Degree Type: 

Bachelor of Science

Department: 

Department of Biochemistry

Programme Duration: 

4 years (Standard Entry)

Modes of Study: 

Regular

Entry Requirements: 

The minimum admission cut-off is 36 and 24 for WASSCE and SSSCE applicants respectively with passes (A1 – C6) (A – D) in Core English, Core Mathematics and Integrated Science or Social Studies. In addition, candidates must have obtained passes in three elective subjects preferably Biology, Chemistry, Physics and elective Mathematics with grades not lower than C6/D at the WASSCE/SSSCE levels respectively.

Career Opportunities: 

Opportunities abound for students who successfully graduate with this degree programme in areas of scientific research, as well as professional and technical occupations. Most biochemists are employed as researchers in universities, research institutes and large companies in sectors such as pharmaceuticals. Small companies also employ biochemists to provide specialist services, such as toxicological studies. Biochemistry graduates also go into other sectors, such as commercial and public sector management and business and finance professions.
You can also be employed as: 

  1. Research Officers in Medical Laboratories
  2. Medical Lab assistant in hospitals
  3. Research officer with Pharmaceutical industry
  4. Plant Pathologist
  5. Nutritional Scientist

Programme Structure

Level 100

First Semester

ASP A: African Studies (Core)
2 Credit(s)

This comprises a variety of Courses mounted by the Center for African and International Studies.  Each student gets to do one of these courses in the first semester and another one in the second semester of the first year.

BIO 101: Diversity of Living Organisms
3 Credit(s)

Students are introduced to classification of living organisms and the morphological characteristics of the following kingdoms of organisms: Prokaryotae, Protoctista, Fungi, Plantae and Animalia. The course also examines the life histories and adaptations of some selected members of the various kingdoms (e.g. Bacteria and Cyanobacteria, Protozoa) with particular emphasis on the Sporozoa, Zygomycota, Ascomycota and Basidiomycota, Chlorophyta, and Phaeophyta, Bryophyta, Lycophyta, Filinophyta, Gymnospermophyta, Angiospermophyta, Platyhelminthes, Nematoda, Arthropoda, Amphibia, Pisces, Reptilia, Aves, and Mammalia. 

CHE 101A: Introduction to Physical / Inorganic Chemistry I
2 Credit(s)

Atoms and atomic theory, chemical compounds, chemical reactions and stoichiometry, electrons in atom, periodic table and atomic properties, chemical bonding, empirical models and theory.

CHE 103: Introductory Practical Physical and Inorganic Chemistry
1 Credit(s)

This course aims at helping students to develop requisite laboratory skills in General Chemistry laboratory work includes basic techniques of qualitative and quantitative measurements such as gravimetric, colorimetric, thermometric and selected volumetric methods of analysis. Practical exercises undertaken in this course include calibration of analytical balance and volumetric glassware (burette and pipette), conductivity and pH measurements, determination of molecular properties and solubility products, qualitative analysis of mixtures of two or more metallic salts, and thermochemistry.

CHE 105A: Introduction to Basic Organic Chemistry I
1 Credit(s)

This course introduces students to the molecular composition of structure, purification of organic compounds, detection of elements like C, H, N, S and the halogens in organic compounds. It will cover topics such as calculation and determination of empirical and molecular formulae; structural and geometrical isomerism; pictorial treatment of sp, sp2, and sp3 hybridization in single, double and triple bonds in hydrocarbons.

CMS 107: Communicative Skills I
3 Credit(s)

Engaging in academic work at the university is challenging. This course is aimed at equipping fresh students to make the transition from pre-university level to the university level. It assists them in engaging and succeeding in complex academic tasks in speaking, listening, reading and writing. It also provides an introduction to university studies by equipping students with skills that will help them to engage in academic discourse with confidence and fluency.

ILT 101: Information Literacy
1 Credit(s)

The rationale of the course is to equip students with skills that will enable them access and retrieve information in the traditional, hybrid and digital libraries. Students will be able to use ICT efficiently and effectively when they have basic knowledge of computers. The course content include: Types of libraries, library resources and their uses, the role the library plays in the academic community, introduction to computers, the internet.

