Biochemistry BSc/MSci

Genes & Development 4A option BIOL4125

  • 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 option will examine and explore the genetic and molecular basis of developmental biology in a variety of important experimental model systems, such as yeast, worms, flies and mice. Given the direct association between development biology and cancer, the option will investigate the relationship between these two topics. 


This option is assigned to block S2-A. There is normally 3 hours of teaching on Monday. 

Excluded Courses



The course will be assessed by a 3-hour examination, which contains a paper analysis question based on a published scientific paper shown to the students approximately five weeks before the exam date, and essay-type questions (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

The aims of this option are twofold: 

■ To allow students to study current knowledge and research of the molecular mechanisms that control eukaryotic development;

■ To develop awareness of how this knowledge in model systems translates to understanding key molecular processes in human disease. 

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ Appraise how development is regulated in eukaryotic organisms, including specific examples in the research areas covered;

■ Critically assess a scientific paper and present it;

■ Interpret and analyse primary literature data and experimental approaches. 

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.