Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024


Department: Biosciences


Type Open Level 2 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2023/24 Module Cap Location Durham


  • Level 1 Molecules and Cells (BIOL1281).


  • At least one other Level 2 Biological Sciences module.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To provide a global view of the functioning of the metabolic network in the cell, through an exploration of catalysis and biochemical pathways in depth.
  • To explore relationships between protein structure and function to an intermediate level of knowledge.


  • Metabolism of carbohydrates and lipids, and control of anabolism and catabolism in overlapping pathways.
  • Determining and analysing protein structures to deduce structure-function relationships.
  • Catalysis by enzymes, and its basis in protein structure; regulation of enzyme activity.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Knowledge of examples of metabolic pathways and how they are regulated in a cellular environment.
  • Knowledge of how protein structure underlies the functional properties of different proteins.
  • Knowledge of how enzyme catalysis works at the biochemical level, and how it may be regulated.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Interpretation and manipulation of protein structure representations.
  • Mathematical analysis of thermodynamics and kinetics of metabolic reactions.
  • Analysis of chemical steps in enzyme-catalysed reactions.
Key Skills:
  • IT skills, in using structure visualisation software tools.
  • Communication skills, using the written word and graphics, involved in practical reports.
  • Numeracy, in data analysis and calculations.
  • Team work.
  • Self-motivation, in self-guided learning.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Lectures deliver subject-specific knowledge.
  • Workshops reinforce subject-specific knowledge and understanding gained from lectures and the development of key and subject-specific skills.
  • Practical Exercises allow students to utilise subject-specific knowledge gained from lectures, and support the development of key and subject-specific skills.
  • Tutorials give enhancement of the student learning experience, supporting attainment of all learning outcomes.
  • Self-guided learning contributes to subject-specific knowledge and self-motivation.
  • Practical Exercises are based on subject-specific knowledge and demonstrate subject-specific skills in understanding experimental work and data analysis.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 24 Weekly 2 hours per week 24
Practical Exercises 3 1-2 per term 4 hours 12
Workshops 4 2 per term 4
Tutorials 2 1 per term 1 hour 2
Preparation & Reading 158
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Continuous Assessment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Practical report 50% Yes
Analytical exercise 50% Yes

Formative Assessment:

Formative assessments will be provided to develop the skills for each summative assessment as appropriate.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University