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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 16/08/2022 09:26:56

Title of Module: Molecules of Life

Code: CHEM07013 SCQF Level: 7
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Computing, Engineering and Physical Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:Mohammed  Yaseen

Summary of Module

This module is an introduction to the main areas of biological and molecular science related to the life sciences. It would be useful to anyone interested in the further study of forensic, chemical or biological sciences. 

This module will work to develop a number of the key 'I am UWS' Graduate Attributes. Those who complete this module will have developed professional competencies in critical thinking require of a modern graduate. It will also develop problem solving and inquiry skills related to high-level academic study in science.

  • Serving as an introduction to cell and molecular biology, the module will focus on the central role of the cell in the maintenance and continuity of life. An introduction to the nature and scope of biology, and to the scientific method, will be presented.

  • Cell structure and function will be investigated by considering the components of cells, including the role of macromolecules (carbohydrates, lipids, proteins and nucleic acids) in the cell. Chemical concepts that are important in the study of the cell will be covered including the periodic table, chemical bonding, properties of water and pH.

  • Energy acquisition and use will be considered in photosynthesis and respiration, and the role of enzymes and metabolic pathways will be illustrated.

  • The role of information in the cell will be illustrated by considering the processes of DNA replication, transcription and translation at an introductory level. Cell division processes will be investigated by describing the importance of the cell cycle, and the processes of mitosis and meiosis. An introduction to the range of cells, both prokaryotic and eukaryotic, will serve to introduce students to the concept of diversity at the cellular level, and the role of cells as components of multicellular organisms will be outlined.

  • Introduction to basic human anatomy and physiology.

  • An introduction to the Laboratory techniques in life science

  • The role of cell and molecular biology in scientific research, and in medical, forensic and biotechnological applications will also be illustrated.

Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
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Term used to describe the traditional classroom environment where the students and the lecturer meet synchronously in the same room for the whole provision.

A mode of delivery of a module or a programme that involves online and face-to-face delivery of learning, teaching and assessment activities, student support and feedback. A programme may be considered “blended” if it includes a combination of face-to-face, online and blended modules. If an online programme has any compulsory face-to-face and campus elements it must be described as blended with clearly articulated delivery information to manage student expectations

Fully Online
Instruction that is solely delivered by web-based or internet-based technologies. This term is used to describe the previously used terms distance learning and e learning.

Online with mandatory face-to-face learning on Campus

Online with optional face-to-face learning on Campus

Work-based Learning
Learning activities where the main location for the learning experience is in the workplace.

Campus(es) for Module Delivery
The module will normally be offered on the following campuses / or by Distance/Online Learning: (Provided viable student numbers permit)
Paisley:Ayr:Dumfries:Lanarkshire:London:Distance/Online Learning:Other:
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Term(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
Term 1


Term 2check markTerm 3


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Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

L1. Outline the features of biological systems at the biochemical and cellular levels

L2. Demonstrate competence in selected basic life science laboratory skills

L3. Describe a selection of the important features of human anatomy and physiology

L4. Describe the properties and structure of selected bio-molecules

Employability Skills and Personal Development Planning (PDP) Skills
SCQF Headings During completion of this module, there will be an opportunity to achieve core skills in:
Knowledge and Understanding (K and U) SCQF Level 7.

Demonstrate knowledge of the cell and bio-molecules and their importance in understanding the processes of life and biochemistry.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 7.

Develop an appreciation of the role of the biosciences in society, and the importance of cell and molecular biology in the context of basic science, and in medical, forensic and biotechnological applications.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 7.

Use a range of approaches to develop analytical skills in theoretical and practical aspects of cell and molecular biology.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 7.

Develop skills in gathering and analysing information in the bioscences, from a range of sources, using IT skills as appropriate.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 7.

Work with others in the investigation of a range of topics in cellular and molecular aspects of the biosciences.

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
Learning Activities
During completion of this module, the learning activities undertaken to achieve the module learning outcomes are stated below:
Student Learning Hours
(Normally totalling 200 hours):
(Note: Learning hours include both contact hours and hours spent on other learning activities)
Lecture/Core Content Delivery24
Laboratory/Practical Demonstration/Workshop12
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity12
Independent Study152
200 Hours Total

**Indicative Resources: (eg. Core text, journals, internet access)

The following materials form essential underpinning for the module content and ultimately for the learning outcomes:

Biology (2nd Edition), OpenStax (Publ)

Raven, Johnson, Mason, Losos and Stinger. (2018) Biology (11th edition). McGraw-Hill education (ISBN 978-1-259-25476-5).

Chemistry (2nd Edition), OpenStax (Publ)

(**N.B. Although reading lists should include current publications, students are advised (particularly for material marked with an asterisk*) to wait until the start of session for confirmation of the most up-to-date material)

Engagement Requirements

In line with the Academic Engagement Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on the relevant learning platform, and complete assessments and submit these on time. Please refer to the Academic Engagement Procedure at the following link: Academic engagement procedure

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Supplemental Information

Programme BoardPhysical Sciences
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelPhysical Sciences
ModeratorDr Mohammed Yaseen
External ExaminerI Turner
Accreditation Details
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
class tests (online) 60%
Laboratory and group work 40%
(N.B. (i) Assessment Outcomes Grids for the module (one for each component) can be found below which clearly demonstrate how the learning outcomes of the module will be assessed.
(ii) An indicative schedule listing approximate times within the academic calendar when assessment is likely to feature will be provided within the Student Handbook.)

Assessment Outcome Grids (Footnote A.)

Component 1
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Class test (written)check markcheck markcheck markcheck mark600

Component 2
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Laboratory/ Clinical/ Field notebookcheck markcheck markcheck markcheck mark400
Combined Total For All Components100% 0 hours

A. Referred to within Assessment Section above
B. Identified in the Learning Outcome Section above

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  1. More than one assessment method can be used to assess individual learning outcomes.
  2. Schools are responsible for determining student contact hours. Please refer to University Policy on contact hours (extract contained within section 10 of the Module Descriptor guidance note).
    This will normally be variable across Schools, dependent on Programmes &/or Professional requirements.

Equality and Diversity
This module is appropriate for all students. In cases where laboratory work raises safety issues for particular students, alternative delivery and assessment methods will be arranged where appropriate.
UWS Equality and Diversity Policy
UWS Equality and Diversity Policy
(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School)

2014 University of the West of Scotland

University of the West of Scotland is a Registered Scottish Charity.

Charity number SC002520.