Module Information

Module Identifier
BR22920
Module Title
Practical Skills for Biochemists
Academic Year
2016/2017
Co-ordinator
Semester
Semester 2
Mutually Exclusive
External Examiners
  • Dr Mark Paget (Reader - University of Sussex)
 
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 2 x 1 Hour Lectures
Practical 10 x 4 Hour Practicals
 

Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Written handbook of bench protocols.  30%
Semester Assessment Mini-reports.  Four written reports of experimental results and interpretation.  40%
Semester Assessment Research article.  Reporting experimental strategy, methods and results.  30%
Supplementary Assessment Students must take elements of assessment equivalent to those that led to failure of the module.  100%

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Develop hypotheses into a series of experimental procedures.

2. Build novel experimental protocols from available literature

3. Implement experimental protocols

4. Report experimental protocols and research findings in appropriate formats.

Brief description

The aim of this module is to give students the opportunity to acquire the necessary skills to enable them to understand, implement and devise experimental protocols. To this end, sessions will be provided that will allow students to take research questions, develop them into testable hypotheses, formulate such hypotheses into a series of experiments, devise appropriate experimental protocols, and implement those experiments.

Content

Topics include:
Construction of testable hypotheses from available literature.
Defining hypotheses as a series of experiments.
Creating experimental protocols from the literature.
Modification and construction of experimental protocols.
Implementing experimental protocols.
Reporting of protocols.
Presentation of novel methodologies
Presentation of experimental results

The largest component of the module will be practical work, and experiments undertaken will provide experience under two general headings:

1. Isolation of Biomolecules (for example, purification of phosphatases, separation of proteins, etc.)

2. Analysis of Biomolecules (for example determination of phosphatase Km and Vmax parameters, determination of molecular weight, etc.)

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Practical work will involve calculations using acquired data.
Communication The production of balanced practical reports. Listening skills for the workshops and subsequent discussion in practical classes.
Improving own Learning and Performance Outside the formal contact hours, students will be expected to research materials, manage time and meet deadlines.
Information Technology Accessing the web for information sources and using databases to find primary literature.
Personal Development and Career planning
Problem solving Practical classes will allow students to gain experience in designing, executing, interpreting data and writing-up assessed biochemical and chemical experiments.
Research skills Students will research topics beyond the depth and scope of the provided material using both directed and independent study. Information from a variety of sources will be the object of scrutiny and comment. Practical classes will allow the development of key biological research skills at an early stage of their academic careers.
Subject Specific Skills Students will gain experience of issues related to the planning, execution and reporting of experiments. They will be able to find, understand, modify and utilize existing protocols from the literature, and report methodologies as appropriate for a variety of media.
Team work Students will work in pairs/small groups during practical sessions. They will need to discuss their experimental design and work effectively as a small team in practical classes. Feedback will be provided on how groups are working together.

Notes

This module is at CQFW Level 5