Module title: Biotechnology and Drug Discovery

SCQF level: 11:
SCQF credit value: 20.00
ECTS credit value: 10

Module code: MIC11108
Module leader: Craig Stevens
School School of Applied Sciences
Subject area group: Microbiology & Drug Discovery


2019/0, Trimester 2, FACE-TO-FACE,
Occurrence: 001
Primary mode of delivery: FACE-TO-FACE
Location of delivery: SIGHTHILL
Member of staff responsible for delivering module: Craig Stevens
Module Organiser:

Learning, Teaching and Assessment (LTA) Approach:
This module will be delivered through a combination of lectures and supporting tutorials. Lectures include interactive sessions during which students work in small groups to undertake exercises to develop skills in critical and independent thinking (LO1-5). This module addresses current developments in drug discovery and includes critical analysis of relevant recent research publications (LO6).
Key employability skills are embedded and assessed – including critical and independent thinking, reviewing literature, scientific writing (LO1,2,6).
Students will be expected to appraise current literature and keep up-to-date in this rapidly moving field (LO6).
Advances in medical biotechnology are, by their nature, of global interest. New developments in drug discovery are reported in international media as their potential impacts society on a worldwide scale (LO1-6).

Formative Assessment:
Students will engage in interactive components including a 1 hour oral presentation in week 3 to 12 and group discussions in week 1 to 12, which students will be asked to critically appraise scientific literature of relevance to the module. This formative assessment and the feedback obtained will aid student’s understanding (LOs1-5) and employability skills (LO6).

Summative Assessment:
Coursework assessment in the form of a learning journal (LO 6), in weeks 5, 9 and an extended essay (LO 1-6) in week 12 will be used to assess knowledge and understanding of the theoretical aspects of this module.

Student Activity (Notional Equivalent Study Hours (NESH))
Mode of activityLearning & Teaching ActivityNESH (Study Hours)
Face To Face Lecture 24
Face To Face Tutorial 12
Independent Learning Guided independent study 164
Total Study Hours200
Expected Total Study Hours for Module200

Type of Assessment Weighting % LOs covered Week due Length in Hours/Words
Learning Log 25 1-6 5 HOURS= 0, WORDS= 500
Learning Log 25 1-6 9 HOURS= 0, WORDS= 500
Project - Written 50 1-6 12 HOURS= 0, WORDS= 5000
Component 1 subtotal: 50
Component 2 subtotal: 50
Module subtotal: 100

Description of module content:

This module will provide you with insight and understanding in one of the most exciting areas of modern biotechnology. You will learn to examine, critique and appraise established and emerging technologies used in drug design and discovery. You will also develop important, transferable scientific communication skills during interactive components.
Protein structure, function and post-translational modifications including glycobiology.
Culture systems: mammalian, insect, bacterial culture systems.
Recombinant proteins for therapeutic use.
DNA/RNA based drugs: antisense RNA; siRNA, microRNA.
Cell penetrating peptides.
High throughput screening strategies for new drugs/targets: genomics, microarray; proteomics, phage display.
Stem cell culture and applications
Cancer immunotherapy
CRISPR genome editing
Drug delivery systems – Nanotechnology, viral, non-viral, mechano-chemical.

Learning Outcomes for module:

Upon completion of this module you will be able to
LO1: Critically appraise the molecular determinants and rationale involved in determining target pathways in drug discovery and design.
LO2: Critically appraise technologies used in drug discovery and in the context of high-throughput screening strategies.
LO3: Analyse the impact of glycobiology, especially for the discovery of medically-important therapeutic proteins.
LO4: Evaluate cell culture technologies in terms of production and applications.
LO5: Critically explore the impact of a range of new drug delivery platforms.
LO6: Challenge and reflect on current topical issues using examples from relevant scientific literature and develop skills of critical analysis and presentation/communication.

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