Skills for Applied Scientists
This module provides students with practical experience of a range of fundamental practical and transferable skills which are required in the study of applied science at University level. These include life transferable skills such as numeracy, and ICT and subject-specific practical skills including microscopy and liquid handling.
Cell Biology and Genetics
This module will deal with the fundamental characteristics and features of living cells. The module will cover the structure and function of the major cellular components, the roles of the various types of specialised cells in the human body. The module also will provide students with a sound understanding of the basic characteristics of the major groups of microorganisms (bacteria, archaea, fungi) and viruses, including practical experience of handling and examining non-pathogenic bacteria in the laboratory. A major component of study will be the fundamentals of genetics. A broad introduction to the basic principles of heredity, including molecular, classical, human and microbial genetics and the structure and behaviour of genes will be prescribed.
The Scope of Biotechnology
This module will outline what biotechnology is and what implications it holds for all of us. Biotechnology can be broadly defined as “a collection of techniques that use living organisms (or parts or processes of organisms) to solve problems and make useful products”. Recent rapid advances in techniques available eg genetic engineering, protein engineering, cell culture, and molecular biology have generated a virtually unlimited potential for altering the capabilities of living systems, greatly expanding the scope of biotechnology, generating new applications for biological products and an unprecedented capability to control life processes.
This module will provide an introduction to the structure and function of the principal molecular components of living systems, and the actions and properties of enzymes. The first part of the module will provide a foundation for this by explaining relevant chemical concepts. Following this an investigation will be conducted into the structure, nomenclature, functions and significance of carbohydrates, lipids, proteins and nucleic acids, in order to provide a foundation for the study of metabolic biochemistry at a higher academic level.
This module will provide students with a sound knowledge of the biology of plants. Students will study the anatomy, nutrition, reproduction and physiology of the major plant groups and will also gain experience of appropriate practical skills.
This module aims to provide students with an understanding of the range of plants, animals and microorganisms that inhabit the earth and the principles of taxonomy and systematics which provide the basis for the classification of living organisms into hierarchical groupings.
Bioinformatics is the application of computer-based tools to the management and analysis of biological data. This introductory unit will be of interest to students wishing to acquire the theoretical and practical knowledge required to begin using these tools and to apply them within biotechnology, biomedical sciences, biology, genetics and chemistry.
Principles of Immunology
This module will deal with the structure and function of the human immune system and its role in health and disease. Topics covered will include non-specific and acquired immunity, the principal cells and molecules of the immune system and the ways in which they interact to provide an immune response.
Cellular and Immunological Methods
This module aims to provide students with theoretical knowledge and practical experience of culturing mammalian cells and of immunological methods, subjects that are closely related. The module will benefit students who wish to develop their practical skills in these areas of Bioscience, together with fostering an understanding of the underlying principles.
Biotechnology and Applied Biochemistry
This module will be of interest to students from a broad range of backgrounds who wish to appreciate the industrial applications of biochemical and microbial systems. Topics covered will include the use of yeasts in fermentation, brewing and food production, microbial products, including biodegradable polymers, applications of enzymes in food production, bioremediation and pollution control.
This module presents an overview of a range of technologies that utilise living organisms (e.g.microbes) or their components (e.g., isolated cells or proteins). The theory and practical techniques involved in a range of both traditional and modern applications of biotechnology will be covered, including limitations, future potential and controversy surrounding their use in the food and nutritional industry.
The Biology of Disease
This module will provide a thorough grounding in the causes and consequences of damage to cells, increase understanding of the pathological effects of cellular injury, and explore the consequences of changes in external environment and disease on the physiology of the human body.
Bioinformatics and Molecular Biotechnology
This module will introduce the various disciplines associated with molecular biotechnology. The aspect of bioinformatics, known as proteomics, will be emphasised, but other disciplines which have grown from the revolution in recombinant DNA technology will also be covered.
This module will enable students to develop their knowledge and understanding of the biochemical basis of living systems. This will be accomplished by in-depth study of the structure and function of enzymes and their roles in metabolism. The major pathways involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids and proteins will be studied along with their control and the contributions they make to the fast and fed cycles. The module will provide a sound foundation for further study of biochemistry, including the molecular basis of disease.
Biotechniques and Practical Molecular Genetics
This module will provide a sound theoretical framework and practical experience of a range of fundamental techniques used in the biosciences. It will be of interest to students wishing to broaden their understanding of the techniques and methods used to analyse DNA, macromolecular mixtures and biological fluids. The topics covered will include molecular labelling, separation techniques, analytical methods and molecular biology.
Research Methods for Applied Science
This module underpins the development of essential research skills and methodology required for the final year. It includes studies in research methods and scientific communication, together with the practical application of experimental design and evaluation, risk and ethical assessment, alongside the opportunity to discuss why academic integrity is a keystone in science methodology, as a preparation for a final year project.
Analytical Methods and Applied Genetics
This module will provide students with in-depth knowledge of a range of biomedical techniques used in the investigation and diagnosis of disease. Students will be introduced to biosensors, spectroscopy (e.g. nuclear magnetic resonance, mass spectroscopy, flow cytometry), separation techniques (e.g. capillary electrophoresis, 2 dimensional electrophoresis, advanced chromatographic seperations) and advanced molecular genetics techniques, together with their biomedical applications. The importance of the Human Genome Project will be discussed and students will be encouraged to consider its ethical, legal and social implications. The use of bioinformatics in Biomedical Sciences will also be investigated both from a research and diagnostic point of view.
This module offers the opportunity to investigate a specific aspect of food spoilage concerning contamination of commercially available fruit juices by various strains of yeast. The investigation will take into account nutritional content of the juices, any additives used in their production and various storage conditions of the food product.
This module will explore the often complicated technology that enables genes from different organisms to be expressed in plants. The potential of genetically modified (GM) plants to provide solutions for current problems will be discussed.
Hand in hand with scientific and technological advances come new, and often unforeseen, ethical dilemmas and associated issues. This module aims to raise students’ awareness of a range of ethical dilemmas and issues that stem from the impact of science and technology on society. The module demonstrates ethics methodologies which can be used to make or defend ethical decisions or recommendations. The module requires no previous knowledge of bioethics.
Biological and Food Sciences Project
This module provides final year students with an opportunity to design and carry out an extended individual research project. With guidance and support from an appointed supervisor, projects will include development of research skills and discussion of results as well as an opportunity to compose a written report in which an evaluation of the relevant literature and research findings are presented. The project may encompass laboratory-based, computer-based, questionnaire/survey-based or dry, theoretically-based, methods, but all will be assessed by a written report bringing out the key aspects of each project.
Current Topics in Biotechnology
This module aims to provide students with an understanding of current developments in biotechnology. Topics covered in the directed learning will reflect novel areas or developments in particular disciplines of biotechnology and the research interests of the teaching team.
This module will be of interest to students wishing to acquire an understanding of the role that animals play in biotechnology research and the applications that result, in addition to the impact which biotechnology has on animals. Core topics will include the theory and practice of cell culture and recombinant DNA techniques and a range of applications will be drawn from current literature to reflect recent advances in research which are of widespread interest and/or importance; for example uses and applications of transgenics/cloned animals; problem solving using bioinformatics resources etc.
This module will be of interest to students wishing to gain advanced understanding of bioinformatics procedures. The emphasis will be the use of tools in biotechnology, biomedical sciences, biology, genetics and chemistry. There will be ample opportunity for students to gain practical experience in the use of these tools using guided exercises, directed learning and independent learning.
The average lecturer/student ratio is 1 : 100 (lecture)
The average lecturer/student ratio is 1 : 30 (tutorial/lab)
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