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Unit information: Advanced Options in Biochemistry in 2021/22

Unit name Advanced Options in Biochemistry
Unit code BIOC30600
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Cory
Open unit status Not open

BIOC20002 and BIOC20001


Advanced Cell Biology BIOC30601 The Dynamic Proteome BIOC30604 Cellular Information BIOC30602

School/department School of Biochemistry
Faculty Faculty of Life Sciences


Students study advanced topics from a variety of specialist lecture elements. These topics are largely based around the research specializations of staff within the School. There are typically six elements available, each containing 8 lectures. Students are recommended to study three of these elements. The current elements are:

  1. Synthetic Biology
  2. Protein Science in Therapy and Technology
  3. DNA-Protein Interactions
  4. Molecular Basis of Disease
  5. Neurobiochemistry
  6. Cancer

Students on the Biochemistry with Molecular Biology and Biotechnology degree programmes study elements 1-3, while those on the Biochemistry with Medical Biochemistry degree programmes study elements 4-6. Students on the Biochemistry degree programme have free choice of elements.

The unit aims to develop an understanding of key concepts in specialist areas of Biochemistry. The elements aims are as follows:

Synthetic Biology

  • Rational protein design and engineering
  • Synthetic biology and the ethics associated with engineering biological systems

Protein Science in Therapy and Technology

  • Engineering proteins for therapeutic uses
  • Biotechnology for alternative energy sources

DNA-Protein Interactions

  • How proteins recognise specific DNA sequences and move along the DNA molecule
  • DNA unwinding and transcription

Molecular Basis of Disease

  • Prion diseases
  • Malaria and other blood disorders


  • Neurological disorders
  • Post-translational modification & synaptic plasticity


  • The molecular basis of cancer
  • Cancer cell biology

Intended learning outcomes

  • An in-depth knowledge and understanding of the advanced topics covered in the unit and an ability to keep abreast with recent developments in the relevant field.
  • The ability to gather information from the primary scientific literature and to critically evaluate the material and appraise competing theories.
  • An understanding of the importance of specialist medical biochemistry and molecular biology and biotechnology.

Teaching details

Asynchronous lectures and synchronous discussion sessions.

Assessment Details

Assessment for learning (formative)

Formative assessments are taken as part of other units to prepare the students for the timed assessment.

Assessment of learning (summative)

The unit will be assessed as follows:

  • 100% a timed assessment in May/June.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. BIOC30600).