Core Module Information
Module title: Microbial Biotechnology [Hong Kong]

SCQF level: 10:
SCQF credit value: 20.00
ECTS credit value: 10

Module code: MIC10603
Module leader: Fiona Stainsby
School School of Applied Sciences
Subject area group: LIFE SCIENCES

Equivalent of SCQF Level 9 Microbiology/Molecular Biology modules

Description of module content:

Biotechnology is relevant in many aspects of our lives. For example, it plays a key role in developing products and technologies to combat disease, reducing our environmental footprint, helping to feed the global population and making industrial processes safer, cleaner and more efficient. Biotechnological approaches have become even more important with the increased emphasis on sustainability and the resultant interest in replacing unsustainable chemical processes and/or commodities with biologically-mediated or -derived ones. You will learn about the development, design and operation of such microbial biotechnologies and develop an understanding of the microbial growth kinetics and bioprocessing involved. We will also examine the ways in which the productivity, efficiency and yield of bioprocesses are optimised. The various stages in the development of microbially-mediated biotechnologies, from bioprospecting for useful microorganisms, to the research and development phase and industrial-scale application, will be explored. Important aspects such as entrepreneurship, regulation, ethics, sustainability and quality control may also be considered.
This module will provide you with an opportunity to apply your theoretical knowledge to an industrially applicable microbiological example in order to develop a key set of integrated skills, including teamwork and problem-solving, which are highly relevant for the workplace.

Learning Outcomes for module:

LO1: Plan and critically evaluate a microbial bioprocess to synthesise a bioproduct (for example, an antibiotic, enzyme or biosurfactant).
LO2: Relate microbial growth kinetics and fermentation technology to the design, optimisation and operation of bioprocesses and the nature of the biological entity/entities involved.
LO3: Identify the key stages in a bioprocess and critically reflect on relevant quality control issues.
LO4: Critically evaluate a microbial biotechnology with reference to its commercial viability (scale-up), ethical implications and regulatory considerations.

Full Details of Teaching and Assessment
2022/3, Trimester 2, FACE-TO-FACE,
Occurrence: 001
Primary mode of delivery: FACE-TO-FACE
Location of delivery: HONG KONG
Member of staff responsible for delivering module: Halina Vaughan
Module Organiser:

Learning, Teaching and Assessment (LTA) Approach:
The module will be delivered face-to-face via interactive tutorials and workshops. Students will also be expected to undertake individual and group-based guided independent study with learning materials provided on Moodle. There will be a strong emphasis on the link between the fundamental theory of microbial growth kinetics and fermentation, and the application of this knowledge in the development, design and operation of microbial biotechnologies across a diverse range of industries/sectors. Students will work through theoretical concepts in their independent study time and attend problem solving workshops where these concepts will be explored and applied to analyse datasets. This approach will also enhance key employability skills such as teamwork, problem-solving and critical evaluation, and integrate them with scientific skills.

Formative Assessment:
Data analysis and evaluation exercises:
Students will be provided with bioprocess data and will apply appropriate principles/calculations in order to evaluate the performance as well as the design and/or operating conditions of the bioprocess. This exercise will be run in tutorial format to support the summative Class Test, and the data analysis/calculations carried out will be similar to what is required for this assessment.

Problem-solving exercises:
Students will work in teams to troubleshoot a relevant aspect of a bioprocess. This may involve overcoming a technical issue or optimising operating conditions. This will provide them with an understanding of key criteria and approach required for the summative Case Report.

Presentation based on case report:
Students will have an opportunity to receive feedback on a brief presentation based on their Case Report. They will be required to present an outline of their bioprocess and identify key considerations such as regulatory requirements and quality assurance relevant to the bioprocess/compound being produced. Each presentation will undergo peer evaluation, and students will also receive tutor feedback. This will support the completion of the summative Case Report.

Summative Assessment:
Class Test (40 %)
Designed to ensure that each student is able to demonstrate an understanding of how theoretical principles in fermentation kinetics can be applied to analysis of bioprocess data and operating conditions.

Case Report (60 %)
Each student will produce a report detailing the design and operation of an optimised bioprocess for the production of a commercially important compound. Key stages of experimental design will be critically evaluated, and there will also be an element of data analysis/interpretation. Students will also be expected to include discussion of other pertinent considerations such as regulatory requirements, ethical approval and quality assurance depending on the nature of the bioprocess.

Student Activity (Notional Equivalent Study Hours (NESH))
Mode of activityLearning & Teaching ActivityNESH (Study Hours)
Face To Face Tutorial 18
Independent Learning Guided independent study 182
Total Study Hours200
Expected Total Study Hours for Module200

Type of Assessment Weighting % LOs covered Week due Length in Hours/Words
Class Test 40 2 9 HOURS= 02.00
Report 60 1, 3 & 4 12 , WORDS= 2500
Component 1 subtotal: 40
Component 2 subtotal: 60
Module subtotal: 100

Indicative References and Reading List - URL:
Contact your module leader