Undergraduate Course: Molecular Biology and Epigenetics 3 (IBMS09004)
|School||Deanery of Biomedical Sciences
||College||College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 9 (Year 3 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Not available to visiting students
|Summary||This course will focus on developing advanced knowledge of genetic and epigenetic subject matter required for honours electives in e.g.: cancer biology, molecular and genetic medicine or metabolic disorders. It will provide the means for thorough understanding of regulation of gene expression and cellular differentiation by internal and external stimuli. The course will create a framework for students to learn about molecular biology underpinnings of human disorders.
This elective course will provide a comprehensive coverage of genetic and epigenetics processes that regulate human gene expression, with a focus on human molecular biology and disorders.
The lecture component will cover the arrangement and structure of genes, how genes are expressed, promoter activity, enhancer action, mRNA splicing and translation. This will lead into discussions on the molecular basis of cellular differentiation, epigenetics, and the role of RNA in gene expression. In particular we will focus on epigenetic phenomena such as DNA methylation, histone modifications and RNA-mediated regulation of gene expression. Throughout the course we will be examining the interplay between the control of gene expression, the environment and the role of aberrant epigenetic control in human disease.
Additionally, the course will discuss the modern techniques for manipulating and analysing gene expression and epigenome and their relevance to medical applications. Particular emphasis will be placed on how modern molecular biology have led to our current understanding of the structure and functions of genes within the human genome and their contribution to human disorders.
This course will focus on delivering material to develop advanced knowledge of genetic and epigenetic subject matter required for honours electives in e.g.: cancer biology, molecular and genetic medicine or metabolic disorders.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2018/19, Not available to visiting students (SS1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Lecture Hours 25,
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 30,
Feedback/Feedforward Hours 10,
Formative Assessment Hours 10,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||Exam: 40% total course mark«br /»
Coursework: 60% total course mark«br /»
Comprising an essay on a defined scientific topic in molecular biology and epigenetics (ICA 30% total course mark), oral presentation based on selected research paper in molecular biology and epigenetics (ICA 30% total course mark).
||Discussion and consolidation sessions each week will present opportunities to provide oral feedback on learning and skill development and all formats of assessed work. Written formative feedback will be provided as key academic skills are developed particularly in essay writing and presentational skills. Feedback will be given following the summative exam assessments.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- describe and discuss selected genetic and epigenetic processes that regulate human gene expression
- distinguish fundamental genetic and epigenetic mechanisms that control gene expression to human disorders
- demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of the techniques used to study gene expression and epigenetics
- demonstrate an ability to critically review molecular biology and epigenetic data
|Alberts et al., Molecular Biology of the Cell (5th or 6th ed.)|
Jenuwein et al., Epigenetics (1st or 2nd ed.)
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||The course aim is to develop a set of four clusters of skills and abilities (see headings below) that will strengthen students' attitude towards lifelong learning and personal development, as well as future employability. The graduate attributes we hope to develop within the 3rd year Molecular Biology and Epigenetics elective course are indicated below.
Understanding and Enquiry
The course aims to increase students¿ understanding of the general subject area and also obtain specific skills as outlined in the Course Description. The knowledge base of the course and the development of analytical skills will be of benefit to students in completing their degree and beyond. The course will develop problem-solving capabilities through the course essay and paper presentation.
Personal and Intellectual Autonomy
To meet the aims and challenges of the course, we will encourage students to work independently and also to discuss and debate with other students to strengthen their views as they develop. By reading textbooks and research papers students will expand their knowledge of the topics covered in the lectures, and this will allow them to broaden personal scientific interests outside of the specific subjects in the course. In writing the course essay students will explore a topic in detail, evaluate what they have learnt and read in a critical way and provide their own approach to investigating and solving a biological problem.
Through open discussions and collaborations during tutorials, paper analysis and presentation students will be able to communicate their views and ideas in English and to learn from peers. Preparing for the presentation and tutorials will help students to develop effective communication skills and improve their professional, scientific English language. Students will be also encouraged to ask questions during lectures and tutorials to expand their knowledge and clear up any misinterpretations and misunderstandings they might have.
Students will continue learning time management skills to develop ways to organise their work and meet deadlines. Writing a well-reasoned essay will help students to organize their thoughts concisely and effectively. Group work during tutorials is also an important transferable skill. By interacting with peers, students will become more aware of their own skills and talents (and possible limitations) and appreciate those of others.
|Keywords||molecular biology,epigenetics,gene expression,cellular differentiation
|Course organiser||Dr Gracjan Michlewski
|Course secretary||Ms Cristina Matthews
Tel: (0131 6)51 1346