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Principles of Protein Structure (Postgraduate Certificate using the Internet)

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  • Objectives
    Proteins are fundamental to all life; our growing understanding of their structure and function is paving the way for important developments in molecular biology, biotechnology and medicine. This course explores the underlying principles of protein structure at different levels, before applying this knowledge to an understanding of how proteins function. It can be taken as a stand-alone course or as the first year of the Internet-based, two-year MSc Structural Biology. The programme is taught entirely using the Internet, using a range of innovative techniques including online tutorials. Protein structures are presented and manipulated using interactive graphics embedded in web pages. Students who have taken this course have come from four continents and a wide range of backgrounds. All you need in order to participate is regular access, at home or work, to a standard PC with a fairly fast, reliable Internet connection.
  • Entry requirements
    Entry requirements Degree in science, computing or mathematics, or equivalent qualification or relevant work experience.
  • Academic Title
    Principles of Protein Structure (Postgraduate Certificate using the Internet)
  • Course description
    Content
    The basic principles of protein structure as it is built up from amino acids; the relationship between protein sequence, structure and function (an important aspect of bioinformatics); protein structure classification and databases; protein function and interactions; structural molecular immunology; web authoring, leading to the production of a web-based dissertation on an aspect of protein structure.

    Teaching
    All teaching is Internet-based. The course material is released on a dedicated, password-protected website in 12 sections. Students interact with their tutors and fellow students through email lists, submit written assignments by email, and attend online tutorials in real time using a chat-room-based interface. They also have access to the electronic journals available from the Birkbeck Library.

    Assessment
    One written paper (which may be taken at an exam centre away from Birkbeck, often overseas); a web-based dissertation; and coursework.

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