Module Catalogue 2015/16

BGM1002 : Biochemistry

  • Offered for Year: 2015/16
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Geoff Bosson
  • Owning School: Biomedical Sciences
Semester 1 Credit Value: 15
ECTS Credits: 8.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



This module aims to introduce the molecular basis of cellular processes and the principles that underlie many biological events. Consideration is given to the implications in relation to health and disease.

The series of lectures describes the structure of proteins and their building blocks, the amino acids. Proteins are considered in relation to diseases such as BSE (mad cow disease), cancer, and Alzheimers disease. The role of proteins as enzymes is also discussed. The course then moves on to look at the molecules that contain the secrets of life itself: the nucleic acids, and at how the expression of genes is regulated.

An understanding of metabolism is crucial to make sense of health and disease, and students learn about the fate of the various nutrients within the body. We look at how glucose metabolism is controlled and what goes wrong in diabetes, and how cells produce the energy they need to carry out their various activities.

Outline Of Syllabus

Lectures and seminars cover the following topics:
Proteins: Proteins and their building blocks; Proteins in health and disease; Enzymes; Protein purification.
Carbohydrates: The structure of sugars; Role of sugars in biology.
Nucleic acids: Phosphorus in biology; Relationship between DNA, RNA and proteins; Structure of DNA;
How structure of DNA explains its function in replication; DNA Sequencing and the human genome; Control of gene expression: RNA synthesis-Transcription; Protein synthesis-Translation.
Energy and cellular metabolism: glycolysis; TCA cycle; oxidative phosphorylation; gluconeogenesis; glycogen metabolism; fat metabolism; basic amino acid metabolism; alcohol metabolism.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

At the end of the module students should be able to:
1. Describe the structures of proteins and nucleic acids and relate structure to function and discuss examples of disease states e.g. sickle cell anaemia, BSE and Alzheimer's.
2. Describe carbohydrate structure and function.
3. Explain how enzymes catalyse cellular processes and their role as targets for drugs and in diagnosis.
4. Explain the processes and control of gene expression.
5. Explain how glucose metabolism is controlled and what goes wrong in diabetes.
6. Explain how cells produce the energy required for cellular processes.

Intended Skill Outcomes

At the end of the module students should be able to:

1. Independently locate information about Biochemistry via the library, Blackboard and the internet, to support and reinforce material taught in lectures (information literacy)

2. Work with peers in small groups to solve Biochemistry related problems in seminars (problem solving & collaboration)

3. Effectively communicate knowledge of Biochemistry, obtained from lectures and private study, to peers and staff during seminars (oral and interpersonal communication skills)

Graduate Skills Framework

Graduate Skills Framework Applicable: Yes
  • Cognitive/Intellectual Skills
    • Critical Thinking : Assessed
    • Active Learning : Present
    • Numeracy : Assessed
    • Information Literacy
      • Source Materials : Present
      • Use Of Computer Applications : Present
  • Self Management
    • Planning and Organisation
      • Goal Setting And Action Planning : Present
    • Personal Enterprise
      • Independence : Present
      • Problem Solving : Present
  • Interaction
    • Communication
      • Oral : Present
      • Interpersonal : Present
    • Team Working
      • Collaboration : Present
      • Peer Assessment Review : Present

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion11:001:00Formative class tests
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture311:0031:00
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching41:004:00Seminars
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1114:00114:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

1. Lectures will define the scope of the course and communicate basic knowledge as a basis for further study.
2. Seminars will encourage students to develop their understanding of the subject and interpersonal communication skills. They provide an opportunity for students to ask questions and exchange ideas in a small group setting. Skills practiced include critical thinking, numeracy, communication & team working.
3. Private study is used for self-directed learning and includes: reading lecture notes and texts; preparation for seminars; using learning resources on the Web. Skills practiced include critical thinking, active learning, numeracy, planning and organisation and independence.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination901A100EMI format 25-30 questions
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Computer assessment1MA mid-semester EMI (formative), 25-30 questions will be provided to students under exam conditions.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The end of semester examination assesses knowledge and understanding of the course material. The formative EMI questions will help students assess their knowledge and understanding of course material as well as familiarise students with the format of an EMI exam.

FMS Schools offering Semester One modules available as ‘Study Abroad’ will, where required, provide an alternative assessment time for examinations that take place after the Christmas vacation. Coursework with submissions dates after the Christmas vacation will either be submitted at an earlier date or at the same time remotely.

The form of assessment will not vary from the original.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Note: The Module Catalogue now reflects module information relating to academic year 15/16. Please contact your School Office if you require module information for a previous academic year.

Disclaimer: The University will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver modules in accordance with the descriptions set out in this catalogue. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, however, the University reserves the right to introduce changes to the information given including the addition, withdrawal or restructuring of modules if it considers such action to be necessary.