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Fundamentals of Biotechnology & Genetic Engineering (BS934)


The module provides a fundamental understanding of biotechnological, molecular biology and genetic engineering to give them a clear understanding of the scientific principles and how these have been used to advance biotechnology and industrial bioprocesses. It lays the foundation for further in-depth studies of biological systems being, or with potential for, commercial exploitation.

Principle learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate a broad knowledge and understanding of the fundamental principles of biotechnology and the importance of microorganisms in the development, exploitation and commercialisation of biological processes.
  • Evaluate a range of techniques and strategies used in the biotechnology industries.
  • Work in multi-disciplinary and multi-skilled teams to solve biotechnological problems


This module is an introduction to the molecular biology and genetic engineering principles essential to an understanding of the science underpinning biotechnology.
The module begins with a brief review of cell structure and function before considering the biochemistry of the cell, particularly protein structure and function, biomembranes and cell architecture.
Industrial microbiology – metabolic and process diversity. Production of cell biomass and primary cellular metabolites. Secondary metabolites and antibiotic production. High value metabolites – vitamins, hormones, extremoenzymes and microbial enzymes.
This is followed by the molecular structure of genes and chromosomes leading to the introduction of molecular genetic techniques and genomics.
The module is then focused on gene cloning and DNA analysis:

  • the basic principles of gene cloning and DNA analysis;
  • the applications of gene cloning and DNA analysis in research;
  • the applications of gene cloning and DNA analysis in biotechnology.