PHY 101: General Physics I (Theory)
2 Credit(s)

This course is intended to introduce students to some of the fundamental concepts and principles underlying Physics so as to develop the scientific problem-solving skills and logical reasoning of students. The knowledge acquired is for later application in allied programmes like Nursing, Optometry, Computer, Science, Science Education and Laboratory Technology.  The main topics treated include Physical quantities, vectors, Dynamics, Kinematics, Thermodynamics, Work, Energy and Power.

PHY 103: General Physics I (Practical)
1 Credit(s)

This is the practical component of PHY 101, and is assessed separately. It is intended to make Physics as interesting and relevant as possible by investigating some practical applications of Physics. The main topics treated include Hooke’s Law, Surface Tension, Simple Harmonic Motion, Density Measurements, Calorimetry and Thermal expansion.

Second Semester

BIO 102: Basic Cytology and Genetics
2 Credit(s)

The course provides an introduction to the various principles of genetics with a focus on the cytological basis. It covers cell structure, nuclear divisions, and chromosomal aberrations. Relevant cytological basis of Mendelian Genetics, Cytogenetics and Darwinian Evolution would be illustrated. The course also covers the DNA structure, the Genetic Codes based on the Central Dogma theory and the basis of Microbial genetics. The concepts of Recombinant DNA, Genetic engineering and Biotechnology would be discussed.

BIO 103: Data Collection and Analysis
2 Credit(s)

The course introduces students to various methods of data collection, presentation, analysis and interpretation of scientific data. Data collection methods include experimentation, field surveys, and direct observations. Concept of statistics, importance and misuse of statistics, sampling and its importance, sampling methods (simple random, systematic and stratified sampling) will be considered. Various types of data presentation (bar graph, pie chart, histogram, line graph, polygons and tables) will be discussed. Other areas are scales of measurement (nominal, ordinal, interval, ratio), measures of central tendency (mean, median, stem-and-leaf plot and box plots) and measures of dispersion (range, quartiles, inter-quartile range, percentiles, standard deviation, standard error, coefficient of variation). 

CHE 101C: Introduction to Physical/Inorganic Chemistry II
2 Credit(s)
Pre-requisite: CHE 101A

This course gives a further insight into the concepts in Physical Chemistry. It deals with chemical bonding, various theories of bonding, as well as, structure and shape, the gas laws, the ideal gas law, deviations from ideality and its application.

CHE 104: Introductory Practical Organic Chemistry
1 Credit(s)

This course is an introductory Organic Laboratory Processes which seeks to enable students acquire basic laboratory skills for the techniques of crystallisation, melting and boiling point determination; simple, fractional and steam distillation; refluxing liquid-liquid extraction; paper, thin-layer and colour chromatography. 

CHE 105B: Introduction to Basic Organic Chemistry II
2 Credit(s)
Pre-requisite: CHE 105A

This course is a continuation of CHE 105A. The basic ideas on nomenclature, structure, physical properties, synthesis and chemical properties of the aliphatic hydrocarbons (alkanes, alkenes, alkyes) will be treated. The course will also include the treatment of the structure of benzene including simple treatment of the concept of resonance and aromaticity, nomenclature of benzene and synthesis of simple derivatives of benzene with specific orientation, ortho-, para- and meta-directors.

CMS 108: Communicative Skills II
3 Credit(s)

This is a follow-up course on the first semester one. It takes students through writing correct sentences, devoid of ambiguity, through the paragraph and its appropriate development to the fully-developed essay. The course also emphasizes the importance and the processes of editing written work.

LAR/LSS/LED: (Inter-Faculty Course)
3 Credit(s)

This is a compulsory University course for all first year students of the University of Cape Coast. Can we have the specific description of this course?

PHY 102: General Physics II (Theory)
2 Credit(s)

Topics to be treated for the course are; Introduction optics, waves, electricity and magnetism: reflection and refraction on plane surfaces; lens formulae, thin lens in contact, characteristics of wave motion, sound waves, resonance, static electricity; the coulomb ; electric potential, capacitors, current.

PHY 104: General Physics II(Practical)
1 Credit(s)

This is the practical component of PHY102 and is designed to help students gain some hands-on experience with laboratory equipment as they perform experiments to enhance their understanding of some the theoretical concepts.  Such experiments include the determination of the focal length of lenses and refractive index of glass block; investigation of Ohm’s law and determination of resistivity of materials.    

