PHA-20028 - Molecular Biotechnology
Coordinator: David Mottershead Room: HORBM2.32 Tel: +44 1782 7 34764
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 5
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office:

Programme/Approved Electives for 2023/24


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2023/24

This module aims to provide the essential background knowledge of the molecular tools used for the purpose of the recombinant production of proteins and to build on this to describe some of the ways in which these tools are used in Molecular Biotechnology. The module includes practical manipulation of DNA and the use of techniques such as DNA cloning and polymerase chain reaction which play key roles in modern molecular biology.

Talis Aspire Reading List
Any reading lists will be provided by the start of the course.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Explain the principles and significance of the cloning of nucleic acid sequences, the basis of recombinant DNA technology.: 1,2
Explain the principles of the use of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and DNA sequencing as they pertain to the cloning of DNA fragments.: 2
Compare and contrast the strategies and techniques used for the expression of recombinant proteins in the biotechnology field and in the analysis of gene function.: 1,2
Describe the approaches to and motivation behind efforts to engineer proteins via the use of recombinant DNA technology.: 1
Locate and retrieve information from the scientific literature in the molecular biotechnology area.: 1

Study hours

8 x 3 hr labs = 24 hrs
10 lectures = 10 hrs
Discussion with students (and formative session) 2 hrs
Workshops (intro to the lab session) = 4 hours
Independent study hours: 110 hours

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Report weighted 70%
Cloning/Expression Strategy Report
A report (3000 words) detailing the strategy to clone a DNA sequence for an indicated target protein (suggest vector, restriction enzymes, cloning strategy), achieve the production of the protein and purify the protein (based on the incorporation of an appropriate tag). Basic analysis to confirm production and purification of the protein to be included (description of bioassay not required).

2: Presentation weighted 30%
Individual presentation + questions
An oral presentation of the students cloning/expression project which was the basis for their report, will enable the questioning of the student and enable them to justify their choices orally. This will be an individual assessment lasting approximately 20 minutes in duration, consisting of 15 min presentation and 5 min questions.