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Major: Chemical and Biomolecular Sciences

Chemical and Biomolecular Sciences


Department of Molecular Sciences
Faculty of Science and Engineering

This major must be completed as part of an award. The general requirements for the award must be satisfied in order to graduate.

Requirements for the Major:

Completion of a minimum of 24 credit points including the following prescribed units:

Credit points

100 level

Foundations of Chemical and Biomolecular Sciences 1 (3)
Foundations of Chemical and Biomolecular Sciences 2 (3)

200 level

Analysis and Measurement (3)
3cp from
Synthesis (3)
Biochemistry and Cell Biology (3)
Microbiology and Molecular Biology (3)

300 level

Chemical and Biomolecular Sciences Capstone (3)
9cp from
Advanced Synthesis (3)
Medicinal Chemistry (3)
Physical Chemistry (3)
Advanced Analysis (3)
Macromolecules (3)
Applied and Medical Microbiology (3)
Molecular Biology and Genomics (3)
Advanced Biochemistry and Cell Biology (3)


Units marked with a C are Capstone units.
Overview and Aims of the Program Chemical and Biomolecular Sciences encompasses the study of analysing, transforming and manipulating substances and the molecular interpretation of the world around us. The Chemical and Biomolecular Sciences major is based on understanding molecules and how they are formed and interact and how molecules influence the structure and function of biological systems. The major emphasises chemistry at the interface of biology, enabling students to gain theoretical knowledge and practical experience in a range of subject areas. These include analytical chemistry, physical chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology, molecular biology and genomics. The major is ideal for students with broad interests in the chemical, biochemical and medical sciences.
A major in Chemical and Biomolecular Sciences offers a path into many chemistry and bio-industries including those engaged in chemical analysis, medical research, pharmaceuticals, diagnostics and biotechnology and provides an excellent foundation for postgraduate studies.
Program entry assumes no prior secondary level education in Chemistry.
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:
• exhibit broad knowledge of the principles and concepts of the chemical and biomolecular sciences (K, P)
• be able to apply your knowledge of chemistry and biomolecular sciences to theoretical and practical problems and tasks (K, P)
• investigate and solve qualitative and quantitative problems in the chemical and biomolecular sciences, both individually and in teams (K, T, P, I, C, E, A, J)
• formulate hypotheses, proposals and predictions (K, T, P, I, C, E, A, J)
• design and undertake experiments in a safe and responsible manner (K, T, P, I, C, E, A, J)
• apply recognised methods and appropriate practical techniques and tools, and be able to adapt these techniques when necessary (K, T, P, I, J, L)
• demonstrate the ability to engage in structured research by recording and analysing experimental data (A, P)
• collect, record and critically interpret data and incorporate qualitative and quantitative evidence into scientifically defensible arguments (K, T, P, I, C, J, L)
• present information with articulate arguments and conclusions, in a variety of modes, to diverse audiences, and for a range of purposes (T, P, I, C, E, A, J, L)
• express your understanding of the importance of the chemical and biomolecular sciences in the local and global community including its essential role in industrial, technological and medical advances. This includes through creative endeavours involved in acquiring and applying knowledge. (K, T, I, C, E, A, J)
• effectively communicate key chemical and biomolecular science concepts and scientific results in both written and oral form to a variety of audiences. Be able to effectively present data, and clearly and concisely answer questions (K, T, I, C, E, A, J)
Learning and Teaching Methods In this program you will be given the opportunity to gain theoretical knowledge and practical experience in the Chemical and Biomolecular Sciences through a variety of independent and collaborative activities. For the majority of units within this program, lectures will be used to introduce the concepts of Chemical and Biomolecular sciences. Laboratory sessions are used to both complement the lecture material and provide practice in common techniques used in research. Tutorials (and dry lab workshops) are additionally designed to reinforce the concepts presented in lectures and practiced in the laboratory but in a smaller peer learning environment. Formal peer assisted learning (PAL) is also offered in some units.
The first year of the program builds your foundation of knowledge in the chemical sciences and how it relates to biomolecular systems. In the second year, you will further develop your Chemical and Biomolecular Sciences knowledge through the core disciplines of analysis and measurement with options in the biochemistry, molecular biology and microbiology and synthesis fields where you will receive broad practical skills training in these areas.
Towards the conclusion of your program, you will explore your chosen disciplinary areas within Chemical and Biomolecular Sciences by choosing from three specialisations (minimum) within the program. A central and dominant theme throughout your program is the inclusion of research experience in the majority of units.
Your program will culminate in the Chemical and Biomolecular Sciences capstone unit where you will integrate your knowledge to define a problem, formulate a hypothesis, and design and plan your own scientific investigation. In addition to developing skills to evaluate and critique the present scientific literature, the laboratory research experience forms an essential element of your scientific training throughout this program. Many of your laboratory sessions are also designed to provide you with hands on experience with a wide range of contemporary research equipment encountered in today’s modern Chemical and Biomolecular science research facilities.
In this program, you will learn to effectively communicate Chemical and Biomolecular science concepts and scientific results in various forms (written, oral, poster presentation) to a wide range of people, including your peers and the wider scientific community. Most activities will require you to present on your own or as a group and you will receive feedback on it.
Assessment Assessment is made on the submission of individual and group coursework. In some units, a small component of the assessment is made from observations of student participation in laboratory or tutorial environments. Assessment types are diverse across units and may include written assessments (such as scientific reports, essays, project proposals, case studies, critique of the scientific literature) or oral assessments (such as seminars, debates, discussions) or multimedia presentations (such as scientific poster presentations, digital media presentations, blogs, wikis).
Most units have a final examination which forms a significant part of the assessment of student
achievement, and which is where a student’s ability to apply knowledge is assessed. All units have at least three different types of assessment.

Clear standards and criteria for coursework, what is assessed and how it is assessed, are contained in each unit guide. The program incorporates formative and summative feedback. Formative feedback is that which is received whilst you are working on a task. Summative feedback is that received once you have completed a task. Both forms of feedback are extremely important and provide you with information and guidance on your development and progress. Feedback is mostly provided in written form and occasionally in discussion with peers, tutors and academic advisors.
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 A major in Chemical and Biomolecular Sciences offers a path into a wide range of job options in many industries including those engaged in manufacturing, mining, pharmaceuticals, analytical services, medical research, diagnostics and biotechnology. It allows you to pursue a career in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry, research and educational institutions including Universities, and government agencies and laboratories. It provides an excellent foundation for postgraduate studies including medicine.
A major in Chemical and Biomolecular Sciences can also be combined with a range of related disciplines including biological sciences, medical sciences, geosciences, physics, business and law. These combinations also allow you to pursue a range of careers in business, industry, research and academia, both in Australia and internationally. Career options include biomedical sciences, advanced product manufacturing, biotechnology, drug discovery, patent law, analytical sciences, pharmaceuticals, research, sales and marketing and teaching.
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

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