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Principles of Protein Structure


Friday 07 October - Friday 16 December 2022, 7.30pm-9pm

6 sessions - Check class timetable


The 3D structure of a protein is important for understanding its function and for rational drug design. This online short course, Principles of Protein Structure, offers you a general overview of these structures and how they are built up from the amino acid sequences of the proteins.

You will be introduced to the visualisation and manipulation of protein structures using computer graphics and gain an understanding of how the structure of proteins involved in many key biological processes relates to their function in health and disease, including:

  • DNA expression
  • enzyme catalysis
  • oxygen transport
  • immune function.

Recent technical advances in structural biology mean more proteins and protein complexes are being determined at near atomic resolution and we are gaining a wider understanding of how proteins work at the molecular level. If you already have a general scientific training, then this course will give you an appreciation of these structures, how they are visualised on computers and how a protein’s structure relates to its function, mechanism and ultimately how these may be altered by drugs.

This postgraduate-level course is suitable for anyone wanting to understand the structural biology of proteins at a basic level, for example medicinal chemists, pharmacologists, biochemists, neuroscientists, molecular biologists, cell biologists and computational biologists, and for those aspiring to work in structural biology.

The course features a live online tutorial for each section. It is assessed by a 1.5-hour examination (66%) and regular coursework (34%).

30 credits at level 7

  • Entry requirements

    Entry requirements

    For this Principles of Protein Structure short course, we accept graduates in any scientific discipline, including computer science and psychology, who have, or are prepared to acquire in advance, a basic understanding of biochemistry.

    As part of the enrolment process, you may be required to submit a copy of a suitable form of ID.

    International students who wish to come to the UK to study a short course can apply for a Visitor visa. Please note that it is not possible to obtain a Student visa to study a short course.

  • How to apply

    How to apply

    You register directly onto the classes you would like to take. Classes are filled on a first-come, first-served basis - so apply early. If you wish to take more than one short course, you can select each one separately and then register onto them together via our online application portal. There is usually no formal selection process, although some modules may have prerequisites and/or other requirements, which will be specified where relevant.