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Major: Biomolecular Sciences

Major Details

Biomolecular Sciences


Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences
Faculty of Science and Engineering

This major must be completed as part of an award. The general requirements for the award must be satisfied in order to graduate.

Requirements for the Major:

Completion of a minimum of 24 credit points including the following prescribed units:

Credit points

100 level

The Thread of Life (3)
Organic and Biological Chemistry - The Chemistry of Life (3)
Foundations of Chemical and Biomolecular Sciences 1 (3)

200 level

6cp from
Biochemistry of Cell Biology (3)
Microbiology and Molecular Biology (3)
Microbiology (3)
Biochemistry (3)
Molecular Biology (3)

300 level

Biomolecular Sciences Capstone (3)
9cp from
Medicinal Chemistry (3)
Molecular and Medical Biotechnology (3)
Protein Discovery and Analysis (3)
Functional Proteomics (3)
Medical Microbiology (3)
Molecular Biology and Genomics (3)
Biochemistry and Cell Biology (3)


Units marked with a C are Capstone units.
Additional Information
Overview and Aims of the Program Biomolecular science is the study of how molecules work in living biological systems. The Biomolecular Sciences major is based on biochemistry and molecular biology and extends into the fields of genetics, genomics and proteomics, biotechnology, structural, systems and synthetic biology, and bioinformatics.

The Biomolecular Sciences major is suitable for students wishing to explore how molecules influence the structure and function of living systems, using state-of-the-art instrumentation and approaches. Students will gain theoretical knowledge and practical experience in a range of relevant subject areas, including biochemistry, biotechnology, cellular biochemistry, genetic engineering, genomics, microbiology, molecular analysis, molecular biology, synthetic biology, molecular structures, proteomics.

A major in Biomolecular Sciences offers a path into many bioindustries including those engaged in medical research, pharmaceuticals, diagnostics and biotechnology and provides an excellent foundation for postgraduate studies including medicine.

Students in the Biomolecular Major can take advantage of Peer Assisted Learning and mentoring. There are also Introductory units and bridging courses are available for students without the recommended prior knowledge.
Graduate Capabilities

The Graduate Capabilities Framework articulates the fundamentals that underpin all of Macquarie’s academic programs. It expresses these as follows:

Cognitive capabilities
(K) discipline specific knowledge and skills
(T) critical, analytical and integrative thinking
(P) problem solving and research capability
(I) creative and innovative

Interpersonal or social capabilities
(C) effective communication
(E) engaged and ethical local and global citizens
(A) socially and environmentally active and responsible

Personal capabilities
(J) capable of professional and personal judgement and initiative
(L) commitment to continuous learning

Program Learning Outcomes By the end of this program it is anticipated you should be able to:

1. demonstrate an understanding and a solid foundation in the Biomolecular Sciences, as well as a broad background in biological chemistry (K)
2. apply key Biomolecular Science concepts to make the connection between molecular properties, cellular activities and biological responses (K, A)
3. demonstrate well-developed knowledge in at least two disciplinary areas of Biomolecular Sciences (biochemistry, molecular biology, biotechnology, medicinal chemistry, microbiology, structural biology) (K)
4. identify, analyse and solve problems in the Biomolecular Sciences by gathering and critically evaluating information from a range of sources (A, P)
5. demonstrate knowledge and awareness of the ethical, regulatory and safety frameworks relevant to the Biomolecular Sciences (E, S)
6. demonstrate a broad knowledge necessary to understand and respond to the impact of Biomolecular solutions in a global and societal context (E, S, L).

7. demonstrate the ability to engage in structured research by recording, analysing and critically interpreting experimental data. This includes successfully identifying the need for experiments, experimental design and conduction of experiments (A, P)
8. integrate knowledge to define a problem, formulate a hypothesis, and design and plan an investigation (A, P, I)
9. select and apply appropriate contemporary practical tools and/or theoretical techniques to conduct an investigation (K, P)
10. translate an understanding and knowledge of ethical and regulatory frameworks in the experimental design and decision making process (E, J)
11. effectively communicate key biomolecular science concepts and scientific results in both written and oral form to a variety of audiences. Be able to effectively present data, and clearly and concisely answer questions (C, J)
12. demonstrate an ability to work effectively, responsibly and safely; both independently and as member of a research team (J, P, E, C).
Learning and Teaching Methods In this program you will be given the opportunity to gain theoretical knowledge and practical experience in the Biomolecular Sciences through a variety of independent and collaborative activities. For the majority of units within this program, lectures will be used to introduce the concepts of Biomolecular sciences. Laboratory sessions are used to both complement the lecture material and provide practice in standard Biomolecular techniques used in research. Tutorials (and dry-lab workshops) are additionally designed to reinforce the concepts presented in lectures and practiced in the laboratory but in a smaller peer learning environment. Formal peer-assisted learning (PAL) is also offered in some units.

