Courses - Faculty of Science

Biological Sciences

Foundation Courses

15 Points

Foundation Biology 1

An introduction to biological sciences with an emphasis on organism diversity, which includes bacteria, plants, fungi and animals. Fundamentals of classification, ecology and evolution are introduced and the study of a current topic in biology is used to develop research and critical thinking skills. Practical classes are both laboratory-based and field-based.

Restriction: BIOSCI 92F, 92P, 94P

15 Points

Foundation Biology 2

Concepts introduced in BIOSCI 94F are further developed with an emphasis on the structures and processes of living things at cellular and molecular levels. Cell biology, genetic principles and biochemistry are explored and further developed in a human biological context. Laboratories focus on students developing key practical skills.

Prerequisite: BIOSCI 94F

Restriction: BIOSCI 91F, 91P, 95P

Preparatory Courses

15 Points

Preparatory Biology 1

An introduction to unity in biological sciences with an emphasis on organism diversity, which includes bacteria, plants, fungi and animals. Fundamentals of classification, ecology and evolution are introduced and the study of a current topic in biology is used to develop research and critical thinking skills. Practical classes are both laboratory-based and field-based.

Restriction: BIOSCI 92F, 94F, 92P

15 Points

Preparatory Biology 2

Concepts introduced in BIOSCI 94P are further developed with an emphasis on the structures and processes of living things at cellular and molecular levels. Cell biology, genetic principles, biochemistry and human biology are explored using multi-media learning tools in lectures and laboratory, which complement and reinforce the material taught.

Prerequisite: BIOSCI 94P

Restriction: BIOSCI 91F, 95F, 91P

Stage I

15 Points

15 Points

Antarctica: The Frozen Continent

A general introduction to Antarctica and its environs including the Southern Ocean and the sub-Antarctic islands. Emphasis will be placed on the evolution of Antarctica and how resident plants, animals and micro-organisms have adapted to cope with the extreme environment. Specific topics to be addressed include: the history of Antarctic exploration and its impact on the development of Antarctic science, Antarctic ecosystems, Antarctica as a wilderness region, and the impact of humans including the exploitation of resources and the effects of pollution. This course is suitable for students with both science and non-science backgrounds.

15 Points

Life! Origins and Mechanisms

Questions what Life is and explores its machinery. Speculates on how Life arose from the flow and capture of solar energy, to power growth, movement, replication and storage of generic information. Then, describes how genes interact with environments, and how mutations can be catastrophic or transformational. These processes underpin life as we know it.

15 Points

Foundations of Biochemistry

An introduction to the core elements of biochemistry, investigating biological processes at the chemical and molecular level. Key themes include the molecular structure of proteins, enzyme kinetics, biochemical energetics, carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, nutrition, cell signalling, vision and aspects of plant biochemistry including world food production. These themes provide a framework for discussion of mechanisms underpinning human disease including diabetes and obesity, antibiotic resistance, drug development and plant medicinals.

15 Points

Biology for Biomedical Science: Cellular Processes

The cellular basis of mammalian form and function. Particular emphasis will be placed on cellular components and processes of blood, neural, muscular, reproductive, immune and supporting systems and how they contribute to the structure and function of the body as a whole.

15 Points

Biodiversity: Patterns of Life

Knowledge of biodiversity is fundamental to understanding our world. Students will become familiar with biological diversity and whakapapa beginning with viruses and leading through to microbes, plants, fungi and animals. Defining characteristics of major organismal groupings will be highlighted so as to provide students with an overview of the diversity of life on Earth, and the critical role that maintaining biodiversity has for kaitiakitanga and the future.

15 Points

Ecology and Evolution: The Continuum of Life

Life is hard, thus responding to variation in biotic and abiotic variables is crucial for survival at all levels of biological hierarchy. Ko ahau te taiao, ko te taiao, ko ahau (I am the land, and the land is me) – the ecosystem defines quality of life. Develops an understanding of the evolutionary mechanisms through which life has evolved to cope with change over time, and the ecological mechanisms that determine the distribution and abundance of organisms today; how populations and communities adapted to change in the past, how they respond to environmental challenges today, and how they are likely to respond to change in the future as the climate changes.

