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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Biological Sciences : Biology

Undergraduate Course: Molecules, Genes and Cells 1 (BILG08015)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Biological Sciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryStructure, organisation, and experimental investigation of eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells. Structure and replication of nucleic acids. Structure and function of proteins, methods of purification and investigation, plus some particular examples. Cytoskeleton and cell motility. Biological membranes. Cell growth and differentiation.
Course description This course focuses on the molecular biology of living cells and the topics covered provide a strong foundation for all Biological Sciences degree programmes. The course examines the properties of the amino acids and the major aspects of protein structure and function, and the molecular techniques used in protein purification and analysis. The structure of nucleic acids is also covered in the course and the mechanisms by which duplication and expression of genetic information is carried out within the cell and also how genetic information can be studied and manipulated through genetic engineering. Cell membrane structure and function, the cytoskeleton and the cell cycle are further subjects in the course, as are aspects of cell differentiation and embryo development.

The major skills that you will develop in this course include: familiarisation with the major cellular constituents of the cell and their functional relationships; to gain experience in a variety of molecular biological techniques through practical sessions and problem solving.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites It is RECOMMENDED that students have passed Introductory Chemistry for Biologists (CHEM07001) OR Biological Chemistry 1A (CHEM08022)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 30, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 5, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 20, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 4, Summative Assessment Hours 7, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 130 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 60 %, Coursework 25 %, Practical Exam 15 %
Additional Information (Assessment) In-course problem (25% of final mark),
5x Practical Questionnaires (total 15% of final mark).
Degree Examination - multiple choice, short answer questions and problem question (60% of final mark).
40% coursework, 60% degree examination.
To pass the course, 40% must be achieved in BOTH the in-course assessment and in the degree examination. Satisfactory attendance in the practical classes is also a requirement.
Feedback Feedback is generally provided to all items of in-course assessment and the final exam as well as in the form of formative feedback when the results of assessment are not counted towards course marks.

During lectures and workshops, Tophat may be used to provide immediate formative feedback via multiple-choice question and answer sessions, quizzes and team games.

Individualised feedback can be obtained by communicating with tutors, demonstrators and laboratory floor-leaders. Background information for the laboratory work will be provided during practical feedback lectures.

Part of the coursework involves answering five online questionnaires relating to the five practical classes. The marks for the first questionnaire do not count towards the coursework mark, providing formative feedback only. The remaining four questionnaires are assessed and the marks count.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)2:00
Resit Exam Diet (August)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand the way in which the structures of the macromolecules of the cell can be related to their biological functions.
  2. Understand the basic principles of organisation, structure and activity in prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells at a molecular level.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of the experimental methods used to investigate these areas of biology.
  4. Demonstrate knowledge of how to perform experiments in a molecular biology laboratory.
  5. Draw quantitative conclusions from experimental data and know how to present experimental results and theoretical knowledge.
Reading List
Essential Cell Biology (4th edition) by Alberts et al.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Research and Enquiry.
Personal and Intellectual Autonomy.
Personal Effectiveness.
Additional Class Delivery Information Lectures (30 in total): every Tue 1410-1500, Thu 0900-0950 and Fri 1210-1300.
Tutorials (5 in total): various groups held on Tue, Wed, Thu or Fri.
Practicals (5 in total): Tue 1000-1200 or Thu 1000-1200 or Fri 1000-1200.
Workshops (3 in total): Mon 1000-1200 or Wed 1400-1600 or Thu 1000-1200.
Computing class (one): Thu 1000-1200 or Fri 1000-1200.
Course organiserProf Andrew Goryachev
Tel: (0131 6)50 7807
Course secretaryDr Caroline Aspinwall
Tel: (0131 6)50 5521
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