BF0610 - Current Topics in Biotechnology

SYNOPSIS OF MODULE

This module aims to provide students with an understanding of current developments in biotechnology. Topics covered in the directed learning will reflect novel areas or developments in particular disciplines of biotechnology and the research interests of the teaching team. Necessarily the former will mean that topics may change year on year as new developments in biotechnology emerge. Delivery will be largely in a lecture/seminar format to encourage students to discuss topics and develop their skills in critical evaluation of new and emerging areas in biotechnology. The formal exam will assess factual knowledge and the ability to synthesize material provided in the directed learning with that in the literature to produce a coherent and informed discussion. Students will be formatively assessed on their ability to critically evaluate how "hot topics" in biotechnology are reported by the media and how this impacts on the public's understanding of science.

INDICATIVE READING LIST OR OTHER LEARNING RESOURCES

Students will be directed to current journal references and articles from non-primary sources to gather information to support this module.
Journals:
Nature
Nature Biotechnology
Scientific American
New Scientist
Trends in Biotechnology
Books
:Additional resources (primary sources and text books if appropriate to the topics under investigation) will be provided in the module plan and in-session.

OUTLINE SYLLABUS

The syllabus will be subject to review each year as topics develop, however, the following lists key topics.
Medical and pharmaceutical biotechnology
Application of biotechnology in the development of novel therapeutic strategies for disease. Drug development, gene therapy and diagnostic tools.
Bioinformatics
Applications of biotechnology to genome sequencing projects e.g. Role in medicine and drug development.
Environmental biotechnology
Treatment of waste-water, remediation of contaminated sites. Industrial biotechnology
Applications of biotechnology to the production of high value chemicals, consumer products and food.
The media as a source of information
An appraisal of the value and role of the media as a means of interpreting scientific developments.

AIMS OF MODULE

This module aims to provide students with the opportunity to study contemporary issues in Biotechnology.
1. The module will provide students with an opportunity to develop an advanced understanding of recent and current developments in biotechnology.
2. It will encourage the students to develop skills in researching issues associated with current developments in biotechnology by monitoring the popular and scientific media.
3. A topic of the student's choice will also be studied in more depth and their knowledge will be assessed as part of the summative assessment of the module.

LEARNING OUTCOMES

On completion of this module the student will be able to:
1. Evaluate recent developments in industrial, medical, pharmaceutical and environmental biotechnology. (Assessed by examination ).
2. Critically evaluate a current biotechnology and discuss how it is represented in the popular and scientific press. Critically appraise the media as a source of information relating to the impact of science on society (formative assessment). .
3. Analyse a range of topics in biotechnology and present an informed discussion of its development, applications and potential.(assessed by examination)

PREREQUISITES

None

COREQUISITE(S)

None

DISTANCE LEARNING DELIVERY

None

LEARNING AND TEACHING STRATEGY

The majority of the material will be delivered in seminars to encourage discussion of issues arising from novel developments in the topics being studied. Formal lectures will be used to provide background information and supplement directed and independent learning. Seminars will provide an opportunity for discussion of the topics being investigated. Independent learning is a key element particularly in the formative assessment, Directed learning will be provided in the form of papers and electronic sources that will require study as part of the material to be assessed in the examination.

Knowledge of key topics (learning outcome 1&3) will be assessed by a formal examination.
Formative assessment (previous exam questions, group Q&A activity) will be used to assess learning outcomes 2; during which the student will be encouraged to demonstrate an up to date and informed knowledge of topics from a range of areas of biotechnology and present a critical appraisal of media coverage of a current topic of interest relevant to biotechnology informed by independent study.

ASSESSMENT AND FEEDBACK STRATEGY

a Summative assessment and rationale for tasks

Unseen examination to assess engagement with the content of the taught components and the directed reading as well as material identified during independent study.

b. Additional formative assessment – detail of process and rationale

Each topic covered will be formatively assessed using previous exam questions to prepare students for the final examination and illustrate the expectation in terms on engagement with directed and independent study literature. Feedback will be in class Q&A sessions and individual feedback verbally or provided as notes on written answers

c. Indication of how students will get feedback and how this will support their learning

IMPLICATIONS FOR CHOICE

None

Course info

Credits 10

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 36 months

Location Singapore

City Singapore

Start November or April

Fee Information

Module Information

All information on this course page is accurate at the time of viewing.

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