Restriction: BIOSCI 104

Stage II

15 Points

Cellular and Molecular Biology

The fundamental processes of the cell are examined to understand how cells reproduce and use information stored within the genome, express proteins for specific functions, and function within larger tissues. Specific modules examine stem cells, tissues and cellular development, cancer progression and the biology of tumours and the basis of immunity.

Prerequisite: BIOSCI 101, and 30 points from BIOSCI 102-107, MEDSCI 142, and 15 points from CHEM 110, 120, 150

15 Points


The basic principles of mutation, recombination and genetic mapping are established in this course. These principles are developed in a variety of prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms. Laboratory work uses molecular, microbial and eukaryotic material to explore the key features of heredity.

Prerequisite: 30 points from Stage I Biological Sciences including BIOSCI 101

15 Points


Presents core areas of modern biochemistry. Emphasis is on macromolecular structure and function. Areas covered include protein structure, oxygen and carbon dioxide transport in humans and other species, metabolism in mammals, proteases and human disease, cholesterol metabolism and transport and signal transduction.

Prerequisite: BIOSCI 101, 106 and 15 points from CHEM 110, 120

15 Points

Principles of Microbiology

An introduction to the diversity, physiology and functions of microorganisms (prokaryotes, eukaryotes, viruses) as individuals and as communities. The fundamental roles of microorganisms in ecosystems, health and disease are considered alongside methods for their isolation and study. Microbial applications in biotechnology, food production, agriculture and industry are also discussed.

Prerequisite: BIOSCI 101 and at least 15 points from BIOSCI 102, 106, 107

15 Points

Plant, Cell and Environment

Unlike animals, plants cannot move to respond to changes in their environment. Plants have evolved diverse signaling systems and the ability to grow towards their essential resources. Explores the intricate ways plants function, how they are able to respond to developmental and environmental signals at the whole plant and cellular level.

Prerequisite: BIOSCI 101 and 15 points from BIOSCI 102, 104, 106, 107

15 Points

Principles of Ecology

An examination of ecosystem processes, factors that affect distribution and interactions of organisms, population ecology, and applications of ecology such as restoration and conservation. The key principles of ecology are taught in a New Zealand context emphasising an experimental approach.

Prerequisite: BIOSCI 101, 104 and 15 points from either STATS 101 or 108

15 Points

Adaptive Form and Function

Biological adaptations of animals, including behaviour, morphology, physiology and life history. Topics covered include how animals navigate, physiological adaptations, behavioural ecology, animal reproduction and anti-predator defences.

Prerequisite: BIOSCI 101 and 15 points from BIOSCI 102-104, 106, 107

15 Points

Invertebrate Diversity

Invertebrates make up over 95 percent of animal species. This course explores the biology of invertebrates with an emphasis on structure, function, life histories, behaviour and ecology. Invertebrate diversity is examined in a variety of environments, using New Zealand examples where possible, and provides the basis for advanced courses in conservation and marine ecology.

Prerequisite: BIOSCI 101, 103

15 Points


An introduction to statistical methods for biological and environmental scientists. Students will learn how to carry out various statistical analyses using computer packages, as well as how to interpret and communicate the results. The topics covered include: experimental design and sampling, regression and analysis of variance models, analysing frequencies and counts, and basic multivariate techniques commonly used in biology.

Prerequisite: 15 points in either STATS 101 or 108 and 30 points from Biological Sciences, Environmental Sciences or Geography

Restriction: STATS 201, 207, 208

15 Points

Evolution and the Biological Origin of Life

Covers basic concepts in evolutionary biology including Darwin and the theory of evolution by natural selection, phylogenetics, population genetics, molecular evolution, speciation and extinction. The extent to which Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection can explain the origins of biological complexity is explored.

Prerequisite: BIOSCI 101 and 15 points from BIOSCI 102, 103, 104, 106, 107

15 Points

Quantitative Biology

Almost every biological discipline will require computational and analytical skills beyond using point-and-click software to enable the processing of biological data into biological information. Students will learn fundamentals of experimental design, data management, and data visualisation. Additionally, students will gain the skills required to critically analyse and interpret biological experiments, understanding how statistics can be both used and misused in the scientific literature. Recommended preparation: STATS 101

Prerequisite: BIOSCI 101

Stage III

15 Points

Pure and Applied Entomology

An introduction to the systematics of insects describing the characters that define the major lineages, discussion of the role insects play in different ecological systems, and insect anatomy, physiology, and genetics. Their impact on agriculture and as disease vectors is discussed with descriptions of various control methods for insect pests and how these methods are integrated. Students wishing to complete a course in plant protection should take both BIOSCI 320 and 321.

