module specification

AS5004 - Metabolism and Microbiology (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Metabolism and Microbiology
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 300
68 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
232 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 30%   Report (1000 words)
In-Course Test 20%   Sem 1 Progress exam (1 hour)
Coursework 30%   In class microbiology problems (1000 words)
Unseen Examination 20%   Sem 2 Unseen Exam (1 Hour)
Attendance Requirement 0%   Practical Attendance
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Wednesday Morning

Module summary

This module investigates the key metabolic pathways in eukaryotes and prokaryotes and investigates how these pathways, in different organisms, satisfy energy requirements for growth and reproduction using the nutrients in their surroundings. This module also examines the intrinsic and extrinsic factors which regulate microbial growth and development.

Prior learning requirements

CH4002 Chemistry and Biochemistry

Module aims

The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the QAA’s the Quality Assurance Agency’s, Framework for Higher Education Qualifications. This module provides an understanding of the principles of metabolism.  It is designed to encourage an appreciation of the diversity and interconnection of metabolic pathways and to stimulate an understanding of the applicability of metabolism in a broad range of biological contexts. It provides students with the opportunity to study the nutritional requirements for microbial growth and the intrinsic and extrinsic factors which regulate microbial growth and development. This module aims to provide students with the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of personal responsibility and decision-making. Students will be encouraged to engage meaningfully with personal development planning (PDP) through the curriculum, to enable them to reflect on, plan and review their own personal and academic skills. PDP will enable students to develop well supported claims to their achievements and be able to articulate these to others. The University will facilitate students in the recognition and recording of their achievements.


Carbohydrate metabolism. The role of allosteric enzymes in the control of metabolism. Carboxylic acid metabolism, electron transport and ATP formation. Interconversion of fats and carbohydrates. Lipid metabolism. Purines and pyrimidines: biosynthesis, degradation and metabolic significance. Amino acid metabolism. Cellular integrations: signal transduction, membrane proteins; role of cyclic nucleotides; transcriptional control of metabolism. Microbial metabolism: mechanisms and diversity of microbial biochemistry; uptake of substrates; energetics and regulation; chemotaxis.Microbial growth: assessment of biomass; growth kinetics of unicellular microorganisms (batch, continuous and synchronous culture); growth kinetics of filamentous microorganisms; colony formation; formulation of growth medium, laboratory-based methods of identification; Limitation of microbial activity: principles of sterilisation and death kinetics; applications of physical and chemical control processes. Report writing and analysis of lab safety skills.

Learning and teaching

Students will be provided with the opportunity to acquire knowledge of the subject matter through a variety of teacher led activities and self-directed study. Teacher led activities will include traditional and interactive lectures (40 hours), problem solving and revision tutorials (16 hours), and laboratory practical classes (8 hours) and have a specific 4 hour employability session. Theoretical and practical problems will be employed to assist students in the development of their analytical and problem solving capabilities. Students' ability to handle and interpret information will be encouraged through laboratory based investigations taken over several weeks and the guided use of expected directed reading of additional literature on the subject, video material and other learning resources.

Students’ study responsibilities are articulated in the FLS Staff/Student Agreement which is available via the Faculty Web site.

PDP will be delivered through specific tutorials and seminars embedded in the module timetable.


Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to;

  1. Give examples of the main features, regulation and interconnection of key metabolic pathways;
  2. Calculate microbial numbers and biomass using a variety of techniques and apply this to microbial kinetics;
  3. Explain and evaluate the range and diversity of metabolic processes, including energetics, in prokaryotes and eukaryotes;
  4. Evaluate and interpret information from a variety of sources, including primary sources such as laboratory data and published research papers.
  5. Understand how experimental evidence has been used to support theories of metabolism and microbial growth and control;
  6. Develop transferable and employability skills through accurate writing and understanding of best laboratory practice and enabling articulation of the skills, qualities and attributes developed through their higher education experience to date.

Assessment strategy

The module will be assessed by means of a coursework component will consist of a full practical report (1000 words) accounting for 25% of the overall mark; an in-class test (1500 words)  accounting for 25% of the overall mark;  in class problems accounting for 25% of the overall mark and an unseen examination accounting for 25% of the overall mark.
The coursework component will be used to provide formative feedback.
To pass the module students need to achieve a minimum aggregate mark of 40%. There is an attendance requirement for the practical sessions.

Employability delivered through PDP is important in this module and is addressed in coursework elements.
To pass the module, students need to achieve a minimum aggregate mark of 40%.  There will be an attendance requirement for the practical sessions.

Component Learning Outcomes
Practical report  (30%) 3, 4, 5, 6
Progress exam  (20%) 1, 2, 3
In-class problems 4,5
Written exam (20%) 2,3,5



Berg LM, Tymoczko JL, Stryer, L (2006). Biochemistry (6th edition). Freeman.
Cappuccino, J., and Sherman, N. (2010) A Laboratory Manual: International Edition
9th Edition  Pearson Publish  Pearson Publishers.
Elliot, W.H and Elliot, D.C. (2009). Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (4th edition). Oxford University Press
Madigan M.T., Martinko J.M. and Parker J. (2011)  Brock’s Biology of Microorganisms
(13th edit). Pearson International.
Moat A.G. and Foster J.W., and Spector M.P. (2002) Microbial Physiology (4th edit). Wiley.
Nelson, D.L and Cox, M.M (2008). Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry (5th edition). Worth
Roach, J O'N and Benyon, S (2005) Metabolism and Nutrition (2nd edition). Mosby