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DEGREE REGULATIONS & PROGRAMMES OF STUDY 2021/2022

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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Biological Sciences : Biology

Undergraduate Course: The Microbial World 2 (BILG08018)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Biological Sciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryA solid foundation in microbiology is essential for understanding how life arose on the planet and how global processes operate to sustain life. By using knowledge of microbial form and function we are also able to harness the power of microbes to solve industrial and environmental problems. This course will extend knowledge gained in courses, such as Origin and Diversity of Life and The Green Planet, to promote an understanding of core concepts in microbial growth and form with an emphasis on diversity of biochemical function and metabolism. The importance of fundamental biochemical and genetic principles underpinning microbial life will be explored in the context of environmental, plant and industrial processes.
Course description Microbes rule the world! ┬┐or at least influence it in major ways. A solid foundation in microbiology is essential for understanding how life arose on the planet and how global processes operate to sustain life. By using knowledge of microbial form and function we are also able to harness the power of microbes to solve industrial and environmental problems. This course will extend knowledge gained in Origin and Diversity of Life and Molecules, Genes and Cells to promote an understanding of core concepts in microbial growth and form, with an emphasis on diversity of function.

The course covers material that all biologists should know. It explores microbes, their major properties, and how they influence processes, such as global warming, acid rain, and nutrient cycling in the world. It examines how microbes interact with plants to influence crop production and spoilage, or affect the safety of the food we eat. The course also explores how microbes are exploited in the biotechnology industry, as well as how we might make new products in the future, using cutting edge technology, such as synthetic biology.

Course Structure and associated programmes:
A pass in The Microbial World 2 is required for entry into Molecular Microbiology 3, for Biotechnology 3, or for the Biotechnology Honours programme.

The Microbial World 2 provides valuable foundational material to support other third year courses, such as Molecular Genetics 3, Genomes & Genomics 3, Molecular Cell Biology 3, and Applied Plant Biology 3. Thus, it is recommended for Honours programmes in Molecular Genetics, Genetics, Molecular Biology, Cell Biology and Plant Science.

The course will consist of lectures, practicals, and tutorials. Much of the assessment will be undertaken during the course.

We aim to provide the following skill-base: Good microbial practice and bacterial characterisation, knowledge and understanding of the subject matter, report writing, and analytical skills, including data analysis, literature exploration and appraisal. The course will be assessed as follows:

Assessment:
ICA (100%) = Practical report. (35.71%); Question Mark Perception data handling tests (42.86% each); Literature comprehension/data analysis (21.43%)

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Origin and Diversity of Life 1 (BILG08001) AND Molecules, Genes and Cells 1 (BILG08015)
Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Students must attend at least 2 practical sessions to be awarded credits for this course. Rules for meeting the learning outcomes and passing the course are outlined in the course manual. Note that this course has a practical session on the first day of semester 2
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesEquivalent of the courses listed above.
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 12, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 184 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 64 %, Practical Exam 36 %
Additional Information (Assessment) The outcome of the course will be based entirely on In Course Assessment.

Practical report (36%)
Question Mark Perception Test 1 (15%)
Question Mark Perception Test 1 (28%)
Literature comprehension/data analysis test. (21%)
Feedback Learn.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. To be able to describe microbial diversity in relation to habitat
  2. Understanding of microbial differentiation and major evolutionary drivers
  3. To understand and be able to describe key principles of how microorganisms respond to abiotic and biotic chemico-physical environments
  4. Awareness of the major use of microorganisms and their products in current and emerging biotechnological applications
  5. To understand the principles and practicalities of microbial isolation
Reading List
Brock Biology of Microorganisms - Michael T. Madigan and John M. Martinko (2014)

Microbiology: An Evolving Science - Joan Slonczewski, John Foster (2013)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Literature Comprehension
Project Writing
Data Analysis
KeywordsMicrobial Microbiology Biochemistry Metabolism Ecology Microbes Biotechnology
Contacts
Course organiserDr Prerna Vohra
Tel: (0131 6)51 9237
Email: pvohra@exseed.ed.ac.uk
Course secretaryMrs Carolyn Wilson
Tel: (0131 6)50 8651
Email: Carolyn.Wilson@ed.ac.uk
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