Prerequisite: BIOSCI 103 and 15 points from Stage II Biological Sciences courses

15 Points

Plant Pathology

Micro-organisms are of major importance to agriculture. This course will examine the biology of plant pathogens, plant-microbial interactions at the cellular and sub-cellular level, and the epidemiology and control of plant diseases. Practicals will focus on techniques for isolation, culture, identification and study of plant pathogens.

Prerequisite: 15 points from BIOSCI 204, 205

15 Points

Evolution of Genes, Populations and Species

Advanced concepts in evolutionary biology and their application to current research in molecular evolution, population genetics, phylogenetics and organismal evolution. Examples from animals, plants and microbes, as well as topical issues, including speciation, adaptation, co-evolution, sexual selection, conservation, biogeography, genomics, biotechnology and human disease. Recommended preparation: Prior or concurrent enrolment in BIOSCI 202.

Prerequisite: BIOSCI 210

15 Points

Plant Diversity

An introduction to plant systematics, plant reproductive strategies, and the evolution of plants with a comprehensive survey of the characteristics and distributions of the major plant groups. Coverage will also include classical and phylogenetic approaches to plant identification, and applications of systematics. Practical work will focus on tools for identifying plants, introduction to plant diversity in the lab and field, and development of a herbarium collection.

Prerequisite: BIOSCI 102 or 104 and 30 points at Stage II in Biological Sciences, Environmental Science or Geography

15 Points

Plant Pathology and Symbiosis

Microorganisms and pests form symbioses with plants that are critically importance for horticulture and agriculture. This course examines the biology of plant pathogens, pests, and symbionts. It focuses on plant-microbe interactions at the cellular and molecular level, the epidemiology and control of plant diseases, and the mechanisms through which these interactions are mediated.

Prerequisite: BIOSCI 204, 205

Restriction: BIOSCI 321

15 Points

Plant Diversity and Function

Plants form the basis of ecosystem food chains and are fundamental to life on Earth. The diversity in land plants from both phylogenetic and functional trait perspectives will be presented, exploring key steps in the evolution of plants and how they interact with their environment. It provides a framework of plant life focussing on the ecologically, economically and culturally important plants of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Prerequisite: BIOSCI 205

Restriction: BIOSCI 323

15 Points

Plant Biotechnology for Crops and Health

Plants are vital sources of food, health compounds and shelter. Students will learn how biotechnology is used to understand plant biology and discuss strategies for crop improvement. Topics include plant genomics, molecular breeding, genome editing, gene transfer, the regulatory framework and examples of applications in the food, health, environment and crop sectors.

Prerequisite: 15 points from BIOSCI 201, 205

Restriction: BIOSCI 340

15 Points

Fisheries and Aquaculture

Harvest and capture of aquatic organisms and inter-relationships with aquaculture. Fisheries and aquaculture are treated not as distinct disciplines but in the context of integrating exploitation and sustainable environmental integrity. Case studies include deep sea and coastal fisheries, and shellfish culture.

Prerequisite: BIOSCI 207 or 208

15 Points

Biology of Fish

A comprehensive coverage of the biology of fish including their evolution, diversity and organism biology. Coverage includes habitats of particular interest to New Zealand such as Antarctica, the deep sea, coral and temperate reefs, and New Zealand's lakes and rivers.

Prerequisite: 15 points from BIOSCI 207, 208

15 Points

Marine Ecology

Patterns and processes in marine ecology and biodiversity are described; including animal and plant interactions, benthic and pelagic habitats, biogeography, productivity and physiology. Applied aspects include resources such as fisheries and aquaculture, survey methods, and pollution. Other lectures cover nutritional and chemical ecology and invertebrate reproduction.

Prerequisite: BIOSCI 206, or 104 and 15 points from BIOSCI 205, or 207 or 208 and STATS 101 or 108

15 Points

Biology of Marine Organisms

Not only is the earth predominantly oceanic, but higher marine biodiversity occurs on the shallower continental shelf/coastal areas. Students will learn the key groups of marine organisms within New Zealand’s waters. Attention will be given to understanding their diversity, distribution and adaptations to thrive within the dynamic marine environment.

