Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Current Topics in Biotechnology
Academic Year
Semester 1 (Taught over 2 semesters)
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Semester 2 essay assignmsnt  2000 Words  30%
Semester Assessment 20 Hours   Participation in tutorials  The module consists of 10 x 2h tutorials. Students will have approximately 4h work to prepare for each tutorial. Preparative work may include the evaluation of a scientic paper, preparation of a short presentation, development of a research strategy, a review of some defiuned aspect of biotechnology, or some other activity. At the end of each tutorial, each student will be awarded a mark out of 10 for their work and participation after each tutorial. The mark will be agreed by the module coordinator (who attends all tutorials) and the topic leader. Failure to attend results in zero marks for the student on that occassion unless their work has contributed to a group activity. The 10 marks for tutorials in semester 1 and 2 will be added together to generate the final mark for this assessment.  40%
Semester Assessment Semester 1 essay assignment  Semester1 course work essay assignment 2000 Words  30%
Supplementary Assessment Resit essay assignment  This essay assignment offers resit opportunity for students failing to pass the tutorial participation coursework assignment 2000 Words  40%
Supplementary Assessment Semester 1 essay assignment  Semester1 course work essay assignment 2000 Words  30%
Supplementary Assessment Semester 2 essay assignmsnt  2000 Words  30%

Learning Outcomes

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

Demonstrate broad and practical scientific and technical knowledge of biotechnology.

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

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

Critically evaluate information sources and express objective and robust conclusions.

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 an area of biotechnology not covered in other core modules. 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, expand subject knowledge., and build skills in oral presentation.


The topics covered in this module will illustrate several areas of biotechnology. Currently, the topics on the module for 2023-24 include those listed below. Topics may change , but these maybe changed to keep content fresh and to cater to staff availability:
1. Plant breeding and nutrient fortification
2. The biotechnology of brewing
3. Municipal waste as a feedstock for biotechnology
4. Marine biotechnology
5. Biological warfare
6. GM regulation
7. Modern technological/ methodological approaches e.g. GWAS and next generation sequencing

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. A sector specific career talk will also be arranged if opportunity allows
Problem solving Study of how 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