Proteins and Macromolecular Assemblies

The details
Life Sciences (School of)
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 5
Thursday 03 October 2024
Friday 13 December 2024
08 August 2023


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BSC C700 Biochemistry,
BSC C701 Biochemistry (Including Placement Year),
BSC C703 Biochemistry (Including Year Abroad),
BSC CR00 Biochemistry (Including Foundation Year),
MSCIC098 Biochemistry and Biotechnology (Including Year Abroad),
MSCIC099 Biochemistry and Biotechnology (Including Placement Year),
MSCICZ99 Biochemistry and Biotechnology

Module description

Proteins have a central role in many of life's essential processes. Often proteins do not act alone, but in tandem with a partner protein or other biological molecules such as DNA, RNA or a lipid. These interactions can lead to the formation of larger macromolecular assemblies, often termed molecular machines, which are involved in cell processes ranging from biological protein synthesis (translation) to initiating apoptosis (cell death).

Methods and techniques that enable a protein or enzyme to be biochemically and structurally characterised will be introduced and methods to study protein folding, protein-protein interactions and structure/function studies of selected macromolecular assemblies will be addressed.

Module aims

The aim of the module is:

  • To build on the basic principles of protein structure and function obtained from the Biochemistry of Macromolecules module.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will be expected to be able to:

  1. Discuss methods to obtain pure proteins and protein assemblies.

  2. Understand the key factors that influence protein folding and putative mechanisms that explain the time course of this process and techniques used to study folding.

  3. Describe steady-state enzyme kinetics, analysis of enzyme inhibition and methods to determine the mechanism of action of an enzyme.

  4. Describe techniques used to study binding of proteins to partners and the thermodynamic and kinetic parameters that may be obtained.

  5. Understand protein structure-function relationships and have an overview of structural biology techniques available, particularly X-ray crystallography.

  6. Understand the analysis and prediction of protein structures.

  7. Discuss examples of macromolecular assemblies, their function, how they are assembled and techniques other than X-ray crystallography that can be used to study their structure.

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be delivered via:

  • One 1-hour lecture per week.
  • One revision class before the summer exam.
  • Two 3-hour practicals.


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography for this year.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   SPF    100% 
Exam  Main exam: In-Person, Open Book (Restricted), 120 minutes during Summer (Main Period) 
Exam  Reassessment Main exam: In-Person, Open Book (Restricted), 120 minutes during September (Reassessment Period) 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
50% 50%


Coursework Exam
50% 50%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Marcus Edwards, email:
Dr Jonathan Worrall
School Undergraduate Office, email: bsugoffice (Non essex users should add to create the full email address)



External examiner

No external examiner information available for this module.
Available via Moodle
Of 26 hours, 21 (80.8%) hours available to students:
4 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
1 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s), module, or event type.


Further information
Life Sciences (School of)

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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