Monash University

Undergraduate - Area of study

Students who commenced study in 2014 should refer to this area of study entry for direction on the requirments; to check which units are currently available for enrolment, refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your area of study.

print version

This area of study entry applies to students commencing this course in 2014 and should be read in conjunction with the relevant course entry in the Handbook. Any 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
CoordinatorDr Alfons Lawen (Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology)


  • Unit codes that are not linked to their entry in the Handbook are not available for study in the current year.


Biochemistry deals with the chemical components and genetic material of living cells in order to understand the molecular events that underlie all biological processes. These are important in human and animal biology, medicine, agriculture, forensic science and biotechnology. Biochemistry opens up our understanding of the causes of disease and provides the basis of the development of effective treatments.

Learning outcomes

Graduates will be able to:

  • demonstrate broad knowledge of the biomolecules, machinery and information flow within living cells, and an appreciation of how these underpin all biological processes, in both normal and diseased states
  • demonstrate knowledge in specialist areas of biochemistry and molecular biology including: metabolic regulation, proteins and structural biology, bioinformatics, advanced molecular biology, signal transduction, cell organisation and the roles of organelles, and demonstrate the role of biochemistry in health and diseases such as cancer
  • demonstrate proficient technical skills in core biochemical and molecular biology laboratory techniques, and explain and interpret the principles and applications of these methods within the molecular biosciences and associated professional and social responsibilities
  • collect, organise, analyse, evaluate and interpret biochemistry and molecular biology data using appropriate quantitative, information and communication skills
  • critically evaluate relevant scientific literature in biochemistry and molecular biology and demonstrate comprehension of the nature, scope and ethical issues through written and oral tasks
  • communicate biochemistry and molecular biology principles and data effectively to diverse audiences and in a variety of written and oral formats
  • work and learn effectively both independently and collaboratively.


Level two

  • BCH2011 Structure and function of cellular biomolecules
  • BCH2022 Metabolic basis of human diseases
  • MOL2011 Molecular biology: Genes and their expression
  • MOL2022 Molecular biology: Gene technology and its application

Level three

  • BCH3021 Cell organisation: Organelle structure and function in health and disease
  • BCH3031 Advanced molecular biology: Modern concepts and applications
  • BCH3042 Cell signal transduction: Role in cancer and human disease
  • BCH3052 Protein biology: From sequence to structure and disease
  • BCH3990 Action in biochemistry research project

Sequence requirements

Minor sequence in biochemistry (24 points)

VCE Chemistry or at least a level-one unit in chemistry is recommended for level-two units.

Minor sequence in molecular biology (24 points)

Major sequence in biochemistry (48 points)

Major sequence in biochemistry and molecular biology (48 points)

Double major sequence in biochemistry and molecular biology (72 points)

Details of the MIC units and sequences are described in the microbiologymicrobiology ( area of study entry in this Handbook.

Requirements for honours in biochemistry and molecular biology

  • 24 points of relevant level-three units, of which normally 18 points are biochemistry or developmental biology, human pathology, immunology, microbiology, pharmacology and physiology units.

Refer to the above science areas of studyscience areas of study ( in this Handbook for details of relevant level-three units.

Students who have completed other majors may be eligible with approval of the Head of School.

Additional information

Level two

Biochemistry and molecular biology are first offered as units at level two. For students who wish to complete a minor or major sequence in biochemistry and molecular biology the level-two unit combinations BCH2011 and BCH2022, together with MOL2011 and MOL2022 are highly recommended.

Level three

Students who have completed BCH2011/BCH2022 and MOL2011/MOL2022 will have gained a firm foundation for studying any combination of the following 6-point units: BCH3021 and BCH3031 in first semester, and BCH3042 and BCH3052 in second semester, in addition to BCH3990 (either semester). Completion of at least four 6-point BCH units at level three offers maximum flexibility in choice for future studies in biochemistry. Students should discuss their interests and career plans with level-three unit coordinators to facilitate a choice of units that best suits their interests.


In addition to the requirements listed above, students must meet the entry requirements for the science honours program relevant to their course of enrolment. Enrolment in a honours project is subject to approval of the supervisor and the head of department. See the entries for:

  • 3520 Bachelor of Science Advanced (Research)
  • 0051 Honours degree of Bachelor of Science
  • 2188 Honours degree of Bachelor of Science (Science Scholar Program)

Full details regarding the course structure for honours in this area of study are outlined in course 0051 Honours degree of Bachelor of Science.

Relevant courses

Single degrees

  • 0050 Bachelor of Science
  • 3550 Bachelor of Science Advanced (Global Challenges)
  • 3520 Bachelor of Science Advanced (Research)

Double degrees

  • 0530 Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science
  • 3537 Bachelor of Arts (Global) and Bachelor of Science
  • 1469 Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Science
  • 3517 Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Computer Science
  • 3711 Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Education
  • 1633 Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Education
  • 4642 Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering (Honours) and Bachelor of Science
  • 4650 Bachelor of Mechatronics Engineering (Honours) and Bachelor of Science
  • 4638 Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Engineering (Honours)
  • 0086 Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Laws

Honours degrees

  • 0051 Honours degree of Bachelor of Science
  • 2188 Honours degree of Bachelor of Science (Science Scholar Program)