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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Biological Sciences : Biology

Undergraduate Course: Biotechnology 3 (BILG09014)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Biological Sciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 9 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe central theme of the Biotechnology 3 course relates to the invention of new technologies and their application in basic scientific investigations, in areas related to human health and disease, in environmental management, and for the creation of useful products.
Course description The central theme of the Biotechnology 3 course relates to the invention of new technologies and their application in basic scientific investigations, in areas related to human health and disease, in food production, in environmental management, and for the creation of useful products.

The course consists of lectures, with associated practicals and tutorials, focusing in depth on the following topics:
(1) Microbial biotechnology, synthetic biology, and genetic modification techniques.
(2) Plant biotechnology.
(3) Genome engineering.
(4) Microbial diversity and its exploitation.
(5) Cell technologies: antibody production; cell sorting; single cell sequencing.
(6) Stem cell biology and clinical applications of stem cells.

In addition to the lecture material, there is also a set of practical classes introducing important techniques in microbial and plant biotechnology, and a tutorial program focusing on transferable skills in oral and written presentation as well as interpretation of the scientific literature. Together, these topics represent a Biotechnology Toolbox that should be of interest and value for career development to a large number of students. Biotechnology 3 is the main requisite for progression to Senior Honours in Biotechnology.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites It is RECOMMENDED that students have passed The Microbial World 2 (BILG08018)
Co-requisites It is RECOMMENDED that students also take Molecular Microbiology 3 (BILG09013)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Biological Sciences students are automatically eligible to take this course by having completed the compulsory Year 2 courses [Biology 2A (BILG08024), Biology 2B (BILG08025) and Biology 2C (BILG08026)].
Students from other Schools are advised to enquire with the Course Organiser if you are not sure whether this course is suitable for you.
Additional Costs Nil
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesEquivalent of the courses listed above
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 21, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 12, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 24, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 1, Summative Assessment Hours 4, Revision Session Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 132 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 50 %, Coursework 50 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) This course is assessed by both in-course assessment and a degree examination.
In-course tutorial summary, essay and class test (50%)
2-hour degree examination (50%)

There are three ICA components.
(1) Essay (20% of the course mark)
(2) Tutorial phrase presentation/summary (10% of the course mark)
(3) Class Test in week 11 (20%) of the course mark)
Feedback Not entered
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. A basic knowledge and understanding of modern aspects of biotechnology relevant to environmental management, human health, development of new commercial products, inventing novel experimental strategies for biological research.
  2. Through laboratory training, specialist skills in biotechnological methods.
  3. Through laboratory exercises, capabilities in experimental design, critical observation, and analysis and interpretation of results.
  4. Through tutorial sessions, the capability to read a scientific paper and critically evaluate it; data analysis and problem solving skills; good presentational and communication skills.
  5. Through the essay assignment, the capability to research and compose a comprehensive, critical and balanced review on a defined scientific topic.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills The University has identified a set of four clusters of skills and abilities (see headings below) that we would like students to develop throughout their degree programme to strengthen your attitude towards lifelong learning and personal development, as well as future employability. The graduate attributes we hope you will develop during the Biotechnology 3 course are indicated below:

Research and enquiry
This course aims to increase your understanding of the subject area and also obtain the specific skills as outlined in the ┬┐learning outcomes┬┐ above. The knowledge obtained, and the development of research and technical skills will be of benefit to you in completion of your degree and beyond. The course will also develop your ability to read and critique scientific papers, and your data analysis and problem solving capabilities through the tutorials and practicals. In-course assessment will enable you to evaluate scientific information and make critical judgements and considered conclusions from your scientific enquiries.

Personal and intellectual autonomy
We encourage students to work independently to meet the challenges of the course but also to strengthen your views by discussion and debate with other students. By exploring textbooks and research papers you can not only expand your knowledge of the topics covered in the lectures but also this will allow you to broaden your own personal scientific interests outside of the specific subjects in the course. In writing the course essay you can explore a topic in detail, evaluate what you have read in a critical way and provide your own summary, interpretation and conclusions. Preparation for the tutorials and full participation in these will improve your intellectual confidence and flexibility through trying to understand, evaluate and discuss new information.

Through discussion and collaboration with students in practical and tutorial groups you will be able to communicate your views and ideas and to learn from your peers. You are also encouraged to ask questions to your lecturers, practical demonstrators and tutors to expand your knowledge and clear up any misinterpretations you might have.

Personal effectiveness
Transferable skills acquired throughout your degree programme will benefit you, not only across the courses on which you are enrolled, but in future employment and further study. In this course, as in others, time management is an important skill that you will acquire as you develop ways to organise your work and meet deadlines. Group work in tutorials and practicals is also an important transferable skill and by interacting with fellow students you will become aware of your own skills, talents and limitations; and appreciate those of others.
Course organiserDr Andrew Smith
Tel: (0131 6)50 6497
Course secretaryDr Edward Dewhirst
Tel: (0131 6)50 8649
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