Module MSE-1007:
Foundation-Molecules and Cells

Module Facts

Run by School of Medical Sciences

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1 & 2

Organiser: Dr Rachel Hallett

Overall aims and purpose

This module will provide a grounding in key aspects of biochemistry, molecular and cellular biology that will underpin later learning in physiology, medical genetics, cell biology and therapeutics. The aim is to introduce important reaction cycles within the human body, the structure and roles of nucleic acids and key concepts of cellular organisation and function.

Course content

The module will cover the key molecules and pathways involved in metabolism, cell division and protein expression within the human body, showing the relationships between these processes and the differences in distinct tissues. The important role of enzymes in the control of biochemical pathways will be introduced, as will an introduction to cell signalling.

Assessment Criteria

threshold

Threshold D- to D+ (40 – 49%) Basic factual information largely based on teaching notes, generally accurate but with some errors or gaps.

C- to C+

Satisfactory C- to C+ (50 – 59%) Reasonably comprehensive coverage of learning outcomes, indicating generally accurate understanding, based on lecture material and some core readings.

good

Good B- to B+ (60 – 69%) Comprehensive and accurate coverage of learning outcomes, showing good use of teaching material and core readings. Is able to demonstrate broad knowledge of roles of important molecules and key cellular processes.

excellent

Excellent A- to A* (70 - 100%) Has sophisticated knowledge of the biochemical and cellular processes within the human body. Very comprehensive and accurate coverage of learning outcomes, and ability to discuss inter-relationships between biochemical pathways and cellular function, indicating that the student has gone beyond the core readings and explored the topic in depth.

Learning outcomes

  1. Outline the structure and function of major biological molecules (including DNA and RNA).

  2. Interpret chemical pathways associated with carbohydrate, lipid and protein metabolism in humans.

  3. Explain the basic principles of acid/base regulation.

  4. Outline the cell cycle including DNA replication and cell death.

  5. Identify the structure and function of eukaryotic cellular organelles.

  6. Demonstrate a basic knowledge of the control of protein expression.

  7. Demonstrate a basic understanding of the mechanisms by which signals are transmitted between and within cells

  8. Explain the action and inhibition of enzymes, and the importance of cofactors.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
EXAM Multiple Choice Question Exam 40
EXAM Written exam comprising short answer questions 60

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Private study

Private study to revise and supplement taught content. Directed reading, textbook suggestions and online resources in the form of animations, quizzes and videos are supplied.

160
Lecture

20 x 2 hour lectures spread across semester 1 and semester 2. These will incorporate student led activities, such as case study / practice exam question discussions, DNA modelling to reinforce molecular biology concepts, and MCQ quizzes.

40

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

Subject specific skills

Biomedical Science benchmarks QAA http://www.qaa.ac.uk/en/Publications/Documents/SBS-Biomedical-sciences-15.pdf

Intellectual skills 4.2 Biomedical sciences graduates should be able to: i recognise and apply subject-specific theories, paradigms, concepts or principles (for example, the relationship between genes and proteins, or the nature of essential similarities and differences between prokaryote and eukaryote cells)

5 Core biomedical sciences knowledge, understanding and skills ii engagement with the essential facts, major concepts, principles and theories associated with the chosen subject v familiarity with terminology, nomenclature and disease classification systems, as appropriate vii awareness of the contribution of their subject to the development of knowledge about the complexity of human health and disease

5.3 The attributes include: i an appreciation of the complexity and diversity of life processes

5.5 Biomedical sciences programmes generally include:

ii Cell biology: the structure and function of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells; the cell as the fundamental unit of life; cell division, cell cycle, stem cells, cell specialisation and cooperation

iii Biochemistry: key chemical principles relevant to biological systems, the structure and function of biological molecules and the biochemistry of processes which support life including cellular metabolism and its control

iv Genetics, genomics and human variation: the structure and function of genes, the principles of their inheritance,genetic disorders with particular biomedical significance, evolution and population biology

v Molecular biology: the structure and function of biologically important molecules including DNA, RNA and proteins and the molecular events that govern cell function. Molecular biology overlaps with biochemistry, genetics and cell biology

6.11 In addition to those areas outlined in sections 4 and 5, a physiology graduate will have the following core knowledge, understanding, and skills: iii Cellular physiology: principle components of a human cell and the main transport processes (diffusion, filtration, carrier-mediated transport, vesicular transport) and maintenance of cellular integrity; cellular differentiation, life cycle, and diversity of cell types and the complex intracellular chemical events that sustain life and underpin cellular response to the internal/external environment.

Resources

Pre- and Co-requisite Modules