Module Identifier BS12110  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Dr David J Hopper  
Semester Semester 1  
Other staff Dr Mustak A Kaderbhai  
Pre-Requisite Normally A or AS level Chemistry or its equivalent.  
Course delivery Lecture   20 Hours  
  Practical   4 Hours  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam2 Hours One 2-hour theory examination.  70%
Semester Assessment Continuous Assessment: To be handed in at the end of the semester30%
Supplementary Assessment2 Hours One 2-hour theory examination; re-submission of all failed course work.  100%

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module the students should


This module aims to give the students sufficient chemical knowledge to understand the principles that underlie biological processes at the molecular level. It will buid on the students' basic knowledge of chemistry in those areas that are particularly pertinent to biology and provide them with a background for a better understanding of further studies in biochemistry.


A description of bonding in organic molecules will introduce a study of structural and geometric isomerism. The conformations of simple carbon compounds and their systematic nomenclature will be considered and the importance of this form of isomerism in natural compound will be emphasised.
A survey of stereoisomerism and optical activity will include both the D and L system and the R and S nomenclature. Fischer projection formulae, seperation of enantiomers and the concept of symmetry will be described. Again the relevance to natural compounds will be emphasised.
A study of biologically important functional groups will lead to a review of the concept of pH, acids, bases and buffers drawing particularly on the examples of amino acids. Other aspects of physical chemistry will include energetics, binding of ligands and electrochemistry, again the relevance to biological processes emphasised and with examples drawn from biology. The topis of chemical equilibria and reaction kinetics will be linked with a simple consideration of enzymes and their role in biological reactions.
The major analytical methods used in biochemistry including various forms of spectroscopy and the use of isotopes will be described.
Although the major emphasis will be on organic chemistry aspects of bio-inorganic chemistry will be discussed.

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
Berg, J.M., Tymoczko, J.L. & Stryer, L. (2001) Biochemistry 5th. W.H. Freeman and Co.
Price, N.c., Dwek, R.A., Ratcliffe, R.G. & Wormald, M.R. (2001) Principles and problems in physical chemistry for biochemists Oxford University Press


This module is at CQFW Level 4