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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2010 Undergraduate - Area of Study

All areas of study information should be read in conjunction with the relevant course entry in the Handbook. The units listed for this area of study relate only to the 'Requirements' outlined in the Faculty of Science component of any bachelors double degrees.

Managing facultyFaculty of Science
Offered byDepartment of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Department of Microbiology
School of Biological Sciences
Course coordinatorDr Alan Neale (School of Biological Sciences), Professor Ben Adler (Department of Microbiology)


Molecular biology emphasises the role of genetic information in controlling the wide variety of functions in all forms of life. It provides the basis for recombinant DNA techniques, which underpin biotechnology and genome projects.

The molecular biology units are offered jointly by the School of Biological Sciences in the Faculty of Science and the departments of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Microbiology in the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences.


On completion of the sequence in molecular biology students will:

  • have developed an understanding and appreciation of the genetic and biochemical molecular processes that underlie the wide variety of functions in all forms of life, including micro-organisms, plants and animals in general including humans
  • be proficient in a set of core technical methods in molecular biology, biochemistry, microbiology and genetics, in terms of understanding the principles of the methods as well as their utilisation in laboratory settings
  • have developed useful practical skills in experimental methods used in molecular biology and recombinant DNA technologies, which may include gene cloning and protein isolation, analysis of transgenic organisms; culture and breeding of micro-organisms, animals and plants; histochemical and cytological techniques and the use of bioinformatics databases and software in biotechnology and genome projects
  • have developed a comprehensive knowledge and appreciation of the application of molecular biology, both nationally and internationally in areas of medical, agricultural or environmental research
  • be fully prepared for further teaching, employment at technical level, or advanced study involving theory and research, in molecular biology-related disciplines in Australia or overseas.


Level two

  • MOL2011 Molecular biology: genes and their expression
  • MOL2022 Molecular biology: gene technology and its application

Sequence requirements

Minor sequence in molecular biology (24 points)

Major sequence in molecular biology (48 points)

Details of the BCH, BIO, BTH, GEN and MIC units and sequences are provided in the biochemistry, biological sciences biotechnology, genetics and microbiology entries in this section of the Handbook.


Level two

Students who wish to complete a minor or major sequence in molecular biology should complete the two 6-point units MOL2011 and MOL2022. In addition, students who intend to complete a major sequence in molecular biology should consult the contributing departments concerning complementary discipline-specific units that are recommended at level two.

Level three

There are no cross-discipline level-three units in molecular biology. Students who are commencing level three and who have completed the level-two combination MOL2011 and MOL2022 should consult the contributing departments concerning the combination of discipline-specific units that will best suit their interests and needs in terms of possible future studies. The discipline-specific units need to be completed in particular combinations to ensure a major in molecular biology or a double-major in molecular biology and a related discipline (eg biochemistry, genetics or microbiology).


Students with an appropriate level of performance in level-three units within the molecular biology sequence may be eligible to undertake a year of research training under the direct supervision of the leader of one of the research groups in the department.

Full details regarding entrance requirements and course structure for honours is described in the course entry in this Handbook for the course 0051 Honours degree of Bachelor of Science.