Module code: BMS2036

Module Overview

The purpose of this module is to introduce to the students the ways in which biological function is controlled through control of gene expression at different levels. This module will help the students to both acquire core theoretical core knowledge and key practical skills.

Module provider

School of Biosciences and Medicine

Module Leader

ASIM Mohammad (Biosc & Med)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 5

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 109

Lecture Hours: 32

Laboratory Hours: 9

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

Conceptual Foundations

Model organisms and their genomes


The human genome

Human evolution

Normal variation

Personalised genomics

Isolating and sequencing single genes



Whole-genome and whole-exome sequencing

Gene therapy and CRISPR

DNA repair and recombination

The genetic basis of cancer

Deregulation of the cell cycle and genome maintenance pathways in cancer

Genomics tutorial

Overview of eukaryotic gene control, RNA poly II promoters and general TFs

Cis-regions and transcription factors, molecular mechanisms of repression and activation

Regulation of translation factor activity, other transcription systems

RNA processing in the nucleus

Life and death of RNA in the cytoplasm

Molecular mechanisms of translation

Regulation of transcription factor activity

Global regulation of translation

Gene expression profiling

Epigenetic regulation of transcription

The epigenome

Integrative genomics

Transcriptomics tutorial

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Practical write-up 30
Examination 50 MCQ and 2 out of 7 essay-type questions (2 hours) 70

Alternative Assessment

If practical components require re-assessment there will be a written exam to assess the underlying principles of the appropriate learning outcomes. This will reflect the material covered in the original assessment and will carry the same weighting.

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate understanding of the topic, and ability to find, evaluate and use material to answer the coursework questions.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Coursework: Practical write-up. Submission deadline 2 weeks after last practical session. Provisional deadlines will be Tuesday week 11  (group 1). Tuesday week 13 (group 2), and Tuesday week 15 (group 3)

  • Examination (2 hours): 50 MCQ and 2 essay-type questions

Formative assessment and feedback

General feedback about practicals and lectures is provided in the form of feedback tutorials and at the end of practicals sessions for each group. Also, feedback is provided via SurreyLearn through the discussion tool.

Module aims

  • Advance the student's understanding of the inheritance and function of genes, and some of the major methodologies applied to their study, especially in relation to eukaryotes and in particular our own species.
  • The origins and nature of genetic variation
  • Methods for studying genomes and transcriptomes
  • Genomic manipulation
  • The genetic basis of cancer
  • Eukaryotic gene control
  • The process of transcription and its regulation
  • Epitnetic mechanisms
  • Laboratory analysis of gene expression
  • Introduce the student to basic molecular biology techniques.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Know and understand the essential elements of the process of gene expression from DNA to biological function, and how it is regulated KC
002 Understand the concept of genetic variability and how it relates to phenotypic variability C
003 Grasp the basic concepts and techniques for genomic and transcriptomic analysis KC
004 Appreciate the basic principles and applications of animal transgenesis and of gene therapy KC
005 Be able to perform and interpret basic molecular biology procedures PT
006 Appreciate the theoretical basis of the above methods KC
007 Have a basic knowledge and understanding of the genetic basis of cancer KC

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Provide the basic information to understand the principles and concepts of gene organisation and expression, and methods and approaches employed in cloning genes and stuying their expression, and help the students to acquire hands on experimental skills. Methods and approaches will be taught specifically in the context of the theory (e g in the form of case studies).

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Lectures (30 hours), tutorials (5 hours)

    Lab practical sessions (9 hours over two weeks)


Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: BMS2036

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Biochemistry BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Microbiology BSc (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Biomedical Science BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Biochemistry MSci (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Veterinary Biosciences BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Biological Sciences BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2019/0 academic year.