Skip to main content



Module titleBiochemistry
Module codeBIO1332
Academic year2021/2
Module staff

Dr Chloe Singleton (Lecturer)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

Life is driven by biochemical reactions. Biochemistry is an introductory module providing the essentials for understanding all living processes. You will study protein structure, enzyme kinetics and basic metabolism; understanding how each of these processes function and shape the living cell. Practical sessions offer you vital hands-on experience, learning key techniques and how to apply them. Core biochemical experience is highly relevant to applications in biotechnology and medical science. This module provides the foundation from which you may progress to higher level modules in Metabolism, Analytical Techniques in Biochemistry, Bioinorganic Chemistry, and Pharmacology and Medicinal Chemistry.

In order to take BIO1332 you must normally have an A Level (or equivalent) in Biology. An A Level (or equivalent) in Chemistry is also very useful.

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module aims to teach you core concepts in biochemistry including topics on structure of proteins, enzyme kinetics and metabolic pathways. The module will also provide a background to fundamental aspects of chemistry. This module provides you with the core knowledge and skills to enhance performance in the area of biological chemistry and is a pre-requisite for second year modules in Metabolism, Analytical Techniques in Biochemistry, Bioinorganic Chemistry, and final year modules in Energy Metabolism and in Pharmacology and Medicinal Chemistry.

Graduate attributes: as part of this module you will develop organised analytical skills and group / team work skills.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Explain the basic concepts of biochemistry
  • 2. Recall the range and structures of biological molecules
  • 3. Summarise the relationship between chemical structure and biological function
  • 4. Identify metabolic pathways
  • 5. Communicate key practical skills relating specifically to biochemistry
  • 6. Illustrate essential elementary chemistry or structural organic chemistry

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 7. Describe the basic principles of biochemistry/chemical biology
  • 8. Evaluate essential key facts and theory in a subdiscipline of the biosciences
  • 9. Describe and begin to evaluate aspects of biochemistry with reference to textbook material
  • 10. With guidance, deploy of established techniques of analysis, practical investigation and enquiry within biochemistry

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 11. Communicate ideas effectively by written means
  • 12. With some guidance, study independently
  • 13. With some guidance, select and properly manage information drawn from books

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

Biochemistry topics will include:

  • structure and properties of amino acids;
  • mechanisms of protein synthesis;
  • primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary structure of proteins;
  • forces which stabilise proteins;
  • fibrous and globular proteins;
  • proteins as enzymes and enzyme kinetics;
  • enzyme regulatory properties;
  • enzyme inhibitors and activators;
  • glycolysis;
  • tricarboxylic acid cycle;
  • pentose phosphate pathway and gluconeogenesis;
  • thermodynamics;
  • energy capture and production by chloroplasts and mitochondria;
  • carbon dioxide fixation by photosynthesis;
  • synthesis and catabolism of amino acids, fatty acids, purines, pyrimidines and isoprenoids.

Fundamental Aspects of Chemistry topics will include:

  • atomic structure and bonding;
  • basic reaction chemistry;
  • nomenclature
  • carbonhybridisation;
  • structure and bonding in organic molecules.

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching20Lectures
Scheduled Learning and Teaching12Laboratory practical (4 x 3 hours)
Scheduled Learning and Teaching7Lab-based drop-in feedback/recap/Q&A sessions (7 x 1 hour)
Guided Independent Study45Lecture consolidation and wider reading
Guided Independent Study14Preparation for assessments
Guided Independent Study25Practical report preparation
Guided Independent Study3Virtual learning environment tasks
Guided Independent Study24Revision


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Laboratory skills audit4 x 1 hour5, 10, 11Written

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Digital worksheet 120Equivalent to 500 words9-11Written
Digital worksheet 220Equivalent to 500 words9-11Written
MCQ examination601 hour1-4, 6-8, 12-13Model answers


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Digital worksheetsDigital worksheets9-11August Ref/Def
MCQ examinationMCQ examination1-4, 6-8, 12-13August Ref/Def

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to sit a further examination. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of referral will count for 100% of the final mark and will be capped at 40%.


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

For Biochemistry lectures:

  • Campbell NA, Reece JB (2008) Biology, 8th Ed. Pearson. ISBN 0-321-53616-7/0-321-53616-9 (Core text)

Specialist biochemistry textbooks:

  • Berg JM, Tymoczko JL, Stryer L (2012) Biochemistry, 7th Ed., Freeman ISBN 13: 978-1-4292-7635-1


For Chemistry lectures:

  • Clayden J et al. (2001) Organic Chemistry. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-850346-6
  • Winter (2016) Chemical Bonding, 2nd Edition. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780198700951

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

ELE page:

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Proteins, enzymes, amino acids, metabolism, sugars, energy, mitochondria, ATP synthesis, TCA cycle, kinetics, thermodynamics, glycolysis, photosynthesis, fatty acid metabolism, chemistry, structural organic chemistry

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date