Level 200

First Semester

BCH 201: General Biochemistry I
2 Credit(s)

This course introduces students to the physical and chemical properties of biological compounds with emphasis on sugars, amino acids, fatty acids, nucleic acids, etc., as contribution towards the understanding of the structure and function of organisms, tissues and cells. Chemical principles of oxidation, reduction, dehydration, stereochemistry, epimerisation, amination, deamination, transamination, etc., will be used to explain the roles of the biological compounds in the physiological environment, Physical characterisation of the biological compounds including methods such as acid/base titration, colorimetry, turbidimetry, polarimetry, and polarography will be treated. 

BCH 202: General Biochemistry II
2 Credit(s)

The course covers the structural and functional characterisation of the major macromolecules of the cell with special emphasis on DNA and proteins (the Nucleic acids, DNA replication and transcription, and protein synthesis linked in a historical perspective). The classification, properties and application of enzymes and coenzymes, the effects of pH and temperature on enzyme-catalysed reactions are some of the highlights of this course. Regulation of enzyme activity by organics including recent developments in the tools and techniques of DNA and protein isolation and characterization will be demonstrated during practical sessions. 

BCH 205: Introduction to Information Technology
2 Credit(s)

This course introduces students to computers; internet applications; the WWW, telnet, FTP, hypertext, browsers and their configurations and the relevance of computer methods to data storage and retrieval. Students will learn the application of word processing, spread sheet, power point and the internet in data generation, storage and retrieval. The course will also involve the teaching of the fundamentals of programming HTML, XML, PHP and Visual Basics for both desktop and internet applications. 

BCH 208: Nutrition
2 Credit(s)

This course primarily deals with the human body and the associated systems involved in food delivery. The structure of the digestive system, in relation to its functions in digestion and absorption are key aspects of this course. Other focussed areas include blood physiology: blood and other fluid compartments of the body in relation to the transfer of nutrients and metabolites, pre-scientific ideas about foods, pioneers in nutrition, foods and food groups, nutrient contribution of foods, food habits and their influence on nutrition and ethnic diets. The nutritional requirements in pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, adolescents and the aged, the relation between maternal diet and pregnancy outcomes, breastfeeding and nutrition of premature infants will also be discussed.

BCH 212: General Biochemistry Practical
2 Credit(s)

Students will learn how to prepare and keep laboratory reports. They will also be exposed to techniques in aqueous and organic solution preparation of biological compounds, homogenisation, centrifugation, protein/DNA extraction, acid/base titrations, conductivity measurements, spectroscopy, chromatography, electrophoresis, and enzyme assays. Students will complete and submit their laboratory reports before they leave the laboratory in each practical session.

BIO 202: Cell and Tissue Organisation
3 Credit(s)

This course introduces students to cell theory and the generalised structure of plants and animal cells and the functions of the organelles. Types, structures and functions of mammalian tissues will be treated. Students will be introduced to basic histological methods-temporary and permanent preparations. The use of microtome in cutting sections and staining procedure will be emphasized. 

BIO 204: Morphology and Anatomy of Higher Plants
3 Credit(s)

This course introduces students to the gross morphological characteristics of gymnosperms and angiosperms; both the vegetative and the reproductive plant body are discussed. Other aspects of the course include pollination mechanisms and agents; fruit and seed formation; meristematic primary and secondary growth and their ecological anatomy.

CHE 201: Main Group Chemistry
3 Credit(s)

This course covers the representative elements of group I-VIII (including the alkali metals, alkaline earth metals). The non-metallic elements and elements of group IIB (viz Zn, Cd, and Hg). The chemistry of their oxides, hydroxides, halides, nitrites, and other salts will be discussed. The noble gases will be covered. The oxy-acids of non-metals will also be discussed together with their reduction potentials.

CHE 210: Organic Chemistry I
1 Credit(s)

This course covers topics such as structure of some organic molecules, physical and chemical properties, synthesis of aldehydes, ketones, carboxylic acids, alcohol, amines and their derivatives.

