- Academic Registry
Programme & Unit Catalogues

CH40230: DNA in the modern world

[Page last updated: 15 October 2020]

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2020/1
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: Department of Chemistry
Further information on credits Credits: 3      [equivalent to 6 CATS credits]
Further information on notional study hours Notional Study Hours: 60
Further information on unit levels Level: Masters UG & PG (FHEQ level 7)
Further information on teaching periods Period:
Semester 2
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Summary: EX 100%
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • Exam (EX 100%)
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites: Before taking this module you must take CH20149 OR take CH20150
In taking this module you cannot take CH30230
Description: Aims:
The aim of this unit is to show the impact DNA research has had and may have on modern society.

Learning Outcomes:
On completing this unit, students should be able to: write out and critically evaluate the sequence of reactions for the synthesis of a short section of single stranded DNA; design primers for a polymerase chain reaction; critically evaluate the mechanism for the polymerase chain reaction; list the causes of DNA degradation; critically evaluate the procedure for obtaining a sample of DNA from an ancient source; interpret both modern and 'historical' DNA fingerprints; critically evaluate the strategy for obtaining a modern DNA fingerprint; explain how DNA can be used to store information and compute, and highlight DNA's current limitations in these fields; explain how a DNA machine works; give an example of a DNA machine that has not been covered in lectures, and explain how that particular machine works; detail a process for creating structures from DNA.


Chemical synthesis of DNA; the polymerase chain reaction; ancient DNA and its implications for human evolution; modern and 'historical' DNA fingerprinting; storing information in DNA; DNA computers; artificial structures ('DNA origami') and machines derived from DNA.
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

CH40230 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Chemistry
  • USCH-AAM03 : MChem(Hons) Chemistry with Study year abroad (Year 4)
  • USCH-AAM06 : MChem(Hons) Chemistry for Drug Discovery with Study year abroad (Year 4)
  • USCH-AKM03 : MChem(Hons) Chemistry for Drug Discovery with Industrial Placement (Year 4)
  • USCH-AKM02 : MChem(Hons) Chemistry with Industrial Placement (Year 4)
  • USCH-AFM07 : MSci(Hons) Chemistry with Management (Year 4)
  • USCH-AKM07 : MSci(Hons) Chemistry with Management with Industrial Placement (Year 5)


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2020/21 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2021/22 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2020/21.
  • Programmes and units are subject to change in accordance with normal University procedures.
  • Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.
  • Find out more about these and other important University terms and conditions here.