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Honour School of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry

A

  • 1. The subject of the Honour School of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry shall be the study of Molecular and Cellular aspects of the structure and behaviour of biological molecules.

  • 2. No candidate shall be admitted to examination in this school unless the candidate has either passed or been exempted from the First Public Examination.

  • 3. The examination in this school shall be under the supervision of the Medical Sciences Board, which shall prescribe the necessary regulations.

  • 4. The examination in Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry shall consist of two parts: Part I and Part II.

  • 5. No candidate may present themselves for examination in Part II unless the candidate has been adjudged worthy of Honours by the examiners in Part I.

  • 6. A candidate will not be classified for Honours until the candidate has completed all parts of the examination and has been adjudged worthy of Honours by the examiners in Part I and Part II of the examination. The examiners shall give due consideration to the performance in all parts of the respective examinations.

  • 7. A candidate who obtains only a pass, or fails to satisfy the examiners, may enter again for Part I of the examination on one, but no more than one, subsequent occasion. Part II shall be entered on one occasion only.

  • 8. A candidate adjudged worthy of Honours in Part I and Part II may supplicate for the Degree of Master of Biochemistry, provided the candidate has fulfilled all the conditions for admission to a degree of the University.

  • 9. A candidate who passes Part I or who is adjudged worthy of Honours in Part I of the examination, but who does not enter Part II of the examination, or who fails to obtain honours in Part II, may be allowed to supplicate for the degree of Bachelor of Arts (pass or unclassified Honours as appropriate), provided the candidate has fulfilled all the conditions for admission to a degree of the University; but such a candidate may not later enter or re-enter Part II or supplicate for the degree of Master of Biochemistry.

  • 10. Candidates will be expected to show knowledge based on practical work. The examination shall be partly practical: this requirement shall normally be satisfied by the examiners' assessment of the practical work done by candidates during their course of study.

B

  • 1. The examiners will permit the use of any hand-held calculator subject to the conditions set out under the heading ‘Use of calculators in examinations’ in the Regulations for the Conduct of University Examinations.

  • 2. Supplementary Subjects

    • (a) Candidates may, in addition to any one or more of the subjects given below, offer themselves for examination in one or more Supplementary Subjects.

    • (b) Candidates for Supplementary Subjects may offer themselves for examination in the academic year preceding that in which they take the Final Honour School; they may also offer themselves for examination in the year in which they take the Final Honour School, Part I or Part II. No more than one Supplementary Subject may be offered in any one year.

    • (c) The Supplementary Subjects available in any year will be published, together with the term in which each subject will be examined, in the University Gazette not later than the end of the Trinity Term of the academic year prior to delivery of the courses. Regulations governing the use of calculators in individual Supplementary Subjects will be notified when the availability of these subjects is published in the Gazette.

    • (d) In determining the place of candidates in the Results List the examiners shall take account of good performance in any Supplementary Subjects which have been offered.

    • (e) Candidates awarded a pass in a Supplementary Subject examination may not retake the same Supplementary Subject examination.

PART I

Part I will consist of four termly summative assessments, a course of practical work, and seven compulsory written papers. The seven written papers will be:

  • (1) Data Handling;
  • (2) Critical Reading and Analysis of Research Papers;
  • (3) Information Transfer in Biological Systems;
  • (4) Molecular Processes in the Cell;
  • (5) Cellular Chemistry;
  • (6) The Cell in Time and Space;
  • (7) General Paper.

The written papers will be taken in Trinity Term of the third year. Candidates will be required to show knowledge of the fundamental biochemistry of animals, plants, and micro-organisms.  The data handlng paper will consist of questions designed to examine candidates' skills in data manipulation and the interpretation of experimental data; relevant tables and formulae will be supplied. In the general paper, candidates will be expected to bring together a knowledge of the material in the other papers.

The termly summative assessments are computer-based assessments taken in Hilary and Trinity Terms of the second year and Michaelmas and Hilary Terms of the third year. These will be based on material covered in the course during the previous term. The Director of Teaching, or a deputy, shall make available to the examiners records showing the marks achieved by each candidate in the termly summative assessments. In determining the place of candidates in the Results List the examiners shall take account of the marks reported for the termly summative assessments.

