BMS1011 - Biomedical chemistry - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Organisational Unit

School of Biomedical Sciences


Dr Nirma Samarawickrema

Unit guides



  • First semester 2017 (Day)


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 apply these to the concepts of enzyme catalysis.
  4. Predict the thermodynamics of metabolic reactions.
  5. Describe how energy is generated and utilised from carbohydrates and lipids and integrate and translate this to different situations.
  6. Investigate and communicate, reactions of biomedical importance in normal and disease states


  • End of semester exam (60%)
  • Assessment during semester which can include small group session marks, 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:

  • C2230/M2003 - Bachelor of Biomedical Science
  • C3976/M3004 - Bachelor of Biomedical Science Advanced with Honours
  • C2230/M2003 - Bachelor of Biomedical Science (Scholar Program)
  • C4417/B2021 - Bachelor of Biomedical Science / Bachelor of Commerce
  • C3879/E3004 - Bachelor of Biomedical Science / Bachelor of Engineering
  • C3356/L3004 - Bachelor of Biomedical Science / Bachelor of Law
  • C3528/S2007 - Bachelor of Biomedical Science / Bachelor of Science

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