Enquiry for Major/Minor/Programme Requirements

Major Title Major in Biochemistry
Offered to students admitted to Year 1 in 2017-2018

The Major in Biochemistry aims to provide students with both basic and advanced knowledge in contemporary biochemistry and molecular biology. Core courses in the curriculum emphasize equipping students with a general understanding of the fundamental ideas, principles and theories of biochemistry with particular focus on the relevance of biochemistry, molecular biology and genomics to biology, human health and disease. Elective courses extend this core knowledge to provide students with specialized insight into both basic and applied scientific endeavour in biochemistry, bioinformatics, molecular biology and molecular genetics. Throughout the curriculum there is an emphasis on experiential learning through laboratory practicals, problem-solving exercises, group-based learning, industrial experience, overseas exchange and research-based projects. These experiences are designed to develop students' ability to read and interpret scientific data, to integrate knowledge with wider scientific theory, and to improve logical thinking and communication skills. The ultimate goal is to provide a comprehensive degree-level biochemistry education that equips students with the critical thinking, communication and analytical skills essential for them to play a leading role in society in the future.

Learning Outcomes:
By the end of this programme, students should be able to:
PLO 1 :

describe the principles of biomolecular structure, metabolism, molecular interactions, molecular processes and their regulation, genetics and systems biology critical to contemporary biochemistry and molecular biology (by means of coursework and experiential learning)

PLO 2 :

apply biochemical, bioinformatics and molecular genetics technologies for new observations, measurements and analyses; and to design experiments that bring discovery and insight into the unknown (by means of laboratory-based and research project-based learning)

PLO 3 :

interpret and communicate scientific data and literature using appropriate scientific language (by means of literature-based coursework and debate)

PLO 4 :

work effectively as a team and synergize with their colleagues in a supportive manner (by means of group-based learning and by group-based problem solving)

PLO 5 :

recognize the interconnections of biochemistry with other disciplines in science, medicine and engineering, humanities and ethics, which are relevant for diverse working environment in the society (by means of multidisciplinary-based research projects, internship and debate)

Impermissible Combination:

Minor in Biochemistry

Required courses (96 credits)
1. Introductory level courses (42 credits)
Disciplinary Core Courses: Science Foundation Courses (12 credits)
SCNC1111 Scientific method and reasoning (6)
SCNC1112 Fundamentals of modern science (6)
Disciplinary Core Courses (24 credits)
CHEM1042 General chemistry I (6)
CHEM1043 General chemistry II (6)
BIOC2600 Basic biochemistry (6) Take either BIOC2600 or BIOL2220 to fulfill this 24 credits requirement, but not both. BIOC2600 and BIOL2220 are mutually exclusive.
BIOL2220 Principles of biochemistry (6) Take either BIOC2600 or BIOL2220 to fulfill this 24 credits requirement, but not both. BIOC2600 and BIOL2220 are mutually exclusive.
CHEM2441 Organic chemistry I (6)
Disciplinary Electives (6 credits)
BIOC1600 Perspectives in biochemistry (6) Take either BIOC1600 or BIOL1110 to fulfill this 6 credits requirement, but not both.
BIOL1110 From molecules to cells (6) Take either BIOC1600 or BIOL1110 to fulfill this 6 credits requirement, but not both.
2. Advanced level courses (48 credits)
Disciplinary Core Courses (30 credits)
BIOC3601 Basic metabolism (6)
BIOC3604 Essential techniques in biochemistry and molecular biology (6)
BIOL3401 Molecular biology (6)
BIOC4610 Advanced biochemistry (6)
BIOC4613 Advanced techniques in biochemistry & molecular biology (6)
Disciplinary Electives (18 credits)
At least 18 credits selected from the following courses:
BIOC3605 Sequence bioinformatics (6)
BIOC3606 Molecular medicine (6)
BIOL3202 Nutritional biochemistry (6)
BIOL3402 Cell biology and cell technology (6)
BIOL3403 Immunology (6)
BIOL3404 Protein structure and function (6)
BIOL3408 Genetics (6)
CHEM3441 Organic chemistry II (6)
BIOC4612 Molecular biology of the gene (6)
BIOL4417 'Omics' and systems biology (6)
CHEM4145 Medicinal chemistry (6)
CHEM4444 Chemical biology (6)
3. Capstone requirement (6 credits)
At least 6 credits selected from the following courses:
BIOC3999 Directed studies in biochemistry (6)
BIOC4966 Biochemistry internship (6)
BIOC4999 Biochemistry project (12)

1. Double-counting of courses up to a maximum of 24 credits is permissible when a student with a science major opts to undertake a second major in science. The double-counted courses must include SCNC1111 Scientific method and reasoning (6 credits) and SCNC1112 Fundamentals of modern science (6 credits). Additional credits to be double-counted must be for courses required ('disciplinary core') by both majors. For cases with 24 or less double-counted credits, the student must make up an equivalent number of credits by taking other courses offered by any Faculty.

2. If more than 24 credits (including SCNC1111 & SCNC1112) are listed as required courses ("disciplinary core") in both the first and second majors undertaken by a student, the student must make up the number of credits above the 24 permissible by taking replacement course(s) (disciplinary electives) in the second major. Double counting of credits is not permissible for major-minor or double-minors combinations. For details, please refer to "Students taking double Majors, Major-Minor or double Minors with overlapping course requirements" in the BSc syllabuses.

3. Students are not required to take Capstone if this Science major is taken as a second major on the condition that the capstone experience in the first major requires the integration or application of knowledge from both major disciplines.  If this is approved, a 6-credit advanced level course (disciplinary electives) in the second major must be taken to fulfill the credit requirement of the capstone experience.

4. Capstone requirement for BEd&BSc degree students is different. Students are required to take an additional 6-credit advanced level course (disciplinary electives) in the major to replace the capstone requirement of this Major.  Students should consult the Faculty of Education for details.

5. Students must have level 3 or above in HKDSE Chemistry or equivalent to take this major.  Students who do not fulfill this requirement are advised to take CHEM1041 Foundations of chemistry.


Important! Ultimate responsibility rests with students to ensure that the required pre-requisites and co-requisite of selected courses are fulfilled. Students must take and pass all required courses in the selected primary science major in order to satisfy the degree graduation requirements.

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