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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Biological Sciences : Biology

Undergraduate Course: Molecular Microbiology 3 (BILG09013)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Biological Sciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 9 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryMolecular Microbiology provides insight into the fascinating diversity of microorganisms and how they interact with their environment. Many of these interactions are of great benefit to man (e.g. for yoghurt and beer production), as well as harmful (e.g. infectious pathogens). The course explores the basic theory behind several of the most important microbial processes and examines how they operate at a molecular level. The course also has a substantial practical component which is designed to highlight the properties of living microorganisms in action. These practical sessions are aimed primarily at demonstrating how microorganisms can be characterised, controlled or harnessed.
Course description Not entered
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Genes and Gene Action 2 (BILG08003) AND Microorganisms, Infection and Immunity 2 (BIME08012)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs Students must provide a lab coat, pen, indelible ink marker and notebook
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2015/16, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 21, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 8, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 28, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 1, Summative Assessment Hours 4, Other Study Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 132 )
Additional Information (Learning and Teaching) QMP study
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 49 %, Coursework 33 %, Practical Exam 18 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Normally two items of in courses assessment plus one 2 hour exam.
Feedback Not entered
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)Molecular Microbiology 32:00
Resit Exam Diet (August)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. To provide a comprehensive knowledge base framework of the key features and functions of the main groups of microorganisms - bacteria, fungi and viruses and to examine how they operate at a cellular and sub-cellular level.
  2. Through laboratory training, to provide skills in basic microbiological techniques, including molecular genetical techniques, and in safe handling of microorganisms at containment level 2.
  3. Through laboratory exercises and tutorials, to develop skills in critical observation, investigative and interpretative approaches in biology; to promote careful recording and analysis of laboratory work.
  4. Through essays and other written assignments, with feedback from teaching staff, to promote scientific writing skills and to encourage the use of library and other reference sources.
  5. Through an oral presentation, to promote skills in succinct oral communication of science.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Knowledge and Understanding: All components of the course provide this to some degree but your lectures, in particular, provide an important framework upon which you can build these attributes. This University considers itself to be a research-led Institution and you will be exposed to cutting edge information and ideas as you progress through your degree course. In this course you will develop a comprehensive knowledge of key features and functions of major groups of microorganisms and of how their processes operate at a molecular level.

Research and Enquiry: These skills are enhanced by encouraging further reading of books, research papers and electronic materials, to embellish your lecture and practical material. They underpin your ICA material (essay and summary). Understanding how to use Web of Knowledge, in part, prepares you for these aspects. It provides a route to surveying current and past scientific arguments, in an appropriate context, and provides the foundation for hypothesis driven analysis.

Personal and Intellectual Autonomy: By reading and preparation of materials for tutorial sessions, you will learn to synthesise your own views, develop reasoned arguments and further refine your scientific judgement. In addition, in this course we encourage self-development through use of past papers and the online assessment system, Question Mark Perception. Such skills will enhance your capacity for life-long and independent learning.

Communication: This is a key attribute of all scientists and it is therefore important that you develop skills to interact constructively with others and convey knowledgeable and balanced scientific views. Our Presentation and discussion tutorials provide a forum for this but we also encourage these skills in the Course Debate and the Learn Discussion Forum.

Personal Effectiveness: The ability to organise and summarise your thoughts and material in a flexible and accessible way are core features that are required for personal effectiveness. Planning, time management and reflection are central to this. Of course these features also interlink with your personal and intellectual autonomy. By providing you with a timetable where key submission dates are highlighted, we are encouraging you to develop your effectiveness throughout this course. These same skills extend to other courses and also to your overall ability to maximise your achievement whilst studying at this University. However they also apply to every other aspect of your current and future life. Many aspects of what you achieve in your life can be significantly influenced by you!

Technical and Practical Skills: In order to continue in a scientific career it is important that you not only understand the conceptual basis of how experiments are designed and carried out but also that you have the underpinning practical skills required for employability. Our course has a particularly heavy laboratory component which is designed to prepare your for this, as well as to assist you in your future Honours course projects. As part of this, your laboratory training provides skills in basic microbiological techniques, and in safe handling of pathogenic microorganisms. The laboratory skills you develop from your practical sessions, in critical observation, investigation and interpretation, careful recording, quantification and analysis, should serve you well in any future employment.
Course organiserDr Chris French
Tel: (0131 6)50 7098
Course secretaryMr Samuel Bishop
Tel: (0131 6)51 3404
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