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MChem Chemistry with International Study

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Biomolecular Structure and Function

Course unit fact file
Unit code CHEM20722
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 2
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.  Please see Blackboard / course unit related emails for any further updates.

The unit is delivered by Profs David Leys and Drs Neil Dixon and Sam Hay. Each of the three elements of the course consists of 6-7 lectures and 1 to 2 workshops, and is assessed by exam.  



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

An understanding of the general properties of the 4 main classes of biomolecules, their general 3D structural features and how this relates to their biochemical function. A clear appreciation of the complexity of biomolecules and the emergent properties that arise from the modular design that underpins them. This will provide you with a foundation for the further study of complex biochemical processes, biotechnological application/green chemistry and synthetic biology.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

Problem solving skills, data mining. modelling  and visualisation of complex molecular structures; communication skills


Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 100%

Feedback methods

Feedback mechanisms will include direct interactions with students in the lectures as well as in the workshops.


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.


Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Assessment written exam 2
Lectures 23
Independent study hours
Independent study 75

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
David Leys Unit coordinator

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