Advanced Certificate in Principles of Protein Structure

Principles of Protein Structure Using the Internet

Birkbeck College (University of London) Advanced Certificate Course

The course is designed to provide students with an understanding both of the fundamentals and of recent and current research on the structure of proteins. All teaching for the course will take place on the Internet and students will be given weekly work assignments, self-assessment exercises and tutorials by email and MOOs. In addition to the course tutors, students have access to discussions with a wide range of people acting as course consultants both at Birkbeck College and at other institutions worldwide, who have particular expertise and interests. Students are organized into email discussion groups and informal and wide-ranging discussion is encouraged between students, tutors and consultants.

We expect students to spend at least 6 hours a week on work related to the course, which will include working on course material, textbooks or other works in the scientific literature, discussions and tutorials and other tasks such as installing and testing software. Each student will need to provide himself or herself with access to suitable computing facilities (usually a PC or workstation), including graphical capability, and access to the Internet. Advice on this can be provided during the Registration period.

Course terms 1996/1997 academic session

Course Structure

The course is based on learning and communication rather than on formal lectures, which allows us considerable flexibility in giving individual students either greater or lesser direction and guidance in different parts of the course according to his or her needs, interests and wishes. Formally, the course has 3 Units:

Unit 1. Introduction to Internet Resources. This Unit takes place during Term 1 and includes preliminary training in the use of the Internet and its resources. The objectives of the Unit are to enable each student to (a) communicate and exchange information with others on the Internet (b) locate and use data and software available on the Internet and (c) produce his or her own text and graphical material on the World Wide Web. At the end of Term 1 each student is asked to submit a work assignment for assessment.

Unit 2. Protein structure. This Unit takes place in Term 1 and Term 2. Each student works through the course material on the World Wide Web and submits an assignment for assessment at the end of Term 2.

Unit 3. Dissertation project. This Unit takes the form of a project chosen by each student from a wide range of dissertation topics in the area of protein structure, function and dynamics. Each student researches his or her topic in the scientific literature in consultation with academic tutors and consultants and submits a dissertation in the form of an HTML document which will be mounted on the World Wide Web. Projects are to be submitted by early July 1997.

Details of course syllabus

Academic Requirements

The minimum academic qualification required to register for the course is normally the equivalent of a UK BSc (Bachelor's) degree in a subject allied to one of the following: Computer Science, Biology, Mathematics, Physics or Chemistry.

Assessment of the course

The course leads to the award of a University of London Advanced Certificate. Each student is assessed by a combination of the work assignments submitted in Terms 1 and 2, the Project submitted in Term 3 and an unseen final written examination in Term 3, held in one of the 105 London University External Examination Centres around the world. An extra fee may be incurred for students sitting exams at external centres, this is a fee charged by the exam centre itself and as such may vary.

Note . Exceptionally, a student may opt not to take the unseen final examination, in which case assessment will be made on the basis of the submitted work assignments and the project alone, and an Interim Certificate will be awarded.

Back to PPS

The information contained in these pages about course administration, fees and syllabus is correct at the time of writing. Birkbeck College reserves the right to make any changes which may be necessary and students should refer to the course tutors and course administrator for details.
(last updated 24/6/96)