Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Current Topics in Biotechnology
Academic Year
Semester 2 (Taught over 2 semesters)
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 10 x 1 Hour Lectures
Tutorial 10 x 2 Hour Tutorials


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Written essay 1  (1500 words)  25%
Semester Assessment Written essay 2  (1500 words)  25%
Semester Assessment Participation in tutorials (20 hours)  (1500 words)  20%
Semester Assessment Oral presentation  (20 minutes)  30%
Supplementary Assessment Students must retake assessments that led to module failure.  100%

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Demonstrate broad and practical scientific and technical knowledge of biotechnology.

2. Integrate specialized biological disciplines to applied biotechnology and demonstrate knowledge of practical aspects of scaling from laboratory to industry.

3. Articulate sound and objective judgments on the complex scientific and societal issues associated with biotechnology.

4. Critically evaluate information sources and express objective and robust conclusions.

5. Design and apply appropriate research/study techniques to source quality information and data.

6. Communicate successfully complex scientific ideas by oral and written means.

Brief description

The module will consist of 10 pairs of lectures and tutorials. Each lecture/ tutorial pair will address an important topic in red, white, green and blue biotechnology. After the lecture the students will be given literature research to do over the coming week, and told how their new knowledge will be tested and developed during the subsequent tutorial. The tutorials will develop understanding, intellectual engagement, critical thinking, and expand subject knowledge.


The topics covered in this module will be grouped into the 4 primary areas of biotechnology:
1. Red- animal and medical biotechnology
2. White- industrial/ fermentative biotechnology
3. Green- plant based biotechnology
4. Blue- marine biotechnology

Each colour group will consist of 2-3 topics that lie within, or are of relevance to that area. The topics covered in the module are likely to include: the benefits and risks from transgenic plants and animals, high precision breeding compared with more traditional methods, marine and food biotech, bioinformatics and big data, biotechnology turned to military use, biotechnology of conservation biomass and environmental consequences, thermochemical processing of biomass to useful products and power.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Understanding of numerical data associated with each topic.
Communication During essay assignments, oral presentations and tutorials.
Improving own Learning and Performance During research for essay assignments and tutorials.
Information Technology Research for written and oral assignments.
Personal Development and Career planning Exposure to varied biotechnology topics will inform where they would like to work.
Problem solving Study of how green, white, blue and red biotechnology can provide solutions to social, health and environmental problems.
Research skills The essay assignments and fortnightly tutorials will require extensive research.
Subject Specific Skills Knowledge and writing skills will be assessed by essay assignments.
Team work Group activities and discussion during tutorials.


This module is at CQFW Level 7