To be read in conjunction with the program of study requirements for the degree in which you are enrolled:



The extended major aims to provide students with a broad-based foundation in molecular bioscience together with the ability to acquire extensive subject knowledge in, microbiology and related areas. It also aims to develop a range of transferable research, analytical and communication skills including the capacity to:

  • understand and apply relevant scientific principles in a microbiological context
  • retrieve and present scientific information about molecular biosciences and microbiology, including communicating effectively with lay, general scientific and specialised scientific audiences in written and spoken form
  • critically analyse and evaluate information relevant to molecular bioscience and microbiology in order to solve problems
  • appreciate the multidisciplinary nature of molecular biosciences and engage positively with people and ideas within these disciplines and beyond
  • work independently and take responsibility for updating and adapting their knowledge and skills
  • appreciate the role of molecular bioscience, and specifically microbiology in society, the regulatory frameworks which apply to each discipline and the ethical issues they raises
  • work effectively and productively within a team.

The extended major provides the foundations that will underpin ongoing professional development, preparing graduates for further study in molecular bioscience or another science or non-science related discipline or for a career in molecular bioscience related field or in other areas where the range of skills and knowledge acquired is needed or desirable.

Learning outcomes

Graduates of the extended major are expected to:

  • know and critically apply theories, subject content, professional methodologies and research procedures relevant to Molecular Bioscience in the disciplines of microbiology, biochemistry and molecular biology; for example bioinformatics and cell structure including nucleic acid and protein structure and function
  • understand and describe the processes through which current knowledge about the disciplines of microbiology, biochemistry and molecular biology were developed
  • be able to analyse and critically evaluate ideas/information/data and apply relevant scientific principles to solve problems by, for example, creating hypotheses, testing theories and predictions, designing and carrying out experiments and analysing reported data
  • design and carry out experiments using appropriate techniques and protocols
  • be able to communicate their findings to lay, general scientific and specialised scientific audiences in written and spoken form
  • appreciate that molecular bioscience is multidisciplinary and has connections to other science and non-science disciplines
  • work and learn independently and appreciate the need for continuing professional development
  • interact effectively as part of a team in order to achieve common goals
  • work in a molecular biosciences or microbiology laboratory, with an appreciation of work practices relating to OH&S, animal/human ethics and biosafety
  • use a variety of IT applications essential to the molecular bioscience
  • be able to culture and identify microorganisms
  • understand the microbiological nature of disease.

Program of study

Extended Major - Molecular Biosciences and Microbiology - Year 1 topics

The following topics must be selected as part of the 36-unit First Year program:


 BIOL1101  Evolution of Biological Diversity  (4.5 units)
 BIOL1102  Molecular Basis of Life  (4.5 units)

Plus one of:

 CHEM1101  Chemical Structure and Bonding  (4.5 units)
 CHEM1201  General Chemistry  (4.5 units)


 CHEM1202  Chemistry for the Life Sciences  (4.5 units)

#Cognate studies

Extended Major - Molecular Biosciences and Microbiology - Year 2 topics

27 units comprising:

 BIOL2701  Experimental Design and Statistics for Biology  (4.5 units)
 BIOL2702  Genetics, Evolution and Biodiversity  (4.5 units)
 BIOL2722  Disease and Immunology  (4.5 units)
 BIOL2761  Virology  (4.5 units)
 BIOL2771  Biochemistry  (4.5 units)
 BIOL2772  Molecular Biology  (4.5 units)


Extended Major - Molecular Biosciences and Microbiology - Year 3 topics

27 units comprising:

 BIOL3761  Foundations in Microbiology  (4.5 units)
 BIOL3762  Protein to Proteome  (4.5 units)
 BIOL3771  DNA to Genome  (4.5 units)
 BIOL3772  Integrating Molecular Biosciences  (4.5 units)
 BIOL3782  Advanced Microbiology: Microbial Ecology and Infectious Disease  (4.5 units)

Plus one of:


 BTEC3003  Industrial and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology  (4.5 units) OR
 BTEC3004  Environmental Biotechnology  (4.5 units)

Program - Biological Sciences - Year 4 topics for students undertaking the Bachelor of Science (Honours) 4 Year or Bachelor of Science (Honours) Enhanced Program for High Achievers.