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.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


Synthetic biology aims to apply engineering principles to a broad range of biological disciplines, including biochemistry and molecular biology, genetics, genomics, evolutionary biology and computational biology. Through standardisation and modularisation, synthetic biology enables the rational (re-)design of biological systems with novel functionalities. Examples include the construction of synthetic biosensors and regulatory circuits enabling smart cellular decisions in bioremediation and biotechnology; the implementation of novel biosynthetic pathways and enzymes enabling the production of innovative materials, pharmaceuticals, biofuels, renewable chemicals, flavours and fragrances; and the re-programming of cells for advanced immunotherapies. This unit will focus on the presentation and discussion of the building blocks of synthetic biology, including current and future organisms, methods, platforms, and target uses.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face

Students are able to (1) demonstrate advanced knowledge of the concepts and latest applications in the field of Synthetic Biology; (2) critically evaluate the targets and ethical implications of state-of-the-art Synthetic Biology applications; and (3) apply current Synthetic Biology concepts and technologies to design and create novel solutions to global challenges.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) online quizzes; (2) oral presentations; and (3) funding proposal. 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)
Dr Georg Fritz
Unit rules
Enrolment in
71580 Master of Biotechnology (ID 389)
or 71520 Master of Biomedical Science (ID 359)
or 70550 Master of Bioinformatics (ID 1490)
Contact hours
lectures, tutorials / workshops
5 hours per week
  • 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.