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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 cells and the topics covered provide an essential foundation for all Biological Sciences degree programmes. The course examines the function of molecules, like proteins, nucleic acids, and lipids within the context of living cells. In-depth study of protein structure and function is covered, and the molecular techniques used in protein purification and analysis. The structure of nucleic acids is also covered, including mechanisms of DNA replication and the regulated expression of genetic information. Genetic engineering is described in detail and how it is used for biotechnological applications. Cell membrane structure and function, the cytoskeleton and the cell cycle are further subjects in the course.

The major skills that you will develop in this course include: familiarisation with the major molecular constituents of the cell and their functional relationships; experience in a variety of molecular biological techniques through practical sessions; and problem solving through independent research and collaboration.
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 2021/22, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 29, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 3, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 4, Online Activities 10, Formative Assessment Hours 1, Summative Assessment Hours 26, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 123 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Assessed Problem - consisting of a set of short-answer questions and a mini-essay (40% of final mark),
Practical Quizzes x 4 (40% of final mark).
Lecture Quizzes x 5 (20% of final mark).
To pass the course, 40% must be achieved in the Assessed Problem and for the course overall.
Feedback Feedback will be provided for course assessments. Students will have the opportunity to interact with lecturers during Collaborate sessions and through Discussion Boards, with tutors during Tutorials and with demonstrators during Practicals.
No Exam Information
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 or 5th 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 x 29.
Online Pymol workshop x1.
Collaborate sessions x10.
In-person tutorials x 3.
Virtual practicals x 2.
In-person practicals x 2.
Course organiserDr Tilo Kunath
Course secretaryDr Caroline Aspinwall
Tel: (0131 6)50 5521
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