module specification

BM7108 - Introduction to Molecular Biology and Genetics (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Introduction to Molecular Biology and Genetics
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 10
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 100
100 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
In-Course Test 20%   On-line Quizzes (200 words)
Coursework 40%   Reflective learning log (800 words)
Coursework 40%   Written assignment (ECA) (1000 words)
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year LMET Distance Learning - -

Module summary

This module provides information and guidance to faciliatate an indepth understanding and knowledge of the theory and practical applications of molecular biology and genetics. It explains the underlying mechanisms of molecular biology and enables these ideas to be expanded to the understanding of human health and disease.
Semester: Autumn, Spring, Summer (10 credit)
Required prior Learning:  None
Assessment: Quizzes (30%), reflective learning log (30%), coursework (1000 words; 40%)

Module aims

The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s Framework for Higher Education Qualifications.  To provide, through in depth study, knowledge and understanding of the theory and practical applications of molecular biology and genetic, reinforce analytical, evaluative and communication skills. The module will also enable students to research a topical issue in depth and present it at an appropriate level and reflect on the topics studied and their application in biomedical practice.


Review of the basis of molecular biology and genetics.
Study the vast developments in genomes and genetics
Mechanics of DNA replication, transcription and translation.
Genetic technology, DNA in forensics and genetics in cancer.

Learning and teaching

Information pertaining to the subject matter will be presented through an integrated programme of lectures and supporting exercises, together with some use of a problem-based learning approach and the guided use of student-centred learning resources.  Lectures will be used to provide a conceptual framework.  Student centred assignments will enable students to reinforce and expand their knowledge, and develop subject specific skills and competence.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
1. Demonstrate an understanding of the processes of mutation detection by
molecular biological techniques and show an understanding of the consequences of various mutations and polymorphisms in health and disease.
2. Apply critical thinking to the analysis and solve molecular biological and
genetic problems and show an appreciation of current and evolving concepts in molecular biology and genetics specifically gene therapy and forensic applications.
3. Demonstrate through the reflective learning journal that they have reflected on their own performance as an independent professional learner.

Assessment strategy

The module will be formatively assessed by in-course online quizzes (20%) and two coursework components. A reflective learning log (800 words)(40%) and a written assignment (40%; 1000 words). Criteria for assessment will include an understanding of the subject matter; an ability, both orally and written, to explain, describe and discuss the work; completeness and conciseness of written reports and essays with emphasis upon critical ability and scientific rigour. To pass the module students need to achieve a minimum aggregate mark of 50%. 

Component Learning outcomes
Quizzes 1
Reflective learning log 2
Written assignment 2,3



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Hartl DL. (2011) Essential Genetics: A Genomics Perspective 5th Ed. Jones and Bartlett.
Jorde LB, Carey JC, Bamshad MJ. (2010)  Medical Genetics 4th Ed. Mosby.
Lewis R (2010) Human Genetics, Concepts and Applications. 9th Ed. McGraw-Hill.
Lodish H, Berk A, Zipursky SL, Matsudaira P, Baltimore D, Darnell J. (2008) Molecular Cell Biology 5th Ed.  WH. Freeman
Read A, Donnai D. (2010) New Clinical Genetics (2nd edit). Scion.
Reed R, Holmes D, Weyers J, Jones A. (2007) Practical Skills in Biomolecular Sciences, 3rd Ed.  Pearson
Gibson G, Muse SV. (2009)  A Primer of Genome Science 3rd Ed. Sinauer Associates.
Strachan T, Read A. (2011)  Human Molecular Genetics 4th Ed. Garland Science.
Sudbery P, Sudbery I. (2009) Human Molecular Genetics 3rd Ed. Pearson.
Young ID. (2010) Medical Genetics 2nd Ed. Oxford University Press.