Post Transcriptional Control of Gene Expression (C7131)

15 credits, Level 6

Spring teaching

In this module you investigate what happens to a messenger RNA (mRNA) from the time it is synthesised, its subsequent processing, remodelling, export into the cytoplasm and ultimate use to make protein.

While the processing of mRNA molecules is highly regulated, particularly at the levels of transcription and splicing (in eukaryotes), it is the translational machinery that allows the cell to:

  • select whether to use the mRNA to make protein at all
  • decide which proteins to make
  • decide how much protein to make and at what time in the cell cycle.

This regulation is crucial to enable gene expression to be finely tuned with growth and allow cells to respond to environmental cues derived from hormones and nutrients.

You'll take an in-depth look at the molecular mechanisms controlling mRNA utilisation and degradation in eukaryotes focusing largely on translational control and what happens if the cell gets it wrong.

You'll be taught by active researchers providing an up-to-date interpretation of this active and interesting area key to the understanding of growth control and cancer.


94%: Lecture
6%: Seminar (Class)


30%: Coursework (Test)
70%: Examination (Distance examination)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 30 hours of contact time and about 120 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

This module is running in the academic year 2021/22. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. However, we are constantly looking to improve and enhance our courses. There may be changes to modules in response to student demand or feedback, changes to staff expertise or updates to our curriculum. We may also need to make changes in response to COVID-19. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: