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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Biological Sciences : Postgraduate

Postgraduate Course: Applications of Synthetic Biology (PGBI11094)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Biological Sciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryApplications of Synthetic Biology will provide examples of research which has applied synthetic biology tools or techniques to a particular problem. The course will seek to teach students the theory behind the applications; encouraging understanding, which will allow new uses and application in alternative areas to become apparent.
Course description Lecture Subjects
1 Synthetic life
2 Biofuels and bioenergy
3 Biomaterials
4 Engineering photosynthesis
5 Bioremediation
6 Global health applications
7 Assessment guidance
8 Synthetic communities
9 Medical and veterinary applications
10 Assessment
11 Future, fun and disaster
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  36
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 10, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10, Formative Assessment Hours 4, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 74 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Delivery:
Students will be taught by a cohort of expert practitioners through lectures and tutorials to gain a broad overview over the possible real-world applications of synthetic biology tools and practice critically assessing them in tutorials looking at recent publications from the field.

Students will be assessed on two assignments. The first is a presentation of a paper of their choice in week 10 that shows an application of synthetic biology (30 % of final mark). The second is a 2000-word essay that includes a brief summary of the paper presented and in-depth answers to questions arising at the presentation (70% of final mark).
Feedback - Presentation:
Written Feedback

- Essay:
Written Feedback
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Analytical skills, the ability to assess the relative merits of new methods and application of these
  2. The capacity to recognise and critically appraise the opportunities presented by new biological discoveries
  3. The ability to look at a wide range of problems from the perspective of solving these with innovative bio-based solutions
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills This course is aimed at developing synthetic biology graduates with skills in critical and reflective thinking and communication that prepares them for a career in research, further education and employment in biotechnology and other synthetic biology related industries.
KeywordsASB,engineering biology,synthetic biology tools,application of synthetic biology
Course organiserDr Louise Horsfall
Tel: (0131 6)50 5363
Course secretaryMs Karen Sutherland
Tel: (0131 6)51 3404
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