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An Introduction to Biochemistry

An Introduction to Biochemistry

This Biochemistry online course is ideal preparation for students thinking of studying biochemistry, medicine, and related subjects at university, exploring a range of academic theory and practical methods.

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Course Summary

dissecting plant

Biochemistry is, in essence, the study of life. It looks at the chemical processes that take place within living organisms and which are essential for life, offering us a fascinating insight into how our bodies function on a molecular level. Such processes include the actions of DNA, the burning of carbohydrates to power our muscles, or the carrying of oxygen by haemoglobin. Although a relatively young science, biochemistry is rapidly becoming one of the most popular scientific fields for study, and is an extremely exciting subject to pursue at university level and beyond.

Throughout this online Biochemistry course we will immerse ourselves in the sub-cellular world, exploring a range of molecules and their interactions within the body in order to understand the processes that are integral for life. We will look in detail at the structure of molecules and how this determines their function within living cells, exploring such essential molecules as DNA, RNA, proteins, lipids, and carbohydrates. The understanding gained from this tutorial will stand you in good stead for any undergraduate application and will help you to start thinking about some of the major issues within this broad and stimulating subject.

Course Details

During the course, students will…

By the end of the course, students will be able to…

Syllabus

Tutorial 1: The Stuff of Life (1 - 1.5 hours)

What are the fundamental building blocks for all life on earth? In this tutorial, students are introduced to the four molecules that perform the tasks that keep us alive – protein, carbohydrate, nucleic acid and lipid. Taking a holistic viewpoint, we discuss the basic structures found in biochemistry before concluding with a look at metabolism and molecular pathways.


Tutorial 2: Proteins (1 - 1.5 hours)

This tutorial focuses on proteins, the building blocks of the physical body. We begin by looking at amino acids, their structure and function, before moving on to discuss protein synthesis, protein folding, and the consequences of protein misfolding. We briefly consider the structure and function of muscles before finishing with an examination of the role and importance of enzymes in biochemical reactions.


Tutorial 3: Nucleic Acids, Metabolic Pathways & Networks (1 - 1.5 hours)

In this third tutorial, we will be looking at nucleic acids and metabolic networks, and will start to uncover how the reactions that occur in cells are controlled. We begin by examining DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), its structure and function, before moving on to consider RNA (ribonucleic acid) and its role in synthesising proteins and controlling gene output. Finally, we turn to regulatory networks, feedback loops, and the importance of gene operation.


Tutorial 4: Lipids & Carbohydrates (1 - 1.5 hours)

This final tutorial looks in greater depth at the structures and functions of lipids and carbohydrates, two of the molecules introduced in Tutorial I. We begin by discussing lipids, their various structures and functions, before turning to carbohydrates, the main fuel of the body. We finish by examining some of the different kinds of carbohydrates found in the human body and their importance in performing a wide range of roles, from energy storage to armour and protection.


Key Details

Course Pre-requisites Advanced level of English
An interest and enthusiasm for science and the human body
This course would suit students studying towards A-level Biology or equivalent, and in particular those interested in university study of Biochemistry
Course Level For students applying to university to study Genetics, Medicine, Biology or related subjects
Difficulty Moderate
Prior Knowledge No prior knowledge is required to take this course, just enthusiasm for the subject.
Fees £29.99
Workload 4-6 hours (further independent study is encouraged)

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Single License

£29.99


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  • Access to interactive course content
  • Discussion boards, exams, resources
  • Personal learning profile
  • Course certificate
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3 Month Membership

£89.99


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6 Month Membership

£129.99


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  • Access to all 30+ courses for 6 months
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