Master of Biotechnology

Course MC-SCIBIT (2014)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2014.

Year and Campus: 2014 - Parkville
CRICOS Code: 072809G
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Duration & Credit Points: 200 credit points taken over 24 months full time. This course is available as full or part time.


Dr Matthew Digby



Melbourne Graduate School of Science
Faculty of Science
The University of Melbourne
Victoria 3010

Tel: + 61 3 8344 6128
Fax: +61 3 8344 3351


Course Overview:

Biotechnology is the useful application of a biological product or process. The process of commercialisation is inevitably required for a discovery to become applied and widely used.

Biotechnology is a growing area of applied science and covers a diversity of specialist fields. Disciplines that Biotechnology includes are; molecular biology, biochemistry, cell biology, microbiology, plant and environmental sciences, engineering, drug development, nanofabrication, reproductive sciences, stem cells and genetically modified organisms. Modern medicine, agriculture, animal breeding, pharmaceuticals, food production and processing etc., all utilise various Biotechnology tools.

The core disciplines will focus on advances in key technologies, and will give the student the scientific understanding of how discoveries progress from the laboratory to the marketplace. This scientific knowledge will be developed together with an understanding of what is procedurally required to transform a discovery into a useful and commercialised product or process. This includes such areas as Intellectual Property, Market Structure, Drug Trial Design, Regulatory Affairs, Quality Management and Good Manufacturing Processes.

This professional entry program offers students the opportunity to undertake core science studies as well as professional skills modules, which provide high-level training in the areas of business, communications and science application.

In the second year of study students will work in groups to undertake an Industry Project with a company external to the University.
Outstanding students may replace the Industry Project with the Research Project, depending upon the availability of a suitable project and supervisor. Upon successful completion of the Research Project, students may be eligible to apply to study for a PhD at the University of Melbourne.

Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of this course, students should have:

  • a detailed technical understanding of the key advanced methods used in the contemporary biotechnology sector;
  • an appreciation of how these techniques are applied both in biotechnology and in advanced research;
  • acquired the knowledge to enable them to critically appraise new data arising from the use of these techniques and to interpret the implications of such data;
  • developed an understanding of the commercial, financial and regulatory context in which the biotechnology sector operates.

Course Structure & Available Subjects:

200 Point Program

Students must complete 200 points including:

  • Core subjects (162.5 points);
  • Elective subjects (37.5 points).

100 Point Program

Students must complete 100 points of core subjects

Subject Options:

Core - 200 Point Program

Students must take:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1

and one of the following subjects:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:

Elective - 200 Point Program

* Students who have not completed the equivalent of BCMB30002 Functional Genomics and Bioinformatics or GENE30002 Genes: Organisation and Function as part of their undergraduate studies should enrol in one of BCMB30002 or GENE30002 in their first semester of study.

Students must choose three of the following subjects, or BCMB30002/GENE30002 and one other of the following subjects:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1, Semester 2
Semester 1

Core - 100 Point Program

Students must complete all of the following

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1
Entry Requirements:

200 point program:

An undergraduate degree with a major in a Life Science or Chemistry and at least 65% in the major or equivalent. As part of the degree studies, applicants must have completed an appropriate sequence of at least 25 points of second-year university-level genetics or biochemistry or equivalent subjects.

100 point program:

An Honours degree in a Life Science or Chemistry. As part of their degree studies, applicants must have completed an appropriate sequence of at least 25 points of second-year university-level genetics or biochemistry or equivalent.

Core Participation Requirements:

The Master of Biotechnology welcomes applications from students with disabilities. It is University and degree 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 degree. The Master of Biotechnology requires all students to enrol in subjects where they will require:
(1) the ability to comprehend complex science and technology related information;
(2) the ability to clearly and independently communicate a knowledge and application of science, and technology principles and practices during assessment tasks;
(3) the ability to actively and safely contribute in clinical, laboratory, and fieldwork/excursion activities.

Students must possess behavioural and social attributes that enable them to participate in a complex learning environment. Students are required to take responsibility for their own participation and learning. They also contribute to the learning of other students in collaborative learning environments, demonstrating interpersonal skills and an understanding of the needs of other students. Assessment may include the outcomes of tasks completed in collaboration with other students. There may be additional inherent academic requirements for some subjects, and these requirements are listed within the description of the requirements for each of these subjects. Students who feel their disability will impact on meeting this requirement are encouraged to discuss this matter with the relevant Subject Coordinator and the Disability Liaison Unit:

Graduate Attributes:

Graduates will have the ability to demonstrate advanced independent critical enquiry, analysis and reflection; have a strong sense of intellectual integrity and the ethics of scholarship; have in-depth knowledge of their specialist discipline(s); reach a high level of achievement in writing, project activities, problem-solving and communication; be critical and creative thinkers, with an aptitude for continued self-directed learning; be able to examine critically, synthesise and evaluate knowledge across a broad range of disciplines; have a set of flexible and transferable skills for different types of employment; be able to initiate and implement constructive change in their communities, including professions and workplaces.

Professional Accreditation:

National Professional Science Master’s Association (NPSMA)(

Links to further information:

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