module specification

CY4052 - Biochemistry (2020/21)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2020/21
Module title Biochemistry
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 150
114 hours Guided independent study
36 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Report (1000 words)
Unseen Examination 50%   Online exam (1 hour)
Attendance Requirement 0%   Practical Attendance
Running in 2020/21

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
No instances running in the year

Module summary

Description: The module is concerned with biochemistry focusing on the properties of key biochemical molecules and their role in biochemical function.

The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s, Framework for Higher Education Qualifications. This module is concerned with 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. 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. LO1,LO2,LO3

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Teaching and learning sessions include tutorials (12 h), lectures (24 h), an assessed practical and course work with feedback where appropriate. Lectures are used to set context and to deliver subject material, and are linked to course work and 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 of a practical write-up (50% of overall mark) – learning outcome 3, and a 1 hour online written exam (50% of overall mark) – learning outcomes 1-3. The students must pass with an overall mark of 40%.


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
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