AP0632 - Current Topics in Biochemistry

What will I learn on this module?

The syllabus will be subject to review each year as topics develop, however, the topics will cover research areas such as medical and pharmaceutical biochemistry, genetic variation and gene/environment interactions influencing health, the application of biochemistry/biotechnology in the development of novel therapeutic strategies for disease, drug development, gene therapy and diagnostic tools, applications of biotechnology to genome sequencing projects, e.g. the role in medicine and drug development, environmental biochemistry, industrial biochemistry, such as treatment of waste-water, remediation of contaminated sites and applications of biotechnology to the production of high value chemicals, consumer products and food.

How will I learn on this module?

You will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and tutorials. The teaching members will publish the reference list on eLP (Blackboard Ultra), which contains the publications related to a topic one week before the lecture. The key knowledge of research topics and the latest developments in the topics will be explained in each 2 hour lecture. You will be expected to reinforce your learning in lectures with extensive background reading and you will be encouraged to discuss your understanding of the topics within 1 hour seminar sessions. You will present your evaluation of the current literature on a specific topic, this will be supported by tutorial sessions by academic staff, and this process will help you to develop skills in critical thinking.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be supported by a team of staff associated with the module in a number of ways. Staff will deal with your questions and queries in seminars and tutorials on issues of module content and to provide guidance on general presentation and the development of the core skills necessary to retrieve, evaluate, discuss and apply the research findings of others. Staff can be contacted outside of sessions via a variety of channels to deal with your queries. Supporting information will also be distributed by the eLP (Blackboard Ultra).

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

On completion of this module the student will have:

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. Gained knowledge and understanding of recent topics in industrial, medical, pharmaceutical and environmental biochemistry.
Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
2. Critically evaluated recent developments in industrial, medical, pharmaceutical and environmental biochemistry.
3. Analysed a biochemistry topic in detail and presented a discussion of its development, applications and potential.
4. Developed a range of communication skills relevant to research and industry.
Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
5. Identified and explored the impact of biochemistry research on stakeholders.

How will I be assessed?

Poster Presentation. Students will be allocated one of the topics covered in the lecture content as the focus of a poster presentation. They will present the importance of the topic for wider societal benefit in the framework of a lay person i.e. for a hypothetical presentation as part of Soapbox Science. Posters will be submitted via the eLP and projected for a 10 minute presentation, followed by 10 mins questions. Feedback will be provided within marking rubric withing 20 working days. (Weighting 50%) (MLOs 1, 3, 4, 5 tested)

Ongoing Case Study Summary. For topics covered in lectures, students will construct a short summary encompassing the key aspects of the topic. They will also investigate the literature to provide two current relevant research papers related to the topic and provide a rationale for their selection (2000 words total). This assessment will evaluate the students’ ability to assimilate and summarise knowledge and search for and evaluate the literature relevant to topics across Biochemistry. Feedback will be provided within marking rubric withing 20 working days. (Weighting 50%). (MLOs 1, 2, tested).





Module abstract

Current Topics in Biochemistry will be of interest to students wishing to understand state of the art biochemical research and development. Topics covered will reflect novel areas and advances in particular disciplines of biochemistry reflecting the research interests of the teaching team. The module emphasises the combination of directed and independent learning by initially introducing topics by lectures, followed by seminars to encourage students to discuss the topics and develop skills in critical evaluation of new and emerging areas in biochemistry. To evaluate the students’ ability to synthesise materials and relay complex biochemical research and literature to the public, they will be assigned one topic to study in-depth, which will be supported in tutorials and assessment drop in sessions and assessed via a presentation. Students will be assessed on factual knowledge and ability to critically evaluate scientific literature through an ongoing case study summary supported through seminar sessions. The module will equip students with important key skills, i.e. science communication and critical thinking, which will be invaluable in your future career.

Course info

UCAS Code F115

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years full-time with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Applied Sciences

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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