Surrey University Stag


Module code: BMS2036

Module Overview

The purpose of this module is to introduce the students to sequencing genes and genomes, their variations, relevance to medicine. It also covers the ways in which biological function is controlled through the control of gene expression at different levels and how these functions are altered in disease with emphasis on cancer. This module will help the students to both acquire core theoretical core knowledge and key practical skills in molecular biology and genetics.

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

JACs code: C700

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 100

Lecture Hours: 22

Tutorial Hours: 15

Laboratory Hours: 9

Captured Content: 4

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

The indicative content includes:

The human genome

Normal variation and its types

Sequencing genes and genomes

Concepts in genotype-phenotype mapping

Genome-wide association studies

Precision medicine

DNA damage and repair

The origin and genetic basis and hallmarks of cancer

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

Transcription factors & their regulation, molecular mechanisms of transcription repression and activation

RNA processing, RNA life and death, Non-coding RNAs

Molecular mechanisms of translation and role in disease

Global regulation of translation

Epigenetic control of transcription, Histones and DNA modifications affecting gene expression

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting

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 (This should be in the form of a scientific paper focussing on the use of technical language and appropriate prose). The section should include materials and methods, interpretation of results, use of data with appropriate figure legends. 

  • Examination: 50 MCQ and ONE essay-type question/or data interpretation question.

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

  • Develop and apply the principles of the central dogma of Molecular Biology, supported by methodologies applied to their study.
  • Develop an understanding of the origins and nature of genetic variation.
  • Appreciation of the high-throughput methods for studying genomes.
  • Understand the origin and genetic basis of cancer, introducing some key genes and pathways involved in cancer, its treatment.
  • Comparison of prokaryotic and eukaryotic mechanisms of transcriptional and translational control.
  • Develop practical and analytical skills in the evaluation of gene expression.

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 low- and high-throughput genomic analysis KC
004 Appreciate the basic principles and applications of precision medicine 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 origin and 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 strategies are designed to:

Provide the basic information to understand the principles and concepts of gene and genome organisation, control of gene expression, and methods and approaches employed in studying their structure, organisation and expression and their regulation. It aims to provide the students with hands-on experimental skills in molecular biology. Methods and approaches will be taught specifically in the context of the theory (eg in the form of case studies).

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Lectures (22 hours), tutorials (15 hours)

    Lab practical sessions (9 hours)


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
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
Biomedical Science MSci (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Biochemistry 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
Biological Sciences BSc (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

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 2022/3 academic year.