Credit points: 60

Subject outline

The full Honours program lasts approximately nine months and starts early February. This course is available to students who have fulfilled the requirements of a Bachelor of Science degree and Biomedical Science degree, provided that their previous academic record is of sufficient standard. The Honours program consists of an individual research project under supervision, a research essay on the area of the research project, two seminars on the topic of the research project and its findings, attending biotechnology lectures aimed at  exposing students to cutting-edge biotechnology techniques, production and presentation of a research poster, a thesis written at the completion of the research project and an oral examination. Potential students should contact the Honours co-ordinator the Department of Biochemistry and Genetics for a full and comprehensive list of available research projects and interview with potential supervisors to discuss placement and research projects.

SchoolSchool of Molecular Sciences/LIMS

Credit points60

Subject Co-ordinatorDavid Dougan

Available to Study Abroad StudentsNo

Subject year levelYear Level 4 - UG/Hons/1st Yr PG

Exchange StudentsNo

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites Must be enrolled in SHBIS or SHS or SHMC or SHMES or SHAVB.


Incompatible subjects BCH40HON, BCH42HON

Equivalent subjects BCH42HON

Special conditions This unit of study represents the second semester of a year-long program. Students must complete BCH4HNA and BCH4HNB in the one academic year. Enrolment requires approval of a research supervisor in addition to the marks requirement.

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

01. Extend students general knowledge of biochemistry and genetics

Review, synthesise and evaluate current literature. Instructions on how to write a literature review will be given in the honours handbook. Students will receive feedback on a draft submitted to their supervisor. Students will attend all Departmental seminars (invited speakers and postgraduate seminars) .

02. Provide experience of laboratory practice

Safety and good laboratory practice briefings will be conducted at the beginning of the Honours year Students will receive regular instruction from their supervisors and senior laboratory colleagues

03. Conduct an original experiment based research project

Plan and carry out experimental procedures Students will keep a laboratory book with detailed records of their work Analyze and evaluate results interpret the obtained outcomes

04. Demonstrate scientific communication skills

Prepare and present a research poster at a Departmental symposium A workshop on how to research poster will be given to the students Prepare a research thesis. Instructions on how to write a thesis will be given in the honours handbook. Supervisors will provide feedback on a draft copy and examiners will provide feedback on the final copy. Students will receive feedback from their supervisor and receive comments from their examiners. Conduct a final oral presentation. Instructions on how to give a seminar presentation will be given in the honours handbook. Students will also receive feedback on a practice seminar to their supervisor as well as colleagues in their group. Articulate a high level of understanding of both their research field and research project

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

Melbourne, 2018, Week 28-46, Day


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Enrolment information

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorDavid Dougan

Class requirements

Seminar Week: 31 - 43
One 1.0 hours seminar per week on weekdays during the day from week 31 to week 43 and delivered via face-to-face.
"About 12 Departmental Seminars in total per semester"

Seminar Week: 44 - 44
Two 4.0 hours seminar per study period on weekdays during the day from week 44 to week 44 and delivered via face-to-face.
"Each student gives 1x15min seminar + 5 min questions (final seminar week 44) "

Independent Research Week: 28 - 43
Five 7.0 hours independent research per week on weekdays during the day from week 28 to week 43 and delivered via face-to-face.
"Students are expected to spend 35 h per week in the laboratory working on their research project"


Assessment elementComments% ILO*
Literature Review and literature seminar (equivalent to 4500 words)Students will write a literature review describing the existing literature in their field of research. Equivalent to 3000 words. Students will present a 15 minute seminar summarising the literature and project aims. There will be 5 minutes of question time.8 01, 02, 04
BIO5TEC including Question Sheets (equivalent to 1500 words)Students will complete BIO5TEC subject. it is at the student's discretion to complete question sheets for each lecture. Students will sit the 1.5 h exam This exam is coordinated by the BIO5TEC subject coordinator. In the Honours program assessments are continued over two semesters. 10 01, 03, 04
Weekly Departmental seminar quiz (equivalent to 1000 words)Students will attend a simple quiz following selected Departmental seminars In the Honours program assessments are continued over two semesters. 1 01, 04
Poster presentation (equivalent to 1500 words) The poster presentation involves the creation of a A0- sized poster describing the key outcomes of their research for a general audience. Prior to the assignment there will be a 1 hour workshop covering tips and tricks for good posters. In the Honours program assessments are continued over two semesters 8 01, 04
Laboratory performance (supervisor's mark) (equivalent to 5000 words)A supervisor mark is given at the end of the research work and is based on the students performance in the lab and work ethics. In the Honours program assessments are continued over two semesters. 10 01, 02, 03
Thesis (equivalent to 15000 words)Prepare a research thesis The final written report covers introduction, methods, results, discussion, and figure/ table legends but does not include abstract, table of contents, abbreviations, references or acknowledgements. In the Honours program assessments are continued over two semesters. 40 01, 03, 04
Final seminar (equivalent to 1500 words)Students will present a 15 minute seminar describing the outcomes of their research year. There will be 5 minutes of question time.8 01, 04
Oral examination (equivalent to 2500 words)The oral exam takes place after the final seminar and reports have been assessed. The exam (up to 20 minutes) will consist of questions directed by the examination committee about the research project. One or more questions on other basic concepts pertinent to the project may be asked. The exam will be conducted in the presence of the examination panel and a moderating committee. The supervisor will be pres15 01, 03, 04