AP0704 - Industrial Biotechnology

What will I learn on this module?

You will explore various aspects of industrial microbial biotechnology and see how it contributes to the global goal of sustainable industrial development, using easily obtainable renewable feed-stocks to generate a wide range of useful (often biodegradable) products while avoiding the use of environment-damaging materials like petrochemicals. You will explore the development of traditional biotechnology industries such as the production of amino acids as food additives and the treatment of waste waters and the bioreactors they use. You will also learn about the use of enzymes in industry and explore the production of a complex enzyme preparation using bioreactors in the laboratory. You will learn how production strains of microorganisms were isolated and traditionally improved using biochemical principles. You will learn how the advent of genomic analyses facilitates analysis of hyper-producing strains to understand their productivity and how they can now be rationally designed using the genomic information in the future. Throughout the module you will consider the practicalities of operating at an industrial scale.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through a combination of lectures, practical classes and independent learning. The scope of industrial biotechnology, the development of exemplar bioprocesses and the influence of modern genomic science will be taught in traditional lectures. The structure of the seen examination assessment allows you significant freedom to explore aspects of industrial biotechnology that interest you in particular and be examined upon the basis of your exploration of these personally-stimulating fields. You will also participate in an exciting class-wide project to explore the production of a recombinant enzyme for industrial use. As a member of a small team, you will be guided in growing, monitoring and inducing recombinant gene expression in a culture using a bioreactor. You will design and carry out a series of analyses to determine the suitability of the recombinant gene product for industrial development and collectively write an interim progress report to advise on future strategy regarding the commercial development of this potential product.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be taught by a range of academics in a lecture format and will be supported by these individuals around the topic area they cover. An academic will lead on the development of the project work, guiding you in the development of your strategy for production and analysis of the enzyme preparations. You will be intensively supported in the laboratory by this academic and the technical team but will gain some independence as the project progresses. You will be supported by your learning in other modules, aspects of this task will draw on the experience and knowledge gained in the molecular biology module. Where available, industrial professionals will contribute lectures or facility visits to enhance your understanding of commercial considerations and industrial settings and practices in industrial biotechnology.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
M1. Demonstrate a broad understanding of industrial biotechnology processes and practices in delivering sustainable industrial development and detailed technical knowledge of exemplars
Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
M2. Develop, describe and deliver a strategy to explore the pilot-scale production of an industrially-relevant enzyme in a bioreactor.
M3. Develop, describe and deliver a strategy to analyse the downstream processing of an industrially-relevant enzyme.
M4. Evaluate data generated in IPSA-BC and provide professional advice regarding the suitability of an enzyme for industrial application.
Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
M5. Effective collaboration with peers to deliver high quality outcomes in IPSA-BCD

How will I be assessed?

With a small group of colleagues, you will formulate a report describing your experimental design, progress and ongoing strategy in evaluating a recombinant enzyme as a potential commercial product. The report will be concise but containing all relevant detail and must amount to less than 8000 words.
Contributes 50% module score.
MLOs assessed M2-M5.
The lecture course will be assessed by a seen examination supported by An annotated bibliography demonstrating literature engagement contributing 50% of the module score. MLOs assessed M1


AP0701 Molecular Biology



Module abstract

This research-rich module aims to highlight the research and development in applied biochemistry and engineering that have driven established microbial-based biotechnologies, the industrial application of molecular biotechnology as well as considering the impact of genomic information on current and future developments. As well as allowing you to explore modern industrial biotechnology, the module promotes your future employability by developing your skills in collaborative working, problem-solving and importantly, expressing your professional evidence –based opinion in an authentic format. In order to realise this, you will carry out authentic research using enzymes cloned by our Nzomics Biocatalysis company, gaining valuable hands-on experience with pilot-scale bioreactors to evaluate an enzyme as a potential commercial product. You will take on the role of a specialist R&D team advising executives on the future development of this product. Not only will you design the strategy for inducing recombinant gene expression, you will design the analysis for the enzyme products produced, providing valuable experimental design experience before you carry out your independent research project. You will be guided to write a focussed report tailored to a specific stakeholder audience, you will consider their needs and have the freedom to design a format to satisfy them. Students value the experiences this module offers particularly the opportunity to use the bioreactors as well as the challenge of designing the analytical aspects.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 1 year Full Time
1 other options available

Department Applied Sciences

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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