• Offered by Biology Teaching and Learning Centre
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject Biology
  • Areas of interest Health Medicine and the Body
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Tamara Kayali
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in Second Semester 2014
    See Future Offerings

The course examines biotechnologies, including genetic technologies and modern medicine in social, environmental and ethical contexts. Case studies will be presented for discussion from areas such as: genetic modification of agricultural crops and animals for food and production of therapeutic substances; genetic modification for pest control and environmental conservation; cloning of animals and humans; medical areas of genetic screening and gene therapy; human reproductive technologies; organ and stem cell transplantation; and the convergence of humans and machines to repair or enhance human function. Lectures and seminars will raise broad issues, such as bioethics; risk/benefit assessment; intellectual property; regulation of new technologies; cognitive development and world view as these affect judgement. The course seeks to encourage the student to develop a deeper and more coherent understanding of the important implications that these technologies hold, not only for human beings, but for organisms in general. Both the promise and the threat of these new technologies will be considered.  

Note: Graduate students attend joint classes with undergraduates but will be assessed separately.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

On satisfying the requirements of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

1. Discuss, in general terms, the science involved in new biotechnologies and the associated contextual issues
2. Research and critically evaluate a diversity of biotechnology information sources, and the diversity of perspectives they reflect
3. Create and apply a framework to assess the benefits and risks of biotechnologies
4. Identify and argue a personal view in the context of the debate about a biotechnology in both individual and team formats
5. Apply reflective and argumentative thinking to scientific, societal and personal views

Other Information

This course is NOT an online course.  Students are required to attend on campus lectures/tutorials.

Indicative Assessment

Assessment will be based on:

  • Short Tutorial Essays (25%) to critically evaluate information and diverse perspectives (LO 2, 4)
  • Participation in tutorials and submission of Tutorial Questions (10%) to explore personal views of biotechnology (LO 1, 4)
  • Debate Reflection Report (10%) to critically evaluate diversity of information and perspectives (LO 2, 4)
  • Long Tutorial essay (20%) to critically evaluate the science and context of a given  biotechnology, create a framework for benefit/risk assessment, and argue a personal view (LO 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
  • Case Study Assignment (35%) to demonstrate benefit/risk assessment framework and discuss scientific, societal and personal views about a biotechnology (LO 3, 4, 5)

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.

Requisite and Incompatibility

Enrolment in Programs 7609, 7629, 7631 and 7632 only. Incompatible with BIOL3191


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Students continuing in their current program of study will have their tuition fees indexed annually from the year in which you commenced your program. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee Description
1994-2003 $1650
2014 $2946
2013 $2946
2012 $2946
2011 $2946
2010 $2916
2009 $2916
2008 $2916
2007 $2520
2006 $2520
2005 $2298
2004 $1926
International fee paying students
Year Fee
1994-2003 $3390
2014 $3762
2013 $3756
2012 $3756
2011 $3756
2010 $3750
2009 $3618
2008 $3618
2007 $3618
2006 $3618
2005 $3450
2004 $3450
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
7725 21 Jul 2014 08 Aug 2014 31 Aug 2014 30 Oct 2014 In Person N/A

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions