Advanced Topics in Molecular Biology

Module summary

Module code: GENE0002
Level: 6
Credits: 15
School: Engineering and Science
Department: Science
Module Coordinator(s): Giulia Getti



• To build upon students prior knowledge of molecular biology by examining advanced topics in the field.
• To provide more detailed understanding of how molecular biology research is carried out and used in the fields of biological
research and forensic science.

Learning outcomes

On completing this course successfully you will be able to:

• Discuss the inheritance and molecular biology of a variety of human disorders;
• Critically evaluate the human genome project and the use of the data it generated;
• Evaluate techniques used in molecular biology investigations including transcriptomics and proteomics;
• Comment on the current state of gene therapy;
• Evaluate the use of transgenic organisms to investigate human disease.

Indicative content

Inheritance of disease moving on from classical transmission genetics to epigenetics, the human genome and use of the data generated by the human genome, gene expression, a variety of techniques used in molecular biology such as the generation of transgenic animals, transcriptomics, proteomics. The manipulation of organisms at the molecular level such as gene therapy and the manipulation of molecular biology processes such as therapeutic antibodies. The use of molecular biology knowledge and techniques in forensic science for instance familial DNA matches and DNA barcoding.

Teaching and learning activity

This course will be delivered mainly through lectures, which will provide an appropriately detailed knowledge base; lectures will also be used to present and explain concepts. Weekly tutorials will help to motivate students and will assist in the learning process, these will be integrated into an interactive lecture. Students will be expected to use recent research literature, as well as good quality relevant web-sites (e.g. NCBI – National Center for Biotechnology Information) to support their learning. Through the lectures, tutorial and study of papers they will be supported in developing their critical evaluation skills, which will be demonstrated through their critical review.

Learning Time (1 credit = 10 hours)

Scheduled contact hours:

Note: include in scheduled time: project supervision, demonstrations, practical classes and workshops, supervised time in studio or workshop, scheduled lab work , fieldwork, external visits, work-based learning where integrated into a structured academic programme.
lectures 24;
seminars 0;
other practical sessions 0;
tutorials 12;
examinations 3;
other scheduled time 0.
Guided independent study:

Note: include in guided independent study preparation for scheduled sessions, follow up work, wider reading or practice, revision.
Independent coursework 35;
Independent laboratory work 0;
other non-scheduled time 76;
Placements (including work placement and year abroad) 0.
Total hours (should add to credits x 10) 150.


Formative Coursework- does not contribute to overall weighting.
300 -3000 depending on the review set for assessment.
Critical review of research paper / publication(s).
Formative feedback will be provided to assist students in developing their skills.

Coursework - 30%.
300 -3000 depending on the review set for assessment.
Critical essay written under time-controlled conditions / Critical review of research paper / publication(s).

Online Assessments - 10%.
Series of short answer MCQs and problem solving questions.

Examination - 60%.
3 hours.