BCM210 Foundations and Techniques in Biochemistry (8)

This subject provides an outline of the structure and function of biological macromolecules (proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, and nucleic acids); the major metabolic and bioenergetic pathways within cells; and practical experience in common techniques used in biochemistry. It provides the basis for further studies in metabolism, molecular and cell biology, genetics, immunology and microbiology, physiology, plant science, biotechnology and disease processes.


* Offering has a residential school. Please view following information for further details.

Session 1 (30)
On Campus
Wagga Wagga Campus
Online *
Wagga Wagga Campus
Term 2 (15)
Online *
Wagga Wagga Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: BCM210. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Biomedical Sciences

Enrolment Restrictions

Not available to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Pharmacy, Bachelor of Clinical Science, Bachelor of Dental Science and Master of Animal Science courses.

Assumed Knowledge

Students are assumed to have successfully completed first-year University level Chemistry (CHM 107, CHM108 or equivalent).

Incompatible Subjects

BCM211, BCM411, DOH231

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to describe the structure and function of the four major classes of biological macromolecules (proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, and nucleic acids) and understand the relationship between structure and function;
  • be able to describe the properties of enzymes as biological catalysts;
  • be able to describe the role of energy in living cells, with particular reference to the concept of free energy and the role of ATP;
  • be able to describe the major metabolic pathways used to synthesise and consume ATP;
  • be able to perform basic techniques in biochemistry such as spectrophotometric protein assays, chromatography, electrophoresis, and enzyme kinetics assays; and
  • be able to describe common techniques used in the study of biochemistry


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • a review of subcellular structure and common organic functional groups of relevance to biochemistry, and the role of water in biochemical processes - hydrogen bonding, acid-base behaviour;
  • structure and function of major macromolecules (proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, nucleic acids;
  • enzyme function and kinetic properties;
  • free energy changes and the role of ATP in cellular energy conservation;
  • major metabolic pathways including glycolysis, gluconeogenesis, glycogen metabolism, pentose phosphate pathway, citric acid cycle, mitochondrial electron transport chain, fatty acid metabolism, amino acid metabolism;
  • regulation of metabolic pathways.

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of BCM210 in Session 1 2019. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Mid-session exam (mse)
Practical assessment
Final exam

Residential School

This subject contains a 4 day Compulsory Residential School.

Compulsory laboratory work to develop technical skills and interpretation of biochemistry data. Individual, group and class exercises will be carried out to allow students to learn to work as individuals as well as to develop team work skills.

Special Resources

Students are required to attend the compulsory residential school which may involve travel and accommodation expenses.

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: October 2020. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.