Course specification and structure
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UDHMDSCI - BSc Herbal Medicinal Science (Top-Up)

Course Specification


Validation status Validated
Highest award Bachelor of Science Level Honours
Possible interim awards Bachelor of Science, Diploma of Higher Education, Certificate of Higher Education, Bachelor of Science
Total credits for course 360
Awarding institution London Metropolitan University
Teaching institutions London Metropolitan University
School School of Human Sciences
Subject Area Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Attendance options
Option Minimum duration Maximum duration
Full-time 1 YEARS  
Part-time 2 YEARS  
Course leader Donovan Green

About the course and its strategy towards teaching and learning and towards blended learning/e-learning

The programme is direct entry to Level 6 only, for SUTCM (Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine) students.

The Herbal Medicinal Science pathway is intended to integrate the fundamentals of chemistry and the biological sciences as related to biologically active plant materials. It aims to produce graduates with the ability to isolate, evaluate and use molecules derived from multi-constituent preparations. These molecules are used to accomplish specific diagnostic and curative tasks, and can be elaborated for medical use. The pathway is also intended to develop analytical strategies for measuring appropriate parameters for a wide range of applications in the characterisation of individual molecules and of complex systems. The material will be delivered by a range of mechanisms designed to allow the student to maximise the use of their preferred learning style (traditional lecture/tutorial sessions, guided independent learning, use of IT-based material such as VLOs, peer-assisted sessions).

Utilisation of the University’s VLE, WebLearn has become an invaluable tool with which to disseminate information and to support and assess student learning. Online progress tests will be used to provide students with feedback on their progress. Exams in several modules are delivered as online exams.

Feedback will be delivered online and through provision of tutorial questions and answer sessions and other formative exercises.

Practical skills exercises are used to monitor proficiency at experimental work. Assessment of Data handling skills are embedded in practical reports, problem solving exercises, information abstracting and reviewing exercises, poster presentations and seminar presentations.

The level 6 Project provides the ultimate measure of experimental and other practical skills. The excellent Science Centre also provides an unrivalled facility in which to carry out the level 6 Project module. BSc Project assessment will culminate in the presentation of a dissertation and a viva exam, designed to allow the student to demonstrate their depth of knowledge and understanding.

Students have access to the Learning Centre situated on the North campus. This has recently been comprehensively refurbished. It provides specific group study areas as well as access to a comprehensive and regularly reviewed range of textbooks, journals and online learning resources. In addition, there are newly fitted ‘all access’ areas on the ground floor of the Tower building and the green lounge in Benwell Road. These areas come with comfortable seating and IT facilities.

Course aims

In broad terms, the aims of the single honours Herbal Medicinal Science course would be to produce graduates capable of articulating to a number of scientific opportunities. To that end the course aims to establish the fundamental chemical principles underpinning this area of study. This programme will provide students with the knowledge of the key analytical techniques available for the separation, purification and identification of chemical components in plants. Students will be exposed to a range of scientific techniques to examine problems of a chemical and biological nature and learn how to apply the principles of critical analysis, to enable evaluation of data against quantifiable and verifiable scientific principles. The programme will develop understanding of the scope and limitations of the use of herbal extracts for the treatment of selected illnesses.

More generally, the course aims to develop an awareness of the ethical implications of modern scientific work and develop skills of self-evaluation and analysis to enhance career development.

Students will be encouraged to engage meaningfully with personal development planning (PDP), to enable them to reflect on, plan and review their own personal and academic skills. PDP will enable students to develop well supported claims to achievements and be able to articulate these to others and the University will enable students to recognise and record their achievements.

Course learning outcomes

On the BSc Herbal Medicinal Science, the QAA outcomes for Chemistry have been referred to generate the generic area(s) for each specific outcome.

By the end of the course the student is expected to have developed:

  1. a knowledge and understanding of the chemical properties of elements and compounds, critically analyse how they react and interact and a knowledge and understanding of fundamental biochemical reactions;
  2. an knowledge and understanding of the chemistry underpinning the design and mode of action of therapeutical agents derived from plants and of the delivery systems for such agents;
  3. a knowledge and understanding of analytical techniques for determination of the structure of a compound and/or the amount present in a specified sample;
  4. the practical skills necessary to safely carry out specified experiments and the analytical skills to interpret results obtained from experimental work and draw appropriate conclusions as to requirements for future work;
  5. a knowledge of the chemistry, pharmacology and analytical science of plant-derived drugs using leading edge technology as found in modern herbal medicinal science.
  6. analyse different situations and problems showing a high level of understanding and reasoning and providing their own interpretation of information;
  7. provide a realistic assessment of their own level of achievement and devise strategies for ensure their personal development is fitted to their career goals.
  8. communicate a subject clearly and accurately orally, and in a variety of forms of written English;
  9. employ a full range of investigative skills which can be applied to any set task; [
  10. use analytical and reviewing skills in order to produce accurate summaries based on a body of literature.

