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Graduate Diploma of Biotechnology


Faculty of Science and Engineering
Graduate Diploma of Biotechnology (GradDipBiotech)
Admission Requirement:
Australian level 7 bachelor's qualification or recognised equivalent in relevant field
English Language Proficiency:
Academic IELTS of 6.5 overall with minimum 6.0 in each band, or equivalent
Study Mode:
Attendance Mode:
Candidature Length:
Full-time: 1 year
North Ryde — Session 1 (25 February 2019)
North Ryde — Session 2 (29 July 2019)
Volume of Learning:
Equivalent to 1 year
General requirements:
Minimum number of credit points at 800 level or above 32
Completion of other specific minimum requirements as set out below

In order to graduate students must ensure that they have satisfied all of the general requirements of the award.

Specific minimum requirements:

Credit points

800 level

12cp from
Bioethics and Biotechnology (4)
Protein Discovery and Analysis (4)
Functional Proteomics (4)
Molecular Biology and Genomics (4)
Molecular and Medical Biotechnology (4)
Statistical Methods in Bioinformatics (4)
20cp from
Contemporary Conservation in Australia (4)
Entrepreneurship in Business (4)
Business Project Management (4)
Management of People at Work (4)
Business Internship (4)
Bioethics and Biotechnology (4)
Chemical Analysis II (4)
Protein Discovery and Analysis (4)
Functional Proteomics (4)
Molecular Biology and Genomics (4)
Biochemistry and Cell Biology (4)
Advanced Medicinal Chemistry (4)
Analytical Measurement Uncertainty and Method Validation (4)
Laboratory Quality Systems (4)
Molecular and Medical Biotechnology (4)
Major Research Project in Molecular Sciences (16)
Intercultural Communication (4)
Project and Risk Management (4)
Statistical Design (4)
Statistical Graphics (4)
Statistical Methods in Bioinformatics (4)


AQF Level Level 8 Graduate Diploma
CRICOS Code 097384K
Overview and Aims of the Program Macquarie has always been at the forefront of development in biotechnology. In the field of proteomics, a Macquarie researcher coined the term itself. The program is focussed on the molecular level aspects of biotechnology, such as development and application of new technologies in gene research.

Biotechnology is a growing industry, with a high demand for skilled graduates. Examples of areas where biotechnology is applied include pharmaceutical discovery and production, exploiting biodiversity for new bio-active compounds, exploring alternative energy and food sources and developing improved crop varieties for sustainable food production.
Graduate Capabilities

The Graduate Capabilities Framework articulates the fundamentals that underpin all of Macquarie’s academic programs. It expresses these as follows:

Cognitive capabilities
(K) discipline specific knowledge and skills
(T) critical, analytical and integrative thinking
(P) problem solving and research capability
(I) creative and innovative

Interpersonal or social capabilities
(C) effective communication
(E) engaged and ethical local and global citizens
(A) socially and environmentally active and responsible

Personal capabilities
(J) capable of professional and personal judgement and initiative
(L) commitment to continuous learning

Program Learning Outcomes By the end of this program it is anticipated that you should be able to:

1. Explain the principles and drivers of biotechnology at molecular, organismal and system level and apply the acquired knowledge to practical and theoretical problems (K).
2. Demonstrate laboratory skills that are commonly used in biotechnology and conduct laboratory work in a safe and responsible manner (K, T, P, I, C, E, A, J).
3. Collect, record and critically interpret data and incorporate qualitative and quantitative evidence into scientifically defensible arguments in the area of biotechnology (K, T, P, I, C, J, L).
4. Interpret, synthesise and critically analyse published literature of relevance to biotechnology (K, T, P).
5. Communicate research findings and topical issues of biotechnology in writing and orally (K, T, I, C, E, A, J).
6. Show how biotechnology sources from and interacts with relevant research in other discipline areas and its essential role in industrial, technological and medical advances (K, T, I, C, E, A, J).
Learning and Teaching Methods The diploma program provides students with high level theoretical knowledge and practical laboratory experience in biotechnology. The core content is centred mainly around biochemistry and molecular biology. Practical laboratory sessions constitute a major part of the learning experience. Students will learn how to conduct experiments in a real laboratory environment, and be able to employ the theoretical knowledge they have developed. Most units use a tutorial or workshop format to help reinforce concepts that have already been delivered, and allow for greater student engagement in problem-based learning.

The majority of information is delivered by face-to-face lectures. However, there is some flexibility within this because most lectures are recorded and are hence accessible online after they have been initially delivered. This is especially useful for part-time students who may be juggling work and study schedules.

Considerable effort is made to keep teaching practices interesting and engaging for students. We are fortunate that much of the science involved is a fairly rapidly developing field, so lectures and tutorials need to be reformulated each year to take into account recent developments. In addition to this, a wide variety of teaching practices are used. As examples, students in core units in this program are asked to build models of protein structures, prepare protein extracts from interesting plant samples they have collected themselves, participate in mock trials and debates based on relevant issues, and prepare short films presenting data from recent scientific papers.

