BIO8046 : Applied Bioinformatics

Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


Module introduces the basic concepts of bioinformatics to students. The module is devised such that students from a range of backgrounds can understand the theory and practice of applying computers and statistics to the field of molecular biology. The module is hands-on and will train as well as educate the students. The module is divided into lectures and workshops to ensure that lecture information is transferred to practical teaching. The students will become competent in the use of molecular biology databases and bioinformatics tools including those aimed at investigating: sequence similarity, sequence analysis, protein structure, phylogeny, and genome browsing. The series of workshops will present students with actual problem solving exercises ensuring that students are able to apply what they learn, particularly during their research projects.

Outline Of Syllabus


An introduction to bioinformatics (1)
Sequence prediction and genome browsing (1)
Sequence databases (2)
Sequence similarity (2)
Sequence analysis (2)
Structural prediction (2)

Tutorials and practice examples will be delivered through Blackboard

Practical workshops (5)

As above - aligned with lectures. Each workshop will be used to give students data to analyse using the different bioinformatics tools that they have been introduced to. Students will submit their results at the end of each session for marking.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading102:0020:00Material given in advance for students to read & investigate topics & themes for workshop discussion
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical52:0010:00Understanding of the topics and skills will be assessed through a series of set practical problems.
Guided Independent StudySkills practice101:0010:00Students will practise and familiarise themselves with the skills needed for the workshops
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops102:0020:00Workshop provide a forum where topics can be discussed in depth allowing student directed learning.
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity100:305:00To allow time to reflect on performance in the assessed practical classes and to address weak areas
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery101:0010:00Surgery will deliver feedback after prac sessions and allow the students a forum to discuss the work
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study125:0025:00Wider reading around the subject to further understanding and relevance of the subject.
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The module aims to provide both theory and practice in bioinformatics. This is achieved using the lecture/workshop model; students are given theory and demonstrations, guided to online tutorials and practice, and then set problems to work through in a workshop. The module will make strong use of online materials, such that students can attempt problems prior to lectures and workshops, giving the students an opportunity to direct the teaching to their needs.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Prob solv exercises2M100Students will be assessed through the taught practical components.
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Reflective log2MStudents will be encouraged to keep a blog of their work, progress and ideas to help them in future modules.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The practical components are designed such that students will be solving problems relevant to molecular biology. This will provide them with the skills required to apply bioinformatics to their research. The assessments will ensure that the students are fully able to conduct basic bioinformatics to the level required for postgraduate research.

Study Abroad students may request to take their exam before the semester 1 exam period, in which case the format of the paper may differ from that shown in the MOF. Study Abroad students should contact the school to discuss this.

Reading Lists