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Department of Biochemistry



The course aims to provide students with a basic understanding of:
  • the molecular architecture of eukaryotic cells and organelles, including membrane structure and dynamics;
  • the principles of bioenergetics and enzyme catalysis;
  • the chemical nature of biological macromolecules, their three-dimensional construction, and the principles of molecular recognition;
  • dietary requirements of man and selected domestic animals;
  • the metabolism of dietary and endogenous carbohydrate, lipid, and protein;
  • the principles and major mechanisms of metabolic control and of molecular signalling by hormones;
  • the control of cell proliferation;
  • how the DNA in a genome is organized, replicated, and repaired;
  • how genetic information in the DNA is selectively expressed as functional proteins;
  • how genes are transmitted between generations, and how and when errors can arise;
  • how natural polymorphism and genetic variation can give rise to mutant genes, and how these genetic errors are inherited;
  • how inherited genetic errors can cause both single gene and multifactorial diseases and the consequences of this inheritance for individuals and populations;
  • the tools used in molecular genetics, and their potential applications to medical and veterinary science;
  • from their own laboratory practice, the experimental dimension of the molecular approach to biology;
  • the significance for clinical and veterinary practice of the molecular approach to medical science;
  • an awareness of the ethical aspects of molecular science.


By the end of the course, students should be able to:
  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the molecular machinery of living cells;
  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the principles that govern the structures of macromolecules and their participation in molecular recognition;
  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the principles and basic mechanisms of metabolic control and molecular signalling;
  • use basic laboratory skills and apparatus to obtain reproducible data from biochemical experiments;
  • implement experimental protocols, and adapt them to plan and carry out simple investigations;
  • analyse, interpret, and participate in reporting to their peers on the results of their laboratory experiments;
  • participate in and report orally on team work investigations of problem-based assignments;
  • build on their knowledge and understanding in tackling more advanced and specialised courses, and more widely to pursue independent, self-directed and critical learning.