PHA-10026 - Molecular Biology and Genetics
Coordinator: Gianpiero Di Leva Tel: +44 1782 671651
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 4
Credits: 30
Study Hours: 300
School Office:

Programme/Approved Electives for 2023/24


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2023/24

Molecular biology and genetics are the foundation of modern medicine and recent advances in these disciplines have provided many tools to dissect the function of a gene and understand how mutations have an impact on biological processes and diseases. This module is designed to give you a firm and detailed overview of how genetic information is stored into the DNA and how it is expressed, copied, repaired and transmitted to the next generation. Lectures in the traditional and virtual format will be complemented by a series of practical sessions that will support your understanding of nucleic acids and their manipulation.

The module will instil basic understanding of nucleic acids, structure and organisation of the genetic materials and its inheritance, the concept of gene as well as information about gene expression and regulation.

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

Intended Learning Outcomes

Describe the structure and function of the genome and understand the basic mechanisms of its replication.: 1,3
Describe the main key players of the central dogma of the molecular biology and understand how genetic information is used by cells.: 1,4
Explain how mutations affect cell behaviours and understand their pathological implication.: 1,3,4
Describe traditional principles of the genetic inheritance.: 1,3
Describe basic mechanisms of gene expression and gene expression regulation.: 1,4
Plan and undertake basic experimental procedures essential to create recombinant DNA molecules such as DNA extraction, DNA amplification by PCR, digestion, ligation, agarose electrophoresis.: 2,4
Perform basic bioinformatics analysis.: 2

Study hours

Lectures: 48 hours
- 12 lectures (two hours each) in each of the two semesters
External visit: 4 hours
Laboratory Activities: 40 hours. All laboratory session will be delivered in semester two:
- 8 laboratory workshops (one hour each)
- 8 laboratory sessions (four hours each)
Exams: 4 hours
- one exam per semester; each exam will be two hours long.

Independent Study Hours: 208
- reviewing module content and revising (150 hours)
- researching and drafting assignments (54 hours)
- exams (4 hours)

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Portfolio weighted 40%
Problem Set
A series of four in course assignments (4 problems for each assignment) that will be set during the module consisting of practical problems in classical genetics and molecular biology. Students will have two weeks to submit the solutions via Turnitin.

2: Portfolio weighted 20%
Laboratory activities
Four competency tests will be used to critically support the understanding of the main laboratory activities. A laboratory exam will be held at the end of the laboratory sessions as part of the Lab competency IV.

3: Exam weighted 20%
A two hours exam comprising of 40 MCQ questions (five choices, one correct answer) and short answer questions (two to be chosen out of four), covering material across the first semester of genetics.

4: Exam weighted 20%
A two hour exam comprising of 40 MCQ questions (five choices, one correct answer) and short answer questions (two to be chosen out of four), covering material across the second semester of molecular biology.