Biotechnology diploma students will learn to effectively communicate concepts in biotechnology and related sciences in various forms, such as oral presentations, poster presentations, essays, practical reports, and more. The majority of these are individual tasks, while some are done in small groups. An ethics based unit is strongly recommended, since there are numerous ethical issues intertwined with developments in modern biotechnology. Lastly, in several units, students are required to become very familiar with modern scientific literature, including reading, summarising and presenting scientific papers, and preparing written work in formats suitable for scientific publications.
Assessment Assessment practices vary across the different units within the program, but all units have at least three different types of assessment. The majority of assessments are based on the submission of individual coursework in the form of essays, assignments, and practical reports. All units have formal examinations which form a significant part of the assessment of student achievement, and which is where a student’s ability to apply knowledge is assessed. Assessment types are diverse across units and may include written (scientific reports, essays, project proposals, case studies, critiques of papers from the current scientific literature) or oral (seminars, debates, discussions) or other forms of multimedia (quizzes, poster presentation, digital media presentations, blogs, wikis). Several units incorporate continuing assessment tasks as a small part of the overall assessment; these typically take the form of submission of written questions after each week’s lecture, which are then discussed at the start of the following week’s lecture. This provides excellent reinforcement for learning of difficult concepts.

Clear standards and criteria for all coursework, what is assessed and how it is assessed, are contained in each unit guide. The program incorporates both formative and summative feedback. Formative feedback is received while working on a task; summative feedback is received once a task has been completed and submitted for assessment. Both forms of feedback are extremely important and provide students with information and guidance on their development and progress. Feedback is mostly provided in written form and occasionally in discussion with peers, tutors and academic advisors. In laboratory practical environments, formative feedback is an essential part of the learning experience, and students ‘learn from doing’ exactly how to conduct experiments which produce meaningful results.
Recognition of Prior Learning

Macquarie University may recognise prior formal, informal and non-formal learning for the purpose of granting credit towards, or admission into, a program. The recognition of these forms of learning is enabled by the University’s Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Policy (see and its associated Procedures and Guidelines. The RPL pages contain information on how to apply, links to registers, and the approval processes for recognising prior learning for entry or credit.

Information can be found at:

Support for Learning

Macquarie University aspires to be an inclusive and supportive community of learners where all students are given the opportunity to meet their academic and personal goals. The University offers a comprehensive range of free and accessible student support services which include academic advice, counselling and psychological services, advocacy services and welfare advice, careers and employment, disability services and academic skills workshops amongst others. There is also a bulk billing medical service located on campus.

Further information can be found at

Campus Wellbeing contact details:
Phone: +61 2 9850 7497

Program Standards and Quality

The program is subject to an ongoing comprehensive process of quality review in accordance with a pre-determined schedule that complies with the Higher Education Standards Framework. The review is overseen by Macquarie University's peak academic governance body, the Academic Senate and takes into account feedback received from students, staff and external stakeholders.

Graduate Destinations and Employability Typical employers and employment areas for the Graduates are Biotechnology companies and pharmaceutical production companies in roles such as pharmaceutical discovery and production, pharmaceutical manufacturing, exploiting biodiversity for new bioactive compounds, exploring alternative energy sources, developing improved crop varieties for sustainable food production, medical devices and diagnostics and industrial biotechnology (K,T,P,I,C,E,A,J)
Assessment Regulations

This program is subject to Macquarie University regulations, including but not limited to those specified in the Assessment Policy, Academic Honesty Policy, the Final Examination Policy and relevant University Rules. For all approved University policies, procedures, guidelines and schedules visit

Accreditation This is an Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) accredited qualification.

Inherent requirements are the essential components of a course or program necessary for a student to successfully achieve the core learning outcomes of a course or program. Students must meet the inherent requirements to complete their Macquarie University course or program.

Inherent requirements for Macquarie University programs fall under the following categories:

Physical: The physical inherent requirement is to have the physical capabilities to safely and effectively perform the activities necessary to undertake the learning activities and achieve the learning outcomes of an award.

Cognition: The inherent requirement for cognition is possessing the intellectual, conceptual, integrative and quantitative capabilities to undertake the learning activities and achieve the learning outcomes of an award.

Communication: The inherent requirement for communication is the capacity to communicate information, thoughts and ideas through a variety of mediums and with a range of audiences.

Behavioural: The behavioural inherent requirement is the capacity to sustain appropriate behaviour over the duration of units of study to engage in activities necessary to undertake the learning activities and achieve the learning outcomes of an award.

For more information see

2019 Unit Information

When offered:
S1 Day
Permission of Executive Dean of Faculty
HSC Chinese, CHN113, CHN148