Structural Basis of Biological Function (C7114)

15 credits, Level 5

Autumn teaching

Explore how the structures of protein molecules have evolved to deliver the central functions of life. 

The module consists of lectures supported by a workshop, a seminar and a lab practical. You’ll be introduced to the diverse nature of proteins, the principles of protein architecture and the evolution of protein families. In addition you’ll cover:

  • molecular motors
  • membrane proteins
  • post-translational modifications
  • protein folding
  • protein interactions with DNA.

You’ll develop employability skills through assessing and interpreting data, using appropriate statistical methods and graphical tools.


77%: Lecture (Lecture, Post-lab, Pre-lab)
16%: Practical (Laboratory, Workshop)
6%: Seminar


30%: Coursework (Problem set)
70%: Examination (Computer-based examination)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 31 hours of contact time and about 119 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: