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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Biomolecules and Metabolism
Module Code BE201
School School of Biotechnology
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Phil Cummins
Semester 2: Phil Cummins
Autumn: Phil Cummins
Module TeachersPhil Cummins
Konstantinos Gkrintzalis
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Repeat examination

To equip students with fundamental skills to comprehend and evaluate the spectrum of biological macromolecules essential to maintenance of cell function and respiration.

Learning Outcomes

1. Comprehend the structural and functional complexity of macromolecules (carbohydrates, proteins & lipids)
2. Comprehend the mechanistic nature of a metabolic pathway
3. Evaluate the basic chemistry that underlies the structural properties of different macromolecules
4. Evaluate how disruption in macromolecule function and metabolism can lead to human disease
5. Analyse enzyme performance using basic mathematical models of reaction kinetics

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture8Online/F2F: Biological macromolecules - structure, function, regulation.
Lecture8Online/F2F: Cellular metabolism - understanding metabolic pathway mechanisms.
Tutorial10Online/F2F: Lecture review, Q&A, in-class quizzes, gamification strategies.
Independent Study99Course revision and quantitative exercises in enzyme assay kinetics. Individual lecturer interactions and queries. Incentivised participation in virtual study groups.
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

Content 1 (F2F/Online)
Proteins: Classical amino acid structures, properties, and categories. Non-classical amino acids. Protein structural hierarchy. Protein sequencing and protein purification. Post-translational modifications (phosphorylation, glycosylation, ubiquitination).

Content 2 (F2F/Online)
Carbohydrates: Carbohydrate stereochemistry. Carbohydrates and disease. Complex carbohydrates (e.g. chitin, glycogen, cellulose).

Content 3 (F2F/Online)
Lipids: Fatty acids, glycerides, phospholipids, sphingolipids, steroids, cholesterol, and lipoproteins. Lipids in disease.

Content 4 (F2F/Online)
Enzymes: Enzyme classification, functions and cellular mechanisms of regulation. Quantitative analysis of enzyme catalytic function (enzyme kinetics). Properties of enzyme inhibitors.

Content 5 (F2F/Online)
Metabolism: Bioenergy concepts (RMR, BMR, ATP and NADPH/NADH.) The phosphagen system. Glycolysis, TCA cycle, electron transport chain and oxidative phosphorylation. Anaerobic glycolysis. Glycogenolysis, gluconeogenesis and TG metabolism.

Learning activities (transversal skills, novel pedagogies, critical thinking, problem solving)
In-lecture/tutorial: Digital animations to bring complex figures and concepts to life, real-world scenario-style questions to promote critical thinking around core biochemical principles, quantitative techniques to analyse enzyme performance. Online: Gamification strategies to promote student engagement, understanding and content revision (e.g. biochemistry crosswords, identifying errors deliberately engineered into figures/graphs/scenarios), virtual quizzes to enable formative and summative assessment.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment20% Examination Weight80%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Loop QuizFormative online CA to examine understanding of macromolecules (e.g. Online quiz).10%Week 6
Loop QuizFormative online CA to examine understanding of metabolic pathways (e.g. Online quiz).10%Week 12
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 3
Indicative Reading List

  • Roger Miesfeld & Megan McEvoy: 2017, Biochemistry, 1st Edition, V.W.Norton, 978-0-393-630
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
ACBSc in Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sc.
AFUAge Friendly University Programme
AIChemistry with Artificial Intelligence
ASBSc in Analytical Science
BPBSc in Bioprocessing
BSSAStudy Abroad (DCU Business School)
BSSAOStudy Abroad (DCU Business School)
BTBSc in Biotechnology
ESTBSc in Environmental Science & Tech
GCBBSc in Genetics & Cell Biology
HMSAStudy Abroad (Humanities & Soc Science)
HMSAOStudy Abroad (Humanities & Soc Science)
IESAStudy Abroad (Institute of Education)
IESAOStudy Abroad (Institute of Education)
SHSAStudy Abroad (Science & Health)
SHSAOStudy Abroad (Science & Health)
SMPSCSingle Module Prof. Science and Health
Date of Last Revision04-FEB-09

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