CHE 2O5: Practical Organic Chemistry
1 Credit(s)

This course introduces students to practical preparation, separation, purification and identification of organic compounds

PHL 205: Critical Thinking and Practical Reasoning
2 Credit(s)

Critical thinking includes, but not limited to, variety of deliberative processes aimed at making wise decisions about what to believe and do, processes that centre on evaluation of arguments, among other. The course will integrate logic, both formal and informal, with a variety of skills and topics useful in making sound decisions about claims, actions, and practices and to make it all palatable by presenting it in real-life contexts. This course is interactive and conversational in tone and aim at helping students to appreciate how to use the tools in logic in arriving at most cogent conclusions given different issues of life.

Second Semester

BCH 206: Mathematics for Biologists
3 Credit(s)

The course offers a foundational treatment of mathematics that is useful for the analysis of biological data. Topics are drawn from relevant areas including logic, geometry, functions, linear equations, calculus and algebra. Computation through the use of Matlab will play a central role in the teaching and learning process with applications to modeling and data analysis.

BCH 214: General Biochemistry Practical
2 Credit(s)

BIO 208: Population Genetics and Evolution
3 Credit(s)

BIO 208: Population Genetics & Evolution
3 Credit(s)

Students are introduced to Polygenes and the Hardy-Weinberg law. The latter is illustrated by sickle cell anaemia, melanism in moths, drug resistance, insecticide resistance and mimicry in butterflies.  The course also examines the concept of evolution and the distribution of organisms in time and space.  It also reviews the theories of evolution, natural selection and evidence of evolutionary processes: fossils, geographical distribution, comparative anatomy, vestigial structures, molecular biology and embryology.  The origin of Man and the future of Man on earth are also discussed.

BIO 212: Mammalian Anatomy and Physiology
3 Credit(s)

BIO 212: Mammalian Anatomy & Physiology
3 Credit(s)

This course introduces students to the basic anatomy and fundamental mechanisms involved in mammalian physiological functions.  It includes a study of the structure and function of the organ systems involved in digestion, transport, respiration, co-ordination, excretion, reproduction, support and locomotion.  Principles of homeostasis will be emphasized.

CHE 205: Practical Organic Chemistry
1 Credit(s)

CHE 211: Organic Chemistry II
2 Credit(s)

Level 300

First Semester

BCH 301: Intermediary Metabolism
3 Credit(s)

The course covers the basics of metabolism of the energy-yielding substrates carbohydrates, fatty acids, amino acids and proteins. This includes the pathways specific to the substrates that bring about their breakdown to yield intermediary molecules. The oxidation of the intermediary molecules in the citric acid cycle and the respiratory chain will be highlighted. Nucleic acid metabolism and glycogen synthesis will also be treated. Students will be exposed to the organisation of networks of physiological reactions, the intermediary molecules and enzymes that maintain the energy balance of organism. The use of metabolism for the explanation of the etiology, diagnosis and cure of diseases will be discussed.  

BCH 303: Enzymology
2 Credit(s)

The course reviews the structure, function and the general properties of proteins. Chemical Kinetics: definition of kinetic terminologies, rate of chemical reactions, molecularity, order and rate constants, differential and integral methods of analysis. Zero, first and second order differential rate equations, factors affecting rate of chemical reactions will be discussed. Key highlights in this course include enzymatic proteins, the kinetics of enzyme catalysis and derivation of rate equation for single-substrate enzyme reaction. The effects of external factors (pH, substrate concentration, ionic strength and temperature) on the mechanism of enzyme-catalysed reactions will be discussed. Students will be introduced to enzyme-based assays, free energy diagrams; simple reversible inhibition; time-dependent inhibition; transition state theory; inhibition of one-substrate enzymatic reactions; allosteric interaction and the general regulation of enzyme activity. Selected methods of enzyme purification and characterization will be discussed during tutorial sessions. 

BCH 305: Analytical Biochemistry I
2 Credit(s)

The course aims at providing students with theory and the practical knowledge in physical methods in biology. The course begins with the general principles of analytical biochemistry but  the main focus is on the physical characterization of biological macromolecules. Here, the emphasis is on the use of UV/visible, infrared, fluorimetry, circular dichroism, flame photometry, electron spin resonance, nuclear magnetic resonance, X-ray diffraction, mass spectrometry and microscopy methods. The course also provides basic concepts in the application of radiometric techniques in biochemical research.

