Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 2
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Report  2000 Words  50%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   Exam  50%
Supplementary Assessment Report  2000 Words  50%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   Exam  50%

Learning Outcomes

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

Give specific examples of microbes used in biotechnology.

Explain and evaluate case studies in biotechnology.

Explain how organisms used in biotechnology have been selected and improved.

Evaluate methods used in biotechnology.

Independent application of retained knowledge of biotechnology.

Brief description

Biotechnology is broadly defined as the use of organisms or biological material to develop or make products for human benefit. Traditional biotechnologies include bread-making and brewing while the products of modern biotechnology include molecular biology products, pharmaceuticals and biofuels. Screening for lead organisms and their modification or improvement are important techniques. Microbes are exploited in biotechnology for a number of reasons; they have a short generation time, tools exist to perform genetic manipulations and the ethical concerns that apply to use of animals do not affect microbial research and exploitation to the same extent. Consequently, whether working in industry or a pure research environment many professional biologists will use a combination of biotechnology techniques and model microbes. This module contributes to the academic background and directly applicable skills for these careers.


The module will provide an introduction to the various branches of biotechnology. Practical considerations of utilising microbes will be discussed and methods for growth of organisms on an industrial scale will be considered. Examples of exploitation of microbes, their products and processes within the biotechnology industry will include alcoholic fermentation in brewing & biofuels, production of antibiotics & enzymes etc. Applications of current and emerging technologies to biotechnology research will be discussed.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number This will be developed and assessed through practicals and associated work.
Communication Students will be required to listen effectively in lectures. Students will need to communicate effectively in practicals. Written communication is assessed through coursework and the exam.
Improving own Learning and Performance Students will be expected to use resources available through Blackboard and to take responsibility for managing their time to submit work on time.
Information Technology Students will use standard office software plus specialist websites to retrieve and manipulate data.
Personal Development and Career planning The module will raise awareness of relevant career paths in the biotechnology sector.
Problem solving Practicals and the assessment of these will involve solving a variety of problems.
Research skills Research will be required in producing the coursework. Spreadsheets will be used for data handling and analysis.
Subject Specific Skills Practical techniques and core knowledge of broad field of biotechnology as well as specific established and emerging techniques.
Team work Students will be required to work together in practicals.


This module is at CQFW Level 6