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The University of Southampton

BIOL6027 Regulation of Gene Expression

Module Overview

To provide an understanding of i) the regulation of transcription in eukaryotic organisms; ii) post-transcriptional regulation; iii) the structure, formation and function of microRNAs; iv) how the process of translation is controlled.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Explain the mechanism by which transcription is initiated in eukaryotic cells
  • Illustrate methods to identify key regulatory elements within a eukaryotic promoter
  • Explain how transcriptional control is achieved through alterations in chromatin structure and methylation
  • Outline the mechanisms by which post-transcriptional control is achieved.
  • Explain the structure, formation and function of microRNAs
  • Outline the mechanisms and factors that control the process of translation.
  • An ability to critically evaluate and discuss original research articles in the area of gene regulation 


This module covers the structure and expression of genetic material in eukaryotic cells. Regulation of eukaryotic gene expression will be discussed. Selected examples where gene expression has been disrupted will also be covered; this will include the study of transcription factors as oncogenes and tumour suppressor genes. . In subsequent lectures the role of microRNAs in gene regulation and disease will be discussed, together with the factors and mechanisms that control the process of translation.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

This course comprises i) Lectures and feedback/revision seminars. (For each section of the course the student is given a comprehensive reading list of recent research and review papers). ii) A critical evaluation (2000 words) and oral presentation on an agreed research article from the current literature related to this topic. iii) A written 2 hour examination

Independent Study126
Total study time150



MethodPercentage contribution
Literature review with presentation  (2000 words) 35%
Written assessment 65%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 35%
Written assessment 65%

Linked modules

(BIOL2010 and BIOL2011) or MEDI6221

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