The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2019

Course handbook


Worldwide, the Biotechnology sector is the fastest growing of the scientific sectors. BTEC1000 introduces students to the Biotechnology sector, the range of industries and professions that make up this broad and diverse sector, as well as to present an overview of the key scientific, technological, social, environmental and economic drivers of the Biotechnology sector. There is also a strong focus on the emerging Biotechnologies that are transforming the Biotechnology sector, and society more broadly, through addressing key health, agricultural and environmental challenges. Knowledge of the structure and organisation of the Biotechnology sector will be developed through an emphasis on the role of innovation, technological and scientific advances, intellectual property protection, and the business models that exploit the commercial potential of Biotechnology and take new discoveries to the market place. Students will acquire basic knowledge of how patents work, clinical trials operate in drug discovery and development, and how individual companies operate in the Biotechnology space. Basic skills will be acquired in discovering, analysing and presenting information about the innovation, Research and Development, emerging technologies, intellectual property, businesses and commercialisation in the Biotechnology Sector. The course will set the scene for the development of these themes in more detail in later years of the Bachelor of Biotechnology Program.

Availability2019 Course Timetables


  • Semester 1 - 2019

Replacing course(s)

This course replaces the following course(s): BTEC3220. Students who have successfully completed BTEC3220 are not eligible to enrol in BTEC1000.

Learning outcomes

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

1. Demonstrate knowledge of the organisation and complexity of the Biotechnology Sector, including the role this sector plays in addressing problems and exploiting commercial opportunities in human health, agriculture and the environment.

2. Demonstrate a basic familiarisation with major areas of Biotechnology, including pharmaceuticals and disease therapies, plant, animal, reproductive, fermentation and environmental technologies, and the continually evolving area of innovation in the Biotechnology sector.

3. Demonstrate knowledge on the significance of Intellectual Property and the patents system to the Biotechnology sector, and display a practical working knowledge of accessing, searching and interpreting patent databases.

4. Display basic knowledge of the critical steps involved in the commercialisation of Biotechnology, including; innovation, Research and Development, intellectual property protection, product testing, licencing and regulatory approval, raising and allocating capital.

5. Demonstrate basic skills in acquiring and presenting information on the business model and technology of individual companies in the biotechnology sector, including summarising and presenting this information through written reports.


  1. What is Biotechnology? The structure and organisation of the Biotechnology Sector.
  2. Overview of the existing Biotechnology sector, namely; health, agriculture and the environment.
  3. Emerging Biotechnologies such as stem cells, synthetic biology, next generation genomics and personalised medicine; next generation pharmaceuticals and immunotherapies; big data and bioinformatics.
  4. Intellectual Property: the most valuable assist of the Biotechnology sector; IP protection and its relation to profitability through the patent system; practical tools for researching IP.
  5. Business models of Biotechnology companies.
  6. Steps involved in the commercialisation of Biotechnologies.
  7. Funding early through to late stage Biotechnology commercialisation; venture capital, start-ups, licencing agreements, debt and equity.
  8. Product testing and regulatory approval, including; Clinical Trials.
  9. Good Manufacturing Practice, Quality Assurance and Quality Control; product liability; sales and marketing.
  10. Researching and report writing for Biotechnology


This course is only available to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Biotechnology program.

Assessment items

Presentation: Seminars

In Term Test: Online Quizzes

Formal Examination: Examination

Report: Reports

Contact hours


Computer Lab

Face to Face On Campus 1 hour(s) per Week for 12 Weeks


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for 12 Weeks