Module Catalogue

MCR8022 : Biology of Ageing- Principal concepts (E-learning)

  • Offered for Year: 2013/14
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Carole Proctor
  • Lecturer: Professor Thomas von Zglinicki, Dr Daryl Shanley, Dr Viktor Korolchuk, Dr Gabriele Saretzki
  • Teaching Assistant: Mrs Alison Clapp
  • Owning School: FMS Graduate School
  • Teaching Location: Off Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


1 To provide a framework to understand why ageing occurs in almost all organisms and why ageing is particularly slow in humans
2 To present details of the essential mechanisms of ageing as a basis to understand how organisms age
3 To inform students on the role of intrinsic and extrinsic stress in ageing
4 To provide a critical platform to judge the efficacy of potential interventions

Outline Of Syllabus

The module will cover:
1. Longevity, ageing and the life cycle including the evolutionary theories of ageing
2. Mechanisms of stress and ageing: damage to protein, lipid and DNA molecules; the associated maintenance and repair systems; and the consequences of the accumulation of un-repaired molecular damage.
3. Protein homeostasis
4. Maintenance of telomeres including telomerase; apoptosis and cellular senescence; the role of mitochondria and oxidative stress
5. Use of cell and animal model systems for ageing research

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture62:0012:00“Lectures” consist of online material with asynchronous activity on the discussion board
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading761:0076:00Approx 46hrs reading online material, video & supplemental thought q's & 30hrs assessment prep
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesScheduled on-line contact time121:0012:00Tutoring time will vary according to the number of students as well as their abilities
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The module will be delivered by e-learning via Blackboard VLE. The curriculum will be delivered through a series of guided learning opportunities including e-based lectures and discussion boards. Students will be asked to prepare paperwork for formative and summative assessment and will submit their work for assessment via Blackboard VLE. The work for summative assessment will use the knowledge acquired, their individual feedback, notes and other sources. After submission, feedback will be given to the students electronically. The course material will provide students with current specialist knowledge from experts in the field of gerontological biology.
Critical appraisal, data interpretation and other scientific communication skills will be practised in on-line individual activities. Discussion board interaction will encourage the students to reflect on their learning. All these activities relate directly to the learning outcomes above.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report1M50Report electronically submitted
Computer assessment1M50Multiple choice questions electronically submitted.
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
PC Examination1MThere will be self-assessment multiple choice tests submitted electronically at the end of each learning unit
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The multiple choice questions test the students’ knowledge base and comprehension.
The essay tests ability to discuss the subject critically as well as application of knowledge and understanding.

Reading Lists