FDSC40530 Principles of Biochemistry

Academic Year 2023/2024

This module is for students taking the Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma or MSc in Food, Nutrition and Health.

The main aim of this module is to introduce students to how humans can extract energy from macronutrients (i.e. carbohydrates, fats, proteins). This will progress from the digestion, absorption and transport of macronutrients to converting them to a usable form of energy suitable to the functions of the body.
Selected metabolic pathways will be covered, as will regulation mechanisms and interactions of the metabolic pathways

The module will be delivered through the UCD Brightspace system and will consist of:
• Audio and demonstrations by the lecturers
• Online assessed multiple choice quizzes
• Discussion threads
• Computer aided laboratories

Students are not required to attend lectures at the UCD campus as part of the course. Students are expected to spend a total 125 hours workload during the trimester consisting of:
• Lectures (audio) during the trimester: 24 hours
• Discussion threads/synchronous chats/MCQs 24 hours
• Autonomous learning: 75 hours
• Exams: (40%): 2 hours

Assessment will take the form of written assignments, MCQ exams and analysis of experimental data sets.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of this module student will be able to
• Explain how humans can extract, transform and utilise energy from their environment.
• Predict how humans react to various states of nutrition, which it may be subjected to over a period.
• Assess the role, mode of action and interaction of various hormones involved in nutrient metabolism.

Indicative Module Content:

Introduction General concepts and key terminology
Enzymes – Nomenclature, action, key factors on enzyme activity, inhibition
Digestion - Ruminant and Monogastric digestion
Metabolism of carbohydrates Glycolysis
Metabolism of carbohydrates – Gluconeogenesis
Glycogen – Formation breakdown and regulation of its metabolism
Regulation of Glucose Metabolism
Structure and function of mitochondria
The citric acid cycle
Oxidative phosphorylation – Electron transport chain
ATP synthesis and energetic considerations
Photosynthesis – Light reactions – Photosystems in plants
Photosynthesis – Calvin cycle
Metabolism of fatty acids – Lipid oxidation
Metabolism of fatty acids – Ketone bodies and their metabolic role
Metabolism of fatty acids – Biosynthesis of a new fatty acid
Lipid transport and role of lipoproteins
Protein degradation and turnover – Amino acids nomencalture and synthesis
Amino acid catabolism
Amino acid biosynthesis
Urea cycle
Role of hormones in regulation of body functions
Metabolic enzymes: Insulin and glucagon
Integration of metabolic pathways – Role of organs –Food intake and starvation

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Autonomous Student Learning




Online Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
The module content is delivered via a series of online lectures with accompanying notes at the end of each lecture a series of multiple choice questions are addressed based on the content of the lecture. Two in term MCQ's (not negatively marked) are held which contribute 20% each to the final marks and a tutorial going through questions similar to those on the MCQ is held after each MCQ. At the end of the term students submit an assignment in the form of a description of the digestion and metabolism of a chosen foodstuff. The student must describe the digestion, absorption, delivery to cell and energy derived from each macronutrient the foodstuff contains. Students can use external references as evidence for particular statements and are encouraged the synthesize, interpret and extend information in the lecture notes. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Continuous Assessment: Assessments will take the form of written assignments and MCQ exams. Unspecified n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Remediation Type Remediation Timing
In-Module Resit Prior to relevant Programme Exam Board
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Online automated feedback

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

For the in term MCQ's students receive their mark within 7 days and a tutorial is available in which questions on the MCQ are addressed. A series of of online MCQ's quizzes are also available in which the student is told whether or not they have given the correct answer. At the end of each lecture the module co-coordinator goes through a number of MCQ questions based on the lecture topic. For the case study students will receive an evaluation summary sheet within 2 weeks of the submission date which details marks for different categories as outlined below: FDSC 40530 Physiology and Metabolism 2018-2019 Semester 2 Case study Marking Sheet Assignment marking sheet Student Name and Student Number: First Examiner: Nigel Brunton Second Examiner: Md Abu Bakar Siddique Laboratory work Allocation ex. 100 Final mark Total mark 100 First draft mark Allocation ex. 100 Final mark Total mark 100 Sections of thesis [final version] Allocated mark (ex. 100) Actual marks Clarity and conciseness1 of writing 10 Use of appropriate illustration 10 Structure and comprehensiveness study (Did author describe process from ingestion to cell delivery) 25 Information specific to food stuff given 25 Conclusions (given as conclusion in every section of food components) 10 Bibliography 10 Presentation, layout, proof-reading 10 Total 100 GENERAL COMMENTS: SIGNATURE: _________________________________ Date: 1 Deduct marks if substantially beyond 1500 words.

Biochemistry – Berg, Tymoczko, Stryer
Textbook of biochemistry with clinical correlations – Devlin
Biochemistry – Zubay
Biochemistry – A case orientated approach -Montgomery
Fundamentals of Biochemistry: Life at molecular level, 3rd Ed - Voet
Harper's illustrated biochemistry by Murray, Robert K*
Name Role
Dr Md Abu Bakar Siddique Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Daniel Hurley Tutor
Dr Fiona Lalor Tutor
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.

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