Postgraduate Certificate:
Techniques in Structural Molecular Biology (TSMB)

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Distance Learning: Techniques in Structural Molecular Biology (TSMB)

Postgraduate Certificate


This distance learning course has been designed for scientists wishing to update their knowledge, or as part of the background studies of research students, particularly those whose undergraduate studies were in a different area. As a student, you will learn:

  • Techniques for DNA manipulation
  • Protein expression and purification
  • Structure determination by X-ray diffraction, electron microscopy and NMR
  • Protein spectroscopy
  • Bioinformatics as applied to this area

Distance learning course

All teaching is carried out via the internet. The only equipment required is a standard PC or workstation and an Internet connection.

Modular structure

TSMB 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.

The programme of study has a modular structure and operates under the Birkbeck Common Awards Scheme, one module being worth 30 credits. Students gain 60 credits on completion of the TSMB Postgraduate Certificate. In order to gain an MSc in Structural Molecular Biology students must earn 180 credits.

Why study Techniques in Structural Molecular Biology?

Structural Biology allows you to understand how macromolecules work at the atomic level of detail. This is important particularly in designing drugs which act at the molecular level to affect macromolecules. Increasingly research uses a range of complementary biophysical and structural techniques to study protein-protein interactions.  This requires that researchers have some understanding of what all these techniques can achieve. This postgraduate course is designed to give the theoretical background required to use this range of methods.