BCH 327: Chemistry of Carbanions & Aromatic Compounds
2 Credit(s)

This course is designed to give biochemistry students the mechanistic understanding of physiological reactions with specific focus on metabolite and enzyme reactions. Topics covered will include mechanisms of substitution and elimination reactions of dienes; addition polymers of monoalkenes and dienes. The discussion will also include reaction of carbanions, aromaticity and electrophilic and nucleophilic substitution of benzenes and phenols.

BCH 331: Bio-Computing
2 Credit(s)

The course covers current trends in bioinformatics, uses and prospects, retrieval of information from the biological database such as gene and protein data banks.  Other topics include methods for sequence alignment, protein structure prediction and motif finding. The use of phylogenetic trees for assessment of biodiversity and genetic changes in population will be treated. Bioinformatics case studies will be provided for group discussions.

BCH 335: Biochemical Genetics and Biotechnology
2 Credit(s)

The course covers the structure and function of genes; structure of DNA (A, B, and Z DNA); methods for sequencing DNA; DNA and chromosome structure; characteristics of eukaryote genomes; modification and processing of RNA; reverse transcription; retroviruses and the basic concepts in nucleic acid metabolism. The course also covers the handling and processing of recombinant DNA; laboratory methods demonstrating concepts and techniques in recombinant DNA and genetic modification of organisms. Application of recombinant DNA technology in medicine, food, pharmaceutical, agricultural, waste management and mining industries will be discussed.

BCH 336: General Microbiology
2 Credit(s)

The course covers the fundamentals of microbiology, including; microbial structures and functions, metabolism, growth, genetics, classification, and pathogenesis; virology, principles of infectious disease; host defends and antimicrobial drugs. Microbial concepts are reinforced and expanded by students’ laboratory investigations. 

BCH 337: Analytical Biochemical Techniques I
3 Credit(s)

This course is a continuation of BCH 212. The main focus is on the use of UV/visible, infrared, fluorimetry, circular dichroism, flame photometry, electron spin resonance, nuclear magnetic resonance, X-ray diffraction, mass spectrometry and microscopy methods. The course also provides basic concepts in the application of radiometric techniques in biochemical research. The course will also focus on detection, purification and identification of macromolecules. Chromatography, homogenisation, centrifugation methods and high-throughput separation systems will be discussed. Other topics to be covered include spectroscopy, polarimetry, titrations, colorimetry, and flame photometry.

Second Semester

BCH 306: Analytical Biochemistry II
2 Credit(s)

The course focuses on detection, purification and identification of macromolecules. Emphasis is laid on the theory and application of diffusion, membrane filtration and dialysis (Donan equilibrium) gel permeation chromatography, ion-exchange chromatography, affinity chromatography, centrifugation methods and high-throughput separation systems. 

BCH 310: Biochemistry of Hormones
2 Credit(s)

The course emphasises the basic concepts in endocrinology focusing on hormones and their structure, biosynthesis, secretion, regulation and control. Other aspects of the course deal with the mechanism of signal transduction and the role of hormones in signal transduction. Also included are the methods of studying hormones and hormonal disorders. The pharmacological effects of hormones and hormone therapy will be treated.

BCH 324: Nutritional Biochemistry
2 Credit(s)

The course provides students with an overview of the physiological functions and effects of nutrient deficiencies and trends in the consumption of carbohydrates, protein and lipids.  Emphasis will be given to food as a source of energy; functions and distribution of minerals in the human body; dietary sources, deficiency symptoms, human requirements for minerals. Topics such as trace elements in human nutrition and requirements; landmarks in the discovery of vitamin and their functions, recommended intakes, dietary sources; effects of deficiencies of fat soluble and water soluble vitamins will be covered.

BCH 326: Food Microbiology
2 Credit(s)

The course covers aspects of microbial infections of food and water. Topics covered will include microbiological examination of potable water, microbial classification of raw foods, contamination of foods from natural sources, spoilage organisms and food borne pathogens. Special emphasis will be given to food borne pathogens; fungi, viruses, parasites poisoning, food infection and the effects of aflatoxins in foods. Cans, principles of canning, and other food preservation methods, use of microorganisms in food fermentation will also be studied. Microbiological food standards, good manufacturing practices, principles of cleaning, hazards in foods, risk, toxins and contaminants, Hazard Analysis & HACCP, perception of risks, stakeholders etc., will be examined.

