module specification

AS4002S - Chemistry and Biochemistry (for Applied Biology) (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Chemistry and Biochemistry (for Applied Biology)
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 150
112 hours Guided independent study
38 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Report (1000 words)
In-Course Test 50%   Online exam (1 hour)
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Thursday Morning

Module summary

The module  provides an introduction to biochemistry focusing on the properties of key biochemical molecules and their role in biochemical function.

Module aims

The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s, Framework for Higher Education Qualifications. This module aims to introduce students to biochemistry focusing on the properties of key biochemical molecules and their role in biochemical function. This module aims to provide students with the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of some personal responsibility.


Introduction to basic thermodynamic principles. The concepts of enthalpy, entropy and free energy and their relevance to biochemical processes. Equilibria in acid/base and redox reactions. Redox couples, weak acids, amphoteric behaviour and buffers. Structure, properties and distribution of biomolecules: Proteins: amino acids, the peptide bond, levels of protein structure.
Enzymes: enzyme classes, Michaelis-Menten kinetics.
Carbohydrates: structure and behaviour of monosaccharides, selected sugar derivatives, the glycosidic bond, reducing and non-reducing disaccharides, oligo- and polysaccharides, determinants of their function.
Lipids: structure and behaviour of fatty acids and glycerides. Classification of lipids.
Water: structure and behaviour of water, contribution to macromolecular structure.

Learning and teaching

Teaching and learning sessions include tutorials (13 h), lectures (26 h), an assessed practical with feedback where appropriate.
Lectures are used to set context and to deliver subject material, and are linked to course work, tutorials.
Students will be expected to reflect on the learning experience and develop their own understanding of the material.
Writing skills will be enhanced through the production of a laboratory report of an experiment. The ability to undertake scientific and ethical appraisal of data will be encouraged through directed reading and tutorial discussions. Students will be expected to reflect upon taught material in order to demonstrate their understanding of the aspects of biochemistry covered in this module.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

  1. display an appreciation of the ways in which thermodynamic principles provide an understanding of biochemical processes;
  2. display knowledge of the structure, properties and distribution of biomolecules;
  3. have knowledge of enzyme structure and function and of some of the most important mechanisms controlling the action of enzymes and other proteins;show critical thinking in relation to evaluation of biochemical data; analysing laboratory data and answering quantitative questions in biochemistry.

Assessment strategy

The module will be summatively assessed by means a 1 hour online written exam (50% of overall mark) and a practical write-up (50%). The students must pass with an overall mark of 40%.


Component Marks Learning outcomes
Practical report (1 hour) 50% 2,3
written exam (1 hour) 50% 1,2,3
Attendance Requirement 0%  



Berg, J., Tymoczko, J. and Stryer, L. (2011). Biochemistry International edition, 7th Edition,. W.H. Freeman.
Farrell, S. and Campbell, M. (2011). Biochemistry (7th Edition). CENGAGE Learning Custom Publishing
Horton H.R. et al. (2011). Principles of Biochemistry (5th edition). Pearson Education.
McKee, T and McKee J. (2009). Biochemistry: The Molecular Basis of Life. (4th edition). Oxford University Press.