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Master of Biotechnology


Faculty of Science and Engineering
Master of Biotechnology (MBiotech)
Admission Requirement:
• Australian level 7 bachelor's qualification or recognised equivalent with at least two units of chemistry or equivalent
• GPA of 4.5 (out of 7.0)
English Language Proficiency:
IELTS of 6.5 overall with minimum 6.0 in each band, or equivalent
Study Mode:
Full-time, Part-time
Attendance Mode:
Candidature Length:
Full-time: 1 year - 2 years depending on RPL granted
North Ryde — Session 1 (February)
North Ryde — Session 2 (July)
Volume of Learning:
Equivalent to 2 years
General requirements:
Minimum number of credit points 64
Minimum number of credit points at 600 level 16
Minimum number of credit points at 800 level or above 48
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

600 level

4cp from
Biochemistry and Cell Biology (4)
Microbiology and Molecular Biology (4)
Biochemistry (4)
Molecular Biology (4)
12cp from
Genetics (4)
Comparative Physiology (4)
Organic Synthesis (4)
Medicinal Chemistry (4)
Chemical Analysis I (4)
Microbiology (4)
Foundations of Chemical and Biomolecular Sciences 1 (4)
Foundations of Chemical and Biomolecular Sciences 2 (4)
Analysis and Measurement (4)
Biochemistry and Cell Biology (4)
Microbiology and Molecular Biology (4)
Biochemistry (4)
Molecular Biology (4)
Synthesis (4)
Introductory Statistics (4)

800 level

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)
24cp from
Contemporary Conservation in Australia (4)
Entrepreneurship in Business (4)
Business Project Management (4)
Management of People at Work (4)
Business Internship (4)
Chemical Analysis II (4)
Biochemistry and Cell Biology (4)
Advanced Medicinal Chemistry (4)
Analytical Measurement Uncertainty and Method Validation (4)
Laboratory Quality Systems (4)
Major Research Project in Molecular Sciences (16)
Intercultural Communication (4)
Project and Risk Management (4)
Statistical Design (4)
Statistical Graphics (4)


Program Learning Outcomes and Additional Information
AQF Level Level 9 Masters by Coursework Degree
CRICOS Code 084698K
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 you should be able to:

1. demonstrate that you have acquired a body of knowledge that includes a:
1.1 understanding of fundamental methodologies and research principles applicable to the field of learning (K)
1.2 detailed awareness of recent developments in the discipline (K)
1.3 breadth of knowledge across related areas of learning, including, for example, business, communications, ethics and statistics (K, T)

2. show that you have developed:
2.1 skills that demonstrate mastery of theoretical knowledge and critical reflection on practice in the discipline (K, T)
2.2 cognitive, technical and creative skills to investigate, analyse and synthesize complex information, problems, theories and concepts (T, P)
2.3 cognitive, technical and creative skills to generate and evaluate complex ideas and concepts at an abstract level (T, P)

3. demonstrate the application of knowledge and skills by:
3.1 bringing creativity and initiative to problem solving in new situations (T, P)
3.2 displaying high level autonomy and accountability (E, J)
3.3 collecting, accurately recording, interpreting and drawing conclusions from scientific data (K, T, P)
3.4 planning and executing a substantial research based project (K, T, P, C)
3.5 showing understanding of safety issues and regulatory frameworks, and personally practising ethical conduct (C, E, J)

4. demonstrate well developed communication skills that include:
4.1 technical and communication skills to articulate ideas, elaborate on theory, and show mastery of content (K, C)
4.2 communication and technical skills to justify and interpret theoretical positions, methodologies and conclusions (K, C, T)
4.3 ability to understand, interpret and criticially reflect upon scientific literature (K, T, C, E, J)
4.4 understanding of how scientific results and data are translated into biological knowledge suitable for publication in scientific literature (K, C, E, J).
Learning and Teaching Methods The Master of Biotechnology degree 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.

Master of biotechnology degree 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. Students are required to complete an ethics based unit, 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. 

Domestic Students
For undergraduate RPL information visit
For domestic postgraduate RPL information visit

International Students
For RPL information visit

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 Graduates of our program continue on to a diverse range of positions at institutions ranging from small biotechnology companies to large pharmaceutical concerns and universities. Recent graduates have gone on to PhD programs in Australia, the US and Europe, staff positions at local biotechnology companies and pharmaceutical production companies in India, and research positions in universities in the Asia-Pacific region.
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.

2017 Unit Information

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