Available in 2022
Course code



10 units


2000 level

Course handbook


Living systems are made up of molecules and this course introduces the diversity of important biological molecules and shows how their structures relate to their function. The smaller biomolecules such as amino acids, nucleotides and sugars have important biological functions of their own, and are also utilised as building blocks for biopolymers such as proteins, nucleic acids and polysaccharides. The metabolic processes that occur in cells to synthesise and degrade these biomolecules and to provide energy for the cell will be presented with a view to showing how biochemical reactions and pathways are connected and controlled.



  • Semester 1 - 2022

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Apply scientific philosophy of research in biochemistry;

2. Outline the diversity of biomolecules, and distinguish their metabolic and structural roles in cellular function;

3. Identify the sources of energy for cells, and explain how cells utilise this chemical energy for growth and maintenance;

4. Describe how chemical reactions are mediated, integrated and regulated in the cell.


Biomolecules: the building blocks

  • Sugars and polysaccharides
  • Fatty acids and complex lipids
  • Amino acids and proteins
  • Nucleotides and DNA/RNA

Biological Catalysts

  • Thermodynamics
  • Enzymes and kinetics
  • Vitamins and coenzymes

Energy metabolism: pathways for ATP production

  • Glycolysis
  • The pentose phosphate pathway
  • The Krebs Citric Acid Cycle or TCA Cycle
  • Electron transport and oxidative phosphorylation  

Cellular metabolism: using biopolymers

  • Utilisation of polysaccharides
  • Glycogenesis and biosynthesis of disaccharides and polysaccharides
  • Lipid metabolism


This course has similarities to BIOL2011. If you have successfully completed BIOL2011 you cannot enrol in this course.

Assumed knowledge

CHEM1010, CHEM1020, BIOL1001 and BIOL1002 or equivalent

Assessment items

Formal Examination: Exam

Quiz: Quizzes - On-line

Report: Tutorial contribution assignments

Contact hours



Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.