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BSc Hons Biochemistry with Genetics

Mode of Study: Full Time Department: Biomedical and Life Sciences (Division of)
UCAS Code: C7C4 Duration/Length: 3 Year(s)
QAA Subject Benchmark: Biosciences Director of Studies: Dr KL Wright
Total Credit Points: 360 Credit Points Year 2: 90
Credit Points Year 3: 150

Educational Aims: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

  • Biochemistry examines the structure and function of living organisms at the molecular level. By studying Biochemistry with Genetics students have a particular focus on the genetic blueprint of life, DNA. In the first year, students gain a broad overview of both subject discplines, studying modules such as Genetics, Protein Biochemistry, and Human Physiology. In second year, a range of biochemical and molecular biology subjects are studied including several modules designed to develop key laboratory skills required by scientists in these areas. These modules include Biochemical Techniques, Cell Biology Techniques, and DNA Technology. In the final year, students have the opportunity to focus on their biochemical interests, selecting from a diverse range of subjects including Medical Genetics, Protein Biochemistry, Neurobiology, and Cancer. Students also conduct their own laboratory-based project under the guidance of our internationally renowned academic staff. 

    The programme aims to:

    • Offer a range of modules which allow students to specialise in particular areas of genetics.
    • Provide a structured, progressive and thematic training in areas of biochemistry and genetics which will provide students with a knowledge and understanding appropriate for subject-specific graduate employment.
    • Prepare graduates for careers with a wide variety of employers such as pharmaceutical and biotechnological industries, government agencies and hospitals.
    • Encourage academic curiosity which will prepare students for lifelong learning.
    • Equip students with the intellectual and practical skills necessary for progression to postgraduate study.
    • Develop critical and analytical problem-solving skills as well as general/transferable skills so as to prepare students for more general, non subject-specific graduate employment.
    • Offer all students the opportunity to conduct a substantial research project.

Learning Outcomes: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

  • Graduates will be able to:

    • Recognise the fundamental concepts in biochemistry and genetics in the context of health and disease.
    • Demonstrate a systematic understanding of: Biochemistry, Genetics, Biotechnology, Cell Biology and Microbiology. 
    • Analyse and interpret a range of biochemical processes and apply biochemical principles and methodologies to the solution of problems.
    • Reason critically and demonstrate awareness of biomedical ethics.
    • Use spectroscopic and instrumental methods for the monitoring and measurement of biomolecules.
    • Carry out risk assessments and list appropriate safety precautions associated with practical or project work
    • Demonstrate the skills necessary to plan, conduct and report a substantial individual investigation.
    • Demonstrate the ability to formulate and test concepts and hypotheses. 
    • Collect, analyse and present observations and experimental data
    • Retrieve, select, synthesise and critically evaluate information from a variety of sources; including from relevant information technology.
    • Apply quantitative techniques in biochemical analysis and interpret numerical data.
    • Communicate effectively through written and oral presentations.
    • Work within a team and assess the relevance and importance of the ideas of others.
    • Learn independently, manage their time and work to deadlines. 

Learning and Teaching Strategies and Methods: Knowledge, Understanding, Skills

  • Acquisition of knowledge is acquired mainly through lectures and student-centred learning. Fundamental information in lectures is expanded by further reading which, by year 3, will include primary research papers.

    Teaching is hierarchical with a broad first year, becoming progressively deeper and more specialised in years two and three. Workshop sessions develop problem-solving and analytical skills connected with the lecture material. Students complete laboratory-based research projects and associated literature reviews in year 3 which develop a wide range of intellectual skills. Practical classes throughout the curriculum involve the generation and interpretation of numerical data.

    In summary the following teaching methods apply:

    Knowledge and understanding is developed through a combination of lectures, workshops, practical sessions, coursework exercises and undertaking reading from a range of literature sources. 

    Intellectual skills are developed as follows:

    • Analytical skills are developed through workshop sessions, projects and practical classes and are informed by lectures and reading. 
    • Skills in interpretation of numerical data and testing and formulating hypotheses are developed through practical classes and projects. 
    • Problem solving skills are developed through workshops, practicals and projects.
    • Skills in critical evaluation are developed through lectures, workshops, practical work, projects and through reading of primary research papers.

    Practical skills are developed as follows: 

    • Test, measurement and evaluation skills are developed through lectures, workshops, practical classes and projects. 
    • Experimental and risk assessment skills are developed through practical classes and projects.
    • Skills in project management techniques are developed through practical work and individual projects.
    • Numerical skills are developed through practical classes and workshops. 

    Transferable skills are taught explicitly in first year tutorials and in a first year compulsory module. These are also embedded and developed in modules throughout the curriculum:

    • Communication skills are developed through instruction and practice in writing reports, essays, projects and giving presentations.
    • General ICT skills are developed through use of computers in several aspects of the course and for communication in the University and beyond.
    • Information retrieval skills are developed in coursework and projects.
    • Data manipulation and presentation skills are developed through practical classes, report writing and projects.
    • Independent-learning skills are developed through coursework and projects.
    • Time management skills are developed through coursework and student projects.
    • Employability skills and team working are embedded throughout the curriculum and developed in a compulsory third year module.

Assessment Strategy and Methods: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

  • Knowledge and understanding is assessed through unseen examinations and end of modules tests (multiple choice or short answer questions). Examinations are mainly of the essay type but also include short answer questions in second year and data analysis in years 2 and 3. Coursework assignments, which include: laboratory reports, essays, literature reviews, poster presentations and oral presentations, also test students' knowledge and understanding. The relative weight of these components varies according to the type of module and its intended outcomes.

    Intellectual skills are assessed by a combination of coursework exercises, practical and project work and written examinations. 

    Practical skills are assessed by a combination of practical and project work, a written dissertation and data analysis examination questions. 

    Transferable skills such as written and oral presentation skills, graphical presentation of data, general IT skills and information gathering are assessed by a variety of coursework assignments, e.g. essay writing, practical reports, oral presentations, research poster design, dissertation.

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