module specification

BE6061 - Fundamentals of Biotechnology (2022/23)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2022/23
Module status DELETED (This module is no longer running)
Module title Fundamentals of Biotechnology
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 150
111 hours Guided independent study
39 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 60%   Report (2000 words)
Unseen Examination 40%   Exam (1 hour)
Running in 2022/23

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Monday Morning

Module summary

This module will provide students with an understanding of principles, basics and applications of biotechnology. The emphasis is on microbial cultivation and their applications in pharmaceutical, food and agriculture sectors. In addition, students will gain in-depth skills in practicing some biotechnology tools.

The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s Framework for Higher Education Qualifications).This module will provide essential knowledge of application in microorganisms in biotechnology. The students’ will have the opportunity to evaluate and appraise technological developments, upstream and downstream application of biotechnology processes and procedures. Module material will provide critical evaluation of research and development in a biotechnology industrial/commercial context. This module aims to provide students with the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring: the exercise of initiative and personal responsibility; decision-making in complex and unpredictable contexts; and, the learning ability needed to undertake appropriate further training of a professional or equivalent nature.


Introduction to biotechnology including traditional applications of biotechnology, basic and advanced molecular biotechnology, fermentation technology, microbial cultivation, bioreactors and mode of operation, upstream and downstream processing, scale up biotechnology process, plant & animal biotechnology, GM foods, enzymes in biotechnology and environmental biotechnology.

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

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. Students’ knowledge and understanding of ‘Microbial Biotechnology’ will be developed through a programme of lectures, tutorial and supporting practical exercises. Students' ability to handle and interpret information will be encouraged through these laboratory based investigations, most taken over two weeks, and the guided use of expected directed reading of additional literature on the subject, video material and other learning resources.
Lectures will be used to provide a conceptual framework. Student centred assignments, including research for writing the essay will enable students to reinforce and expand their knowledge and develop subject skills.
Self-managed time and private study should be spread out over the whole year and not left until the final weeks, however, opportunities for Self-directed revision have also been provided within the program.
On completion of this module students carry out an evaluation of how the module allowed them to develop skills such as information technology, organisational skills, team building, communication, time management, and working under pressure.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
1. Evaluate methods of gene manipulation in microorganisms.
2. Critically evaluate protocols used for microbial cultivation and culture scale up.
3. Demonstrate theoretical and conceptual understanding of applications of microbial biotechnology and analyse contributions of biotechnology in food and non-food applications

Assessment strategy

This module will be summatively assessed by an exam at the end the semester and a coursework on topic (s) related to microbial biotechnology and its applications

To pass the module, students need to achieve a minimum aggregate mark of 40%. If the module is passed on reassessment, then the maximum mark awarded will be 40%.