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NUT1004 : Fundamental Principles of Genetics and Biochemistry for Nutrition

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Catherine Meplan
  • Demonstrator: Dr Gerry O'Brien, Dr Robert Yeo
  • Lecturer: Dr Alison Day, Dr Gavin Hudson
  • Owning School: Biomedical, Nutritional and Sports Scien
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 15
ECTS Credits: 8.0


The aims of this module are to:
•       introduce the fundamental principles of human genetics and biochemistry in relation to nutrition
•       demonstrate the relationship between structure and function of DNA, RNA and proteins
•       introduce Mendelian genetics, population genetics and current concepts of molecular genetics applied to eukaryotes
•       provide an opportunity for students to interpret genetic information and work through problems in seminars, and relate their knowledge of genetics
•       introduce the molecular basis of cellular processes and the principles that underlie many biological events consider the implications in relation to health and disease
•       introduce some of the molecular and genetic techniques being used in the postgenomic era of genetics
•       demonstrate the relationship between structure and function of carbohydrates and lipids

Outline Of Syllabus

Lectures and seminars cover the following topics:

•       Nucleic acids and proteins structure and function
•       Relationship between DNA, RNA and proteins
•       Replication, transcription and translation
•       DNA Sequencing and the human genome
•       Epigenetic mechanisms
•       Control of gene expression
•       Amino acid structure and function
•       Carbohydrates structure and function
•       Lipid structure and function
•       Cell division: mitosis and meiosis
•       Molecular techniques: PCR, gel electrophoresis, genotyping

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials31:003:00Non-synchronous online pre-recorded teaching materials supported by sync online support session
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion11:001:00Formative class test
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture171:0017:00PIP - lecture
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching51:005:00Synchronous online support session/seminars.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1123:00123:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk11:001:00Introductory Module Talk -delivered synchronously online
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

1. Lectures and lecture materials will define the scope of the course and communicate basic knowledge as a basis for further study.

2. Synchronous online seminars will enable students to ask questions on lectures and 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. Students will be allocated to breakout rooms in which they will work on a set of questions in a small group (to encourage teamwork) before joining the whole group to discuss the answers.

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.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Digital Examination901A100PIP Inspera Invigilated: computer-based exam. Multiple choice questions (MCQs), approximately 70 questions
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Computer assessment1MOnline synchronous (remote) mid-semester mulitiple choice questions (formative) 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 computer assessment will help students assess their knowledge and understanding of course material as well as familiarise students with the format of MCQs exam.

MDiet candidates must obtain an overall mark of 40 or above to pass the module, however, if the module has more than one assessment students must also achieve a mark of at least 35 in each component of the assessment to pass the module.

Reading Lists