to provide students with an understanding of how biomolecules interact with other factors to cause disease including the emerging global diseases

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to provide students with an understanding of how biomolecules interact with other factors to cause disease including the emerging global diseases Powered By Docstoc

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SCHOOL *                           School of Health

DIVISION *                         School of Health

FIELD*                             Sport Exercise and Life Sciences

MODULE TITLE*                      Biomolecular Basis of Health and Disease

MODULE CODE *                  LEVEL*           CREDIT VALUE*                     CO-ORDINATOR

                               7                20                                Stuart Raleigh

DELIVERY MODE(S)*               Standard
DELIVERY                        UON








This module has no supplementary regulations.


This module is designed to introduce students to the role that biomolecules have in
maintaining health and in the development of disease. The module is suitable for
individuals with a BSc and will form the bedrock of the 'bioscience' component of the

OVERALL AIM(S) FOR THE MODULE* (Max 2 bullet points)

To provide students with a basic understanding of how biomolecules (proteins, fats,
nucleic acids and others) function to maintain health of the human organism. Also, to

This module specification was produced using the Academic Database on 13-Sep-12
provide students with an understanding of how biomolecules interact with other
factors to cause disease including the emerging global diseases.


On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

Knowledge and Understanding
a)   Appreciate advanced structure-function relationships between biomolecules,
     their substrates and/or other molecules that they interact with.
b)   Understand that modified three dimensional structures of biomolecules may
     lead to disease.
c)   Fully understand both Mendelian and complex modes of inheritance in human
     populations and appreciate that numerous confounding factors can influence
     the findings of genetic epidemiological investigations.
d)   Appreciate the detailed regulation of both protein and nucleic acid synthesis
     and understand the role of controlling elements and epigenetic phenomena in
     both processes.
e)   Appreciate the molecular pathways whereby modern therapeutic agents
     interact with and modify biomolecules to counter disease processes.

Subject Specific skills
f)    Appreciate how common diseases processes manifest themselves at the
      molecular level by three dimensional interaction with biomolecules.
g)    Demonstrate confidence in using modern informatics software to study, collate
      and analyse data obtained from the Human Genome Project.
h)    Analyse and evaluate scientific concepts that are evident in up-to-date research

Key Skills
i)    Communicate, defend and critically appraise scientific findings from current
      research publications.
j)    Conduct and manage an experimental project with regard to health and safety,
      data interpretation and present findings in an accepted scientific style with
      ample evidence of relevant cross referencing to related investigations.


This module will provide students with an understanding of how biomolecules impact
on human health and disease. The module will focus on a variety of diseases that
have global consequences.

The module includes three main areas. These are' Introductory concepts', 'The
molecules of life' and 'Health, Disease and Medicine at the molecular level'.

1.    Introductory Concepts
The course will begin with a study of the theories and principles that govern the
behaviour of atoms and molecules. This will include atomic orbital theory, the nature
of chemical bonds and advanced energetics.

This module specification was produced using the Academic Database on 13-Sep-12
2.    The molecules of Life
Students will learn about protein structure (primary, secondary, tertiary), enzymes,
antibodies, DNA, RNA, carbohydrates, fats, protein synthesis, inheritance and
epigenetics. Students will also conduct a practical experiment to demonstrate how
biomolecules interact with other agents. The sessions will build on the 'Introductory
concepts' and would therefore require limited existing knowledge of these topics.

3.     Health, Disease and Medicine
In this part of the module students will utilize the knowledge acquired from 1 and 2 to
appreciate how a variety of disease processes are manifest in humans at the
molecular and cellular level. For example students will study the molecular basis of
cancer, cardiovascular disease, infection, autoimmune disease along with how drug
therapy is used in an attempt to treat these problems and return the body to a
healthy state. The study of drug therapies will include toxicological concepts.


Lecture/activity sessions                                                       36
Reading to support lectures                                                     36
2 Practical classes and preparation (3 hours each)                              11
PowerPoint style Presentation                                                   20
Assessed Practical report (2,500 words)                                         30
Assessed essay (2,500 words)                                                    35
Examination: Written exam and practical activity                                32
TOTAL                                                                           200

The module involves a range of teaching and learning strategies that we feel are
essential for individuals that wish to progress to further research or employment in a
bioscience/health related field. Firstly the taught sessions and associated seminars
will provide students with the platform to discuss and debate current theories relating
to biomolecular science and its application to health. Practical classes and the writing
of an assessed report will develop both students' laboratory skills (essential for
students wishing to work in a laboratory setting) and ability to communicate findings,
by word, in a scientifically accepted manner. Finally, the student-led presentation will
provide students with the opportunity to enhance both ICT and verbal skills that are
necessary for employment and for attendance at academic conferences.


It is felt that the range of assessment strategy (outlined above) will allow us to assess
adequately the learning outcomes that are sought on this module. The essay and
associated end of year exam will challenge both the knowledge base of the students
and allow students to display their understanding of how an understanding of
biomolecular science can be applied to improving health of individuals and society.
The assessed practical report will test the student's ability to have managed a
scientific investigation, analyze data, make scientifically sound conclusions and
communicate the results. We also feel that assessment weightings, with the final

This module specification was produced using the Academic Database on 13-Sep-12
exam accounting for only 40% helps to reduce the stress that some students feel
when approaching an end of year formal examination.

Bridging activity

During the initial session there will be a skills audit to assess the previous scientific
understanding of students that have had an unconventional route into bioscience.
The audit will take the form of a short written test. Students whose performance is
poor will receive additional help in the form of small group tutorials with the module
leader. Additional texts and websites will also be recommended to such students to
bolster their scientific knowledge and understanding to such a level that is suitable for
continued success on the course.


Assessment Items                                            Units Weighting Learning Outcomes
ES1- Essay                                                    2       40     a, b, c, d, e, f,g
EX1- Examination                                              2       40     a, b, c, d, e
AS1- Practical Report                                         1       20     a, d, f, g, h, i


·     Students should display a clear and sound knowledge base of how biomolecules
      function during health and in various diseased states.

·       Students should be able to evaluate the findings of previous research and judge
        how previous work relates to our current understanding of the biochemistry of

·       Students should demonstrate an in depth understanding of previous, current
        and developing methodologies used to study biomolecules.

·       Students should, where appropriate, use up-to-date references drawn from a
        variety of sources but with particular emphasis on research articles. An
        appropriate system for citing references must be employed.

·    Students should be able to demonstrate confidence and accurate factual
     understanding of the concepts covered in the taught sessions. Students should
     be able to express these ideas in a clear style.

·       Students should be able to apply their understanding of concepts covered
        during the module to solve biological problems.

·       Students should be able to synthesise a biological argument based on existing
        knowledge. Where appropriate students should be able to critically appraise
        current scientific methods and/or theories.

This module specification was produced using the Academic Database on 13-Sep-12
·       Students should show evidence of wide reading relevant to the taught sessions

Practical report
·      Students should display a sound knowledge base of previous research that is
       relevant to the practical experiment.

·       Students should be able to demonstrate success in applying scientific
        methodology to study a biochemical problem.

·       Students should be able to show good team working skills and evidence of
        problem solving ability when conducting scientific experiments.

·       Students should be able to demonstrate the use of appropriate statistical
        methods to analyze data collected and to communicate findings using a
        standard scientific report style that is appropriately referenced.


Version: 1

Date of approval: January 2012 recoded from HLSM101 effective from SLSM009

This module specification was produced using the Academic Database on 13-Sep-12

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