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Last modified: 25 May 2018 11:16

Course Overview

  • to become knowledgeable about the fundamental roles played by selected proteins or groups of proteins in the working life of cells, tissues and organisms;
  • to experience first-hand some of the laboratory procedures that are used to acquire the information learned about in lectures. This will also serve the general function of increasing students’ level of experience in designing and performing laboratory work and in data interpretation; and
  • to gain experience in preparing and delivering the subject to an interested audience in order to enhance personal communication and presentation skills

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 3
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Dr Berndt Mueller

Qualification Prerequisites

  • Either Programme Level 3 or Programme Level 4

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • One of BI20M3 Molecular Biology of the Gene (Passed) or BI25M6 Energy for Life (Passed) or BI25M7 Energy for Life (Passed) or MB3005 The Molecular Biology of the Cell (Studied) or MB3006 The Molecular Biology of the Cell (Studied)
  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?


Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

  • How enzymes function using selected examples; to include the role played by metal ions and co-enzymes, enzyme kinetics, inhibition of enzyme activity
  • The actions of selected enzymes; to include chymotrypsin, aspartate- and metallo- proteases, impact on medicine
  • How enzymes are regulated; to include allosteric regulation, covalent modification, isozymes, precursor processing
  • The background rational and experimental evidence for the traditional concept of a rate-limiting enzyme in the regulation of flux through metabolic pathways
  • The concept of metabolic control analysis to explain how flux through metabolic pathways is regulated; to include the flux control coefficient of each enzyme in a pathway
  • The concepts of chemiosmosis and intracellular homeostasis
  • The structural and functional features of selected membrane transport proteins
  • The mechanisms that regulate body mass and the resultant metabolic diseases that occur when these go awry
  • The current status of understanding of type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus
  • Molecular mechanisms that regulate cell shape and movement; to include cellular cytoskeleton biochemistry
  • Selected aspects of cell signalling including the operation of tyrosine kinase receptors, G-proteins, lipid-derivatives and calcium ions as second messengers, cell signalling in the immune system
  • The nuclear receptor superfamily and describe the overall mechanism of action of steroid receptors and related non-steroid receptors (thyroid hormone, retinoic acid, vitamin D receptors)
  • The tissue specificity of hormone response as regards glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoids
  • The molecules and mechanisms that govern cell-cell adhesion and cell-matrix interactions

Students will also develop practical skills in data interpretation, communication (written and oral) as well as interpersonal and team-working skills. These represent transferable skills that will benefit students across a range of disciplines. The aims of the course will be achieved through a combination of lectures, tutorials, practical classes and a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown


More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

1st Attempt: 1 three-hour written examination (60%) and in-course assessment (40%) consisting of an essay, practical reports and online tests. Resit: 1 three-hour written examination (60%) and in-course assessment (40%) consisting of an essay, practical reports and online tests.

Formative Assessment

  • Mock exam allows students to practice for essay based exams and receive feedback on their performance.
  • Practice exam essay allows students to write under exam conditions and receive feedback on their performance.
  • Case-study exercise with feedback in preparation for summative assessments.
  • PRS-based revision sessions allow students to practice for MCQ tests and receive feedback on their performance.
  • PRS-based MCQ in lectures/practicals.
  • Practice exam questions on MyAberdeen.
  • Problem-solving sessions.


  • Practical reports and essays will be marked with written comments.
  • Problem solving questions will be discussed during a lecture/feedback session.
  • Tutorial sessions will provide feedback on course content.
  • Written comments will be provided on the mock exam question.
  • Students are given general feedback on performance during PRS revision sessions.
  • Students receive on-line feedback on completion of the MCQ tests and quizzes.
  • PRS MCQ assessment answers discussed at the end of assessment session. Immediate feedback on practice questions available on MyAberdeen.
  • Feedback on problem-based learning exercise.

Course Learning Outcomes


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