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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Practical Biology
Module Code BE151
School School of Biotechnology
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Jacinta Morrison
Semester 2: Jacinta Morrison
Autumn: Jacinta Morrison
Module TeachersPaula Meleady
Jacinta Morrison
Denise Harold
Linda Holland
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

The purpose of this module is to allow students to start to develop skills in the process of scientific investigation and development of creative and critical reasoning skills, to develop practical skills in the study of biology, and to develop basic skills in laboratory technique and in the recording and analysis of data. The practical classes will also demonstrate the application of biological principles discussed in BE101 and BE102 and help the students to develop insights into the links between theory and practice. Delivery will include online quizzes and interactive virtual laboratories. In the event that access to labs is not possible or that some students cannot attend for health or other reasons a digital version of each lab will be available to enable students address the LO's and complete the required reports.

Learning Outcomes

1. Know how to prepare/prepare simple specimens for microscopy
2. Know how to set up and use/use a microscope to interpret microscopic structures
3. Know how to use/use a variety of methods to detect and quantify biological molecules
4. Know how to prepare/prepare different buffer solutions; define buffering capacity and pKa
5. Know how to culture/culture microorganisms and quantify their growth
6. Write up a biological laboratory report in a concise and effective manner
7. Application of experimental results to problem solving.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Laboratory30Attendance at prescribed laboratories and performance of experiments. Digital: online material to cover laboratory content.
Tutorial3Discussion on practicals
Directed learning4End of semester examination on practical understanding
Independent Study83Background work and write-up of practicals
Online activity5Online post lab quizzes. Interactive virtual labs.
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities


Practical 1
Cellular microscopy

Practical 2
Introduction to Spectroscopy and Spectroscopy analysis -- I

Practical 3
Introduction to Spectroscopy and Spectroscopy analysis -II / Enzymes

Practical 4
Analysis of carbohydrates, lipids and proteins

Practical 5
Buffers in Biochemistry

Practical 6

Practical 12
Laboratory exam


Practical 1
Introduction to microorganisms and microbial staining

Practical 2
Enumeration of microorganisms

Practical 3
Effects of physical agents and environmental conditions on microbial growth

Practical 4
Effects of disinfectants and antibiotics on microbial growth, microbial transfer by hand contact

Practical 5
Biotech. applications & spectroscopic properties of nucleic acids

Practical 6

Practical 12
Practical exam

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Report(s)Write up of laboratory experiments (to include online quizzes and interactive virtual labs)50%Every Week
Short Answer QuestionsExamination of understanding20%Sem 1 End
Short Answer QuestionsExamination of understanding20%Sem 2 End
Completion of online activityLife Skills Module (located in BE151 but not associated with the BE151 module)10%As required
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 2
Indicative Reading List

  • Brooker/Widmaier/Graham/Stiling: 2019, Biology (students have the ebook version), Fifth, 3,4,6,16,27,28, McGraw Hill Education, New York, 978-1-260-569
Other Resources

51351, McGraw-Hill Campus (accessed via BE151 Loop), Brooker/Widmaier/Graham/Stiling, 2020, Connect Virtual Labs, New York, McGraw Hill Education Campus, 55010, Laboratory Manuals: School of Biotechnology, 0, Practical Biology BE151 - Semester 1 'Introduction to Cell Biology & Biochemistry', Semester 2 ' Introduction to Microbiology,
Programme or List of Programmes
ACBSc in Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sc.
ASBSc in Analytical Science
BGEBiological Sciences General Entry
BTBSc in Biotechnology
CGEChemical Sciences General Entry
ESTBSc in Environmental Science & Tech
GCBBSc in Genetics & Cell Biology
PEBB.Sc Physical Education with Biology
Date of Last Revision16-MAY-08

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