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Unit information: Health sciences: Biochemistry in 2015/16

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Health sciences: Biochemistry
Unit code ORDS10008
Credit points 30
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Professor. Jan Frayne
Open unit status Not open




School/department Bristol Dental School
Faculty Faculty of Health Sciences

Description including Unit Aims

Year 1 of programme.

Element 1: Proteins: Structure and function

Element 2: Nucleic acids and genetics

Element 3: Cellular Metabolism

Element 4: Cells and cell regulation

General aims of the Unit:

  • To provide an introduction to biochemistry and to emphasise its relevance to the subject of dentistry.
  • To provide a foundation that will enable students to understand biochemical techniques and their relevance to clinical science.
  • To provide a foundation upon which other pre-clinical and clinical units will build later in the programme.
  • To demonstrate how biochemistry has advanced the study of both normal and diseased states.
  • To demonstrate that biochemistry is concerned with the chemical basis of normal biological structure and function and is essential for the understanding of living processes in health and disease.
  • To show that fundamental events in biology involve molecular change and provide the dental undergraduate with a scientific foundation for dentistry as well as an awareness of how science advances biomedical knowledge.
  • To provide practical experience in laboratory techniques and training in the interpretation of results, calculation and the use of scientific units.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Students should obtain a knowledge and understanding of the following:

  • The structure and function of macromolecules within the cell and in the extracellular environment.
  • The basic concepts in nutrition and cellular metabolism, including details of important pathways.
  • The co-ordinate regulation of biochemical pathways and the mechanism of hormone action.
  • The role of nucleic acids in directing protein synthesis an understanding of the acquisition of new genetic information by mutation and viral transformations
  • Molecular genetics and molecular biology techniques.
  • The fundamentals of medical biochemistry.
  • The basic biochemistry of the oral cavity and its relevance to dentistry.
  • Basic biochemical techniques and their use in disease diagnosis.

A student should acquire the skills necessary to:

  • Perform basic numerical manipulations and scientific calculations.
  • Carry out practical work using standard laboratory apparatus and demonstrate the proper use of scientific units.
  • Relate the biochemistry they have learnt to the practice of dentistry.

Teaching Information

Lectures, workshops, laboratory sessions.

Assessment Information

Formative assessments:

  • Essay writing, data handling and calculation questions performed during workshops.

Summative assessments:

  • Laboratory pre and post lab tests and write ups – contribute 5% of end of year mark.
  • Midsessional paper (1.5 hr) contributes 15% of end of year mark.
  • End of year paper (3 hr) contributes 80% of end of year mark.
  • Midsessional and end of year examination papers comprise MCQs, essays, data handling and interpretation questions.

Reading and References

  • Baynes & Dominiczak. 3rd Edition (2009) Medical Biochemistry. Mosby.
  • Devlin TM. 7th Edition. (2009) Textbook of biochemistry with clinical correlations. Wiley and Sons.
  • eBiolabs