Skills for Applied Sciences
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. Students will be able to develop practical skills in a range of areas, including sterile techniques and safe handling of microbes, and biochemical / biological procedures. The course will use laboratory based exercises to provide students with relevant experience.
Lectures, laboratory work, tutorials, seminars and independent learning 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. The module requires no previous knowledge of plant biology and will provide a basis for the further study of plants.
This module will deal with the fundamental characteristics and features of living cells and microbes (bacteria, fungi and viruses) and will be of interest to students who wish to increase their understanding of biological processes at the cellular level. The module will cover the structure and function of the major cellular components, the roles of the various types of specialized cells in the human body and the techniques and applications of cell culture systems. The module also will provide students with a sound understanding of the basic characteristics of the major groups of microbes (bacteria, fungi and viruses), including practical experience of growing, handling and examining non-pathogenic microbes and cells in the laboratory.
Scope of Biotechnology
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.
The 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 a broad introduction to the basic principles of heredity, including molecular, classical and population genetics, human and microbial genetics and the structure and behaviour of genes. The module requires no previous knowledge of genetics and will serve as the basis for further study of the genetic basis of living systems.
This module will 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. Relationships between form and function will be introduced and the students will have the opportunity to develop practical and transferable skills by completing laboratory-based and field-based practical exercises.
Bioinformatics is the application of computer-based tools to the management and analysis of biological data. This introductory module will allow students 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. Bioinformatics topics will be introduced by lecture, but most emphasis will be given to experiential learning using guided exercises, directed learning and independent learning.
Principles of Immunology
This module will deal with the structure and function of the human immune system and its role in health and disease. It will encompass the principal defense system of the human body. 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.
Microbial and Mammalian Cell Culture
This module will provide students with theoretical knowledge and practical experience of a range of techniques and procedures used in culturing microbial and mammalian cells. It will be useful for students who wish to develop their practical skills in these areas of biosciences.
Biotechnology and Applied Biochemistry
This module will cover 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. Practical sessions will provide an opportunity for 'hands on' experience of relevant procedures, including the use of bioreactors for microbial culture.
This module provides an understanding of medical microbiology as a specialised aspect of diagnostic pathology. It will provide in-depth information on a range of pathogenic microbes. The module will be delivered through lectures and laboratory classes and will include a site visit to a clinical microbiology laboratory.
Biology of Disease
The 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.
The label 'Food Biotechnology' is often taken to refer to the techniques of genetic engineering. However it more accurately refers to a much broader and older range of technologies that utilize living organisms (e.g., microbes) or their components (e.g., isolated cells or proteins). The most ancient origins of biotechnology in food production include brewing, baking and the production of fermented foods (e.g. yoghurt). Key modern applications include the use of isolated enzyme extracts at the end of the 19th century, the development of microbial fermenters in the 1940s and, most recently, the ability to create Genetically Modified Organisms [GMOs]. 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.
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, together with study of the energy relationships of cells, the pathways for utilizing metabolic fuels and the process of protein synthesis. 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 'hands on' experience of a range of fundamental techniques used in the biosciences and will be of interest to students wishing to broaden their understanding of the techniques and methods used in the biomedical sciences. The topics covered will include separation techniques, analytical methods and DNA technology. The module will provide a foundation for subsequent study of the application of analytical techniques and methods to the investigation of disease.
Bioinformatics and Molecular Biotechnology
This unit 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 be of interest to students who wish to extend their knowledge of the immune system, dealing with its beneficial aspects, including protection against disease, and detrimental effects on the body caused by inappropriate immune responses. Topics covered will include allergies, infections, tumours, autoimmune disorders and immunodeficiency disorders.
Analytical and Immunological Methods
This module will provide in-depth study of the operating principles of a range of biomedical techniques and will be of interest to students wishing to develop their knowledge of the application of current methods to the investigation and diagnosis of disease. The module will deal with biosensors, spectroscopy (e.g. nuclear magnetic resonance, fluorescence spectroscopy, flow cytometry), separation techniques(e.g.capillaryelectrophoresis, advanced chromatographic separations), applications of enzymatic analysis, and the role of immunological techniques in biomedical analysis.
This module will enable students to engage in a research project and to present their evaluation of the relevant literature and their own findings orally and in written form. Laboratory and/or computer based work will provide the students with the appropriate practical skills and directed and independent learning will be used to facilitate the execution of the project and literature evaluation. Assessment strategies will take the form of an oral presentation, supervisor's assessment and a final report.
Plant Biotechnology is one of the most fascinating, and fast moving fields of biological science in current times. In addition, it provides some of the most hotly debated issues world wide: What are GM-crops, and what is the technology behind them? In this module, the often complicated technology that enables genes from different organisms to be expressed in plants will be explored, together with the potential of genetically modified (GM) plants to provide solutions for current problems
Hand in hand with scientific and technological advances come new, and often unforeseen, ethical dilemmas and associated issues.
This module will 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.
Topics in Biotechnology
This module will provide students with an understanding of current developments in biotechnology. Within the scope of biotechnology the students will be encouraged to identify two topics of particular interest and study those in some depth.
Topics covered in the directed learning will reflect novel areas or developments in particular disciplines of biotechnology.
Research within the field of animal biotechnology is fast moving and giving rise to an increasing range of interesting and important new applications.
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.
Bioinformatics has been instrumental in the success of the human genome project, and other genome projects.
The vast amount of sequence data produced requires a number of computer-based tools to manage and analyse information in the various databases. These can be interrogated to compare unknown to known sequences, mutated sequences to normal sequences and to attempt predictions of protein structure and function in novel coding sequences. This module will be of interest to students wishing to gain advanced understanding of these bioinformatics procedures.
Special Topics in Biomedical Research
This module will provide students with a detailed overview of several major areas of contemporary research associated with biomedical sciences and biotechnology. In doing so the module will further the students' understanding of the aetiology and pathogenesis of diseases important to human health. The module will also require students to consider the portrayal of a biomedical science subject in the popular media.