• Offered by Biology Teaching and Learning Centre
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Biology
  • Areas of interest Genetics, Biology
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Prof Susan Howitt
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in First Semester 2020
    See Future Offerings

This course covers the principles of molecular genetics, introducing the molecular mechanisms involved in the storage and expression of genetic information in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Topics to be covered include: genome structure and evolution, DNA structure and packaging; DNA replication and repair; transcription; regulation of gene expression; RNA processing; protein synthesis and the genetic code. These processes will be illustrated with case studies, focussing especially on the human genome and genetic disease.

The course includes a lab project that reinforces lecture material and introduces students to key strategies and techniques of molecular genetics.

Honours pathway option (HPO)

The honours pathway option is open to all students and involves participation in PeerWise, a web-based activity where students create, answer, rate and discuss multiple choice questions based on the course content.  To qualify for the HPO, a minimum number of questions and comments must be posted.

Learning Outcomes

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

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

  1. Explain the basic processes involved in the expression of genetic information (DNA replication; mutagenesis and DNA repair; mRNA transcription and processing; gene regulation; protein synthesis; genome structure and evolution)
  2. Apply knowledge of the roles and functions of these processes to a range of problems and examples
  3. Predict outcomes when these processes are perturbed by mutation (genetic disease) or the use of inhibitors and drugs
  4. Elucidate differences in gene organization between prokaryotes and eukaryotes
  5. Interpret and analyse experimental and theoretical problems involving these processes
  6. Communicate experimental results and conclusions in a scientific manner.

Indicative Assessment

Assessment will be based on:

    • Laboratory reports to apply knowledge to experimental/theoretical problem (35%; LO 2, 3,  5,6)
    • Tutorial tests to demonstrate mastery and understanding of content  (20%; LO 1, 2, 3, 4)
    • Final exam to demonstrate understanding, interpretation and problem solving (45%; LO 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,6)

    In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle. 

    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.


    Three lectures per week; six laboratory sessions of up to four hours each.

    Requisite and Incompatibility

    To enrol in this course you must have successfully completed (BIOL1003 and BIOL1004 and CHEM1101) or obtain at least a credit in (CHEM1101 and (either BIOL1003 or BIOL1004)). You are not able to enrol in this course if you have completed BIOL6161.

    Prescribed Texts

    Genetics: a conceptual approach. (2017) Pierce, B. 6th edition



    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. Tuition fees are indexed annually. 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.

    Units EFTSL
    6.00 0.12500
    Domestic fee paying students
    Year Fee
    2020 $4050
    International fee paying students
    Year Fee
    2020 $5760
    Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

    Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

    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.

    First Semester

    Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
    3663 24 Feb 2020 02 Mar 2020 08 May 2020 05 Jun 2020 In Person View

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