Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major

What are genes? How do hormones work? What goes wrong in a cancer cell? If these questions are of interest, then the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major may be for you. Biochemists and molecular biologists are interested in the molecular functions of all living organisms, from the smallest bacterium to the largest whale. In this major, students study the way molecules are organised and how they interact to achieve the functions of the living cell and that of the organism. Your investigations cover three main areas: the information stored in DNA; molecular interactions; and how organisms gain and use energy.

Outcomes

Students are able to (1) demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the theoretical basis of biochemistry and molecular biology; (2) demonstrate critical analysis and the application of scientific method to biochemical problems; (3) demonstrate technical competency in basic laboratory skills including solution preparation, qualitative and quantitative analytical methods, and operation of general laboratory equipment; (4) effectively communicate biochemical and molecular biological knowledge in both written and oral forms; and (5) apply relevant employability skills for biochemistry and molecular biology.

Broadening guidelines

All students studying towards a Bachelor's Degree at UWA are required to Broaden their studies by completing a minimum of four units (24 points) of study outside their degree specific major. Broadening is your opportunity to explore other areas of interest, investigate new disciplines and knowledge paradigms and to shape your degree to suit your own aspirations and interests. Many of you will be able to undertake more than this minimum amount of broadening study and we encourage you to do so if this suits your aspirations. Over the next few months you will find here some broadening suggestions related to your degree-specific major. While we know that many students value guidance of this sort, these are only suggestions and students should not lose sight of the opportunity to explore that is afforded by your Broadening Choices. Advice can also be sought from your Allocated Student Advising Office.

Prerequisites

ATAR Mathematics Methods or equivalent or higher and ATAR Chemistry or equivalent or higher.

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology can be taken as a degree-specific major in the following degree courses:

BP004 Bachelor of Science
BP006 Bachelor of Biomedical Science
BH005 Bachelor of Philosophy (Honours)

Overview of unit sequence

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology is a degree-specific single major comprising:

  • five Level 1 units
  • two Level 2 units
  • four Level 3 units
Key to availability of units:
S1 = Semester 1; S2 = Semester 2

Level 1

Degree-specific major units
Take all units (18 points):
Availability Unit code Unit name unit requirements
S1, S2 CHEM1001 Chemistry—Properties and Energetics
Prerequisites:
Chemistry ATAR
or
WACE Chemistry 3A/3B
or
TEE Chemistry
or
equivalent
or
CHEM1105 Introductory Chemistry
or
CHEM1003 Introductory Chemistry
Incompatibility:
CHEM1101 Inorganic and Physical Chemistry, CHEM1104 Biological Inorganic and Physical Chemistry
S2 SCIE1106 Molecular Biology of the Cell
Prerequisites:
(Human Biology: ATAR
or
equivalent;
or
Biology: ATAR
or
equivalent;
or
ANHB1101 Human Biology I: Becoming Human;
or
ANHB1102 Human Biology II: Being Human;
or
BIOL1130 Frontiers in Biology;
or
IMED1001 Form and Function)
and
(Chemistry: ATAR
or
equivalent
or
CHEM1003 Introductory Chemistry)
Incompatibility:
SCIE2225 Molecular Biology passed in
or
before 2004
S1, S2 STAT1400 Statistics for Science
Prerequisites:
Mathematics Applications ATAR
or
MATH1720 Mathematics Fundamentals
or
equivalent
or
higher
Incompatibility:
STAT1520 Economic and Business Statistics
Degree-specific major units
Take unit(s) to the value of 6 points from this group:
Availability Unit code Unit name unit requirements
S1, S2 CHEM1002 Chemistry—Structure and Reactivity
Prerequisites:
ATAR Chemistry
or
WACE Chemistry 3A/3B
or
TEE Chemistry
or
equivalent
or
CHEM1105 Introductory Chemistry
or
CHEM1003 Introductory Chemistry
Incompatibility:
CHEM1102 Organic Chemistry, CHEM1103 Biological Organic Chemistry
S2 CHEM1004 Biological Chemistry
Prerequisites:
ATAR Chemistry, WACE Chemistry 3A/3B
or
TEE Chemistry
or
CHEM1003 Introductory Chemistry
or
equivalent
Bridging units
Bridging units must be successfully completed within the first 48 points of study. Students who have not achieved a scaled mark of at least 50 in Mathematics Methods ATAR or equivalent or higher are required to complete MATH1721. Students who have not achieved a scaled mark of at least 50 in Mathematics Applications ATAR or equivalent or higher are required to complete MATH1720 and MATH1721. Students who have not achieved a scaled mark of at least 50 in Chemistry ATAR or equivalent or higher are required to complete CHEM1003.
Availability Unit code Unit name unit requirements
S1, S2 CHEM1003 Introductory Chemistry
Incompatibility:
This unit is not available to students who have a satisfactory performance (scaled score of 50 per cent
or
more) in Chemistry ATAR
or
WACE Chemistry 3A/3B
or
TEE Chemistry,
or
equivalent.
S1, S2 MATH1720 Mathematics Fundamentals
Prerequisites:
Mathematics Applications ATAR (with a scaled score of less than 50)
or
with permission.
Incompatibility:
Mathematics Applications ATAR (with a scaled score of 50
or
greater)
or
equivalent
or
higher.
S1, S2 MATH1721 Mathematics Foundations: Methods
Prerequisites:
Mathematics Applications ATAR
or
MATH1720 Mathematics Fundamentals
or
Mathematics Methods ATAR (with a scaled score of less than 50)
or
equivalent .
Incompatibility:
WACE Mathematics: Specialist 3A/3B; MATH1038 Calculus and its Applications; MATH1045 Intermediate Calculus; Mathematics Specialist ATAR; MATH1001 Mathematical Methods 1; MATH1002 Mathematical Methods 2; MATH1011 Multivariable Calculus; MATH1012 Mathematical Theory and Methods; STAT1400 Statistics for Science;
or
STAT1520 Economics and Business Statistics.

