BIOCHEM 2502 - Biochem II (Biotech): Molecular and Cell Biology

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2024

BIOCHEM 2502 uses the knowledge and understanding gained in the prerequisite Level I courses (see below) to provide students with an appreciation and an understanding of key biochemistry and molecular biology concepts. Consequently the topics covered include specialised proteins, enzyme specificity and regulation, DNA structure, synthesis and repair, RNA and protein synthesis, and some pathways utilised to control gene expression. The course combines lectures, tutorials that reinforce the lecture content, and practicals to complement the lecture content. PRACTICAL COMPONENT worth 20% of the grade: Students enrolled in this course will need to also enrol in a separate course which is the practical component (one of SCIENCE 2100 or SCIENCE 2101 or SCIENCE 2102). To determine which practical to enrol into you are required to read the document on: please scroll down to "Level 2 BIOCHEM, GENETICS, MICRO courses".

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code BIOCHEM 2502
    Course Biochem II (Biotech): Molecular and Cell Biology
    Coordinating Unit Molec & Biomedical Science
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 8 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Prerequisites ((CHEM 1100 and CHEM 1200) or (CHEM 1101 and CHEM 1201)) and (BIOLOGY 1101, BIOLOGY 1101ND, BIOLOGY 1001 or BIOLOGY 1401) and (BIOLOGY 1201 or BIOLOGY 1202)
    Corequisites One of SCIENCE 2100, SCIENCE 2101 or SCIENCE 2102; This co-requisite is the practical component that is worth 20% of your course.
    Incompatible BIOCHEM 2500
    Restrictions Available to B Sc (Biotechnology) students only
    Assessment Final exam, written tests, written practical assessments within the prac ABC system and online tests of multiple choice questions
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Keith Shearwin

    Mrs Racheline (Lynn) Rogers
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 Understand aspects of:
    Protein structure and function
    DNA structure, synthesis, and repair
    RNA synthesis and the control of gene expression in prokaryotes and eukaryotes
    Protein synthesis in prokaryotes and eukaryotes
    2 Understand hypothesis-based experimental design
    3 Plan and safely perform fundamental techniques in molecular and cellular biology
    4 Interpret, analyse and effectively communicate experimental data and conclusions of scientific research
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)

    Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth

    Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.


    Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving

    Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.


    Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills

    Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.


    Attribute 4: Professionalism and leadership readiness

    Graduates engage in professional behaviour and have the potential to be entrepreneurial and take leadership roles in their chosen occupations or careers and communities.


    Attribute 5: Intercultural and ethical competency

    Graduates are responsible and effective global citizens whose personal values and practices are consistent with their roles as responsible members of society.


    Attribute 8: Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

    Graduates are self-aware and reflective; they are flexible and resilient and have the capacity to accept and give constructive feedback; they act with integrity and take responsibility for their actions.

  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    "Biochemistry and Molecular Biology" Despo Papachristodoulou, Alison Snape, William H. Elliott and Daphne C. Elliott
    5th Edition (OUP)
    Any other current biochemistry text.

    For Practicals
    Laboratory coat and closed shoes on practical days
    Recommended Resources
    See above for recommended Textbook
    Online Learning
    MyUni is an essential resource for this course but it is essential for students to login regularly to check on important course-related announcements and material.

    Students will find the following on MyUni:

    All lectures are recorded

    All lecture notes

    Tutorial questions

    Past examinations

    The Discussion Board which is monitored daily

    Summative MCQs with Feedback

    Lynn's Swot Activities to help with some of the more difficult concepts in the course
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Three lectures per week, some are revision lectures or lectorials (see below)

    An average of one tutorial per week although some weeks may be tutorial-free because the tutorials are held as "Lectorials": tutorial
    sessions in a large class format where students are encouraged to ask

    An average of 20 hours per semester

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    A student enrolled in a 3 unit course, such as this, should expect to spend, on average 12 hours per week on the studies required. This includes both the formal contact time required to the course (e.g., lectures and practicals), as well as non-contact time (e.g., reading and revision).

    Learning Activities Summary
    Weeks 1-2
    Protein structure and function

    Weeks 3-4

    DNA Structure, Replication and Repair

    Weeks 5-7
    Transcription and Gene Expression in prokaryotes and eukaryotes

    Weeks 8
    Review and revision of new concepts
    How to answer exam questions

    Weeks 9-10
    The genetic code
    Translation and control in prokaryotes and eukaryotes

    Week 11
    Review and assessment

    Week 12
    Protein sorting and delivery
    Specific Course Requirements
    Recommended Textbook and appropriate laboratory attire
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Type of Assessment Percentage of total assessment for grading purposes Hurdle
    Yes or No
    Learning Outcome
    Written tests and assignments Summative


    No 1
    Online MCQs Summative 10% No 1
    Practical Summative 20% No 1-4
    Final written Exam Summative 45% No 1
    Assessment Related Requirements


    Assessment Detail

    Online tests of multiple choice questions

    MCQ Tests with immediate feedback to encourage further reading of course material so as to ensure understanding of lecture material.
    Students are notified as each test is released and given a week to organise their time to complete the test.

    Written Tests and assignments

    Written tests also to ensure understanding of the content presented during the semester. They are usually held during tutorial or lecture sessions (timetable permitting). Students receive feedback within a week. Verbal feedback is done either during tutorials or during a specified lecture (as timetable permits). In addition written feedback in the form of excellent (anonymous) answers written by peer students in the class is put up on MyUni and remains accessible for all students as many do not attend lectures or tutorials.

    Practical: 20% of total course grade

    Four written practical assessments per semester handed in by the students are promptly assessed to provide feedback.  Details vary depending on which practical students enrol into in the prac ABC system.

    Final written examination: 50% of total course grade

    A 2.5 hour exam covering lecture and tutorial material is held during the examination period.

    If an extension is not applied for, or not granted,then a penalty for late submission
    will apply.  A penalty of 10% of the value of the assignment for each calendar day that the assignment is late (i.e. weekends count as 2 days), up to a maximum of 50% of the available marks will be applied. This means that an assignment that is 5 days late or more without an approved extension can only receive a maximum of 50% of the marks available for that assignment.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.