Courses Handbook 2010

301636 v.4 Bachelor of Science (Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology)


Course CRICOS Code: 050345E
Registered full-time Duration for International Onshore Students on student visas: 3 Years


Molecular Biotechnology will dominate science and technology in the 21st Century. Molecular biotechnologists will provide solutions to some of the most challenging and pressing problems facing humanity including prevention and control of human, animal and plant diseases, reversal of environmental degradation and feeding the world's population. "DNA chips" can detect expression of thousands of genes enabling rapid diagnosis of many diseases in a single test. Individuals will have access to their own DNA sequence and hence predict their propensity to develop cancer, Alzheimer's, diabetes, heart failure and many other human diseases. Genetic engineering is being used to design new vaccines, antimicrobial agents and pharmaceutical drugs for prevention and control of many diseases - AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, to name just a few. Plants and animals are being genetically modified to improve the world's food supply. Stem cells and tissue culture promise novel methods for organ replacement and injury repair. Our graduates look forward to a wide array of challenging careers working alongside other scientists, medical and health-care professionals, engineers, computer software developers, lawyers, business professionals and entrepreneurs.

Specific Requirements

Applicants with relevant TAFE qualifications are encouraged to contact the School to discuss entry qualification and any recognition of prior learning. Applicants for this course should refer to the Clinical Health Sciences section (see page 36) and Police Clearances (see page 5).


Selection is based on the Tertiary Entrance Rank.

Recognition of Prior Learning

Applications for recognition of prior learning are assessed on an individual basis.

Duration and Availability

The degree in Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology is a three year course designed for school leavers, people already working in health and life sciences and those wishing to choose a new and exciting career path. Mature age students are also encouragedto enter this course.

Course Organisation

The first year of the degree provides a general introduction to biomedical science and support disciplines. In the second year students gain a thorough understanding of the molecular biology of genetics, biochemistry, microbiology and immunology. The final year explores the molecular basis of disease and microbial pathogenesis and introduces students to analyses of molecular and genetic data with advanced bioinformatics software. Students learn to use cutting-edge techniques and laboratory instruments for sophisticated molecular and genetic analyses. Students debate the legal, social and ethical implications raised by the advent of molecular biotechnology. Finally there is an introduction to intellectual property, patents and commercial opportunities relevant to the biotechnology industry in Australia and the surrounding region.

Career Opportunities

Graduates of the Molecular Biotechnology course are sought by government, academic and private research centres and biomedical, agricultural and pharmaceutical industries. Those graduates with commercial ideas and entrepreneurial skills may develop theirown businesses and companies.

Additional Course Expenses

All essential equipment, computer software and study materials are provided. Students may wish to purchase additional textbooks, reference materials and their own personal computer.

Further Information

Please note that some units in this course are available as electives for students in other courses. Prospective students should consult the course coordinator to discuss alternative prerequisites for these units. For further information contact staff in the Faculty of Health Sciences on telephone (08) 9266 4583, email: or visit our website:

Special Note

Contact School of Biomedical Sciences on (08) 9266 7374, or visit their website at

Course Structure Disclaimer

Curtin University reserves the right to alter the internal composition of any course to ensure learning outcomes retain maximum relevance. Any changes to the internal composition of a course will protect the right of students to complete the course within the normal timeframe and will not result in additional cost to students through a requirement to undertake additional units.

Course Structure Hrs/Wk Credit
Year 1 Semester 1
1643 v.7   Human Biology 133 4.0 25.0
311399 v.1   Measurement in Laboratory Science 133 1.0 12.5
4715 v.5   Medical Laboratory Science 131 4.0 25.0
7076 v.5   Chemistry 123 5.5 25.0
7230 v.6   Chemistry 181 6.0 25.0
7713 v.9   Health Science Communication 180 2.0 12.5
Year 1 Semester 2
1644 v.7   Human Biology 134 4.0 25.0
302467 v.2   Introduction to Microbiology 132 3.0 12.5
307590 v.2   Statistical Data Analysis 101 3.0 12.5
7077 v.5   Chemistry 124 5.5 25.0
7231 v.6   Chemistry 182 6.0 25.0
7842 v.5   Medical Laboratory Science 132 4.0 25.0
Year 2 Semester 1
311405 v.1   Medical Microbiology 235 5.0 25.0
311406 v.1   Biochemistry 233 5.0 25.0
311420 v.1   Molecular Genetics 233 5.0 25.0
311421 v.2   Molecular and Cellular Immunology 231 5.0 25.0
Year 2 Semester 2
311422 v.2   Population Genetics and Molecular Evolution 232 5.0 25.0
311423 v.2   Applied & Environmental Microbiology 234 5.0 25.0
311424 v.1   Cytogenetics 244 5.0 25.0
311425 v.1   Biochemistry 234 5.0 25.0
Year 3 Semester 1
307692 v.1   Bioinformatics 331 5.0 25.0
307698 v.1   Biotechnology 331 4.0 25.0
311426 v.2   Genetic Engineering 331 8.0 25.0
311427 v.2   Molecular Virology 331 5.0 25.0
Year 3 Semester 2
307693 v.1   Structural Bioinformatics 332 5.0 25.0
307701 v.2   Commercialisation of Biotechnology 332 4.0 25.0
311428 v.2   Molecular Genetics Research 332 6.0 25.0
311429 v.2   Molecular Biology of Infectious Diseases 332 5.0 25.0


Year Location Period All* Internal Partially Online Internal^ External Fully Online#
2010 Bentley Campus Semester 1 Y        

The information displayed above refers to study periods and locations where the course is available for first time entry. Students are normally only offered or admitted to a course once.

*The course itself may not be available either solely internally or externally but individual units may be offered in either or both of those modes. Prospective students should contact the Course Coordinator for further information.

^Course and associated units are offered in this mode permitting International Onshore student enrolment.

#Course and associated units are offered in this online only mode and DO NOT permit International Onshore student enrolment.

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