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2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

FOOD1220 Cell and Molecular Biology

20 creditsClass Size: 150

Module manager: Dr Mike Zulyniak

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

Pre-requisite qualifications

Entry to BSc programme

Module replaces


This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

Cells (animal, plant, microbial) and organelles (including plasma membrane)Cell division, transcription, translation and replication (viruses, prokaryotes and eukaryotes)Cellular respiration including oxidative and non-oxidative respiration, basic photosynthesisIntroduction to cellular metabolismStructure and function of nucleic acidsIntroduction to enzymes (with examples: food enzymes and nutritional enzymes), co-factors and inhibitorsBasic food microbiology (types of microbes in food (beneficial and pathogenic): bacteria, yeasts, fungi, viruses, algae, protozoa - structure, growth and diversity, growth curves, positive way microbes are used in the food industry, and their potential to be food-borne pathogens)Microbiological techniques (aseptic plating, culturing, fermentation)


To introduce cell and molecular biology relevant to the study of food and nutrition.
To introduce basic microbiology in relation to food production and storage.
To discuss the role of microbes in food poisoning.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students will be able to:
1. show an understanding of the basic concepts in cell and molecular biology;
2. describe enzyme function in food and nutrition;
3. understand structure, growth and identification of microorganisms and their relationship to food production, food spoilage and preservation and food poisoning;
4. carry out basic microbiological laboratory techniques

Skills outcomes
Recording skills.
Practical skills in microbiology.
Technical writing.


Atomic structure, electronic configuration and molecular orbitals. Chemical bonding and types of bonds including H-bonding and hydrophobic interactions. Conventions in the drawing of chemical structures and naming of organic compounds. Isomerisation - stereoisomerism - optical activity.
Reactive species - nucleophiles - electrophiles - free radicals and classification of organic reactions. Alcohols, ethers and thiols - reactions - relevance in foods. Aldehydes, ketones - reactions- relevance in foods. Carboxylic acids, esters - reactions- relevance in foods. Amines, amides, reactions - relevance in foods.
Structure and properties of biomolecules: lipids, proteins, carbohydrates
Basic thermodynamics, physical chemistry of solutions, equilibrium and phase transitions.
Physical Principles: energy, heat transfer, states of matter, dimensions.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Class tests, exams and assessment21.002.00
Private study hours155.00
Total Contact hours45.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Reading for lectures, practical report writing and formative assessment: 125 hours.

Preparation for in-class test and examination: 40 hours.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Online MCQs and laboratory classes

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
In-course MCQlab based problem solving &MCQ20.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)20.00

1 practical MCQ and 1 practical/problem solving write up

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Unseen exam 1 hr 30 mins40.00
Unseen exam 1 hr 30 mins40.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)80.00

Exam format - MCQ

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 08/01/2020


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