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BI25M7: ENERGY FOR LIFE (2022-2023)

Last modified: 31 May 2022 13:19

Course Overview

  • understanding the fundamental workings of cells is important to a wide range of scientific disciplines; 
  • this course integrates the key metabolic and biochemical processes that underpin human, animal and plant life in relation to health and disease; 
  • this core knowledge prepares you for more advanced study in all areas of life sciences and has wide ranging applications; 
  • you will also participate in an award winning practical series focussed on drug discovery which will build essential employability skills in experimental design, data analysis and practical laboratory skills

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 2
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Professor John Barrow

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

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?

  • BI25M6 Energy for Life (Studied)

Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

"Now, a living organism is nothing but a wonderful machine endowed with the most marvellous properties and set going by means of the most complex and delicate mechanism." Claude Bernard, An Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine (1865). For life to be "set going" and survive, the single unit of life (the cell) must utilise and manage energy. This is as true for a single cell as it is for a multi-cellular organism such as you. The course deals with the way cells manage their energy requirements by reference to the processes of carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism. Cellular processes that allow the complete breakdown of these food molecules to produce energy will be discussed with reference to glycolysis, the citric acid cycle, the breakdown of fatty acids, the terminal respiration system and oxidative phosphorylation. Mechanisms by which cellular molecules are built from simple precursors will also be explored via the processes of gluconeogenesis, glycogen synthesis, the pentose phosphate pathway and amino acid metabolism. This collection of highly dynamic processes can only take place in a coordinated manner because of enzymes, which allow the processes to occur and also offer points of control, consequently enzyme function and catalysis will be discussed. The course will conclude by examining how the human body can control these processes to efficiently control its energy requirements and expenditure.

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

Alternative Assessment

Lab Report (20%)

4x MCQ Tests (20% each)

Alternative Resit Assessment


Resit online test covering lecture material


Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
FactualRememberILO’s for this course are available in the course guide.

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