Level 2

Degree-specific major units
Take all units (12 points):
Availability Unit code Unit name unit requirements
S1 BIOC2001 Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the Cell
Prerequisites:
SCIE1106 Molecular Biology of the Cell and (CHEM1004 Biological Chemistry
or
CHEM1002 Chemistry—Structure and Reactivity)
Incompatibility:
BIOC2203 Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the Cell, BIOC2201 Biochemistry of the Cell, SCIE2225 Molecular Biology
S2 BIOC2002 Biochemical Regulation of Cell Function
Prerequisites:
SCIE1106 Molecular Biology of the Cell and (CHEM1004 Biological Chemistry
or
CHEM1002 Chemistry—Structure and Reactivity)
Co-requisites:
For students in the Combined Bachelor Masters in Biochemistry of Nutrition
or
Molecular Life Sciences only: SCIE1106 Molecular Biology of the Cell (ID 1019)
Incompatibility:
BIOC2250 Biochemistry, BIOC2202 Biochemical Regulation of Cell Function

Level 3

Degree-specific major units
Take all units (24 points):
Availability Unit code Unit name unit requirements
S1 BIOC3001 Molecular Biology
Prerequisites:
(BIOC2203 Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the Cell
or
BIOC2001 Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the Cell)
and
(BIOC2202 Biochemical Regulation of Cell Function
or
BIOC2002 Biochemical Regulation of Cell Function)
Incompatibility:
SCIE2225 Molecular Biology passed in
or
before 2004; SCIE3325 Molecular Biology
S1 BIOC3002 Structural and Functional Biochemistry
Prerequisites:
(BIOC2203 Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the Cell
or
BIOC2001 Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the Cell)
and
(BIOC2202 Biochemical Regulation of Cell Function
or
BIOC2002 Biochemical Regulation of Cell Function)
Incompatibility:
BIOC3351 Molecular and Structural Biochemistry
S2 BIOC3003 Omics—Global Approaches to Cell Function
Prerequisites:
[(BIOC2203 Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the Cell
or
BIOC2001 Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the Cell)
and
(BIOC2202 Biochemical Regulation of Cell Function
or
BIOC2002 Biochemical Regulation of Cell Function)]
Incompatibility:
BIOC3351 Structural and Functional Biochemistry
S2 BIOC3005 Cellular Biochemistry
Prerequisites:
[(BIOC2203 Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the Cell
or
BIOC2001 Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the Cell)
and
(BIOC2202 Biochemical Regulation of Cell Function
or
BIOC2002 Biochemical Regulation of Cell Function)]
Incompatibility:
BIOC3352 Cellular and Metabolic Biochemistry; PHYL3300 Mammalian Cell Biology

Choosing your degree-specific major

Specialised degrees – Bachelor of Advanced Computer Science (Honours), Bachelor of Automation and Robotics, Bachelor of Environmental Design, Bachelor of Music

You must satisfy the requirements of the degree-specific major in your degree before you complete your course. (You have the choice to either nominate your degree-specific major when you first enrol in the course or delay nominating it until your second year.)

Bachelor of Philosophy, Politics and Economics

This comprehensive degree does not require you to choose a degree-specific major.

General degrees

You must satisfy the requirements of a degree-specific major before you complete your course. The flexible structure of an undergraduate course allows you to try out a number of different subjects to see what interests you before nominating your degree-specific major. You have the choice to either nominate your degree-specific major when you first enrol in the course or delay nominating it until your second year.

To plan the first year of your study without nominating a degree-specific major, you are advised to choose units that will pave the way to two or more degree-specific majors that are of interest to you. For examples of the choice of units available in first year, search the first-year study plans .

To fully understand the structure of an undergraduate course, read the course structure information and the Undergraduate Degree Course Rules.

The following example illustrates how the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology degree-specific major can be included in the Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Biomedical Science course.

Example 1:
Course Study Plan: CSP004-BCHMB
Example 2:
Course Study Plan: CSP006-BCHMB

There are more choices open to you. For more examples, search the study plans .

Choosing a second major

You also have the option to choose a second major from those available in the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Biomedical Science, Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Design Only available to re-enrolling students. and Bachelor of Science courses, giving you the opportunity to pursue your interests no matter how different they are.

The following example illustrates how the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology degree-specific major can be combined with a second major in the Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Biomedical Science course.

Example 1:
Course Study Plan: CSP004-BCHMB-Generic
Example 2:
Course Study Plan: CSP006-BCHMB-Generic

For more examples of combinations of majors, search the study plans .