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Genome Expression & Maintenance - BIO00051I

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  • Department: Biology
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Richard Maguire
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: I
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25

Module summary

To survive and thrive, organisms must be able to express their genes at the right time and place, accurately replicate their genetic material, and detect and repair damaged DNA. Failure of these processes will lead to physiological perturbation, diseases such as cancer, and even death. Genome Expression and Maintenance (GEM) focuses on these core mechanisms that are of fundamental importance to understanding cell function and to our ability to manipulate genes and genomes for biotechnological and therapeutic applications. Approximately half of the module will relate to gene expression and its control, developing understanding of how organisms respond to external and internal signals. The other half of the module will focus on 'maintenance', examining how DNA replication is controlled and how cells repair DNA damage that occurs as a consequence of the continual exposure to DNA damaging agents.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 1 2024-25

Module aims

The module aims to combine content on the fundamental mechanisms involved in DNA replication, DNA repair and gene expression with an understanding of the experimental approaches used to investigate them. Processes in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes will be covered. Data interpretation and critical thinking skills will be developed which will be useful preparation for Stage 3 projects and modules such as Advanced Topics in Gene Expression, Cancer Cell and Molecular Biology, Advanced Topics in Biotechnology, Trends in Microbiology and Molecular Recognition.

Module learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete this module will have the ability to:

1. Explain key mechanisms involved in gene expression, DNA replication and DNA repair and their control

2. Identify the consequences for the cell if errors occur in gene expression, DNA replication and DNA repair

3. Understand experimental approaches commonly used to study gene expression, DNA replication and DNA repair

4. Solve problems, design experiments and interpret data based on module content


Task Length % of module mark
Online Exam -less than 24hrs (Centrally scheduled)
Online exam: Genome Expression & Maintenance
6 hours 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Online Exam -less than 24hrs (Centrally scheduled)
Online exam: Genome Expression & Maintenance
6 hours 100

Module feedback

Marks for all summative assessments will be made available to you and your supervisor via e:vision. Feedback will be either individual or cohort-level, depending on the assessment format. You should take the opportunity to discuss your marks and feedback with your supervisor.

For exam-style summative assessment, model answers will be provided for all questions along with cohort-level feedback indicating how students answered questions in general. Marks achieved per question will be added to your script.

For coursework assessments (eg. reports or essays) you will receive individual feedback on your work. This will usually be in the form of a feedback sheet that will include suggestions for further improvement.

During the teaching of the module you will receive formative feedback that may be at a whole class or individual level. Such 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 is constantly exploring 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 by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.