BCH 330: Chemistry of Natural Products
2 Credit(s)

The course provides an introduction to the biogenesis of key plant secondary metabolites; terpenoids, steroids, alkaloids (especially indole alkaloids), flavonoids, essential oils, polyketides, polyisoprenoids and shikimic acid metabolites, the mechanism underlying their formation, methods of extraction, isolation, purification, and structure determination. A survey of the pharmacological activities associated with the various metabolite classes; flavonoids, alkaloids and terpenoids; plant growth and defence substances will be covered.

BCH 333: Principles of Management
2 Credit(s)

The course covers the nature and scope of management.  Topics include managerial functions; organisational theories; goals of business organisations; economic and social responsibilities of management; decision making techniques and influence. The nature and types of organisation and their implications for organisational administration will also be discussed.  The course also exposes students to the organisational behaviour and human relations in management. The application of concepts such as leadership, motivation, communication and morale to the management of people and organisations will be discussed.  Students will also be introduced to the concept of time management, analysis and causes of change and how to manage change, innovation and control.

BCH 338: Analytical Biochemical Techniques II (Mini Project/Internship)
3 Credit(s)

The course is designed to give students an opportunity to do research in enzyme kinetics. Students will be made to carry out a mini project that makes use of enzyme kinetics principles for them to appreciate the application of enzymology in everyday life. Students will also be expected to complete their training with 4-6 weeks laboratory internship during the semester break.

BCH 399: Research Methods for Biochemists
2 Credit(s)

The course exposes students to the processes involved in the scientific method of investigation. There will be exercises in observational skills, making enquiries, formulation of hypotheses, and experimental designs in biological techniques, data acquisition, analysis and scientific presentation. Students will be taught how to do scientific presentations-oral and written. Students will be required to do literature review on specific topics and present them at seminars.

BIO 312: Biostatistics
3 Credit(s)

This course applies statistical methods to biological information. It deals with sampling techniques, data presentation, analysis and interpretation. Types of distribution (e.g. normal, binomial and Poison) will also be discussed. Procedures including t-test, ANOVA, correlation and regression will be used to analyse biological data. Students will be taken through some basic experimental designs such as Completely Randomised, Randomised Complete Block and Factorial designs.

Level 400

First Semester

BCH 403: Biological Oxidation and Bioenergetics
2 Credit(s)

Topics selected to be covered include thermodynamics: Definition of system and surroundings, Energy, work and heat. The First Law of Thermodynamics, Hess’s law, enthalpy of reactions. Spontaneous changes: Entropy / Free Energy. The second law of thermodynamics, free energy changes and equilibrium constants will be discussed.  The principles of thermodynamics and their application to the energetics of the cell will also be discussed. There will be a review of the structure of mitochondrion and chloroplast and their relationship to the redox complexes of their respective electron transport system. The review will also include the link between ATP synthesis and sources of energy establishment of proton gradients, the concept of high energy compounds, the redox systems, and energetics of coupled reactions. ATP utilisation for the performance of cellular work, active membrane transport, activation for metabolism, and muscle contraction will be examined.

BCH 403: Biological Oxidation and Bioenergetics
2 Credit(s)

Topics selected to be covered include thermodynamics: Definition of system and surroundings, Energy, work and heat. The First Law of Thermodynamics, Hess’s law, enthalpy of reactions. Spontaneous changes: Entropy / Free Energy. The second law of thermodynamics, free energy changes and equilibrium constants will be discussed.  The principles of thermodynamics and their application to the energetics of the cell will also be discussed. There will be a review of the structure of mitochondrion and chloroplast and their relationship to the redox complexes of their respective electron transport system. The review will also include the link between ATP synthesis and sources of energy establishment of proton gradients, the concept of high energy compounds, the redox systems, and energetics of coupled reactions. ATP utilisation for the performance of cellular work, active membrane transport, activation for metabolism, and muscle contraction will be examined.

BCH 405: Integration and Control of Metabolism
2 Credit(s)

Lectures emphasize the controls of the metabolism of the cell as well as the integration of the various pathways associated with the energy metabolism of the cell. Substrate and enzyme limited reactions, general aspects of metabolic control and the concept of coarse and fine controls of metabolism will be some of the key areas of discussion. 

