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BIOC221 Molecular Biology

From gene to protein. How genetic information is stored and determines biological function. Principles and applications of genetic engineering. Impact of molecular biology on health, agriculture and New Zealand society.

Molecular biology is the study of how information is stored in DNA and how this information flows on into RNA and protein. This process determines the characteristics of all life. BIOC 221 is taken by students in many different majors, is required for BIOC majors and is highly recommended for GENE majors. The modular laboratory course provides hands on experience in designing and conducting molecular biology experiments. Within the course, emphasis is placed on how to study gene function and regulation using genetic technologies and bioinformatic approaches. Key concepts are illustrated with examples of how molecular biology contributes to our understanding of biology and how this knowledge is being applied to improve health outcomes and agriculture in New Zealand.

Paper title Molecular Biology
Paper code BIOC221
Subject Biochemistry
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Semester 1 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,141.35
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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CELS 191, CHEM 191 and 36 further points
BIOC 230, MELS 230 and PHCY 231
Recommended Preparation
BIOC 192
Recommended Preparation or Concurrent Study
GENE 221
Schedule C
This paper builds on the molecular biology taught in CELS 191. It is suitable for a broad range of students as molecular biology underpins all biology. It is also highly relevant to biological aspects of chemistry, physics and computer science.
Teaching staff

Associate Professor Elizabeth Ledgerwood

Voet, Voet and Pratt, Fundamentals of Biochemistry, John Wiley & Sons
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics, Environmental literacy, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this paper will:

  • Articulate a broad understanding of contemporary biochemistry, molecular life sciences and related scientific fields
  • Understand the relationship between hypothesis, experiment and data, and know how to apply this to attain knowledge
  • Design and execute experiments using contemporary biochemical techniques
  • Appropriately communicate biochemical concepts to both specialist and general audiences
  • Understand the relationship between science and society
  • Evaluate the philosophical and ethical aspects of their activities as a scientist
  • Identify and critically evaluate relevant information
  • Work effectively both independently and as part of a team

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Semester 1

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Monday 10:00-10:50 9-11, 13
B1 Tuesday 10:00-10:50 9-14, 16, 18-22
C1 Wednesday 10:00-10:50 9-14, 16-22
E1 Friday 10:00-10:50 9-10, 12, 16


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
A1 Monday 14:00-17:50 10-12, 18-21
A2 Tuesday 14:00-17:50 10-12, 18-21
A3 Wednesday 14:00-17:50 10-12, 17-20
A4 Thursday 14:00-17:50 10-12, 17-20
A5 Friday 14:00-17:50 10-12, 17-20


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Friday 10:00-10:50 11, 18, 22