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2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

MICR2121 Molecular Virology

10 creditsClass Size: 100

Module manager: Professor Mark Harris

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

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 techniques used for the study of viruses, the structure of viruses and the processes of virus replication. It will also consider how we can exploit virus biology for gene expression and gene therapy. 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: virus entry, virus genome replication, gene expression, virus assembly and release.

Learning outcomes
On completion of the module students will be able to:
- Describe how we can study viruses in the laboratory;
- Describe the structure of viruses;
- Describe the basic processes of virus replication;
- 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 assays
- 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 release
- 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

- Lectures delivered live via collaborate ultra, with time allocated for Q&A with students and additional pre-learning and consolidation work built in to enhance student engagement.
- Completion of coursework MCQs and exam.
- Engagement with Minerva resources.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
In-course Assessment2 x MCQs (15% each) in Minerva30.00
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
Online Time-Limited assessment2 hr 00 mins42.00
Unseen exam 1 hr 00 mins28.00
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: 14/11/2022


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