Module Identifier RS30510  
Academic Year 2006/2007  
Co-ordinator Dr Neil R McEwan  
Semester Semester 1  
Other staff Dr Michael T Rose  
Course delivery Other   3 x 2 hour student oral presentations  
  Lecture   1 x 1 hour lecture per week  
  Seminars / Tutorials   5 x 2 hour staff tutorials  
  Other   3 x 2 hour visits to external laboratories  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment Seminar presentation Outcome assessed: 3  30%
Semester Assessment Assessed Laboratory practical  20%
Semester Exam2 Hours Written examination Outcomes assessed: 1, 2, 3  50%
Supplementary Exam2 Hours Written examination Single examination, to assess all outcomes  100%

Learning outcomes

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

1.   Understand the principles of genomics, proteomics, metabolomics and bioinformatics

2.   Evaluate how such technologies might be used in animal science

3.   Discuss and evaluate the role and public acceptability of such technologies in the continued development of animal agriculture.


The module aims to introduce final year animal science students to recent innovations in biological science and to integrate these into discussions of current research projects, both within and outwith IRS, relevant to animal science.

Brief description

This module aims to explore how recent technical innovations in biological research in regards to the various 'omic' technologies (eg, genomics, proteomics, metabolomics etc) might be applied to research in the animal sciences and what the consequences of such research for animal agriculture might be.


The course will consist of three main strands:

a. Technical advances in biological research will be introduced through the discussion of key current publications. The basis and background of the techniques will be presented as will interpretation of the data generated. Initially this will focus on the recent advances in genomics, proteomics and metabolomics, however the flexibility to integrate new technologies as they become available will be retained. This will be backed up by a series of visits to genomic, proteomic, metabolomic and bioinformatic resources at IRS, IBS and IGER.

b. Research staff at IRS and IGER will present a series of tutorials indicating how these technologies are being integrated into their own research area. It is intended that ongoing projects in digestive microbiology, reproduction, cellular metabolism, animal breading, diet evaluation and development of novel forages will be discussed.

c. The consequences of 'omic' driven research and the public acceptability of the products of such research will be addressed in a series of student driven seminars.

Primary literature in :

Trends in Biotechnology
Proceedings of the Nutrition Society
Proceedings of the National Academy of Science
Journal of Animal Science
Journal of Dairy Science
British Journal of Nutrition
Reports produced by Friends of the Earth, the Food Standards Agency, the USDA, the EU commission etc

Module Skills

Research skills Use of the primary literature in preparation of seminar material  
Communication Oral communication in seminars, written in exams  
Improving own Learning and Performance Developed for seminars and exam  
Information Technology Use of web resources for seminar presentation  


This module is at CQFW Level 6