Course learning outcomes / Module cross reference

1. a knowledge and understanding of the physical and chemical properties of elements and compounds and the ability to analyse critically how they react and interact on a molecular basis, and a knowledge and understanding of biochemical reactions:

BS4005SU, BS5051SU, CH5058SU, AS6057,
CH6009, CH6061, CH6P01

2. a knowledge and understanding of the chemistry underpinning the design and mode of action of therapeutical agents and of the delivery systems for such agents and design appropriate delivery systems for selected agents:

BS4005SU, BS5051SU, CH5058SU, CH6009,
CH6061, CH6P01

3. a knowledge and understanding of analytical techniques and the ability to apply these techniques in the determination of the structure of a compound and/or the composition of a specified sample:

BS5051SU, CH5058SU, CH6009, CH6061,
CH6P01

4. the practical skills necessary to safely carry out experiments such as might be required of a competent professional herbal medicinal scientist viz the ability to devise and carry out reactions to synthesise specified compounds and to identify and perform the analytical measurements needed to characterise multicomponent systems:

BS4005SU, BS5051SU, CH5058SU, CH6009,
CH6061, CH6P01

5. a knowledge and understanding of the diverse modern industrial applications of herbal medicinal science and of the role of the herbal medicinal scientist in Industry:

BS4005SU, BS5051SU, CH5058SU, AS6057,
CH6009, CH6061, CH6P01

6. an understanding of the application of mathematical systems to model the behaviour
of chemical systems and the ability to employ these to solve specific problems:

BS4005SU, BS5051SU, CH5058SU, AS6057,
CH6009, CH6061, CH6P01

7. the ability to analyse different situations and devise approaches to solving problems
showing a high level of understanding and reasoning and providing their own interpretation of information:

BS4005SU, BS5051SU, CH5058SU, AS6057,
CH6009, CH6061, CH6P01

8. the skills necessary to provide a realistic assessment of their own level of achievement and devise strategies for ensure their personal development is fitted to their career goals:

BS4005SU, BS5051SU, CH6P01

9. the ability to communicate a subject clearly and accurately orally, and in a variety of forms of written English:

BS4005SU, BS5051SU, CH5058SU, AS6057,
CH6009, CH6061, CH6P01

10. the ability to employ a full range of investigative skills which can be applied to any set task; use analytical and reviewing skills in order to produce accurate summaries based on a body of literature:

BS4005SU, BS5051SU, CH5058SU, AS6057,
CH6009, CH6061, CH6P01

Principle QAA benchmark statements

No explicit statement exists for Herbal Medicinal Science. Chemistry content would relate to QAA threshold statements.

Assessment strategy

Students are assessed through a variety of methods including problem solving exercises, in-class test, data analysis, practical reports, case studies, oral presentations, extended essays, examinations, research project interim report, oral examination and dissertation.

Practical skills are summatively assessed through coursework assignments, including those in the project module. Data handling skills are summatively assessed by practical reports, problem solving exercises, oral presentations and examinations.

Formative assessments include group activities in tutorial classes, mini-tests and project workshops.

Course specific regulations

If attendance falls below 75% on a module, reassessment opportunities will not be available and instead the module will have to be retaken the following year with attendance and payment of fees. Mitigating circumstances cannot be claimed for missed classes; however Module Leaders will take account of absences that are a consequence of recorded disability or otherwise recorded as 'Authorised Absence' when applying the 75% threshold.

Professional Statutory and Regulatory Body (PSRB) accreditations & exemptions

On graduation, you'll be eligible to apply for Associate Membership of the Royal Society of Chemistry (AMRSC).

Career opportunities

On graduating, you'll be well equipped to pursue a career in herbal medicinal product development, quality control and assurance work.

You'll find career opportunities throughout the science-based industries, particularly the pharmaceutical, natural product, biotechnology, food and agricultural sectors.

The programme is also excellent preparation for advanced postgraduate study.

Entry requirements

In addition to meeting the University’s standard entry requirements, Government quota and non-quota students get on to the programme through the Chinese University Matriculation exams:

  • this programme is only available for Shanghai students studying on the BSc (Hons) Chinese Medicinal Science / BSc (Hons) Herbal Medicinal Science (Dual Award), which is delivered by us in collaboration with Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine (SUTCM)
  • no other students are eligible for this programme, and therefore will not be offered to UK/EU or other candidates

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa may need to provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

Official use and codes

Approved to run from 2013/14 Specification version 1 Specification status Validated
Original validation date 10 Sep 2013 Last validation date 10 Sep 2013  
Sources of funding HE FUNDING COUNCIL FOR ENGLAND
JACS codes B342 (Herbalism): 100%
Route code HMDSCI

Course Structure

Stage 1 Level 06 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
AS6057 Toxicology Core 15        
BS5051 Fundamentals of Bioanalytical Science Core 15        
CH5058 Synthetic Techniques for Herbal Medicinal Science Core 15        
CH6009 Natural Products and Medicinal Chemistry Core 30        
CH6061 Advanced Bioanalytical Science Core 15        
CH6P01 Research Project (for Molecular and Pharmaceuti... Core 30        

Stage 1 Level 06 January start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
AS6057 Toxicology Core 15        
BS5051 Fundamentals of Bioanalytical Science Core 15        
CH5058 Synthetic Techniques for Herbal Medicinal Science Core 15        
CH6009 Natural Products and Medicinal Chemistry Core 30        
CH6061 Advanced Bioanalytical Science Core 15        
CH6P01 Research Project (for Molecular and Pharmaceuti... Core 30