Prerequisite: BIOSCI 108, 109 and 15 points from BIOSCI 206, 207, 208

15 Points

Ecological Physiology

Focuses on the strategies used by animals to cope with physical and biological challenges in the environment. Accordingly, we work at the level of the individual and the interface between physiological, biochemical or molecular approaches on the one hand, and ecology on the other. The adaptive strategies employed by a range of species, with an emphasis on aquatic organisms, in response to physical factors such as temperature, oxygen and food availability, are considered. Energetics and nutrition are emphasised. The course aims to meet the needs of students with ecological interests wishing to recognise the experimental approach to solving problems in environmental biology. The practical work is project oriented rather than laboratory based.

Prerequisite: 15 points from BIOSCI 207, 208

15 Points

Animal Behaviour

Proximate and ultimate causes of behaviour are investigated experimentally in the field and the laboratory. Responses by animals to variations in the physical environment and to other organisms are studied. The development and organisation of behaviour and the theoretical background to topics of current interest are covered, using both New Zealand and overseas examples. A knowledge of BIOSCI 206 is recommended.

Prerequisite: BIOSCI 207 and STATS 101 or 108 or BIOSCI 209

15 Points

Biology of Terrestrial Animals

The animals of Aotearoa and Tāmaki Makaurau are iconic. We explore the biology, diversity and whakapapa of our native invertebrate and vertebrate animals. Along with a detailed coverage of biology, we focus on practical techniques for sampling and identifying species. This course involves both fieldwork (with the option to conduct this either on campus, or on an overnight fieldtrip) and labwork and training in using biodiversity data for hypothesis testing and scientific communication.

Prerequisite: BIOSCI 207

15 Points

Plant Cell Biology and Biotechnology

Explores the cellular basis of how plants develop, function and respond to the environment and how this knowledge is applied to biotechnology. Topics include: methods in plant cell biology, control of gene expression, control of cell shape, intracellular transport and targeting, plant growth hormones and signaling, controlled flowering, structures and biosynthesis of plant cell walls and horticultural biotechnology.

Prerequisite: BIOSCI 201 or 202 or 205

15 Points

Environmental Microbiology and Biotechnology

The ecology and physiology of micro-organisms in natural and engineered environments. Key themes include marine microbiology, the importance of microbial symbioses to life on Earth, and contemporary research methods in microbiology. Processes such as wastewater treatment and the production of bioactives are used to emphasise exploitation of microbial metabolism for environmental biotechnology purposes.

Prerequisite: BIOSCI 204 or MEDSCI 202

15 Points

Food and Industrial Microbiology

The use and scientific fundamentals of micro-organisms in the production of foods and food additives, nutriceuticals and probiotics. Molecular and applied aspects of the fermentation processes for beer and wine including aroma generation and analysis. Microbial food spoilage, pathogens involved, food safety and quality control.

Prerequisite: BIOSCI 106 and 15 points from BIOSCI 204, MEDSCI 202

15 Points

Biomedical Microbiology

The molecular biology of micro-organisms affecting human health. The characteristics of microbial pathogens, the origins of virulence, and the development of infectious disease. Routes of infection, evasion of host immune responses, and host-pathogen interactions. The molecular basis for vaccination and anti-microbial therapy, and the development of resistance to treatment.

Prerequisite: BIOSCI 201 and either BIOSCI 204 or MEDSCI 202

15 Points

Protein Structure and Function

The relationship of molecular structure to protein function will be emphasised. Techniques for the purification, characterisation, production of native and recombinant proteins and three-dimensional structure determination will be combined with a description of protein structure. Specific groups of proteins will be selected to illustrate structure/function relationships and protein evolution.

Prerequisite: BIOSCI 201, 203

15 Points

Molecular Genetics

The analysis of genetic material in prokaryotes, viruses, yeast, plants and humans is addressed. The means by which genetic information is transferred and the mechanisms underlying genome diversity will be examined, together with the study of eukaryote genomes at the level of chromosome structure and organisation. The molecular mechanisms underpinning selected inherited human disorders will be discussed as well as the role of model species in understanding normal and perturbed biological pathways.