BCH 407: Clinical Biochemistry
2 Credit(s)

This course is concerned with the study of biochemical changes in human body under pathological conditions. It emphasises the biochemical basis of disorders such as acid / base imbalance and the abnormal metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, amino acids, nucleic acids, bile pigments, vitamins and hormones. Inherited disorders in metabolism, the role of enzyme levels in prognosis of biochemical dysfunctions are major component of the course. Quality Assurance in clinical laboratory, organ (Liver, kidney, heart, pancreas, GIT etc) tests, the meaning and interpretation of findings both traditional and functional will be discussed.

BCH 423: Fermentation
2 Credit(s)

The course is aimed at presenting the role of microorganisms in fermentation, including recent developments in fermentation technology and some theoretical considerations. Emphasis is placed on areas such as principles behind the development of fermentation processes; beer brewing, alcohol production (yeast), lactic acid fermentation, acetic acid production (bacteria), organic acid production, production of antibiotics.  Discussion will also include solid state fermentation; the effects of enzymes on the ingredients in fermented foods and drinks; basic fermentation methods of sterilisation, pasteurisation, lyophilisation, plant design and economics of fermentation.

BCH 425: Biochemistry of Parasites
2 Credit(s)

The course offers an introduction to parasites in general, pathophysiology and tropical parasitic diseases such as malaria, trypanosomiasis, filariasis, schistosomiasis and gastrointestinal worm infestations. It also offers the understanding in the biochemistry of the causative agent in parasitic diseases with emphasis on host-parasite interrelationships. The course also discusses the key metabolic pathways of parasites or their host that can be exploited in the design of chemotherapeutic agents.

BCH 427: Biomembranes
2 Credit(s)

The course provides an overview of the principal composition of membranes; lipids and proteins. Specific emphasis is on the use of models to teach the relationships between membrane structure, properties and function. Methods for formation and characterisation of liposomes and liposomes application will be discussed. The course also provides a survey of biochemical methods for preparing membranes, the physical and chemical characterisation of membrane structure and function, biogenesis of membranes and the role of membranes in receptor transport mechanisms. 

BCH 429: Protein Structure and Biophysics
2 Credit(s)

The course provides students with an overview of the organisation of protein structure; primary, secondary (alpha helices and beta sheets, turns, loops, paper clips) tertiary, quaternary, the concept of motif and domains and protein function. Emphasis is given to the determination of protein structure and conformational changes by UV/VIS, Infrared, fluorescence, CD, DLS, NMR, X-ray crystallography, calorimetry, microscopy and the use of Ramanchandran plot for quantification of alpha and beta elements. The use of myoglobin and haemoglobin to illustrate the phenomenon of protein-ligand binding and in models to explain allosteric interactions and the Bohrs’ effects will also be discussed. 

BCH 431: Food Biochemistry
2 Credit(s)

The course focuses on the biochemical characteristics and functions of plant pigments, carotenoids, xantophylls, flavonol and their derivatives in raw and processed foods. Emphasis is given to enzymes and their applications in food; non-enzymatic browning; the chemistry of carbohydrate, protein, lipid and vitamins. There is also hands-on experience with timely, practical projects on current trends in food biochemistry.

BCH 435: Insect Biochemistry
2 Credit(s)

The course is designed to present the organisation of insect systems and metabolic processes. Topics include biochemical molecules and processes specific to insects, such as nature of insect fuel: metabolism; synthesis, storage, mobilisation, transport and utilisation in flight. There will also be discussion on the biochemistry of exoskeleton and regulation of metamorphosis; insect hormones affecting growth and development; insecticides and their modes of action; insecticidal proteins, biopesticide and mechanisms of insecticide resistance. Current trends in the application of molecular tools for the detection of resistance development in insects and approaches to insect control will be examined.

BIO 401: Entrepreneurship and Business Development
3 Credit(s)

The course exposes students to the philosophy and concept of entrepreneurship and the characteristics of an entrepreneur. Students will be introduced to how ideas can be transformed into business ventures with case studies. Students will also be taught how to source for funds and tap into available technologies.

Second Semester

BCH 404: Plant Biochemistry
2 Credit(s)

The course covers the synthesis, storage and functional properties of the primary plant products. The focus is mainly on photosynthesis; the chloroplast structure, the light harvesting systems of Photosystem I & Photosystem II, cyclic and non-cyclic photophosphrylation for the synthesis of ATP and reducing equivalents, the fixation of carbon dioxide in the Calvin Benson cycle of Carbon-3 & Carbon-4 plants. Other topics include the role of RUBISCO in Calvin cycle, the regulation of sucrose and starch synthesis, the synthesis of structural molecules such as cellulose, hemicelluloses, pectins and lipids, glucose synthesis and its effect on glycolysis, Krebs cycle and gluconeogenesis in plant. Mineral and nitrogen metabolism will also be discussed.

