Molecular Biology of the Gene

Module titleMolecular Biology of the Gene
Module codeBIO2089
Academic year2018/9
Credits15
Module staff

Dr Steven Bates (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks

11

Number students taking module (anticipated)

140

Description - summary of the module content

Module description

The molecular machinery inside a cell conducts the fundamental processes required for life. In this module you will focus on the central dogma of molecular biology: how the information stored in the genome of an organism is expressed. You will first focus on the forms of information within the genome and how these are maintained, before exploring the molecular detail of how the information is expressed. Following on from this you will concentrate on how these processes can be regulated such that a cell can respond to its environment.

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module aims to develop a core understanding of molecular biology and genetics. It will cover a range of topics including: genome structure, organisation and packaging; genome replication and repair; the process of gene expression through transcription, RNA processing and translation; protein sorting and modification; regulation of gene expression. Molecular detail and examples will be drawn from both prokaryotes and eukaryotes.

Graduate attributes: This module will give you a sound understanding of molecular biology, essential for laboratory-based jobs in this area. You will develop your critical thinking and data analysis skills.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

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

  • 1. Describe in some detail and discuss genome organisation and packaging in prokaryotes and eukaryotes
  • 2. Explain the molecular processes involved in DNA replication and repair
  • 3. Explain the processes involved in gene expression in prokaryotes and eukaryotes
  • 4. Discuss the regulation of gene expression in prokaryotes and eukaryotes
  • 5. Describe in some detail and discuss protein sorting and modification in eukaryotes
  • 6. Demonstrate computer skills for basic biological sequence analysis

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

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

  • 7. Describe and evaluate approaches to our understanding of molecular biology with reference to primary literature, reviews and research articles
  • 8. Describe in some detail essential facts and theory across a subdiscipline of the biosciences
  • 9. Identify critical questions from the literature and synthesise research-informed examples from the literature into written work
  • 10. With some guidance, deploy established techniques of analysis, practical investigation and enquiry within the biosciences

ILO: Personal and key skills

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

  • 11. Communicate ideas, principles and theories fluently by written means in a manner appropriate to the intended audience
  • 12. Develop, with some guidance, a logical and reasoned argument with valid conclusions
  • 13. Collect and interpret appropriate data, drawing on a range of sources, with limited guidance

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

Lectures cover: Genome organisation and packaging, DNA replication and repair, Process of transcription, RNA processing and translation, Protein sorting and modification, Regulation of gene expression.

Laboratory practical classes cover aspects of regulation of gene expression in pro- and eukaryotes, and protein modification. The bioinformatics practical covers computer-based gene identification and sequence analysis.

Learning and teaching

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

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad
371130

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching22Lectures (22 x 1 hour)
Scheduled Learning and Teaching12Laboratory practical classes (4 x 3 hours)
Scheduled Learning and Teaching3Bioinformatics practical
Guided Independent Study9Writing up reports from practical sessions
Guided Independent Study104Preparation for scheduled sessions, reading, research and revision

Assessment

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Lecturer and demonstrator feedback during practicals5 x 3 hour practical classes2, 4, 5, 6. 7. 10, 11Oral
Feedback via ELE ForumAd hoc1-9, 11-13Written
MCQ test1 hour1-5, 8, 10, 12-13Online

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams
40600

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay examination601 hour1-5, 7-13Written
Practical report401500 words2, 4-8, 10-13Written

Re-assessment

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Essay examinationEssay examination1-5, 7-13August Ref/Def
Practical reportNot applicableNot applicableNot applicable

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 laboratory/practical assessments are not deferrable because of their practical nature. 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%.

Resources

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Many recent textbooks covering molecular biology/genetics/genomics are suitable for this module e.g.

  • Watson et al. (2008) Molecular Biology of the Gene (6th edition), Pearson International, ISBN 0321507819  
  • Alberts et al. (2008) Molecular Biology of the Cell (5th Edition). Garland Science ISBN 9780815341062

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Module has an active ELE page

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

  • Review articles and primary research publications

Key words search

Molecular biology, genome, DNA replication, DNA repair, gene expression, transcription, translation, protein modification

Credit value15
Module ECTS

7.5

Module pre-requisites

BIO1334 Genetics or BIO1341 Biochemistry and Genetics or NSC1003 Foundations in Natural Science

Module co-requisites

None

NQF level (module)

5

Available as distance learning?

No

Origin date

01/11/2011

Last revision date

08/03/2018