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2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

MICR2121 Molecular Virology

10 creditsClass Size: 100

Module manager: Professor Mark Harris

Taught: Semester 1 View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

The objective of this module is to introduce students to the concepts of modern virology. Specifically the module will describe the structure of viruses and the processes of virus replication.It will also cover the essentials of how viruses survive, persist and spread from cell to cell, together with a consideration of the exploitation of virus biology for gene expression. It will finish by addressing the question of virus evolution.


The purpose of this module is to provide a detailed understanding of critical stages of the virus life cycle, using examples from each of the major virus classes. All stages of the virus life cycle will be covered, ranging from virus entry, virus genome amplification, gene expression, virus release and critical interactions with the host cell.

Learning outcomes
On completion of the module students will be able to:
- Describe the structure of viruses;
- Describe the basic processes of virus replication;
- Describe how the host organism and cell responds to virus infection;
- Explain how virus biology can be exploited for gene expression, both in the laboratory and the clinic;
- Appreciate current thinking about how viruses evolved.


- Virus structure
- Virus genomes and proteins
- Virus entry
- General principles of virus replication
- Positive strand RNA virus
- Retrovirus replication
- Negative strand RNA virus replication
- DNA virus replication - Herpes viruses
- Virus assembly and
- Host recognition of virus replication
- The immune response to virus infection
- Exploitation of viruses
- Uses of reverse genetics
- Virus evolution.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours82.00
Total Contact hours18.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

82 hours: Preparation for lectures, in-course assessments and exam, on-line materials.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

- Student attendance at lectures will be monitored in line with standard faculty practice.
- Completion of coursework MCQs and exam.
- Engagement with VLE resources.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
In-course Assessment2 x MCQs (15% each)30.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)30.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)1 hr 30 mins70.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)70.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 05/08/2019


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