Studying online

There are now 3 possible online modes for units:

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

Units available in Online Restricted mode have been adapted for online study only for those students who require the unit to complete their studies and who are unable to attend campus owing to exceptional circumstances beyond their control. To be enrolled in a unit in Online Restricted mode, students should contact their Student Advising Office through askUWA

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


This unit is designed to provide students with an understanding of basic chemistry, biochemistry, cell biology, genetics and human heredity.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 1 core unit in the Integrated Medical Sciences and Clinical Practice; Integrated Dental Sciences; Podiatric Health and Medical Sciences major sequences

Students are able to (1) recall basic chemistry of atoms, molecules and chemical bonds; (2) describe the role of water and buffers in biological systems; (3) define macromolecule structure and function; (4) explain the structure and function of proteins and their roles in cellular processes; (5) explain the concept and structure of a gene and the relationship between genes, chromosomes and DNA; (6) describe the central dogma and all stages in protein synthesis and control of gene expression; (7) detail the types of eukaryotic RNA and their functions; (8) explain basic concepts of mutations and the relationship to protein function; (9) explain the principles of inheritance of traits and relationship to chromosomes and genes; (10) recall characteristics of the eukaryotic cell cycle and mitosis; (11) explain the process of meiosis and the overall significance of meiosis for reproduction and genetic variation; (12) describe the genetic basis of some common human genetic disorders; (13) detail the process and uses of PCR for diagnostics; and (14) acquire and explain basic techniques used to study molecules and cells.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) final examination; (2) in-semester test; and (3) practical session and self-directed learning assessments. Further information is available in the unit outline.

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

Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor Liz Quail
Unit rules
Enrolment in
Major(s) MJD-IMSCP Integrated Medical Sciences and Clinical Practice
or MJD-DENTS Integrated Dental Sciences
or MJD-PHMSC Podiatric Health and Medical Sciences or equivalent
Approved quota: 400—a place in the unit is determined on a first-come, first-served basis. Selection is based on time of enrolment with first places given to students enrolled in this major as a degree-specific and second to students enrolled as a second major. Any remaining places are given to those students according to when they enrol until all places are filled.
Contact hours
lectures: 3 hours per week
practical sessions: up to 15 hours per semester
  • 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.