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BSc Chemistry

Year of entry: 2022

Course unit details:
Biomolecular Structure and Function 2

Course unit fact file
Unit code CHEM30722
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Department of Chemistry
Available as a free choice unit? No


This course unit detail provides the framework for delivery in 21/22 and may be subject to change due to any additional Covid-19 impact.  

The unit is delivered by Profs David Leys and Jon Waltho (X-ray and NMR), Dr. Jim Warwicker (modelling) and Dr. Anthony Green (protein:ligand interactions). Each of the three elements of the course consists of 6-7 lectures and 1 to 2 workshops, and is assessed by exam and a small element of coursework.  



Unit title Unit code Requirement type Description
Biomolecular Structure and Function CHEM20722 Pre-Requisite Recommended


The unit aims to look at protein structure and function relationship in detail, with a focus on looking at proteins relevant to the chemistry (ie mainly enzymes) and consisting of three elements: protein 3D structure determination, protein modelling studies and protein:ligand interactions. The latter aims to look at the importance of non-covalent interactions in chemical and biological systems, and describe some applications in modern chemical research.


Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students should be able to:

(i) understand the main methodology underpinning X-ray/NMR structure determination and the implications this has for the relevance/accuracy and information content of the corresponding protein structure models

(ii) understand the scope and limitations of protein structure and protein driven process energetics modelling

(iii) Understand non-covalent interactions and their importance in chemical and biological systems

Transferable skills and personal qualities

Problem solving skills, data mining. modelling  and visualisation of complex molecular structures; communication skills (through submission of written course work)


Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 85%
Written assignment (inc essay) 15%

Feedback methods

Feedback mechanisms will include direct interactions with students in the lectures as well as in the workshops. A small element of marked coursework for each of the three sections will provide detailed feedback on the students progress and understanding of the topic matter.


Recommended reading

The recommended text for this course is Voet & Voet Biochemistry, 4th Edition, Wiley. Earlier editions of this text also contain the relevant content. Other review articles relevant to material will be provided.


Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Assessment written exam 2
Lectures 20
Practical classes & workshops 2
Independent study hours
Independent study 76

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
James Warwicker Unit coordinator
Anthony Green Unit coordinator
David Leys Unit coordinator
Jonathan Waltho Unit coordinator

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