Undergraduate

modules

Modules

BIO1019 : Introductory Biochemistry for Biologists

Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

The module aims to enable students, who will subsequently study a range of biological science subjects, to appreciate the fundamental importance of biochemical processes to whatever aspect of biology they subsequently specialise in. It aims to provide basic information about: (i) the structure and function of the major biological macromolecules; (ii) how structure and function relate to each other and (iii) how biological macromolecules are synthesised and degraded through central metabolic pathways and the link to production or utilisation of energy. It also provides the opportunity for students to gain experience of practical laboratory skills and enables development of skills, including numeracy, needed to manipulate, display and interpret experimental data and prepare laboratory reports.

Outline Of Syllabus

Outline Syllabus

Lectures (HJF): (* In class tests follow completion of these topics)
Semester 1
Required basic chemistry (optional for students having appropriate background knowledge)
Protein structure and function with examples of important globular and fibrous proteins
Basics of chemical reactions
Enzyme function and effect of pH, temperature, substrate concentration and inhibitors*
Cell energy currency – ATP. Mechanisms for energy generation: substrate level phosphorylation, oxidative phosphory lation electron transport chains, chemiosmotic process
Carbohydrate structure and function
Energy from carbohydrate – anaerobic processes: glycolysis*

Semester 2
Energy from carbohydrate – aerobic processes: TCA cycle
Alternative carbohydrate metabolism - pentose phosphate pathway
Di- and poly-saccharide synthesis
Photosynthesis*
Lipid structure and function
Membranes, transport proteins, osmosis, tonicity
Energy from triacylglycerols, ketone body production
Lipid synthesis – fatty acids, triacylglycerols and phosphoacylglycerols
Nitrogen cycle: nitrogen fixation, ammonia assimilation, transamination and deamination, urea cycle*.

Practicals (MGE):
The practical classes involve the use of common laboratory equipment, eg. balances, pH meters, spectrophotometers, burettes and pipettes, in both quantitative and qualitative analysis relevant to biological macromolecules. The classes will cover aspects of carbohydrate, lipid and protein structure and simple biochemical reactions and techniques. They will require students to collect, present and manipulate data and to integrate results obtained in practical classes with information provided in the lectures.

Open Tutorial Sessions (HJF):
Optional support tutorials – opportunity for students to obtain additional teaching and to explore topics in different ways in a less formal environment than in lectures. Sessions include 4 formative in-class tests plus feedback

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion240:4518:00Completion of assessed lab-reports
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture351:0035:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion13:003:00Examinations: 1 x 1.0 h plus 1 x 2.0 h
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion350:3017:30Revision for examinations
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical83:0024:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery131:0013:00Open tutorial sessions including 4 formative in-class tests plus feedback
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study163:1563:15Student selected study of lectures, ReCap, Blackboard, wbsites, etc to enhance understanding
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study350:4526:15Routine lecture follow up to identify areas requiring further, more detailed study
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will provide all students with the basic information for the module. Optional open tutorial sessions are to provide additional teaching in a less formal situation for those students who feel it would be of benefit. The formative in-class tests/tutorials will be held on completion of a topic of study: they are designed to encourage learning throughout the module and to identify for students any areas needing additional study. The practical classes introduce students to the use of basic laboratory equipment, analytical techniques and simple biochemical experiments and are designed to enhance students' understanding of the structure, function and properties of biological macromolecules and to enable them to gain confidence in collecting, manipulating (including numerical calculations), presenting and interpreting experimental data.

Assessment Methods

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

Exams
Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
PC Examination601A20N/A
PC Examination1202A50N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Practical/lab report1M15Lab report
Practical/lab report2M15Lab Report
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The formal examination at the end of Semester 1 will assess the students’ knowledge of material covered in that Semester and will also give students an opportunity to gauge how their knowledge level matches that expected of them. There will be the opportunity to improve performance at the end of Semester 2 when material covered in both Semesters will be examined, but with greater emphasis on Semester 2 work. The formal examinations will assess breadth of knowledge and understanding of the structure, function and metabolism of the major biological macromolecules through a mixture of short answer (fill in blanks, true/false, label diagrams, draw structures) questions and the depth of knowledge through short essay answers on specific topics.

Assessment of laboratory reports will appraise data collection, presentation and numerical manipulation skills, and the ability to link results of practical experiments to theoretical knowledge. Most of the report forms will be completed during the lab class.

To ensure that students have achieved a sufficient level of knowledge and skills, students are required to attain at least 30% in the exam in order to pass the module. For students failing to attain at least 30% in the exam, the module mark will be the exam mark without the inclusion of the in-course assessment marks.

Reading Lists

Timetable