Advanced Nucleic Acid Techniques in Medicine MED5403

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Medicine Dentistry and Nursing
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course will develop the students' understanding of the practical and theoretical aspects of core molecular techniques relevant to biomedical research. The course will also develop the students understanding of how these techniques are developed and used in subject disciplines allied to clinical medicine.


Students will also experience the analytical processes used in the research into translation and precision medicine.


The course will be delivered over a six week block with ca. 4 hours of tutorials/labs each week.

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses





Written assignment (80%)

The student will be asked to critically analyse nucleic acid techniques undertaken within laboratories in comparison with alternative methods within the literature. (2000/2500 words).


Reflective Portfolio (20%)

The students will be asked to submit a portfolio that mainly consists of the evidence of the students' own gain of information from the course materials, including laboratory notes, data analysis and interpretation. The effectiveness of communication in graphic format, organisation and efficiency are mainly assessed.

Course Aims

The course aims to provide students with a critical understanding of techniques and knowledge involved in the detection, amplification and manipulation of nucleic acids, and their application into disease mechanisms and in translational and stratified medicine.


The course also aims to develop the students' proficiency in the analysis and critical evaluation of their own data and that from the literature in the area of molecular medicine.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

1. Critically discuss the discovery, development, implementation and potential pitfalls of nucleic acid techniques in translational medicine.

2. Critically evaluate the research data that rely on key nucleic acid techniques, with emphasis on the valuation of the translational value of the findings.

3. Critically discuss the experimental designs and models used to test hypothesis relevant to translational molecular medicine in biomedical research.

4. Assemble, interpret and report research data making use of appropriate data analysis software.

5. Produce effective written communication in the form of critical literature review/project report.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

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