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.

SchoolMolecular Sciences

Credit points60

Subject Co-ordinatorIvan Poon

Available to Study Abroad/Exchange StudentsNo

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

Available as ElectiveNo

Learning ActivitiesN/A

Capstone subjectNo

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites Must be enrolled in SHBIS or SHS or SHMES or SHSWCB or SHAVB


Incompatible subjectsN/A

Equivalent subjectsBCH4HNA

Quota Management StrategyN/A

Quota-conditions or rulesN/A

Special conditionsThis subject of study represents one semester of a year-long Honours program comprising GEN4HNA and GEN4HNB. Students are eligible if they meet the following requirements: (1) Achieve an average mark of at least 70 in biochemistry, molecular genetics and/or biomedical science subjects constituting at least 50 per cent of third year (2) Achieve an average mark of at least 60 across all third year subjects (4) Pass MED3LAB, MED3PRJ and/or GEN3LAB (3) Obtain approval of a research supervisor

Minimum credit point requirementN/A

Assumed knowledgeN/A

Career Ready


Work-based learningNo

Self sourced or Uni sourcedN/A

Entire subject or partial subjectN/A

Total hours/days requiredN/A

Location of WBL activity (region)N/A

WBL addtional requirementsN/A

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

Graduate Capabilities

Intended Learning Outcomes

01. Analyse and integrate research findings from numerous sources to synthesise professionally-written, comprehensive summaries of scientific information and concepts.
02. Apply advanced technical skills and safe laboratory practices to undertake a novel research project.
03. Design and perform experiments using multiple advanced techniques to investigate complex scientific questions.
04. Use advanced oral and written scientific communication skills to transmit knowledge and ideas to audiences including individuals with and without detailed specialist expertise.
05. Interpret experimental data in the context of results and prior literature.

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

Melbourne (Bundoora), 2021, Week 06-24, Day


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorIvan Poon

Class requirements

Independent Research Week: 6 - 24
Five 7.00 h independent research per week on weekdays during the day from week 6 to week 24 and delivered via face-to-face.
"Students would be expected to spend 35 hours a week in the lab"

Seminar Week: 13 - 13
Two 5.00 h seminar per study period on weekdays during the day from week 13 to week 13 and delivered via face-to-face.
"Each student gives 1x15min seminar + 5 min questions. (introductory seminar week 13). These are also attended by postgraduate students and staff in the department (who mark the talks) so the venue must accommodate >100 people (ideally LIMS1-101). Need 5h per day on consecutive days."

Seminar Week: 6 - 6
Four 4.00 h seminar per study period on weekdays during the day from week 6 to week 6 and delivered via face-to-face.
"LIMS induction course covers 4 half days (week 6). Students from BCH4HNA, CHE4HNA, PHY4THA and Masters courses (SGBB, SMBB & SMBM) also attend, so venue must accommodate at least 70 people."

Seminar Week: 6 - 24
Two 1.00 h seminar per week on weekdays during the day from week 6 to week 24 and delivered via face-to-face.
"These are also attended by postgraduate students and staff in the department so the venue must accommodate >100 people."


Assessment elementCommentsCategoryContributionHurdle% ILO*
Literature Review and literature seminar (4,500-words equivalent) Students will write a literature review describing the existing literature in their field of research. Equivalent to 3500 words. Students will present a 15 minute seminar summarising the literature and project aims and answer 5 minutes of questions. (Equivalent 1000 words). In the Honours program assessments are continued over two semesters..N/AN/AN/ANo8 SILO1, SILO2, SILO3
1.5h internally-administered exam (1,500-words equivalent)) Students will undertake classes in advanced techniques in biotechnology. Students will sit an internally invigilated 1.5 hr exam (equivalent to 1,500 words). In the Honours program assessments are continued over two semesters.N/AN/AN/ANo10 SILO1, SILO3, SILO4
Weekly Departmental seminar quiz (1,000-words equivalent) Students will attend a simple quiz following selected Departmental seminars In the Honours program assessments are continued over two semesters.N/AN/AN/ANo1 SILO1, SILO4
Poster presentation (3,000-words equivalent) The poster presentation involves the creation of a A0- sized poster describing the aims, background and outcomes of their research for a general audience (equivalent to 2500 words), and a verbal presentation of the posters contents to assessors (equivalent to 500 words). Prior to the assignment there will be a 1 hour workshop covering tips and tricks for good posters. In the Honours program assessments areN/AN/AN/ANo8 SILO1, SILO4, SILO5
Laboratory performance (supervisor's mark) (5,000-words equivalent) 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.N/AN/AN/ANo10 SILO1, SILO2, SILO3, SILO5
Thesis (15,000-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.N/AN/AN/ANo40 SILO1, SILO3, SILO4, SILO5
Final seminar (2,000-words equivalent) Students will present a 15 minute seminar describing the outcomes of their research year. There will be 5 minutes of question time. Assessment encompasses both the students presentation skills and also the research undertaken by the student throughout the Honours year. Therefore this final seminar warrants a word-equivalent conversion twice times that of a regular seminar (ie a 20min oral exam is equivalentN/AN/AN/ANo8 SILO1, SILO4, SILO5
Oral examination (3,000-words equivalent) 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 present.N/AN/AN/ANo15 SILO1, SILO3, SILO4, SILO5