Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Organisational UnitSchool of Biomedical Sciences
OfferedClayton First semester 2015 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Associate Professor Janet Macaulay


This unit introduces the student to the chemistry of organic molecules and the biochemistry of cells. We examine the role of functional groups in biological molecules of biomedical importance and common reactions in metabolism. We reinforce concepts of ionisation and pH. We discuss the chemistry of proteins and their physical properties in solution leading up to an examination of enzyme catalysis and kinetics. This lays the foundation for an examination of the biological oxidation of fats and carbohydrates that provides the cell with energy. We examine the way energy is stored in times of plenty and relate our understanding to normal and disease states that occur.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. Identify the chemical and biochemical aspects of functional groups in biological molecules.
  2. Explain the common reactions found in metabolic systems such as oxidation-reduction, bond formation, bond breaking events and a knowledge of the role of water.
  3. Explain the role of equilibrium and kinetic processes in biology and the describe concepts of enzyme catalysis.
  4. Describe biological oxidation and the metabolic release of energy.
  5. Describe the chemistry of important biological polymers and lipids and the reactions they undergo in the cell.
  6. Describe the biochemistry of molecules and reactions of biomedical importance.
  7. Draw relationships between these reactions and normal and disease states that occur.


End of semester exam (60%)
Assessment during semester which can include small group session marks, self-directed learning exercises and on-line quizzes (25%) (online quizzes are less than 10%)
Mid-semester test (15%)

A pass in the final examination must be obtained to pass the unit.

Workload requirements

3 lectures and a 3-hour small group session or computer based or self-directed learning per week.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


Must be enrolled in one of the following:
+ Bachelor of Biomedical Science (including double degree programs)
+ Bachelor of Biomedical Science (Scholar Program)
+ Bachelor of Biomedical Science Advanced with Honours

Additional information on this unit is available from the faculty at: