Course Guidelines

Pre-BDC Level II Elective Courses

BIOMEDDC 2C03 (Exploring Careers in Biomedical Sciences)* – 3 units

An inquiry-based course that will explore careers related to biochemistry and biomedical sciences, coupled with an exploration of the science behind each career. The course will include examination of the primary literature as it relates to each topic, culminating in a final presentation.

BIOMEDDC 2W03 (Write right for your science: Scientific writing for the biomedical sciences)* – 3 units

This course will develop fundamental writing skills with application to writing for the biomedical sciences.  We will review basic principles of effective scientific writing, and review good and bad writing. Students will be given practical examples of science writing and will be given writing exercises with opportunities for frequent feedback and review to advance their written communications.


*These courses are electives open to students in any program and are not requirements for entry into the BDC program.  More details and course outlines available on the Department of Biochemistry & Biomedical Sciences website:



Level III

This course will introduce students to critical thinking essential to discovery research through examples of fundamental and applied research occurring in the laboratories of thought leaders at McMaster and their efforts to translate this knowledge to stakeholders across the spectrum of knowledge users. Communication of fundamental research is emphasized.

This two-term course will provide an overview of paradigms and processes in modern drug discovery and development. Selected content will include discovery and preclinical research as well as clinical development, market analysis and intellectual property. Learners will benefit from a mix of lecture-based and student-focused activities.

A two-term laboratory-based inquiry course where students will learn and apply current techniques used in drug discovery. Instruction to achieve an understanding of key laboratory skills in drug discovery will prepare students for participation in a team-based drug discovery project.

The central objective of this course is to develop an understanding of human behaviour in organizations with a view toward effective management of such behaviour.

This course covers the basic principles in financial and managerial accounting as well as the use of accounting information in decision making. In the financial accounting part of the course, the course covers the conceptual framework of accounting, generally accepted accounting principles, financial statements, and financial statement analysis. The managerial component includes cost behaviour, cost-volume-profit relationships, budgeting, and the use of cost information in decision-making.

Chemical and conformational properties of proteins and relationships to their function including regulation of enzyme activity. Chemical and physical structure of DNA and RNA relevant to biological function.

An introduction to organic chemistry with emphasis on the reactions of functional groups and an introduction to spectroscopic techniques for structure determination. Registration priority will be given to students for whom this course is a program requirement.

Students must take BIOCHEM 3G03 and CHEM 2OA3 if not complete before entering the program.  Successful completion of both CHEM 2OA3 and 2OB3 (or equivalent) is strongly recommended prior to entry into the program.

*If BIOCHEM 2B03 and 2BB3 not completed

Level IV

The course is oriented for advanced undergraduate or graduate students in programs which require training in marketing but who have no previous background in commerce. The purpose of the course is to provide the students a high level overview of contemporary marketing concepts and a hands-on experiential component leading up to a marketing plan.

This course is intended for students who wish to enhance their skills and knowledge in those areas of business that lead to successful entrepreneurship and/or small business management.

An intensive two-term research project carried out under the supervision of a member or associate member of the Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences. The results will be presented to the department in a seminar or poster session as part of a senior thesis symposium.

This course will be a practical and hands-on foray into the world of commercialization of biomedical research. Students will conduct an in-depth examination of biomedical research with the goal of establishing a favoured avenue for commercialization. To this end, students will work in small groups with both individual and group assignments. The effort will be self-directed and under the mentorship of a content expert. Students will also benefit from lectures and guidance from commercialization experts in the McMaster Industry Liaison Office (MILO).

Nucleophilic substitutions at carbonyl centres, aromatic chemistry, carbohydrates, applications of spectroscopic techniques in organic chemistry. Registration priority will be given to students for whom this course is a program requirement.

Students must take CHEM 2OB3 if not complete before entering Level IV. Successful completion of both CHEM 2OA3 and 2OB3 (or equivalent) is strongly recommended prior to entry into the program.

Master of Biomedical Discovery & Commercialization

Fall Term

Working in small teams, students will create business plans and an entrepreneurial pitch for a new venture in biomedicine.  Each team will be paired with an entrepreneur/company and will gain first-hand experience in entrepreneurship by helping to advance innovative Life Sciences products and services out of the lab and into the market.

This course examines issues associated with mounting entrepreneurial ventures from a heterogeneous university base and addresses such concerns as intellectual property, marketing, strategic human resources, raising capital, and starting and growing a business in that context.


In today’s competitive environment, technology has become a central component of the strategic process of many innovative organizations. This course surveys the issues involved in this new role for technology including competitive advantage, analytical tools, technology-based strategies, partnerships and alliances, and the process for managing technology so that it is closely integrated with the activities of the firm.



This course will examine the application of economic principles to policy-relevant questions in the area of health and healthcare. Topics will include applied health economics, economic correlations to health, demand and supply of healthcare and insurance, healthcare system financing, alternative payment schemes, economic regulation of the pharmaceutical industry, cost-effectiveness and cost-benefit analyses, QALY’s, and means by which to improve value-for-money in the health sector. Analytic techniques and illustrative examples will focus on meeting the needs of managers within the Canadian healthcare system.



This course will allow students to familiarize themselves with the strategic and management issues currently facing the Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology industries through a consideration of the structure and challenges of the industry at the global, national and provincial levels.

Winter/Spring Terms

The internship will provide students with the opportunity to explore career options and integrate academic learning through an experiential placement in the community sectors related to the pharmaceutical/biotechnology industry. Students will participate in the job search, application, and interview process.  Upon securing a position they will gain invaluable industry experience through the role.  Academic requirements will include completion of a learning portfolio where students will document the fulfillment of individual learning objectives. Students will also share aspects of their experiences in a student symposium.

Students will prepare a scholarly paper on a selected topic of interest that demonstrates the integration of learning across science and business disciplines.  To be completed by June 1, the scholarly paper should reflect an understanding of current biomedical discovery and commercialization challenges and the tools and techniques needed to evaluate, plan, and implement solutions.


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