Biochemistry BSc/MSci

Current Topics in Biotechnology 4A option BIOL4021

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Molecular Biosciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course provides students with the fundamental knowledge and skills necessary to appraise current biotechnological methods and applications.


This option is assigned to block S2-A. There are normally 3 hours of contact on Mondays, as arranged. 

Excluded Courses



The course will be assessed by a 3-hour examination (100%).

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course aims to: 

■ Explore a wide range of current biotechnological methods and applications and gain an in depth understanding of their significance;

■ Develop a core knowledge and understanding for key concepts underpinning different biotechnological applications. 

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ Discuss a range of biotechnological approaches, including the design of new technologies and biosensors, as well as biotechnology at the nanoscale;

■ Discuss the strategies and principles used for the production of important biotechnological commodities including vaccines and protein therapeutics;

■ Critically evaluate the advantages and limitations associated with current approaches in biotechnology;

■ Discuss the environmental, medical, commercial, and ethical contexts in which biotechnological solutions can be applied.

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.