Prerequisite: BIOSCI 201, 202

15 Points

Molecular and Cellular Regulation

The molecular mechanisms which mediate intracellular sorting and targeting of biologically active molecules and the networks of intracellular and extracellular signals which regulate cell function form the focus of this course. The roles of growth factors, oncogenes, plasma membrane receptors, nuclear receptors, ion channels and membrane transporters are emphasised.

Prerequisite: BIOSCI 201, 203

15 Points

Genomics and Genome Biology

Biological information is coded in and expressed from genomes. This course explores methods for detecting structural and functional elements of genomes, plus the wider genome biology of eukaryotic and prokaryotic systems. Students will learn how genomic data is generated and analysed, how genomes evolve, and how genomic information is expressed and regulated.

Prerequisite: BIOSCI 202

Restriction: BIOINF 301, BIOSCI 354

15 Points

Developmental Biology and Cancer

Molecular, cellular and genetic aspects of normal and abnormal development focusing on a variety of model systems including drosophila, the zebrafish and the mouse. Molecular events underlying the development of body form, the differentiation of specific tissues such as the blood, and abnormalities of development which contribute to diseases of the body such as cancer. Implications of transgenic techniques on development.

Prerequisite: BIOSCI 201, 202

15 Points

Nutritional Science

The scientific basis of nutrition focusing on its biochemistry and physiology in health and disease. Nutritional aspects of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins and trace nutrients are covered in an integrated manner. The methodologies which underpin nutritional science and its applications are included. Reference will be made to a broad range of examples, and a number of specific nutritional topics of current interest will also be included.

Prerequisite: BIOSCI 203

15 Points

Conservation Ecology

Conservation of species and ecosystems. Population ecology, population growth, harvesting and pest control, marine and terrestrial conservation practice, forest and fisheries management. Impacts and control of invasive species. Population viability analysis and case studies in the conservation of threatened species. International conservation.

Prerequisite: BIOSCI 104 and 30 points at Stage II in either Biological Sciences or Geography

15 Points

Pacific Biogeography and Biodiversity

Island biogeography and insular biodiversity across the Pacific. A multi-disciplinary approach involving the study of both plant and animal systematics and biogeography.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II in either Biological Sciences or Geography

15 Points

Terrestrial Ecology

Experimental and theoretical population and community ecology focusing on the interactions and environmental forces controlling the distribution and abundance of terrestrial populations of plants and animals. Both New Zealand and international examples will be used to explain the fundamental processes shaping ecological systems throughout the world.

Prerequisite: BIOSCI 206, or 104 and 15 points from BIOSCI 205 or 207 or 208 and STATS 101 or 108

15 Points

Capstone: Biological Science in a Post Truth World

Enables students to engage in debate on contemporary issues in biology and how these are interpreted from a cultural, political and economic perspective. Equips students with the tools to counter misrepresentation of science, through evidence-based scientific reasoning. Offers students a perception of Western science through different lenses, including Vision Matauranga, economic, environmental and health policy and journalism in NZ and beyond.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage III in Biological Sciences

Postgraduate 700 Level Courses

15 Points

Marine Ecology

Current topics in marine ecology at the population, community, and ecosystem level. Seminars focus on ecology and evolution in a life-history context, including topics on fertilisation, larval development, and recruitment.

15 Points

Ecological Physiology

Physiological and biochemical processes enable animals to occupy diverse habitats. Highly variable and extreme environments provide an opportunity to study the functional attributes of animals, particularly ectotherms, with respect to their metabolic, respiratory, and nutritional adaptations. A sound understanding of BIOSCI 335 or equivalent is assumed.

15 Points


Current assessment of the national and global status of aquaculture and fisheries, including consideration of future prospects. Examples of algal, invertebrate, and fish aquaculture in New Zealand, and a review of general environmental and biological problems and the role of scientific knowledge in aquaculture management. Coverage of factors contributing to wild fisheries management, including spawning, larval survival, recruitment, principles of stock assessment and fisheries modelling. A sound knowledge of BIOSCI 328 or equivalent is assumed.

15 Points

Evolutionary Biology

A contemporary approach to central issues in evolutionary biology including mechanisms that produce macroevolutionary patterns. Current research using phylogenetic methods for testing evolutionary hypotheses will be discussed, encompassing the role of selection, the origin of mutations, and concepts of heredity. A sound understanding of BIOSCI 322 or equivalent is assumed.