In general, in the first year of the program you will build on your foundation of knowledge in the biological and chemical sciences. In the second year, you will further develop your Biomolecular knowledge through the core disciplines of biochemistry, molecular biology and microbiology and receive further practical skills training in these areas. Towards the conclusion of your program, you will explore your chosen disciplinary areas within Biomolecular sciences by choosing from three specialisations (minimum) within the program. A central and dominant theme throughout your Biomolecular major program is the inclusion of research experience in the majority of units. Your program will culminate in the Biomolecular Sciences capstone unit where you will integrate your Biomolecular knowledge to define a problem, formulate a hypothesis, and design and plan your own scientific investigation. You will have the opportunity to present this research to an international audience through the participation in an international undergraduate research competition (such as the iGEM international Genetically Engineered Machine). In addition to developing skills to evaluate and critique the present scientific literature, the laboratory research experience forms an essential element of your scientific training throughout this program. Many of your laboratory sessions are also designed to provide you with hands on experience with a wide range of contemporary research equipment encountered in today’s modern Biomolecular science research facilities.

In this program, you will learn to effectively communicate Biomolecular science concepts and scientific results in various forms (written, oral, poster presentation) to a wide range of people, including your peers and the wider scientific community. Most activities will require you to present on your own or as a group and you will receive feedback on it.
Assessment Assessment is made on the submission of individual and group coursework. In some units, a small component of the assessment is made from observations of student participation in laboratory or tutorial environments. Assessment types are diverse across units and may include written assessments (such as scientific reports, essays, project proposals, case studies, critique of the scientific literature) or oral assessments (such as seminars, debates, discussions) or multimedia presentations (such as scientific poster presentations, digital media presentations, blogs, wikis). Most units have a final examination which forms a significant part of the assessment of student achievement, and which is where a student’s ability to apply knowledge is assessed. All units have at least three different types of assessment.

Clear standards and criteria for coursework, what is assessed and how it is assessed, are contained in each unit guide.

The program incorporates formative and summative feedback. Formative feedback is that which is received whilst you are working on a task. Summative feedback is that received once you have completed a task. Both forms of feedback are extremely important and provide you with information and guidance on your development and progress. Feedback is mostly provided in written form and occasionally in discussion with peers, tutors and academic advisors.
Recognition of Prior Learning

Macquarie University may recognise prior formal, informal and non-formal learning for the purpose of granting credit towards, or admission into, a program. The recognition of these forms of learning is enabled by the University’s Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Policy and its associated Procedures and Guidelines. For recognition of prior informal and non-formal learning, please refer to the relevant RPL Plan, which describes the evidential requirements and approval processes for recognising prior learning for entry or credit in this program.

For undergraduate RPL plans visit
For postgraduate RPL plans visit

Support for Learning

Macquarie University aspires to be an inclusive and supportive community of learners where all students are given the opportunity to meet their academic and personal goals. The University offers a comprehensive range of free and accessible student support services which include academic advice, counselling and psychological services, advocacy services and welfare advice, careers and employment, disability services and academic skills workshops amongst others. There is also a bulk billing medical service located on campus.

Further information can be found at

Campus Wellbeing contact details:
Phone: +61 2 9850 7497

Program Standards and Quality

The program is subject to an ongoing comprehensive process of quality review in accordance with a pre-determined schedule that complies with the Higher Education Standards Framework. The review is overseen by Macquarie University's peak academic governance body, the Academic Senate and takes into account feedback received from students, staff and external stakeholders.

Graduate Destinations and Employability A major in Biomolecular Sciences offers a path into a wide range of job options in many bioindustries including those engaged in medical research, pharmaceuticals, diagnostics and biotechnology. It allows you to pursue a career in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry, research and educational institutions including Universities, and government agencies and laboratories. It provides an excellent foundation for postgraduate studies including medicine.

A major in Biomolecular Sciences can also be combined with a range of related disciplines including chemistry, biological sciences, medical sciences, geosciences, physics, business and law. These combinations also allow you to pursue a range of careers in business, industry, research and academia, both in Australia and internationally. Career options include biomarker discovery, biomedical sciences, bioproduct manufacturing, biotechnology, drug discovery, patent law, pharmaceuticals, research, sales and marketing and teaching.
Assessment Regulations

This program is subject to Macquarie University regulations, including but not limited to those specified in the Assessment Policy, Academic Honesty Policy, the Final Examination Policy and relevant University Rules. For all approved University policies, procedures, guidelines and schedules visit