- Academic Registry
Programme & Unit Catalogues

BB20025: Practical molecular biology

[Page last updated: 02 August 2022]

Academic Year: 2022/23
Owning Department/School: Department of Biology & Biochemistry
Credits: 6 [equivalent to 12 CATS credits]
Notional Study Hours: 120
Level: Intermediate (FHEQ level 5)
Semester 2
Assessment Summary: CW 100%
Assessment Detail:
  • Practical Booklet (CW 85%)
  • Demonstration Analysis (CW 15%)
Supplementary Assessment:
BB20025 Coursework (where allowed by programme regulations)
Learning Outcomes: After taking this course the student should be able to:
* explain how and why these techniques have been applied when they encounter them in journal articles
* select appropriate methods of this type when they design their own experiments
* planning and organise carrying out a scientific project
* handle and interpret data of this type generated by these techniques

Aims: To provide practical experience of some commonly used molecular biology techniques and to evaluate these in comparison with other available methods so that the students are aware of a range of techniques used for the characterisation of gene structure and gene expression.

Skills: Learning and studying T/F/A, Written communication T/F/A, Oral communication T/F/A, Numeracy & computation T/F/A, Laboratory skills T/F, Information technology T/F, Problem solving T/F, Information handling & retrieval T/F/A, Working independently T/F, Career preparation T/F.

Content: The course involves a series of linked experiments that form a mini-project. This begins with the preparation of cellular RNA, its conversion to cDNA and the amplification of gene fragments using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). This is followed by cloning and sequencing. Data interpretation involves DNA sequence analysis using genome databases. A demonstration of various methods for analysing gene expression is included.

Programme availability:

BB20025 is Compulsory on the following programmes:

Department of Biology & Biochemistry
  • USBB-AFB02 : BSc(Hons) Biochemistry (Year 2)
  • USBB-AKB06 : BSc(Hons) Biochemistry with Professional Placement (Year 2)
  • USBB-AFM06 : MBiochem(Hons) Biochemistry (Year 2)
  • USBB-AKM06 : MBiochem(Hons) Biochemistry with Professional Placement (Year 2)

BB20025 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Biology & Biochemistry


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2022/23 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2023/24 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2022/23.
  • 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.