RMIT University logo

Undergraduate | RMI-SCB220-2023

Genetics and Molecular Biology

Zero in on the building blocks that make up organisms across the planet. Question how genes are structured and mapped. Consider concepts like inheritance and DNA repair. Look to the ethical quandaries that the study of molecular biology can raise.

Study method

Online & on-campus


100% online

Entry requirements

Part of a degree


13 weeks

Start dates

  • 29 May 2023

Price from


Upfront cost


HECS-HELP and FEE-HELP available

About this subject

What you'll learn

Students will gain knowledge capabilities through demonstrated knowledge of the key concepts of inheritance, molecular biology technologies though the application of knowledge of gene structure and function, gene regulation, microbial genetics, mutation and DNA repair, genomics, population genetics, quantitative genetics and the genetics underpinning development processes. They will specifically develop technical capabilities through the participation in a number of practical laboratory based exercises. These exercises will develop competencies in fundamental molecular biology, manipulations, including the extraction, purification, digestion, analysis and cloning of DNA fragments in prokaryotic systems. Their capabilities will be developed through their involvement in both individual problem solving exercises and in group problem based activities designed to use knowledge capabilities and technical awareness to tackle new problems in genetic and molecular systems that require in depth critical analysis and problem solving. Skills in communication will be developed during practical and laboratory based work and in the group problem based activities. Through a deeper understanding of genetics, molecular biology, aspects of the ethical perspectives in genetics and biotechnology, the student will develop an increased awareness of the environmental, social, ethical, legal and economic implications of genetics, decisions involving principles of inheritance and biotechnology.

Overview of Learning Activities

The learning activities included in this subject are:

  1. lectures where syllabus material will be presented and explained, and the subject will be illustrated with demonstrations and examples
  2. completion of tutorial questions and laboratory projects designed to give further practise in the application of theory and procedures, and to give feedback on student progress and understanding
  3. completion of written assignments consisting of numerical and other problems requiring an integrated understanding of the subject matter
  4. private study, working through the subject as presented learning materials, and gaining practise at solving conceptual and numerical problems.
    • Assignments and Bacterial genetics
    • Mutation, DNA repair and transposons
    • Advanced eukaryote gene mapping - haploid genetics
    • Changes in chromosome number and structure
    • Regulation of gene expression in bacteria
    • Eukaryote gene regulation
    • Techniques in molecular biology & biotechnology
    • Application of recombinant DNA technology
    • Genomics
    • Quantitative and population genetics
  • This course focuses on developing your understanding of several selected molecular aspects of topics relevant to modern genetics. This course employs a problem-based approach applied to real life examples.

    The course aims to build on your basic knowledge in biology and cell biology and will help you develop the skills that professional scientists require during their career - advanced level critical thinking, communication and problem solving in classical and molecular genetics and developmental processes.

    Learning materials will cover theory in molecular biology and recombine DNA technology, genomics, prokaryotic genetics and gene regulation, classical genetics and recombination mapping in higher eukaryotes, eukaryotic gene regulation and developmental genetics, mutations, chromosome abnormalities and an introduction to population and quantitative genetics. This should provide you with detailed understanding and the necessary skills to analyse complex genetic systems encountered in the professional practice of biology or biotechnology, either in industry or in a research environment.

    • Worksheet Assignments (40%)
    • Quizzes (20%)
    • Practical Reports (20%)
    • Practical Assignment (20%)
  • For textbook details check your university's handbook, website or learning management system (LMS).

  • One of Australia's largest dual-sector institutes, offering both TAFE and higher education, RMIT University proudly delivers work-related education and practical research relevant to current business and community needs. More than 96,000 students study with RMIT, and many of their degrees are available through Open Universities Australia.

    Learn more about RMIT.

    Explore RMIT courses.

    QS Ranking 2023: 11

    Times Higher Education Ranking 2023: 22

Entry requirements

To enrol in this subject, you must be admitted into a degree.

Prior study

You are recommended to have completed the following subject(s) or have equivalent knowledge before starting this subject:


Or equivalents before starting this subject.

Additional requirements

  • Attendance requirements - Practical dates For SP2: June 29 and 30 (2 full days 9 am - 5 pm)