The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2020

Course handbook


Techniques that are frequently used in biotechnology research are the basis for this course. The way in which these techniques are integrated in the development of research strategies to solve biotechnology problems then constitute the problem-solving component of the course. Groups are assigned one of a series of biotechnology problems to use as the basis for formulating a position paper and research strategy. The examples that are used to illustrate this course come from the area of reproductive science. The course culminates in an oral presentation describing the background behind a particular biotechnology problem and the research strategy that would be followed in pursuit of a solution.

Availability2020 Course Timetables


  • Semester 2 - 2020

Learning outcomes

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

1. Explain the current molecular and cellular techniques that are used in biotechnology research;

2. Apply scientific thinking to collaboratively problem solve a current research question;

3. Apply theory and design experimental approaches using current technologies to achieve defined biotechnology objectives;

4. Develop a range of communication skills (report writing and audio-visual presentation) appropriate for the biotechnology profession;

5. Interpret the ethical consequences of modern reproductive technologies.


This course familiarises the student with the most recent advances in cellular biotechnology covering such key areas as:

  • Gene technology including techniques for identifying new genes, studying their regulation and assessing their function;
  • Molecular immunology including the generation of monoclonal antibodies in vivo, and the use of phage display technology in vitro;
  • Vaccine engineering including principles of adjuvant design, epitope mapping;
  • Developmental biotechnology including recent advances in assisted conception, cloning and stem cell biology;

These various elements are then integrated as students design research strategies to solve defined biotechnology problems.


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

Assumed knowledge

Completion of 120 units of B Biotechnology.

Assessment items

Report: Written Group Report

Presentation: Presentation

Participation: Workshop Participation & Contribution

Participation: Peer Assessment

Contact hours



Face to Face On Campus 18 hour(s) per Term Full Term

The course is concentrated in a 5 week period to allow students to continue with Biotechnology Placement. Assessment is carried out in Week 5.


Face to Face On Campus 6 hour(s) per Week for 1 Weeks


Face to Face On Campus 1 hour(s) per Week for 4 Weeks


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for 1 Weeks