Accessibility statement

Biochemical reactions & interactions - BIO00054I

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  • Department: Biology
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Christoph Baumann
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: I
  • Academic year of delivery: 2023-24

Module summary

This module builds on the mechanistic organic and inorganic chemistry, enzymology, and common biochemical and biophysical methods, provided in Stage 1. In this module, the scope of chemical catalysis observed in biochemical reactions will be explored, with an emphasis on the molecular mechanisms by which they are achieved. Students will be introduced to the advanced approaches used to characterise biological molecules and molecular complexes using exemplar protein-protein, protein-nucleic acid and protein-small molecule (enzyme-substrate) interactions.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 1 2023-24

Module aims

This module will equip the student with knowledge of the molecular chemistry that underpins enzymatic reactions, and an understanding of the advanced methods used to identify and characterise bio-molecular interactions.

Module learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete this module will be able to:

1. Describe and differentiate common chemical reactions catalysed by enzymes and ribozymes, and explain the core chemical principles and characteristics of these reactions

2. Understand the theoretical principles underlying the following techniques: analytical ultracentrifugation, isothermal titration calorimetry, mass spectrometry and fluorescence spectroscopy

3. Understand and apply advanced approaches used to characterise protein-protein, protein-nucleic acid and protein-small molecule (enzyme-substrate) interactions in modern biochemical research

4. Integrate general knowledge of chemistry and protein biochemistry, and apply this to the description of unseen enzyme or ribozyme mechanism(s) and the identification of unknown binding partner(s)

5. Select and apply appropriate quantitative data analysis procedures to extract parameters describing binding equilibria and unseen enzyme or ribozyme mechanisms

6.Integrate critical reading of the literature into experimental design, problem solving and quantitative data analysis as relates to enzyme or ribozyme mechanism and bio-molecular interactions

Module content

The module builds on content covering biochemical and biophysical methods from the Stage 1 Biology modules, and content covering mechanistic chemistry, thermodynamics and reaction kinetics from the Stage 1 Chemistry modules. It provides core knowledge in biophysical techniques which is important for the Molecular Machinery in Action and Molecular Recognition modules in Stage 3, and for students interested in biophysical techniques and research projects in Stage 3/4.


Task Length % of module mark
Online Exam -less than 24hrs (Centrally scheduled)
Biochemical Reactions & Interactions
6 hours 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Open Assessment
N/A 100

Module feedback

Marks for all assessments will be made available to you and your supervisor via e:vision. Model answers will be provided for all Q&A type of assessments along with cohort-level feedback indicating how students answered questions in general. Individual comments will be added to your script and/or on a separate summary feedback document depending on the question type or assessment type. 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 accessible 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.