Module Title:Molecular Biology
Language of Instruction:English
Credits: 10
NFQ Level:6
Module Delivered In 1 programme(s)
Teaching & Learning Strategies: This module will be delivered via lectures and practical modes. Students may be required to access the material via Blackboard in advance of the class and practicals to encourage active learning. To consolidate lectures and practicals, students will normally be required to carryout assignments, give presentations, take formative quizzes and multiple choice questions Group and peer learning will be facilitated during the preparation of assignments, presentations and practicals The VLE Blackboard will be used as applicable. Online demonstrations will illustrate the key concepts of the course and will be available through out the year. Digital Resources such as Youtube, Reusable Learning Objects (RLOs) and the National Digital Learning Repository (NDLR) will be used as practicable. The practical component is essential: • to allow students to develop the required technical competencies, attitudes and behaviours in a molecular biology laboratory. • to develop problem solving abilities and group skills. • to promote deep learning via investigation of a problem, application of prior knowledge and analysis of results thus generating new knowledge. • to promote timely submission of reports written in the standard format.
Module Aim: To introduce students to the fundamentals of the theory and practical aspects of Molecular Biology.
Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this module the learner should be able to:
LO1 Describe the main features of procaryotic and eucaryotic cells, genetic organisation and control.
LO2 Describe and distinguish between the structures and functions of nucleic acids (DNA and RNA).
LO3 Outline the molecular processes of DNA replication, transcription and translation to proteins.
LO4 Discuss the differences between eucaryotic and procaryotic genetic organisation and control.
LO5 Outline the main molecular methods used in DNA technology.
LO6 Recognise and interpret the role of biotechnology in medicine, industry and the environment.
LO7 Demonstrate a range of molecular biology techniques, safely and efficiently. Be able to monitor, record and analyse experimental data.
LO8 Demonstrate effective group work and good communication skills.
Pre-requisite learning
Module Recommendations

This is prior learning (or a practical skill) that is recommended before enrolment in this module.

No recommendations listed
Incompatible Modules
These are modules which have learning outcomes that are too similar to the learning outcomes of this module.
No incompatible modules listed
Co-requisite Modules
No Co-requisite modules listed
This is prior learning (or a practical skill) that is mandatory before enrolment in this module is allowed.
Successful completion of year 1 or equivalent.

Module Content & Assessment

Indicative Content
Informational Macromolecules
An introduction to organisation and cell structure in prokaryotic and eucaryotic organisms. Structural components of informational macromolecules: purines and pyrimidines; nucleosides and nucleotides; basic nucleic acid structure. Occurrence and functions of nucleic acids; primary structure of nucleic acids. Secondary structure: the Double Helix. Double-stranded RNA. Tertiary structure of DNA –the Superhelix. DNA organisation in prokaryotic and eucaryotic organisms. Physical properties of DNA with particular emphasis on thermal denaturation. Renaturation and hybridisations of DNA. Restriction and modification. A brief introduction to nucleic acid sequencing
Transfer of Genetic Information
An introduction to the Central Dogma of Molecular Biology, biological information flow: replication. transcription and translation. DNA replication in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. RNA transcription in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Structure and function of RNA: mRNA, tRNA and their role in protein synthesis. The Genetic Code, codons, anticodons. Translation: the fundamental principles of protein synthesis. Posttranslational modification.
The Basics of Bacterial and Phage Genetics
A brief introduction to extrachromosomal DNA elements such as plasmids, phage, transposons and insertion sequences.
Introduction to Gene expression.
Differences between procaryotic and eucaryotic genetic organisation and expression.
Introduction to basic recombinant methods and bioinformatics.
DNA cloning, restriction enzymes, Expression systems, Sequencing methods, PCR, DNA fingerprinting, Introduction to bio-informatics, molecular taxonomy, Phylogenetic trees.
Introduction to Biotechnology.
Overview of genetically modified microorganisms: hazards, risk and perceptions; containment systems. Examples of the applications of molecular biology in biotechnology; biopharma, forensics. Quality Assurance in the DNA lab.
At the end of the practical component the student is expected to be: Competent in the manipulation and handling and disposal of recombinant organisms and molecules with due respect to cGLP and health and safety, monitor, record and analyse experimental data in molecular biology, operate the range of instrumentation specified safely and effectively in the laboratory and work effectively in a group and demonstrate good written and oral communication skills
Assessment Breakdown%
Continuous Assessment10.00%
End of Module Formal Examination50.00%
Special Regulation
Students must achieve a minimum grade (35%) in both the practical/CA and final examination.
Continuous Assessment
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Assessment Date
Other Continuous assessment will take the form, of in class tests, specific assignments and presentations 1,2,3,4,5,6 10.00 n/a
No Project
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Assessment Date
Practical/Skills Evaluation Practical skills and competencies will be assessed via a correctly kept laboratory notebook (which will be submitted on time), observation of skills and a practical exam. 6,7,8 40.00 n/a
End of Module Formal Examination
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Assessment Date
Formal Exam No Description 1,2,3,4,5 50.00 End-of-Semester

ITCarlow reserves the right to alter the nature and timings of assessment


Module Workload

Workload: Full Time
Workload Type Frequency Average Weekly Learner Workload
Lecture 30 Weeks per Stage 2.00
Laboratory 30 Weeks per Stage 2.00
Estimated Learner Hours 30 Weeks per Stage 2.67
Total Hours 200.00

Module Delivered In

Programme Code Programme Semester Delivery
CW_SABFQ_D Bachelor of Science in Biosciences 2 Mandatory