Postgraduate Certificate: Principles in Protein Structure (PPS)

Prospective students

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Current PPS students
[Restricted access]

bullet 2009/10 course access
bullet 2008/9 course access

Distance learning: Principles of Protein Structure (PPS)

Postgraduate Certificate Details

Course details



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. The course explores the underlying Principles of Protein Structure at different levels before applying this knowledge to an understanding of how proteins function.



The programme is taught entirely via the Internet, using a range of innovative techniques including online tutorials. Protein structures are presented and manipulated using interactive graphics embedded in web pages.

All teaching is Internet-based. The course material is released on a dedicated, password protected website in twelve 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 in the Birkbeck e-library.



One written paper (which may be taken at an exam centre close to you); and coursework.


Technical requirements

There are some basic technical requirements for all our distance learning courses. All course correspondence will be electronically based. You will need:

  • Regular access to a computer (PC, UNIX or Mac operating systems) capable of running forms and graphics browsers (e.g. Firefox, Netscape, MacWeb XEmacs, Mosaic).
  • Reliable access to the internet.
  • Some familiarity with installation of simple software packages and with transferring/downloading data.
  • Familiarity with E-mail.

Special features
  • PPS may be taken as a stand-alone postgraduate certificate or as part of the School of Crystallography's innovative distance learning MSc in Structural Molecular Biology.
  • Innovative use of the Internet providing flexible study patterns.
  • Research Assessment Exercise grade 5A department

Course contacts

Course Administrator

Enquiries about the course should be directed to:

Room 612
Department of Biological Sciences
Birkbeck, University of London
Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX
United Kingdom

Phone: +44 (0)20 7631 6238
Email: sbcsoffice@bbk.ac.uk

Admissions Tutor/ Course director

Dr Jim Pitts

Telephone: 020 7631 6865

Email: j.pitts@mail.cryst.bbk.ac.uk