Throughout the module, you will each attend one 3-hour lab practical session per week.  During these session, you will have a lecturer guide you through the theory and practical elements of the experiment.  In order to assist you in the lab, a lab manual has been developed with details on the protocols you will perform in addition to the assessment types which vary from week to week.  It is important that you obtain this lab manual in advance of your first practical session (the manual will be made available for purchase from the college shop).

Biochemistry/Molecular Biology are incredible subjects, ones you will certainly encounter on numerous occasions in a scientific career.  They are subjects that acts as a foundation for this career.  During the lecture series, we will be learning about the amazing and intricate processes within the cell.  However, complementing this theoretical knowledge with a developed practical skillset is essential for you as students.

Here, I will provide updates on each lab session, with hints as to the main principles tested in each case.  I will also be summarising each session providing you with information that will be of help as you progress through the module.  Best of luck in your lab sessions, I trust you will find them a very rewarding experience.


General tips for the labs!

Speak with your supervisor about what they expect in the lab (with regard to practicals, manual exercises and laboratory write-ups)

  • Put a sticker on your copy with both your name and your supervisor’s name – label clearly
  • Ensure your work includes your name, date and any question numbers
  • Label and put a title on all diagrams
  • Neat, clear and tidy presentation – it should always look professional
  • Read the question carefully and answer what you are asked!
  • Before you start to write your answer, take some time to read over the material, e.g. lecture notes, textbooks.
  • Plan your answer before you pick up a pen
  • Checking the spelling and meaning of new or unfamiliar words and hrases to ensure they are correct.
  • Ensure spelling, grammar and punctuation are all correct
  • Avoid “text speak” with every submission, use of text speak will be penalised. “Do u no wat im sayin?”
  • Read back over your work before you submit it
  • Could you get a friend to proof read your work?
  • Always include units
  • The first time you use an abbreviation, write out the term in full.  You can then use the abbreviation from that moment on.
  • Be precise – avoid vague terms such as “good”, “nice” “enough” etc.
  • Hand in your work on time
  • Ensure you attach your submission checklist for all write-ups (details in manual regarding checklists)
  • Do not miss labs as you will not gain the marks you could have obtained at that session
  • Do not hand up loose pages, keep your copy as professional as you can.
  • Always neatly insert/stick pages in to your lab copy (for example graphs or plate reader print outs), do not leave loose pages inserted (so please purchase a scissors, ruler and tape/glue).
  • Plagiarism will not be tolerated
  • If you miss a laboratory due to illness, please ensure you fill out a CA absence form and provide a doctor’s certificate.