BCH 412: Methods in Tissue Culture
2 Credit(s)

Students are taught how to manage the laboratory work areas and equipment such as laminar flow hoods, CO2 incubators, microscopes, preservations and storage vessels. The course also emphasises on important aspects of culture practices including tissue culture laboratory management and safety; the sterilisation: of tools, vessels and chemicals. The handling of cultures: cell, tissue, and organ, types of cells grown in culture, media preparation for plant and animal cultures, tissue culture, exchange of germplasms. Importance of tissue culture in agriculture and medicine will be discussed.

BCH 422: Immunology and Immunochemistry
2 Credit(s)

The course teaches the principles and theories of self and non-self defence systems of higher organisms. Topics include structure and function of immunoglobulin, antibody production and diversity, polyclonal antibody production, production of monoclonal antibodies, current methodology for the development vaccines, cell-mediated immunity; tolerance. Immunopathology: hypersensitivity, immunodeficiency, autoimmunity, mechanisms of tissue rejection in transplantation, interferon.  Current developments in the methods of antigen-antibody characterization; western blotting and immunoassays for the detection and quantification of antigens and antibodies will be examined.

BCH 432: Xenobiotic Metabolism
2 Credit(s)

The course provides students with the understanding in xenobiotic metabolism with emphasis on factors that affect xenobiotic metabolism: chemical reactivity, uptake, distribution, activation, conjugation, and excretion of xenobiotics. Metabolic enzymes: cytochrome P-450, microsomal flavin-containing monooxygenases, prostaglandin synthetase, reduction enzymes, epoxide hydrolase and conjugating enzymes are treated. Their role in metabolic activation of carcinogenesis, mutagenesis, teratogenesis, pulmonary, hepatic and renal disease will be examined. 

BCH 434: Mechanisms of Enzyme Action and Catalysis
2 Credit(s)

The course introduces students to enzyme specificity, stereo- and geometric factors that contribute to enzyme catalysis; general acid-base catalysis and covalent catalysis. Catalysis by coenzymes; pyridoxal phosphate, thiamine pyrophosphate, ATP, coenzyme A, NAD(P)+ , FAD/FMN are also treated.  These will be illustrated using the structure and mechanism of action of selected enzymes such as dehydrogenases, proteases, ribonuclease, lysozyme, and glycolytic enzymes such as phosphofructokinase (PFK). 

BCH 438: Principles of Biochemical Engineering
2 Credit(s)

The course is interdisciplinary and designed to introduce students into the use of engineering principles to analyze design and develop processes using biocatalyst. Topics include enzyme and microbial kinetics, thermodynamics, bioreactors, bioreactor design, the operation aspects of bioreactors from upstream to downstream and the other units of operation. Bioprocesses covered in the course include those involved in the formation of desirable compounds and products or in transformation, or destruction of unwanted toxic substances.

BCH 439: Food processing and preservation
2 Credit(s)

BCH 443: Food Processing and Preservation
2 Credit(s)

This course covers the biochemical principles underlying the traditional and modern preservation methods of food (plants and animals) such as smoking and salting animal product processing - milk and dairy products (cheese, yoghurt, ice cream) egg and egg product, fish processing, meat processing. Effects of processing and preparation methods on the nutrient content of foods. Methods of food packaging, economics of food processing, food additives, toxicants and food colour will also be discussed.

BCH 499: Project Work
3 Credit(s)

This entails a research project in any area of Biochemistry relevant to the goals of the Department. Projects will be undertaken by all students in the Final Year (Level 400), and will be supervised by a lecturer (not necessarily from the Department). Students can choose their research topics from list of topics offered by the department in areas such as Cellular / Biomolecular, Biochemical Toxicology, Clinical Biochemistry and Food Science/Technology/Nutrition. Experimental work is preceded by proposal writing and presentation. Students will be expected to carry out an independent study of their research topics, which will be written and submitted at the end of the second semester.