Biopolymer Chemistry and Synthesis CHEM5079

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Chemistry
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

This course will introduce biopolymers, namely nucleic acids, peptides/proteins, and carbohydrates. Their properties, chemistry, and approaches for synthesis will be discussed.


Content will be delivered through eight one-hour lectures, a one-hour tutorial and a three-hour workshop.

Requirements of Entry

Available to students enrolled in the MSc in Chemical Biology

Excluded Courses



One piece of coursework consisting of a short report (ca. 1500 words) critically evaluating a recent paper (30%).

One 60 minute class exam covering lectured content (70%).

Course Aims

To gain a critical understanding of the fundamental chemistry, properties, and chemical methods of synthesis for nucleic acids, peptides/proteins and carbohydrates.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students should be able to:

1. Critically appraise and predict the physical and chemical properties of nucleic acids, peptide/proteins and carbohydrates from their characteristic functional groups.

2. Critically evaluate different methods for peptide, nucleic acid and carbohydrate synthesis

3. Critically evaluate the structure, properties and application of biomimetic polymers.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.