Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Subject BCMB20002 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2013.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: three x 1 hour lecture, and one x 1 hour tutorial per week
Total Time Commitment:

48 contact hours with an estimated total time commitment of 120 hours


For BSc degree:

One of:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Not offered in 2013


Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Not offered in 2013

OR 610-121 Chemistry A OR 610-141 Chemistry A

AND One of:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Not offered in 2013

OR 610-122 Chemistry B OR 610-142 Chemistry B

Candidates who have taken chemistry courses at other universities may be accepted for BCMB20002 if their studies are equivalent to a full first year of chemistry with basic organic chemistry well covered. Contact the coordinator to ask for a waiver of the prerequisites (include previous chemistry course details, the institution, the year(s) of study and the grades achieved).



Recommended Background Knowledge:

For BSc degree
Level 1 Biology is strongly recommended.
A biomedical or biological practical subject such as

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Not offered in 2013

or equivalent is strongly recommended.

Non Allowed Subjects:

Disallowed subject combinations:

Students cannot enrol in and gain credit for

BCMB20002 Biochemistry and Molecular Biology if previously obtained credit for both pre-2009 subjects

521-211 Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Part A and

521-212 Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Part B.

Students who completed the pre-2009 subject

521-211 Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Part A without

521-212 Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Part B may enrol in

BCMB20002 Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

Bachelor of Biomedicine students taking


are excluded from this subject.

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 Disability Liaison Unit website:


Academic Coordinator

Assoc Prof Graham Parslow

Administrative Coordinator

Ms Irene Koumanelis

Subject Overview:

This subject is an introduction to the core of biochemistry, building on chemical principles and relating structure to function. The subject is an approved biochemistry prerequisite for entry to graduate medicine (and kindred vocational study) at the University of Melbourne. The molecular basis of life as discussed in this course is essential for the understanding of any biological system and is at the core of all degrees in life science that use molecular techniques. The content includes an introduction to the molecular architecture of cells, cell signalling and the structure of biological building blocks (nucleic acids, amino acids, carbohydrates, lipids). The coverage includes how nucleic acids replicate information and serve as a template for the synthesis of RNAs and proteins (i.e. molecular biology). The structure and function of proteins is described, including the properties of enzymes, their regulation and kinetic behaviour. The structure of lipids is examined to show their major biological roles, particularly as components of cell membranes. Metabolic pathways (glycolysis, gluconeogenesis, oxidative phosphorylation and fat storage) will complete this core coverage of essential biochemistry. The course is designed to complement the laboratory experiences in the subject BCMB20005.


By the end of the subject the student should understand:

  • the structure and composition of a cell as the basic unit of life, including the concept of cell signalling as a means of transmitting information within a cell;
  • the molecular basis for information storage and transmission from DNA to protein, including a basic understanding of genomics;
  • the chemical nature of amino acids and their role in determining the folding and functions of proteins;
  • the chemistry and structure of lipids and carbohydrates as components of cell membranes;
  • the complete breakdown of glucose (glycolysis, TCA cycle and oxidative phosphorylation) as an example of the complexity of cellular metabolism which provides the macromolecules and the energy needed for cells to carry out their functions.
  • 3 hour written exam held in examination period (70%),
  • one 1 hour multi-choice examination (10%),
  • continuing computer based assessment (20%).
Prescribed Texts:

Nelson and Cox, Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry, 5th edn., 2008

Additional or alternative texts may be adopted in 2013, please check the LMS after enrolment.

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of this subject, students should have developed the following generic skills:

  • think critically and organise and expand knowledge from consideration of the lecture material;

  • learn to adopt new ideas from participation in the lecture and tutorial programs; and

  • plan effective work schedules and grow more confident in the synthesis of knowledge.


This subject is available for science credit to students enrolled in the BSc (both pre-2008 and New Generation degrees).

Not available to students enrolled in the BBiomedSc.

This subject is not available to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Biomedicine.

Students undertaking this subject will be expected to regularly access an internet-enabled computer.

Related Course(s): Bachelor of Biomedicine
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Animal Health and Disease
Science credit subjects* for pre-2008 BSc, BASc and combined degree science courses
Science-credited subjects - new generation B-SCI and B-ENG. Core selective subjects for B-BMED.
Related Breadth Track(s): Biochemistry

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