In the second year core modules include medicinal microbiology, gene expression and research techniques. You'll study virology, the structure of viruses and their significance. In laboratory practicals you'll learn core practical methods for the safe handling of level 2 pathogens.
In your second and third years you can choose a selection of optional modules depending on your interests.
This module will introduce you to the properties, mechanisms of resistance and clinical use of antimicrobial agents in the treatment of microbial infections. Options relating to disease prevention will be explained, and you’ll be provided with an insight into the role of the laboratory and the Public Health Laboratory Service in the diagnosis, management and control of infection in hospital and the community. During an average week, you’ll have a three hour lecture to study for this module.
Bacterial Biological Diversity
This module is designed to provide an understanding of the extent of bacterial biological diversity. Following introductory lectures on bacterial taxonomy and classification and web-page design, you’ll undertake two student-centred exercises. The first will be the production of an essay on a chosen organism covering its taxonomy, biology and ecology. The second will be a group exercise to design a web site including the material collated for the essay.
The module will provide an introduction to viruses and their interactions with their hosts (bacteria, plants and animals including humans) as well as discussing the structure of viruses and their significance including pathogenesis and molecular biology. You’ll spend four hours per week in lectures studying for this module.
Analysis of Bacterial Gene Expression
This module covers the major techniques required for analysis of gene expression including methods for gene sequence and transcriptional analysis. An in depth study of vectors and gene constructs provides an understanding of the different strategies used in creating mutants and identifying gene function in bacteria. As well as practical's, the coursework exercises are designed to illustrate the topics covered in the lecture course and will give students experience of experimental design and critical analysis of research data and an introduction to bioinformatics for the analysis of DNA and protein sequences.
Microbial Mechanisms of Foodborne Disease
This module provides a fundamental understanding of the microorganisms causing food-borne disease. You'll learn about the mechanisms by which they do this and their routes of transmission.
In laboratory practicals you will learn a number of core practical methods needed for the safe handling, culture, isolation, enumeration and identification of a range of level 2 pathogens.These are biological agents that can cause disease including Staphylococcus aureus, Listeria and Salmonella.
Research Techniques for Bioscientists
You'll cover the core research process and data analysis skills including literature searches, data collection and processing, and statistical analysis. This will prepare you for your third year research project. Research projects are also selected during this module.
Molecular Biology and the Dynamic Cell
This module offers a detailed study of the core molecular processes that enable cells to function such as DNA biochemistry, gene expression, protein synthesis and degradation. You will learn about the basic molecular processes that underpin the function of eukaryotic cells and to describe how different organelles within the cell function, with an emphasis on the dynamic nature of cell biology. You will have lectures, practical classes, a poster presentation and tutorials.
The Genome and Human Disease
In this module you will learn about the structure and function of the eukaryotic genome, including that of humans, and the approaches that have led to their understanding. You will learn about techniques that are employed to manipulate genes and genomes and how they can be applied to the field of medical genetics. By using specific disease examples, you will learn about the different type of DNA mutation that can lead to disease and how they have been identified. Practical elements will teach you about basic techniques used in medical genetics such as sub-cloning of DNA fragments into expression vectors. Practical classes and problem based learning will be used to explore the methods used for genetic engineering and genome manipulation.
Infection and Immunity
You will study microbiology, learning about pathogenic microbes including viruses, fungi, parasites and the roles of bacteria in health and disease. You will learn how the body generates immunity; the causes of diseases associated with faulty immune responses will be considered. In applied microbiology you will be introduced to recombinant DNA technology and prokaryotic gene regulation.
Structure, Function and Analysis of Genes
This module will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the structures of DNA and RNA and how the information within these nucleic acids is maintained and expressed in both prokaryotic and eukaryotic cell types. Additionally, this module describes how nucleic acids can be manipulated in vitro using molecular biological approaches. Practical classes will focus your learning on the cloning and manipulation of DNA to express recombinant proteins in bacterial systems.
Fundamental and Applied Yeast Physiology
This module considers fundamental and applied aspects of cell biology and yeast physiology. A combination of lectures, practical sessions and online self-guided exercises will be used to introduce you to the subject of yeast, focusing on aspects particularly relevant for the production of foods, beverages and other fermented products.
You will gain an understanding of:
- yeast cell functionality
- including yeast cytology,
- the cell cycle
- growth and division
We will also cover yeast genomics and how this relates to yeast diversity, taxonomy and identification. Finally, practical aspects of working with yeast will be addressed, including storage and preservation strategies, quality analysis, and how yeast cultures for commercial applications can be produced and handled.
Bacterial Genes and Development
Molecular events that occur during the control of gene expression in bacteria will be explored. You'll learn by considering case studies, which will show you how complex programmes of gene action can occur in response to environmental stimuli. You will also study the regulation of genes in pathogenic bacteria.
You'll cover the key groups of eukaryotic and prokaryotic microorganisms relevant to microbial biotechnology, principles of GM, and strain improvement in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. The impact of “omics”, systems biology, synthetic biology and effects of stress on industrial microorganisms are explored, alongside the activities of key microorganisms that we exploit for biotechnology.
Computer Modelling in Science: Introduction
The aim of this module is to introduce the use of computing programming and modelling in the biological and environmental sciences for model simulation and image processing.
Structure, Function and Analysis of Proteins
This module considers the structure and function of soluble proteins and how individual proteins can be studied in molecular detail. More specifically you will learn about the problems associated with studying membrane-bound proteins and build an in-depth understanding of enzyme kinetics and catalysis. You will learn about the practical aspects of affinity purification, SDS PAGE, western blotting, enzyme assays, bioinformatics and molecular modelling approaches.
Yeast and Fermentation Technology
This module considers fundamental aspects of yeast biochemistry, metabolism and the fermentation process. A combination of lectures, practical sessions and online self-guided exercises will be used to introduce you to the subject of yeast and fermentation, focusing on aspects particularly relevant to the production of fermented beverages and related products.
You will gain an understanding of the different ways yeast can be employed for a range of applications. The specific characteristics of yeast which make this organism valuable will be described in detail, including properties, functionality, pathways and their ability to convert substrates into commercially valuable end products. The different types of industrial fermentation systems that can be employed will also be considered, along with how they can be controlled and monitored, and how yeast key performance indicators are evaluated.