Biochemistry 1

Module summary

Module code: BIOC1033
Level: 4
Credits: 15
School: Engineering and Science
Department: Science
Module Coordinator(s): Samer El-Daher / Lauren Pecorino



To introduce students to the structure and properties of nucleic acids, carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins and to introduce the relationship between structure and biological function.
To introduce the fundamental science of enzymes as biological catalysts and the role of cofactors.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:
1. Discuss the properties of water, and the concept of pH and its importance in living systems
2. Describe the structure of the monomeric units of nucleic acids, proteins and carbohydrates and describe how these are joined together to form biopolymers;
3. Discuss the diversity of proteins, carbohydrates, lipids and relate their structure to function;
4. Discuss the role and function of enzymes and cofactors including enzyme kinetics as proposed by models such as of the Michaelis-Menten model;

Indicative content

Water and aqueous solutions.
Acid-base equilibria, pH and buffer solutions.
Bioenergetics: introduction to energy and kinetics.
Thermodynamic and kinetic control of reactions. Structure of nucleic acids, structure of DNA.
Amino acids; the peptide bond; levels of structure in proteins.
Forces that maintain the biologically active state of proteins.
Classes and roles of enzymes, cofactors and ATP and enzyme kinetics.
Carbohydrates: Structures and properties of representative mono- and disaccharides; structural and storage polysaccharides.
Lipids: Structures of the major classes of lipids with particular emphasis on fatty acids, triacylglycerols, phospholipids, simple non-saponifiable lipids.

Teaching and learning activity

The module will be delivered largely through lectures and tutorials (approximately 2:1). Development of group working and presentational skills will also take place in the tutorials. Underlying principles will be explained in the lectures, while the tutorials will establish the understanding of these principles. Theory will be related to practical work in Practical and Professional Skills.


Summative Assessment.

Essay - Weighting 50%, Pass Mark 40%. Outcomes assessed - 3; 1500 Words.

Test - Weighting 50%, Pass Mark 40%. Outcomes assessed - 1, 2 and 4. Details of assessment - General online test on module coverage. 1.5 hours.

Formative Assessment. Quizzes using tools such as Mentimeter and PowerPoint; practical tasks.