Chemistry (CHEM) 301

Introduction to Biochemistry (Revision 5)

CHEM 301 Course website

Revision 5 is closed for registrations, replaced by current version

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Science

Prerequisite: CHEM 350 and CHEM 360 or equivalent undergraduate courses taken at an accredited post-secondary institution.

Faculty: Faculty of Science & Technology

Chemistry Studies home page

Course website

CHEM 301 has a Challenge for Credit option.

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As a natural science, biochemical principles influence metabolic and developmental biological processes. This course explores the basic principles of biochemistry in relation to the appreciation and understanding of biological networks.

CHEM 301 focuses on the understanding of biochemical processes in the context of chemical principles; and the importance of research design and application to investigate questions in biochemistry. Because the field of biochemistry is continually evolving and touches many areas of cell biology, this course also includes an elementary introduction to the study of molecular biology.


Part I: Biomolecules

  • Unit 1: The Molecules and Chemical Reactions of Life
  • Unit 2: Amino Acids and Proteins
  • Unit 3: Simple and Complex Carbohydrates
  • Unit 4: Lipids and Membranes
  • Unit 5: Nucleotides and Nucleic Acids
  • Unit 6: Vitamins and Cofactors

Part II: Biochemical Reactions

  • Unit 7: Enzymes
  • Unit 8: Metabolic Pathways
  • Unit 9: Carbohydrate Metabolism
  • Unit 10: Lipid Metabolism
  • Unit 11: Amino Acid Metabolism

Part III: Molecular Genetics

  • Unit 12: DNA and RNA
  • Unit 13: Translation and the Genetic Code


To receive credit for CHEM 301, you must achieve a course composite grade of at least “D” (50 percent) and a grade of at least 50 percent on each of the assignments and examinations. The weighting of the composite grade is as follows:

Assignment 1 Midterm Exam Assignment 2 Final Exam Total
20% 25% 20% 35% 100%

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Voet, Donald, Judith G. Voet, and Charlotte W. Pratt. Fundamentals of Biochemistry: Life at the Molecular Level, 4th ed. New York: Wiley, 2013.

Students will also receive WileyPLUS eText and access to the textbook website.

Other materials

Online course materials include a study guide and student manual.

Special Course Features

Students will have access to electronic communication, additional biochemistry online resources, and access to the AU Landing for discussion, study buddy activities, and additional online resources.

Challenge for Credit Course Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows students to demonstrate that they have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university level course.

Full information for the Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the CHEM 301 challenge registration, you must achieve an overall grade of at least “D” (50 percent) on the examination.

Paper Exam

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 5, March 11, 2013.

View previous syllabus