Accessibility statement

Biochemical Skills I - BIO00008C

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  • Department: Biology
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Setareh Chong
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: C
  • Academic year of delivery: 2021-22
    • See module specification for other years: 2022-23

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Autumn Term 2021-22 to Summer Term 2021-22

Module aims

The module starts with important introductory sessions that support aspects of this and other modules in the course. Following this in Autumn term there are lectures describing the physical basis of spectroscopy and its use in quantitative biochemical methods and with workshops covering mathematics topics useful for biochemists. During Spring term there are lectures on specific biochemical techniques such as ion exchange, gel filtration and affinity chromatography, electrophoresis, dialysis and bacterial transformation; in practical sessions students gain experience in some of these techniques. There are also lectures and workshops covering topics in statistics such as normal distributions, means, variances, standard deviations, correlation and regression and t tests. The module also contains seven tutorials where other important skills in biochemistry, such as essay writing and presentations are practised.

The aims of the module are to allow students to gain theoretical knowledge and practical experience of key techniques used in modern biochemistry laboratories. Learning is through lectures and hands-on experience in practicals and workshops. Tutorials aim to develop skills including essay writing and presentations.

Module learning outcomes

Students are expected to develop and acquire a sound understanding of the theoretical principles and some of the practice underlying many biochemical, molecular, and biophysical topics. The successful student will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the fundamental biophysics underlying biological processes through the derivation and application of relevant formulae
  • Determine which, and whether, classical univariate statistical tests appropriate to a given scenario and use R to perform these analyses
  • Interpret, report and graphically present the results of covered tests
  • Demonstrate an appreciation of the different molecular characteristics of biological macromolecules through the identification of appropriate separation and analytical methods and demonstrate an understanding of underlying principles of these techniques through the interpretation of sample data.
  • Work safely in a laboratory and be aware of potential hazards and their associated risk.
  • Competently use basic laboratory equipment, including micropipettes, light microscopes and conduct microbiological experiments aseptically.
  • Write well structured, coherent, scientific essays, keep accurate records, cite literature, appropriately, prepare reference lists, give confident oral presentations and solve numerical problems related to biochemical processes.
  • Design and execute experiments with rigorous scientific controls.

Indicative assessment

Task Length % of module mark
Practical Report
N/A 50
Online Exam -less than 24hrs (Centrally scheduled)
Biochemical Skills
6 hours 50

Special assessment rules


Indicative reassessment

Task Length % of module mark
Practical Report
N/A 50
Online Exam -less than 24hrs (Centrally scheduled)
Biochemical Skills
6 hours 50

Module feedback

Cohort-level feedback will be provided on performance in closed exams and made available via the VLE. Marks for open assessments will be made available to you and your supervisor via e:vision. Individual comments will be added to your script and/or on separate summary feedback document.  Histograms of module marks will be posted on the notice boards outside the Biology Student Services office. Individual marks will be made available to you and your supervisor via e:vision. Exam scripts will be made available at the end of either the Spring or Summer terms. You should take the opportunity to discuss your marks and feedback with your supervisor.

During the teaching of the module you will receive feedback that may be at a whole class or individual level. Forms of feedback may include: model answers and discussion of workshop questions, summaries of performance in practicals, VLE-based quizzes, individual spoken comments during workshops, individual written comments on formative work.   


Indicative reading

These are available through the VLE module site.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University constantly explores ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary. In some instances it may be appropriate for the University to notify and consult with affected students about module changes in accordance with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.