    Teaching period24 July 2017 to 22 October 2017
    Last self-enrol date 2 July 2017
    Census date31 August 2017
    Last date to withdraw without fail22 September 2017
    Assessment period ends17 November 2017

    Semester 2 contact information

    Administrative Coordination

    BiomedSci-AcademicServices@unimelb.edu.au

Time commitment details

60 contact hours per semester with an estimated total time commitment of 170 hours.

Additional delivery details

An enrolment quota of 210 students per semester (50-54 students per practical class over 4 days per week) applies to this subject.

For detailed information on the quota subject application process, refer to the Quota Subject link on the School of Biomedical Sciences Current Student Information webpage: http://biomedicalsciences.unimelb.edu.au/study/current-student-information/quota-subjects

Further information

  • This subject is available for science credit to students enrolled in the BSc and BBiomed.
  • This subject is a specific prerequisite for completion of majors in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Pathology and the Biotechnology-Biochemistry stream.
  • If a BSc student wishes to complete a major in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, they must complete this subject and ‘Biochemistry and Molecular Biology’ (BCMB20002)’.
  • If a BBiomed student wishes to complete a major in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, they must also complete ‘Molecular and Cellular Biomedicine’ (BIOM20001).
  • It is strongly recommended that a student wishing to complete a Biochemistry major also completes ‘Biochemical Regulation of Cell Function’ (BCMB20003).
  • Students must enrol for one of the available laboratory days via the student portal before the start of the semester. Be aware that each day has limited places.
  • Students undertaking this subject are required to have regular access to an internet-enabled computer.

Related majors/minors/specialisations

Prescribed texts

None

Recommended texts and other resources

Keith Wilson and John Walker, Principles and Techniques of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 6th Ed (2005) Cambridge University Press.

Last updated: 16 August 2017