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2023/24 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

BIOL5201M Advanced Biomolecular Technologies

15 creditsClass Size: 120

Module manager: Alex Breeze

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

Pre-requisite qualifications

Undergraduate degree in biological sciences or related discipline, or at least level 3 in an integrated masters degree (e.g. MNatSci, MBiol)

Module replaces

BIOL5372M - Advanced Biomolecular Technologies

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

Modern research in the biomolecular sciences is dependent on and underpinned by the use of a number of key technologies, methodologies, and analytical / data science approaches, without which important industries such as the biopharmaceutical and agri-food industries could not operate. This module will provide a grounding in some of the most important of these current techniques, affording an overview of how they can be used in modern bioscience research.


Major objective:
To provide a grounding in some of the most important biomolecular technologies, affording an overview of how they can be used in modern bioscience research.
The module objectives will be achieved through a combination of:
• Lectures – describing the physical basis and uses of each technique
• Demonstrations – tours of some of the FBS research facilities
• Tutorials / data analysis sessions – where students can analyse and learn how to use data from selected techniques

Learning outcomes
After completing the module students will be able to:
1. Identify the most suitable technique(s) to address a biological research question
2. Explain briefly how each technique works and the major type of information it provides
3. Describe the type of instrumentation used in each technique
4. Evaluate the limitations and caveats associated with use of a technique
5. Estimate the approximate duration and resource level needed to undertake a project using a given technique (hours / days / weeks)
6. For selected techniques, understand how to process data and extract useful biological understanding and insight

Skills outcomes
Students will acquire skills in judging which technique(s) should be used to address particular research questions in the biomolecular sciences. Whilst not affording detailed, specialist knowledge of any one technique, students will be equipped to make informed choices between a number of alternative methods that may help them to achieve a particular research objective.


Students on the module will receive fundamental training in the theory behind and applications of the most commonly used techniques, with opportunities to gain practice with data analysis in some of them. Techniques covered will include:
• Bioimaging & flow cytometry
• Protein overexpression – prokaryotic and eukaryotic
• DNA technologies – sequencing, mutagenesis, gene editing/CRISPR
• Biophysical interactions
• Antibody technologies
• Chromatography
• EM – cryoEM/ET, correlative
• X-ray crystallography
• NMR spectroscopy
• MS - structural & proteomics
• Transgenics (plants & animals)
• Statistics
• Bioinformatics, big data & AI

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours125.00
Total Contact hours25.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

The first assessment will be a formative data analysis exercise on Bioimaging. Students will receive feedback on their submissions.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
AssignmentData analysis – Bioimaging (formative)0.00
AssignmentData analysis – DNA Analysis60.00
In-course AssessmentTest - Short answer questions40.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

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

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 20/06/2024 15:44:56


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