15 Points

Entomology and Biosecurity

More than half of all described species are insects, and even more species await discovery and description. Insects at every trophic level above plants dominate terrestrial and freshwater food chains. Examines the evolution of insects, the importance of their role in terrestrial ecosystems, and the problems posed by insects as biosecurity invaders in non-native environments. A sound understanding of BIOSCI 320 or equivalent is assumed.

15 Points


Examines the patterns of animal and plant distribution, and the processes that influence these patterns. Topics covered include equilibrium theory, island succession, vicariance and dispersal, insular speciation, and human migration and colonisation. A sound understanding of BIOSCI 395 or equivalent is assumed.

15 Points

Molecular Ecology and Evolution

Interpreting the molecular archive by reconstructing the branching history of inheritance and its relationship to genetic diversity within and between species. Topics may include the neutral theory of molecular evolution, rates of molecular evolution, molecular systematics, genome change and speciation, molecular identification of species, gene flow and population structure, selection at the molecular level, inbreeding depression and mutational load, and the use of molecular markers for estimation of kinship and the description of mating systems. A sound understanding of BIOSCI 322 or equivalent is assumed.

15 Points

Terrestrial Plant Ecology

Plants form the autotrophic basis of terrestrial food chains and their distribution, diversity and abundance is a critical determinant of ecosystem functioning. Topics covered include both plant population ecology – including population growth and structure, seed and seedling dynamics, and life history strategies – and community ecology – including vegetation structure, dynamics, and species interactions. Methods to survey, analyse, and model plant populations and communities will also be discussed. A sound understanding of BIOSCI 396 or equivalent is assumed.

15 Points

Advanced Behavioural Ecology

Focuses on organisms interacting in natural environments. Both the mechanistic underpinnings of behaviour and the fitness consequences of such behavioural traits will be examined. Behavioural ecology is not limited to questions of behaviour, but draws in issues of energetics and physiology as these factors are often used as proxies for fitness traits such as differences in survival and reproduction. A sound understanding of BIOSCI 337 or equivalent is assumed.

15 Points

Microbial Genomics and Metabolism

Cross-disciplinary issues involved in the understanding of microbial genome structure, gene regulation and metabolism. Includes: the genetic basis of microbial interactions and horizontal gene transfer, the effect of stress and mutation on microbial and viral evolution and modern approaches used to link gene sequence to biological function and phenotypes.

15 Points

High Resolution Imaging of Biological Molecules

X-ray crystallography and electron microscopy are two of the principal techniques used by biologists to determine molecular structure. The theory and practice of X-ray crystallography and electron microscopy, including a laboratory component where 3D structure are determined from experimental data, are addressed. Accessible to students with a variety of backgrounds, including Biology, Bioengineering, Chemistry and Physics. This course complements CHEM 738 and BIOSCI 757.

15 Points

Advanced Biological Data Analysis

Design and analysis of experiments for both field and bench scientists. Methods for the analysis of designed experiments, including analysis of variance with fixed, random and mixed effects; also, regression analysis and analysis of covariance. Methods for the analysis of multivariate datasets such as cluster analysis, principal components analysis, multidimensional scaling, and randomisation methods. There will be a practical component to this course involving the use of appropriate statistical software.

Prerequisite: 15 points from BIOSCI 209, STATS 201, 207, 208, or equivalent

15 Points

Dialogues in Biology

Cross-disciplinary issues in biology will be debated and explored. Topics may include: ethical and commercial issues underpinning science; scientific publishing and advocacy; medical and agricultural biotechnology; animal and environmental ethics, conservation and biodiversity, the history and philosophy of science.

15 Points

Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

Historical overview of the development of industrial microbiology. Diversity and complexity of applications. Biodiversity of fermentations. Microbial metabolism and the assimilation of carbon, nitrogen, and sulphur. Interconnections between catabolic and biosynthetic pathways. Metabolic considerations in continuous culture. Selection, isolation and construction of useful organisms. Manipulation of growth conditions to optimise process yield. Contemporary examples of industrial processes using microbes. A sound understanding of BIOSCI 348 or equivalent is assumed.

15 Points

The Molecular Machinery of The Cell

The experimental investigation and modelling of protein behaviour at the molecular level, in order to explain cellular biology and facilitate protein engineering. Topics addressed may include binding, transport, catalysis, chemical modification, and dynamics. A sound understanding of BIOSCI 350 or equivalent is assumed.

