Enzymes and Introduction to Metabolism - BIOS3010

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Spring Term 4 15 (7.5) Peter Klappa checkmark-circle


This course aims to introduce the 'workers' present in all cells – enzymes, and their role in the chemical reactions that make life possible.
The fundamental characteristics of enzymes will be discussed – that they are types of protein that act as catalysts to speed up reactions, or make unlikely reactions more likely. Methods for analysis of enzymic reactions will be introduced (enzyme kinetics). Control of enzyme activity, and enzyme inhibition will be discussed.
Following on from this the pathways of intermediary metabolism will be introduced. Enzymes catalyse many biochemical transformations in living cells, of which some of the most fundamental are those which capture energy from nutrients. Energy capture by the breakdown (catabolism) of complex molecules and the corresponding formation of NADH, NADPH, FADH2 and ATP will be described. The central roles of the tricarboxylic acid cycle and oxidative phosphorylation in aerobic metabolism will be detailed. The pathways used in animals for catabolism and biosynthesis (anabolism) of some carbohydrates and fat will be covered, as well as their control. Finally how humans adapt their metabolism to survive starvation will be discussed.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 38
Private study hours: 112
Total study hours: 150

Method of assessment

Practical (30%) 1500 words maximum
MCQ assessments – 40 questions (20%)
Exam, 2hr (50%)

Indicative reading

Lehninger principles of biochemistry - Nelson DL, Cox MM. New York: W.H. Freeman and Company Seventh edition, International edition. 2017 (editions 5 and 6 also suitable)

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

Subject specific learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

Analyse kinetic data and understand the principles of enzyme kinetics
Discuss the basic structure and functions of enzymes.
Perform enzyme assays to determine the kinetic properties of enzymes and to present the data in an appropriate manner.
Write down the key pathways of metabolism in animals and micro-organisms.
Describe mechanisms of control of these metabolic pathways.

Generic learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
Be able to extract and interpret information on a basic level (knowledge management).
Be able to use basic computer skills for use in spreadsheet work and data retrieval.
Be able to analyse and evaluate data (problem solving) on a basic level.


  1. Credit level 4. Certificate level module usually taken in the first stage of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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