The aim of this unit is to provide a foundation in biochemical principles with special emphasis on medical and nutritional applications. Firstly, foundations of biochemistry will be covered, including biological buffers and structures of genes, biological macromolecules such as proteins, carbohydrates, lipids and nucleic acids. Other topics covered include enzymes, bioenergetics and carbohydrate metabolism pathways, protein synthesis and modification. The clinical significance of various metabolic disorders will be discussed from a biochemical perspective.

Unit details

Study level:
Credit points:
Unit code:


RBM1528 - Human Physiology 2 or

RBF1310 - Biology 1 and

RCS1602 - Chemistry 1B

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Examine the structure and function of genes, biological macromolecules and how buffers work;  
  2. Discriminate between the structure of various proteins and review the processes by which proteins are purified and analysed;  
  3. Identify and analyse the nature and behaviour of enzymes and their reactions; and  
  4. Map and articulate metabolic pathways in bioenergetics and investigate the biochemical basis of metabolic diseases;  


Assessment type Description Grade
Test Tests x 2 (30 min each) 20%
Laboratory Work Practical Reports x 2 (1000 words each) 30%
Case Study Written submission (1000 words) 20%
Presentation Oral Presentation (5mins) 30%

Where to next?

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following courses. Refer to the course page for information on how to apply for the course.

Study a single unit

This unit can be studied on its own, without enrolling in a full degree. Learn more about single units of study at VU.

VU takes care to ensure the accuracy of this unit information, but reserves the right to change or withdraw courses offered at any time. Please check that unit information is current with the Student Contact Centre.