15 Points

Biosecurity and Invasion Biology

The science of invasion biology, including stages of the invasion process and ecological interactions between species. The impacts of invasive alien species in different ecosystems. Population and community ecology, in relation to biosecurity.

15 Points

Weed and Pest Management

Techniques for the management of invasive plants and animals (vertebrates and invertebrates) in different ecosystem types, including terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Approaches to the prevention, control and eradication of invasive species in different situations.

15 Points

Ecology of Microbial Interactions

The associations of micro-organisms with their immediate environment are considered. Topics to be discussed include microbial communities and their survival strategies in natural and artificial systems. A sound understanding of BIOSCI 347 or equivalent is assumed.

15 Points

Plant-microbial Interactions

Addresses selected topics in plant microbial interactions. Modern research on issues relating to plant pathogens and biosecurity, plant disease spread (epidemiology) and plant-microbial interactions (both pathogenic and mutualistic) will be investigated and discussed. A basic understanding of microbiology and molecular biology is assumed.

15 Points

Plant Genomics and Biotechnology

How genomics and gene transfer technologies could be used to achieve improved plant growth and to develop food with new traits. Includes: plant genomics methods, engineering fruit colour, control of fruit ripening and texture, biotechnology project design. A sound understanding of BIOSCI 354 or BIOSCI 340 or equivalent is assumed.

15 Points

Synthesis of Plant Products and Foods

Includes the biosynthesis of: selected plant cell-wall components important in dietary fibre or biomass for the production of biofuels, including lignins, cellulose or non-cellulosic polysaccharides; antioxidant pigments in food plants and their possible impacts on human health. The manipulation of nitrogen assimilation in plants to increase the yield and quality of agricultural and horticultural plant products. A sound understanding of BIOSCI 340 or equivalent is assumed.

15 Points

Plant Genomes and Gene Expression

The analysis of plant genomes and regulation of gene expression in plant biology. Includes: inferences from whole plant genome sequences, transcription factors, transcriptional control of flowering time and post-translational control of hormone receptors by ubiquitination and degradation. A sound understanding of BIOSCI 354 or 340 or equivalent is assumed.

15 Points

Genomics and Gene Expression

The analysis of genomes and gene expression as a means of understanding biological processes. Aspects of functional and chemical genomics will be presented, as well as gene expression profiling using microarray technology. In terms of the latter, features of experimental design and data analysis will be discussed in the context of disease and developmental processes. A sound understanding of BIOSCI 351 or equivalent is assumed.

15 Points

Structural Biology

Reviews recent studies of biological systems that highlight molecular structure, and its ability to explain cellular biology. Topics may include: protein folding and targeting in the cell, motor proteins, pathogen and immune system molecules, and the inference of protein structure and function from genomic data. A sound understanding of BIOSCI 350 or equivalent is assumed.

15 Points

Development, Differentiation and Disease

A critical analysis of normal and perturbed gene expression in selected model organisms as a means of understanding biological pathways and disease processes. Includes the development and use of transgenic organisms as models for human disease. A sound understanding of BIOSCI 356 or equivalent is assumed.

15 Points

Molecular Cell Biology and Biomedicine

Explores recent advances in cell biology that have led to a greater understanding of a variety of cellular processes at the molecular level. Emphasis will be placed on biochemical and genetic approaches to understand disease mechanisms at the cellular level. A sound understanding of either BIOSCI 349 or 353 or MEDSCI 314 or equivalent is assumed.

15 Points

MSc Thesis Proposal

An extensive review of background material associated with the thesis topic, and a detailed outline of the proposed research and its significance. Students will also be required to present an overview of the proposal in a seminar.

Restriction: BIOINF 761, ENVSCI 701, MEDSCI 701

15 Points

BSc(Hons) Dissertation Proposal

A review of the literature associated with the dissertation topic and an outline of the proposed research and its significance. Students will also be required to present an overview of the proposal in a seminar.

45 Points

22.5 Points

22.5 Points

BSc(Hons) Dissertation in Biological Sciences

Restriction: BIOSCI 789

To complete this course students must enrol in BIOSCI 788 A and B, or BIOSCI 788

60 Points

60 Points

MSc Thesis in Biological Sciences

To complete this course students must enrol in BIOSCI 796 A and B