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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Chemistry : Chemistry

Postgraduate Course: Biological Chemistry PGT (CHEM10069)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Chemistry CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryA lecture course providing instruction in aspects of medicinal and biological chemistry. A sound
knowledge of chemistry is essential for understanding the structures, reactivities and interactions of
biomolecules. The course comprises individual lecture series including biomolecular structure and
chemistry, enzymes and biological catalysis, biosynthesis of natural products, the chemical biology of
organic co-factors, and biological inorganic chemistry.
Course description The course consists of 30 lectures divided into five lecture modules. Each lecture module is geared
toward presenting the important basic principles and illustrating the relevance of these using typical
examples. Each module course is followed by a tutorial/examples class session where problems
arising from the content can be discussed. The laboratory course consists of five experiments which
are designed to improve hands-on practical and analytical skills. The workshop ┬┐Introduction to
PyMol┬┐ will provide instruction on how to navigate through the Protein data bank (PDB) and how to
use PyMol to analyse and visualise biomolecules
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements MSc Medicinal and Biological Chemistry students only
Additional Costs Purchase of a lab coat.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2022/23, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 33, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 5, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 28, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 130 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 50 %, Coursework 20 %, Practical Exam 30 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Written Exam 50%, Practical Exam 30%, Coursework 20%
Feedback Each lecture course unit has an associated small-group tutorial. This will provide students
with practice at problem-solving and tackling exam-like questions. It is also an opportunity for
students to discuss any issues pertaining to the lecture course. Feedback is also given for each of the
5 laboratory reports.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Appreciate how to expand their chemical knowledge as applied to biological chemistry through various modes of teaching and learning.
  2. Understand and describe fundamental aspects of biological chemistry across three broad areas (organic, physical and inorganic). Specifically understand the structure of biological molecules (including nucleic acids, lipids and proteins); the structure and function of posttranslational modifications of proteins; the concepts of kinetics and thermodynamics and the use of enzyme assays to generate such data; the biosynthesis of natural products; the chemical biology of organic cofactors; biological inorganic chemistry.
  3. Take part in discussions in the tutorials and lab classes.
  4. Carry out laboratory experiments safely across the organic, physical and inorganic areas. Record, analyse and interpret experimental data and relate to core material. Prepare clear, well-structured lab reports. Use external material (www, books, research literature) to answer laboratory-associated questions.
  5. Handle powerful molecular graphics package (PyMol) and utilise protein databases and data files. Analyse and compare 3D structures of biomolecules, build small molecules in 3D space. Measure and calculate simple properties of biomolecules and relate structure to function.
Reading List
Any good biochemistry textbook; e.g. Stryer.
Organic chemistry covered by McMurry.
Post-translational modifications - book by Walsh - published review in Angewandte Chemie.
Kinetics/thermodynamics and spectroscopy covered by general chemistry text e.g. Blackman.
Reading lists pertaining to each course unit will be given by the lecturers.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Data analysis and processing (Origin, ChemDraw)
Written communication (lab reports)
Team work (lab)
Independent learning (use core lecture material to explore current research areas)
Keywordsmedicinal chemistry,biological chemistry,synthesis and reactivity,enzyme kinetics,biological in
Course organiserDr Mathew Horrocks
Tel: (0131 6)50 4787
Course secretaryMs Zoe Burger
Tel: (0131 6)50 7546
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