Module Overview


This module aims to provide the student with a knowledge and understanding of the biochemistry of mammalian cells and how biochemistry relates to physiological function. The module builds on the students' knowledge of bio-molecules from Biology II and their knowledge of the structure and function of mammalian cells (from Biology I). There is particular emphasis on cellular membrane structure and function. The module explains the biochemical processes underlying biological systems (covered in Biology I) such as the immune system and the nervous system. The role of carbohydrates, lipids and proteins in cellular function and how bio-molecular structure relates to function is explained using medical and dietary examples. The module uses examples of diseases and genetic disorders to enable students to correlate the causes and symptoms of medical conditions with what happens in cells at a molecular level. The module builds on the students' knowledge of how the energy in foods is converted to cellular energy and introduces them to the complexity of human metabolic pathways. Theoretical aspects of this module are supported by laboratory experiments delivered in 'Laboratory Skills IV".

Module Code

BIOC H2005

ECTS Credits


*Curricular information is subject to change

Biomolecules: Structure and Function

Amino acids: Structure, classification & roles; Overview of protein structure,stability and functions with emphasis on antibodies, haemoglobins, proteases and extracellular matrix proteins.; Overview of Carbohydrates: structure and functions. Lipids: Structure, function and analysis of triacylglycerides, cholesterol and membrane lipids. Clinical correlations: Examples of diseasess associated with defects in biochemical pathways

Membrane transport

Passive diffusion; facilitated transport; active transport; exocytosis and endocytosis. Examples of diseases of membrane transport

Carbohydrate metabolism & Oxidative Metabolism

Glycolysis, glycogenesis, glycogenolysis and gluconogenesis; The Citric Acid Cycle; Electron Transport Chain; Oxidative phosphorylation.


Review of the immune system; Immunoglobulin structure and functions. Monoclonal antibodies; Vaccines; Autoimmune diseases

Cell biology and Bodily Fluids

Cell structure; The functional roles of cell organelles. Biochemical composition of blood, semen, saliva and sweat. Forensic analysis of Bodily fluids; A brief introduction to histopathology.

Module Content & Assessment
Assessment Breakdown %
Other Assessment(s)30
Formal Examination70