The Director of Teaching, or a deputy, shall make available to the examiners records showing the extent to which each candidate has adequately pursued a course of laboratory work and exercises in biochemical reasoning. In assessing the record of practical work and exercises in data handling, the examiners shall have regard to the attendance record of the candidates at each and every class provided, and to the marks recorded for each and every class provided. 

If requested by the examiners, the Department will provide access to any practical work submitted by candidates via the University approved online assessment platform. If requested by the examiners, candidates shall submit any notebooks containing reports, initialled by the demonstrators, of practical work and exercises in biochemical reasoning completed during their course of study for Part I. These notebooks shall be available to the examiners at any time after the end of the first week of Trinity Term of the third year. Each notebook shall be accompanied by a certificate signed by the candidate indicating that the notebook submitted is the candidate's own work.

Candidates may be examined viva voce.

PART II

Part II will consist of project work and course work.

Candidates will be required to pursue their studies over a period of twenty-eight weeks including an extended Michaelmas Term which will begin on the fourth Friday before the stated Full Term and extend until the first Saturday following it, provided that the divisional board shall have power to permit candidates to vary the dates of their residence so long as the overall requirement is met.

Project work: The project will be carried out over 23 weeks, in the extended Michaelmas Term, Hilary Term and the first three weeks of Trinity Term unless permission to alter these dates is obtained from the Department.

Candidates will be required to undertake project work under the supervision of a person approved by the Biochemistry Steering Committee provided that such approval shall be applied for not later than Friday in the second week of Trinity Full Term in the year preceding the Part II year.

Candidates will be required to present an account of such work in the form of a dissertation (not more than 8,000 words excluding tables, figures, reference list and abstract). The dissertation must be submitted through the University approved online assessment platform. The dissertation must be submitted by noon on Thursday of the fifth week of the Trinity Full Term of the Part II year. Each candidate must submit, together with their project, a statement to the effect that the project is the candidate's own work or indicating where the work of others has been used, save that supervisors should give advice on the choice and scope of the project, provide a reading list, and comment on the first draft. The examiners may obtain a written report on the work of each candidate from the supervisor concerned.

Candidates will be required to present a brief oral report of their research project in the last three weeks of Trinity Full Term, after which the candidate shall be examined viva voce on the project. The form of the presentation to examiners shall be specified in guidelines published by the Department of Biochemistry in Week 8 of Trinity Full Term in the academic year preceding the Part II year.

No dissertation will be accepted if it has already been submitted, either wholly or substantially, for an Honour School other than Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, or for another degree of this University, or for a degree of any other institution.

Coursework: Each candidate will study and be assessed on one focused area of Biochemistry, chosen by the candidate from within three broad areas. The list of broad areas will be approved by the Biochemistry Steering Committee, published by the Department of Biochemistry and sent to Senior Tutors of all colleges not later than noon on Friday of the eighth week of Trinity Term in the year preceding the Part II year.

The focussed area chosen by the candidate should be clearly distinct from the subject of their project work but may fall in the same broad area. The proposed title for the project work and a description of the focussed area chosen must be submitted to the Chair of Examiners by noon on Friday of fifth week of Michaelmas Term. If there is too much overlap of the two, the candidate will be informed by noon on Friday of sixth week of Michaelmas Term and asked to re-choose the focussed area for their course work.

Coursework will be assessed by a submitted essay in the form of a review article. Detailed specifications for the essay will be published not later than noon on Friday of the eighth week of Trinity Term in the year preceding the start of the Part II year. The detailed specifications for the assessment of the coursework will have been approved by the Biochemistry Steering Committee, prior to publication by the Department of Biochemistry.

Coursework must be submitted via the University approved online assessment platform, not later than noon on Thursday of the first week of Trinity Full Term of the Part II year, together with a statement certifying that the work is the candidate's own work. No work will be accepted if it has already been submitted, either wholly or substantially, for an Honour School other than Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, or for another degree of this University, or for a degree of any other institution.

Candidates may be examined viva voce.