Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 1
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 22 Hours of Lectures (1 x 2 hr per week)
Seminars / Tutorials 5 Hours tutorials (1 x 2 hr every other week)
Practical 2 x 4 Hour laboratory based practical


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 3500 word report  Report incorporating a computer based practical  50%
Semester Exam 3 Hours   3 Hour Exam  3 hour unseen written examination  50%
Supplementary Assessment Resit the elements that led to failure  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Critically evaluate the challenge of substituting petrochemicals with sustainable alternatives. Demonstrate a detailed fundamental and practical knowledge of Biorefining and Biogeoegineering

Evaluate the relative limitations and merits of different Microbial biotechnology & fermentation technologies

Assess the social and societal issues associated with the application (and non-application) of different biotechnology options, and evaluate these processes via LCA

Communicate scientific issues to both the scientific community and other stakeholders including policy makers and the public


A series of 22 lectures and a series of practicals

The aims of the module are:

To provide students with a thorough understanding of Microbial Biotechnology. Students will gain a detailed appreciation of the challenges faced in the transition to a low carbon future along with current and emerging technologies

It will achieve this by considering, for example, the following areas:

• Biorefining as a substitute for the petrochemical industry, including life cycle assessment (LCA)

• Existing and future microbial biotechnology & fermentation technologies

• Liquid fuels, bulk chemicals and other products

• Biogeoengineering

• Factorial design and Chemometric data analysis

• Application of biotechnology research, societal and policy implications

Brief description

The module will include an overall introduction to Microbial Biotechnology, a series of lectures detailing the scale of the challenge in the transition to a low carbon future, and detailing current and emerging technologies. The course will be taught via a series of lectures, computer-based data analysis, and visits. Assessment will be via a report incorporating the computer based practical exercise, and a formal examination.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Problem solving, chemometric data analysis as part of the report incorporating a computer based practical
Communication Tutorial presentation and group work - formal feedback provided
Improving own Learning and Performance Directed independent study
Information Technology Use of computational resources, design of experiment, chemometric data analysis as part of the report incorporating a computer based practical
Personal Development and Career planning Development of personal skills - individual learning, time management etc
Problem solving Computer based practical
Research skills Research for the assessed report
Subject Specific Skills Application of the princibles underlying biorefining. Evaluation of the use of different technologies available to convert biomass feedstocks for bioenergy and products
Team work Tutorial group work - formal feedback provided


This module is at CQFW Level 7