• Offered by Biology Teaching and Learning Centre
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Biology
  • Areas of interest Plant Science

The integration of molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics, next-generation sequencing, genome editing and cell biology has had an enormous impact on plant science in recent years. This course will present current understanding in several key areas and demonstrate how conceptual and technical advances provide new insights in plant biology and new approaches for crop improvement and agriculture. Two introductory lectures will be given on plant structure and function prior to the major topics, which will include plant development, nitrogen fixation, epigenetics and regulation of gene expression, next-generation tools for crop improvement, photosynthesis, structural biology in plants, plant immunity, and redox regulation and signalling. Each topic will be presented by a researcher from the Research School of Biology or CSIRO Agriculture and Food.

BIOL3177 is an advanced course that requires a basic understanding in one, or preferably more, of the areas of molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics, cell biology or plant structure and function.

Honours Pathway Option (HPO)

Entry to this option will be subject to the approval of the course conveners. Students who take this option will be required to present a seminar on a research paper. The seminar will be assessed and will replace part of the assessment for tutorial quizzes and the essay.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Understand and describe the problems being addressed and the advances achieved in molecular plant science
  2. Understand and describe several advanced molecular techniques and how they are being used to achieve advances in molecular plant science
  3. Search bibliographic databases to identify papers reporting recent advances in specific areas of molecular plant science and to distill, integrate, evaluate and discuss the important findings of these papers in writing
  4. Understand a selection of plant-science-related molecular techniques and to present and interpret data generated by these techniques in writing.
  5. For HPO students: Analyse in depth, and critically evaluate, papers reporting recent advances in molecular plant science, and present orally the findings of the papers, placing them in context and providing critical commentary, using appropriate visual aids

Indicative Assessment

  1. UG (non HPO) assessment will be based on: (null) [LO null]
  2. Tutorial quizzes (eight quizzes, each worth 2.5%) (20) [LO 1,2]
  3. Essay: Review of a research topic (30) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  4. Written Examination (end of Semester) (50) [LO 1,2]
  5. HPO assessment will be based on: (null) [LO null]
  6. Tutorial quizzes (eight quizzes, each worth 1.25%) (10) [LO 1,2]
  7. Essay: Review of a research topic (25) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  8. Journal club presentation (15) [LO 1,2,5]
  9. Written Examination (end of Semester) (50) [LO 1,2]

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.


The expected workload will consist of approximately 130 hours throughout the semester including:

  • For non HPO: Face-to face or online component which may consist of 3 x 1 hour lectures per week (total 36 hours); 8 x 1 hours of tutorial quiz sessions throughout the semester; plus essay preparation of approximately 30 hours in total.
  • For HPOs: Face-to face or online component which may consist of 3 x 1 hour lectures per week (total 36 hours); 8 x 1 hours of tutorial sessions throughout the semester; plus essay preparation of approximately 30 hours in total and seminar preparation of approximately 26 hours in total.
  • Approximately 50 hours of self directed study in total, which will include preparation for lectures, presentations and other assessment tasks.

Students are expected to actively participate and contribute towards discussions.

Inherent Requirements

To de determined

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have successfully completed BIOL2117 or BIOL2151 or BIOL2161 or BIOL2171. Incompatible with BIOL6177.

Prescribed Texts

There are no prescribed texts for this course.


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

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you 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). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found 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
2021 $4110
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2021 $5880
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
7536 25 Jul 2022 01 Aug 2022 31 Aug 2022 28 Oct 2022 In Person View

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