AP0632 - Current Topics in Biochemistry

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What will I learn on this module?

The syllabus will be subject to review each year as topics develop, however, the topics will cover research areas such as medical and pharmaceutical biochemistry, genetic variation and gene/environment interactions influencing health, the application of biochemistry/biotechnology in the development of novel therapeutic strategies for disease, drug development, gene therapy and diagnostic tools, applications of biotechnology to genome sequencing projects, e.g. the role in medicine and drug development, environmental biochemistry, industrial biochemistry, such as treatment of waste-water, remediation of contaminated sites and applications of biotechnology to the production of high value chemicals, consumer products and food.

How will I learn on this module?

You will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and tutorials. The teaching members will publish the reference list on eLP (Blackboard Ultra), which contains the publications related to a topic one week before the lecture. The key knowledge of research topics and the latest developments in the topics will be explained in each 2 hour lecture. You will be expected to reinforce your learning in lectures with extensive background reading and you will be encouraged to discuss your understanding of the topics within 1 hour seminar sessions. You will present your evaluation of the current literature on a specific topic, this will be supported by tutorial sessions by academic staff, and this process will help you to develop skills in critical thinking.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

How will I be supported academically on this module? (SRS 0003) Please provide a brief overview of the academic support available to students, including any support that may be accessed outside formal scheduled teaching.
You will be supported by a team of staff associated with the module in a number of ways. Staff will deal with your questions and queries in seminars and tutorials on issues of module content and to provide guidance on general presentation and the development of the core skills necessary to retrieve, evaluate, discuss and apply the research findings of others. Staff can be contacted outside of sessions via a variety of channels to deal with your queries. Supporting information will also be distributed by the eLP (Blackboard Ultra).

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

On completion of this module the student will have:

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. Gained knowledge and understanding of recent topics in industrial, medical, pharmaceutical and environmental biochemistry.
Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
2. Critically evaluated recent developments in industrial, medical, pharmaceutical and environmental biochemistry.
3. Analysed a biochemistry topic in detail and presented a discussion of its development, applications and potential.
4. Developed a range of communication skills relevant to research and industry.
Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
5. Identified and explored the impact of biochemistry research on stakeholders.

How will I be assessed?

Unseen examination (high level MCQs) to assess engagement with the content of the taught components and the directed reading. Two online (eLP, Blackboard Ultra) exams will take place with one in each semester exam period. (weighting 20% each and 40% in total) (MLOs 1, 2, 3, 5 tested).

Critique of an assigned publication will be assessed in presentation format to measure students’ ability to synthesise the knowledge and evaluate the literature. During seminar sessions students will actively engage in critique of selected publications from topic-relevant literature. During these sessions they will be formatively assessed and given feedback as to how this critique will relate to this assessment. In addition, a 2 hr tutorial will be held specifically related to this assessment. In teams students will be asked to present a critique of a paper which will be formatively assessed and verbal feedback given in the session. The summative 10 min presentation will take place on the 2nd week of Semester 2 and will be assessed by module tutor and teaching staff who delivered that particular topic (Weighting 30%). (MLOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 tested).

Produce a scientific summary for an assigned research publication (weighted 30%). This assessment will measure comprehension, interpretation and communication skills. Prior to the assignment in a 2 hour tutorial students will be introduced to and shown examples of scientific summaries. During the tutorial students will be given a group formative task whereby they will be asked to produce a scientific summary for a given publication and offered formative feedback in the session. (MLOs 1, 2, 3, 4 tested).





Module abstract

Any module which must have already been taken, or any stipulated level of prior knowledge required in order to study this module (co-requisite core models need not be listed). N/A
Modules at this level which must be taken with this module. N/A

Programme Framework for Northumbria Awards Research Rich Learning Design Pillar

Embedding Research Rich Learning into the curriculum:
Indicate how students will be actively engaged in research rich learning in this module through: research/enquiry based learning, research tutored learning, research led learning and/or research oriented learning, providing a brief overview of how this / these will feature within the delivery of the module (250 words max)
· Research/enquiry Based: L&T Based on student-centred enquiry and research activities (conducting research).
· Research Tutored: L&T Emphasises learning focused on students actively discussing research, and critically engaging with research outputs
· Research Led: T&L structured around subject content and that content is based on the research (learning about research)
· Research Orientated: T&L Emphasises understanding of the knowledge production process, and methods of enquiry in the subject (learning how to research)

Teaching and learning approaches include research-led lectures combined with the seminar and tutorials. The lectures will be delivered by academic staff who are active researchers. The focus will draw on their personal research interests and experience to help you discover the latest insights in the field. Students will engage in critical evaluation of primary research papers outlining new methodologies via seminars and tutorials. Students will be encouraged to recognize the impact of current research topics in biochemistry in a wide range of context such as environmental challenges and human health issues. The module will give students valuable experience of critical thinking and scientific communication and provide students opportunities to develop those skills for future career.

Current Topics in Biochemistry is a module that will be of interest to students wishing to understand the state of the art in biochemical research and development. Topics covered in this module will reflect novel areas and advances in particular disciplines of biochemistry and the module will reflect the research interests of the teaching team. The module emphasises the combination of directed learning and independent learning by initially introducing topics by lectures, which is then followed by seminars to encourage students to discuss the topics and develop their skills in critical evaluation of new and emerging areas in biochemistry. Within this module, students will be assessed on their factual knowledge and problem solving through multiple-choice questions. To evaluate the students’ ability to synthesise materials and critically evaluate scientific literature the students will be assigned to one topic to study in depth, which will be supported in tutorials and assessed via a presentation. The module will equip students with important key skills, such as science communication and critical thinking, which will be invaluable in your future career.

Course info

UCAS Code F115

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years full-time with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Applied Sciences

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2021

Fee Information

Module Information

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