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Monash University Handbook 2011 Undergraduate - Area of Study

All areas of study information should be read in conjunction with the relevant course entry in the Handbook. The units listed for this area of study relate only to the 'Requirements' outlined in the Faculty of Science component of any bachelors double degrees.

Managing facultyFaculty of Science
Offered bySchool of Science
Course coordinatorEmily Goh


Biotechnology is an exciting area in modern science that has great potential in the industrial, medical and agricultural sectors. Biotechnology includes practical applications of knowledge involving many biological processes and its strength at Monash is that it draws on advances in molecular biology, genetics, biochemistry, microbiology, chemical science/engineering, cell biology, immunology, pharmacology and other disciplines. A major in biotechnology reflecting all facets of this area includes units from various disciplines across faculties, departments and schools.


On completion of the major sequence in biotechnology students will:

  • have developed an understanding and appreciation of the molecular and chemical processes that underlie the wide variety of functions in all forms of life, including micro-organisms, plants and animals
  • be familiar with advanced principles of experimental design that are needed to study processes at the molecular level
  • have developed useful practical skills in experimental methods used in biotechnology, which may include recombinant DNA technologies, bioprocessing and product isolation and purification, analysis of transgenic organisms; culture and breeding of micro-organisms, animals and plants; histochemical and cytological techniques and the use of bioinformatics databases and software in biotechnology and genome projects
  • have experience in generating experimental data, data analysis, data interpretation and data presentation (both written and oral/visual)
  • have developed a comprehensive knowledge and appreciation of the application of biotechnology research in areas of medical, agricultural or bioproducts research and an understanding of project and workplace management
  • have developed, in the context of the discipline, the graduate attributes of effective communication, quantitative literacy, information and communication literacy, inquiry and critical thinking, and ethical, social and international understanding
  • be competent for further teaching, employment at technical level, or advanced study involving theory and research in biotechnology, locally or internationally.


Level one

  • BTH1802 Fundamentals of biotechnology

Level two

Level three

  • BTH3711 Food and industrial microbiology
  • BTH3752 Molecular biology and biotechnology
  • BTH3990 Biotechnology in action research project

Sequence requirements

Major sequence in biotechnology (48 points)

Double major sequence in biotechnology (72 points)

Honours requirements

  • 24 points of relevant level-three units, of which normally 18 points are from level three units listed above

Additional information

In addition to the requirements for the sequences listed above, students completing a major or double major sequence in biotechnology may need to complete additional prerequisite units at levels one and two. Students should check the individual unit entries for the level two and three units in the Handbook when planning their selection of units.


Full details regarding entrance requirements and the course structure for honours are outlined in course 0051 Honours degree of Bachelor of Science.


Level three

It is highly recommended that students undertake one of BCH3990, CHM3990, GEN3990, MIC3990 or BTH3990 to provide practical experience working in a research environment.

Relevant Courses

Single degrees

  • 2006 Bachelor of Science (Biotechnology)

Double degrees

  • 3507 Bachelor of Science (Biotechnology) and Bachelor of Science (Environmental Management)
  • 3523 Bachelor of Science (Biotechnology) and Bachelor of Science (Medical Bioscience)

Honours degrees

  • 0051 Honours degree of Bachelor of Science