Module Identifier BS23720  
Academic Year 2006/2007  
Co-ordinator Professor John Draper  
Semester Semester 1  
Other staff Dr Glyn Jenkins, Dr Luis A J Mur, Dr Ian M Scott  
Pre-Requisite BS13010  
Course delivery Lecture   30 x 1h lectures  
  Other   3 Hours. 3 X 3-HOUR WORKSHOPS; 1 X 2-HOUR WORKSHOP  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam3 Hours One 3-hour theory paper70%
Semester Assessment Practical Exercise: Continuous assessment of practical work30%
Supplementary Assessment One 3-hour theory paper (plus resubmission of failed coursework or an alternative) 

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
provide an account of the various techniques available to study DNA.

provide an account of the various techniques available to study RNA.


This new module is needed to develop the basic concepts and understanding of molecular biology learnt in the first year. Knowledge of (and skills in) these areas are crucial for a future career in life sciences. A more advanced course in part 2 will provide enhanced opportunities for developing a secure skills base for students in their third year. This module is a most welcome addition to IBS's portfolio and it will have significant impact on the potential employability of our students

Brief description

Molecular Biology is concerned with understanding biological processes at the molecular level. This module develops a better understanding of the many molecular methodologies that are utilized in current research. This module will therefore deepen the students understanding of molecular biological processes and the techniques available to study them. This will be provided via consideration of DNA, RNA and proteins separately. A detailed account will be provided of how they are made and of the available methods for studying and manipulating them. Methodologies for the creation of transgenic organisms will also be provided. Student will also gain hands on experience of some of the basic skills in molecular biology.


The module will focus on the following key topics.

1) Introduction and recapitulation of what should be known from first year.

2) DNA   
i) DNA replication   
ii) DNA repair
iii) Study of chromosomes, FISH, GISH
iv) DNA cloning vectors and methodologies   
v) advanced PCR techniques
vi) Foot print technologies

2) RNA
i) RNA synthesis including a basic understanding of control points to be provided via studying the lac operon
ii) RNA splicing   
iii) techniques for measuring transcript levels
iv) generating cDNA and cDNA libraries   
v) RNA subtraction techniques
vi) reporter gene technologies

3) Protein
i) Synthesis of proteins   
ii) How to study protein-protein interactions - yeast 2-hybrid and immuno precipitation technologies.
iii) gene fusions, epitope- and fluorescent-tagging of proteins

4) How transgenic organisms are made
i) concept of marker genes for selections,
ii) examples of generating transgenic plants and animals.

5) The practical component of the module will focus on experience of PCR, restriction digestion, ligation, selection of recombinant colonies and expression of recombinant proteins.


This module is at CQFW Level 5