• Total units 48 Units
  • Areas of interest Cell and Molecular Biology, Biology
  • Major code CMBI-MAJ
  • Academic career Undergraduate
Cell & Molecular Biology Major

This major covers the study of life processes at the molecular and cellular levels, including the storage, transfer and regulation of genetic information, the structure and function of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells and interactions between molecules and cells. The emphasis is on basic principles that underpin the processes unique to living organisms at the molecular and cellular levels. The concepts and techniques of molecular and cell biology form the foundation for studies of all aspects of modern biology and will be applied to different areas such as biomedical science, plant science, developmental biology and microbiology. This major provides a solid grounding for further study in any area of the molecular life sciences as well as medicine, bioengineering and biotechnology.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1.     Demonstrate and apply knowledge of how biochemistry, genetics and molecular biology are used to elucidate the functions of molecules and cells
  2.     Integrate and extend their conceptual knowledge of the structure and function of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, as whole entities and in terms of their subcellular and molecular processes
  3.     Explain how biology is an evidence-based discipline involving observation, experimentation and hypothesis testing and how it relates to other scientific disciplines.
  4.     Develop and implement experimental strategies to investigate different biological and experimental systems and analyse and present results of these investigations.
  5.     Critically assess biological information and apply it to theoretical, experimental and professional contexts.
  6.     Employ their collaborative and independent educational experiences of laboratory, project and coursework in other contexts.
  7.     Clearly communicate biological processes and principles to both science literate and non-science literate audiences.
  8.     Recognise how biology contributes to resolving ethical, social, medical and environmental issues and the expectations this places on their professional practice.


Advice to Students:

Students should complete BIOL1003, BIOL1004, CHEM1101 and CHEM1201 in first year.

BIOL2202 is a recommended course as it has been designed specifically for students to develop quantitative skills in biology. Note that some of the alternative courses listed have prerequisites, and it is your responsibility to choose courses for which you meet the requirements. 

For students taking BIOL3208 or BIOL3209 as part of this major, the research project must be in the field of cell or molecular biology.

Students should note that this major only requires 2 x 3000 level coded courses. In order to complete the overall Science degree requirements of 6 x 3000 level course from the Science course list, students will need to complete another 4 x 3000 level Science courses.

Students should seek further course advice from the academic convener of this major.


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This major requires the completion of 48 units, which must include:


24 units from completion of the following course(s):

Code Title Units
BIOL1003 Biology 1: Evolution, Ecology and Genetics 6
BIOL1004 Biology 2: Molecular and Cell Biology 6
BIOL2161 Genes: Replication and Expression 6
BIOL2162 Molecular Gene Technology 6

6 units from completion of the following course(s):

Code Title Units
BIAN3014 Research Design and Analysis in Biological Anthropology 6
BIOL2001 Introduction to Quantitative Biology 6
BIOL2202 Experimental Design and Analysis in Biology 6
ENVS1003 Introduction to Environmental and Social Research 6
PSYC2009 Quantitative Methods in Psychology 6

6 units from completion of the following course(s):

Code Title Units
BIOL2117 Cell Biology 6
BIOL2142 General Microbiology 6
BIOL2151 Genetics 6
BIOL2171 Biochemistry and Nutrition 6
BIOL2174 Cell Physiology in Health and Disease 6

6 units from completion of the following course(s):

Code Title Units
BIOL3107 Advances in Medical and Plant Biochemistry 6
BIOL3108 Hallmarks of Cancer 6
BIOL3109 Ecological and Evolutionary Developmental Biology 6
BIOL3141 Infection and Immunity 6
BIOL3142 Parasitology 6
BIOL3144 Advanced and Applied Immunology 6
BIOL3161 Genomics and its Applications 6
BIOL3177 Advances in Molecular Plant Science 6
BIOL3203 Advanced Microscopy in Biosciences 6
BIOL3204 Genetics of Human Disease 1 6
BIOL3205 Genetics of Human Disease 2 6
BIOL3208 Biology Research Project 6
BIOL3209 Biology Research Project 12
NEUR3101 Cellular Neuroscience 6

6 units from completion of the following course(s):

Code Title Units
BIOL3191 Biology, Society and Ethics 6
BIOL3201 Big Questions in Biology 6
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