module specification

HN5050 - Metabolic Biochemistry for Nutrition (2018/19)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2018/19
Module title Metabolic Biochemistry for Nutrition
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School Faculty of Life Sciences and Computing
Total study hours 150
39 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
111 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Presentation and Report (Local Submission)
In-Course Test 50%   In Class Test (1 hour)
Running in 2018/19 No instances running in the year

Module summary

This module focuses on understanding key principles of metabolism. These principles are illustrated through study of the major metabolic pathways. How metabolism interacts with the nutritional environment is discussed throughout the module.

Prior learning requirements

DI4002  Cellular and Molecular Systems

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 provide an understanding of the principles of metabolism encourage an appreciation of the diversity and interconnection of metabolic pathways, relate these to nutritional status and to stimulate an understanding of the applicability of metabolism in a broad range of biological context. This module will also provide students with the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of some personal responsibility and decision making.


The specified learning outcomes will be developed around a framework based on the following subject matter:

Carbohydrate metabolism: glycolysis, gluconeogenesis, their metabolic roles and importance in energy supply and provision of precursors. The role of allosteric enzymes in the control of metabolism: phosphofructokinase and the control of glycolysis. Regulation of glycogen synthesis and breakdown. Carboxylic acid metabolism: Krebs cycle,  dehydrogenation reactions, proton and electron acceptors, electron transport. Interconversion of fats and carbohydrates. Lipid metabolism: fatty acids and other esters - functions, transport and storage; biosynthesis, degradation and desaturation.Acetyl CoA carboxylase and fatty acid biosynthesis. Purines and pyrimidines: biosynthesis, degradation and metabolic significance. The control of pyrimidine biosynthesis by aspartate transcarbamoylase.Amino acid metabolism: nitrogen sources, nitrogen pool, amination, deamination and transamination. Biosynthesis and catabolism of amino acids and the regulation of pathways. Cellular integrations: signal transduction, membrane proteins; role of cyclic nucleotides; transcriptional control of metabolism. 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 (22 hours), problem solving and revision tutorials (9 hours), and seminar presentations (8 hours). 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.

Learning outcomes

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

  1. Describe the main features, regulation and interconnection of key metabolic pathways
  2. Explain how energy is conserved and utilized in metabolic pathways and relate this to nutritional status
  3. Explain and evaluate the range and diversity of metabolic processes
  4. Critically assess 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
  6. Develop transferable skills through accurate writing and science communication 

Assessment strategy

The module will be assessed by means of a coursework component and an unseen in-class test (1 hour)(50%). The coursework will consist of a full presentation and practical report (1000 words) (50%) .
The provision of formative feedback will be achieved by a formative seminar session with in class feedback.
To pass the module students need to achieve a minimum aggregate mark of 40%.
There is an attendance requirement for the practical sessions.                                         

  Learning Outcomes:
Unseen exam 1, 2, 3
Presentation and report 3, 4,5,6



Elliot, WH, Elliot DC (2001) Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (2nd edition). Oxford Nelson,
D.L and Cox, M.M (2000). Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry (3rd edition). London. Worth
Roach, J O'N and Benyon,S (2003) Metabolism and Nutrition (2nd edition). London. Mosby
Stryer, L , Berg LM, Tymoczko JL (2002). Biochemistry (5th edition).London.  Freeman.