CSC8313 : Bioinformatics Theory and Practice

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


To introduce the data that arises from studies in molecular biology.
To reinforce the theory underlying the concepts and techniques of sequence analysis and post-genomic bioinformatics.
An understanding of the distributed and available resources for bioinformatics analyses.

This module provides an understanding of the basic theory behind bioinformatics analyses and experience in practically applying that theory. The module introduces basic concepts of molecule biology, sequence analysis and genomic era biology. It introduces a number of many different tools and their usage, as well as the analysis algorithms behind some of them including BLAST and dynamic programming. Later parts of the module introduces the concepts behind modern postgenomic bioinformatics including material of biological pathways and networks.

Outline Of Syllabus

Basic concepts of molecular biology: genomes, transcripomes, proteomes.
Sequence analysis: genome annotation, sequence alignment, multiple sequence alignment.
Phylogenetic analysis.
Protein families.
Database searching tools.
Appropriate tools for performing the above.
Post genomic analysis: Gene and genomic comparison, protein structure, proteomics. Gene networks.
Human computer interaction for bioinformatics

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion400:3020:00Revision for end of Semester exam & exam duration
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion361:0036:00Lecture follow-up
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture361:0036:00Lectures
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical122:0024:00Practicals
Guided Independent StudyProject work122:0024:00Coursework
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study601:0060:00Background reading
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will be used to introduce the learning material and for demonstrating the key concepts by example. Students are expected to follow-up lectures within a few days by re-reading and annotating lecture notes to aid deep learning.

This is a very practical subject, and it is important that the learning materials are supported by hands-on opportunities provided by practical classes. Students are expected to spend time on coursework outside timetabled practical classes.

Students aiming for 1st class marks are expected to widen their knowledge beyond the content of lecture notes through background reading.

Students should set aside sufficient time to revise for the end of semester exam.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination601A30N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M20Max 2000 words
Report1M50Max 4000 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The examination will assess the students knowledge of the fundamental theories of genome and post genomic
analysis and is an appropriate technique for assessing this work.
The practical component will assess the students ability to apply theory in the a practical setting and will be assessed as an essay and practical report, which are suitable methods for assessing
the use of bioinformatics software.

Study abroad students may request to take their exam before the semester 1 exam period, in which case the length of the exam may differ from that shown in the MOF.

N.B. This module has both “Exam Assessment” and “Other Assessment” (e.g. coursework). If the total mark for either assessment falls below 40%, the maximum mark returned for the module will normally be 40%.

Reading Lists