Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

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Unit Overview


This unit builds on what is taught at Level 2 in BIOC2201 Biochemistry of the Cell, BIOC2202 Biochemical Regulation of Cell Function and SCIE2225 Molecular Biology, and addresses cellular function from the perspective of the cellular macromolecules—DNA, RNA and protein. The relationship between structure and function is emphasised throughout the unit. Accordingly, how transcription and differential gene expression are accomplished in terms of the structure of DNA and RNA is addressed. How protein structure is studied, the established structural features of simple and complex proteins and how these relate to protein and enzyme function form a major component of the unit. This unit does not aim to be comprehensive in its coverage, but aims to select areas in these fields that are currently making an impact on biomedical science. Recent advances are highlighted and publications are discussed in the tutorials. Accordingly, they provide the biochemical basis for advanced units in molecular biology and cell biology. The unit does not duplicate, but complements, the content of SCIE3326/SCIE3327 Molecular Biology Part 1/Part 2. Laboratory work comprises experiments designed to teach the major biochemical techniques: protein purification, electrophoresis, protein mass spectrometry and metabolite assays. The design, logistics and analysis of experiments are also emphasised.

12 points

Students gain an understanding of cellular function from the perspective of the cellular macromolecules—DNA, RNA and protein; and are able to carry out a range of modern biochemical techniques used with macromolecules.


This unit comprises an end-of-semester examination (40 per cent), a mid-semester examination (15 per cent), a journal club presentation (7.5 per cent), laboratory assessment (30 per cent) and a sequence analysis—molecular modelling assignment (7.5 per cent).

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor Paul Attwood and Associate Professor Robert Tuckey
Unit rules
BIOC2201 Biochemistry of the Cell
and BIOC2202 Biochemical Regulation of Cell Function
BIOC3371 Molecular and Structural Biochemistry
Advisable prior study
SCIE2225 Molecular Biology and a Level 2 chemistry unit
Contact hours
lectures: 36 hours
tutorials: 6 hours
labs: 60 hours
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.