Biotechnology in Modern Society

Subject 672-318 (2008)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2008.Search for this in the current handbookSearch for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.500
Level: Undergraduate
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2008.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Between 10-12 weekly tutorials and between 20-24 lectures, normally two per week
Total Time Commitment: Not available
Prerequisites: Usually 75 points of first year study across any discipline areas.
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: Formerly available as 136-222/322. Students who have completed 136-222/322 or 136-037 Issues in the Modern Life Sciences are not eligible to enrol in this subject.
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Dr Rosemary Robins
Subject Overview:

This subject will introduce students to selected research and commercial applications of modern biotechnology in order to discuss the broader issues that arise from them. A range of topics will be covered in this subject, which may include the recombinant DNA debate, biotechnology in agriculture, genetically modified food, public attitudes towards gene technology, cloning, the human genome project, genetic testing and gene therapy. Students will consider some of the social, ethical, risk, and regulatory issues that arise from these applications of modern biotechnology and will examine some of the debates about these issues that have taken place in the wider community.

Assessment: Written work totalling 4000 words comprising a tutorial assignment of 1500 words 30% (due during semester), a research essay of 2500 words 60% (due during the exam period), class participation and contribution 10%. A hurdle requirement of attendance at eight tutorials is applicable.
Prescribed Texts: None
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • develop skills in written and oral communication;

  • conduct independent research;

  • make appropriate use of primary and secondary sources in mounting an argument;

  • form defensible judgements based on a critical evaluation of conflicting arguments;

  • be able to communicate complex ideas clearly and simply;

  • experience working as a team.


Students enrolled in the BSc (pre-2008 BSc), or a combined BSc course (except for the BA/BSc) will receive science credit for the completion of this subject.

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