Module code: BMS3092

Module Overview

This module aims to provide the student with an understanding of the varying strategies taken to produce and deliver important pharmaceutical therapeutic proteins/molecules. The module builds on level 4 and 5 modules that provide a broad background on molecular biology and gene regulation. The module focuses on the application of our knowledge of gene transfer and gene and protein expression to deliver effective pharmaceutical therapies, thus applying our knowledge to real world scientific problems.

Module provider

School of Biosciences

Module Leader

MCVEY John (Biosciences)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

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

Overall student workload

Workshop Hours: 4

Independent Learning Hours: 95

Seminar Hours: 19

Tutorial Hours: 6

Guided Learning: 10

Captured Content: 16

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

BMS2036 Molecular Biology and Genetics: From Genes to Biological Function

Module content

Indicative content includes:

• Molecular biology concepts revisited
• Design and synthesis of expression cassettes (to include bioinformatic tools)
• Microbial recombinant protein production
• Mammalian recombinant protein production
• Production of important pharmaceutical molecules
• Sythetic biology
• Transgenic protein production
• Gene therapy

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Examination Online ONLINE 4 HOUR (OPEN BOOK) EXAM 50

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate a clear and deep understanding of the different aspects of applied molecular biology, and to demonstrate their independent learning skills during the course. The Problem Based Learning (PBL) assessment will give the students the opportunity to work in a team as well as demonstrate their own writing skills.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • A PBL based report/essay with group work but an individual report submission – Submission deadline week number 11

  • An end of semester online open book examination lasting 4 hours. In the exam students are asked to write 1 essay. One from a choice of 3 questions covering the entire course work.

    Formative assessment and feedback

In the PBL group sessions the students will receive formative feedback both as a group and an individual.

Module aims

  • To inform students of the range of strategies and tools for the production of therapeutic molecules/proteins
  • To understand the mechanisms whereby these strategies are implemented
  • To understand the methods whereby these therapeutics are produced
  • To understand the advantages and disadvantages of the various approaches
  • To critically evaluate the appropriate strategy for successful expression
  • To identify and explore new and novel areas of research in the biotechnology industry.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Describe the approaches taken to produce pharmaceutical therapeutic proteins/molecules KCPT
002 Explain the requirements for successful expression of therapeutic proteins/molecules in the different expression systems KCPT
003 Critically evaluate the various expression systems KCT
004 Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of gene therapy versus traditional pharmaceutical drug delivery KCT
005 Describe the approach of synthetic biology to developing novel strains for the production of biologics KCT

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:

Enable students to be independent learners and to apply their theoretical knowledge of molecular biology to tackling the problems of expressing complex biologics.

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • On-demand content

  • Seminars

  • Tutorials

  • Seminars from external speakers in the field 

Contact time will be a total of approximately 30 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: BMS3092

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