Biochemistry BSc/MSci

Central Approaches in Biochemistry 4X core BIOL4029

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Molecular Biosciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course provides students in Biochemistry with a thorough background in basic concepts of modern biochemistry. There is a strong focus on the theoretical background of modern experimental approaches in biochemical research, ranging from biophysics to optogenetics. Different experimental systems will be discussed, accompanied by a strong numerical component. 


There are normally 3 hours of contact on Mondays, as arranged.

Excluded Courses

BIOL4034 Core Skills in Molecular & Cellular Biology option




The course will be assessed by a 2-hour examination (70%) and one in-course assessment consisting of a set exercise with a strong numerical/quantitative component that will be in the form of a multi-part problem solving question (30%).

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: 

■ provide students in Biochemistry with a thorough background in basic concepts in modern biochemistry; 

■ provide a detailed theoretical background, and containing a strong numerical component.

Biochemistry is a quantitative science; this course should reinforce this view and develop your skills in this regard. 

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ Plot graphs and handle data sets, and calculate key biochemical parameters; 

■ Relate basic organic chemistry and bonding to biochemical processes; 

■ Critically assess key aspects of thermodynamics and energetics and how they relate to biochemistry; 

■ Evaluate present models of plasma membrane organisation and function; 

■ Evaluate binding mechanisms and enzyme kinetics; 

■ Critically assess the power of and theoretical basis of modern biophysical approaches; 

■ Formulate how protein:protein interactions can be identified and quantified, both in vivo and in vitro; 

■ Critically assess the power of bioinformatics and proteomics, with a clear assessment of the technology and limitations of the 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.