Module Overview

Genetic Engineering

This module introduces the student to eukaryotic gene structure, gene expression and regulation. It describes the role of DNA binding proteins in gene regulation, how transcription is initiated in eukaryotic organisms and controlled through chromatin structure, activators, repressors, mediators and chromatin modifying enzymes. The structure, function and regulation of the spliceosome will be discussed alongside examples of alternative and aberrant splicing.

The student will focus on techniques (recombinant DNA technologies) that allow for genetic processes in organisms to be altered and controlled. In addition, nucleic acid technologies used in forensics and diagnostics will be discussed, such as PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction), Real-Time PCR, gene cloning, DNA sequencing and microarray technology. Modern technologies used in gene therapy and gene editing will also be reviewed.

Module Code

BIOL 3007

ECTS Credits


*Curricular information is subject to change


  • Eukaryotic gene structure and gene expression
  • Initiation and regulation of eukaryotic transcription; RNAP I, II and III
  • DNA binding proteins – HTH, zinc fingers, leucine zippers
  • Chromatin structure and influence on gene regulation; activators, repressors, mediators, chromatin modifying enzymes
  • DNA methylation and regulation of gene expression
  • Spliceosome structure and function, alternative/aberrant splicing, SR proteins
  • Recombinant DNA technology
  • Plasmids and other expression vectors (eukaryotic, viral and non-viral vectors
  • Restriction enzymes and gene cloning
  • PCR; real-time PCR; gene sequencing
  • Modern diagnostics in gene therapy and genome editing


  • DNA isolation
  • Electrophoresis techniques
  • PCR MgCl2 titration of B-globin gene
  • Insulin gene PCR
  • Insertion of insulin PCR into pGLO plasmid
  • Transformation of recombinants into E-coli bacteria
  • Selection and purification of recombinant proteins
  • Real time PCR and modern gene technologies

Lectures, tutorials, online student response systems, online movie animations, in-class quizzes, scientific paper review and laboratory-based practical sessions.

Module Content & Assessment
Assessment Breakdown %
Formal Examination60
Other Assessment(s)40