module specification

BC5051 - Methods of Bioanalytical Analysis (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title Methods of Bioanalytical Analysis
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 150
111 hours Guided independent study
39 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Practical Report (1500 words)
Coursework 50%   Practical Report (1500 words)
Attendance Requirement 0%   Practical Attendance
Running in 2024/25

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Friday Afternoon

Module summary

This module will overview the bioanalytical analytical analysis methods commonly encountered within biomedical science supporting quantitative and qualitative analyse of biological and pharmacological agents and their metabolites. Modern instrumental methods will be reviewed and practical experience given. 
The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s, Framework for Higher Education Qualifications.
The module aims to introduce students to a range of techniques for determining the presence of an element or compound in a specified sample and the concentration at which it occurs and to describe the theoretical background and instrumental requirements for these techniques. Through extensive practical work and structured examples, it will give students experience of quality control, quality assurance, handling analytical results and assist students to develop practical skills in selected techniques and develop a feel for sample preparation, instrument calibration and other practical aspects of analysis.

Prior learning requirements



Principles and terminology of analysis: qualitative and quantitative techniques, absolute and empirical methods, sampling, sample treatments, standards, quality control, quality assessment and calibration techniques.
Spectroscopic methods: Solution spectrophotometry - instrumentation and applications; assess samples using appropriate light source and the principles behind choosing the correct source for a sample; Quantitative analysis of solutions in the UV/Visible; quantitation in the infrared; fluorescence and phosphorescence. (1-4)
Identification methods for RNA, DNA, Proteins and Gene manipulation.
Separation Methods: chromatographic separation - Plate Theory, HETP. Instrumentation for gas chromatography- injectors, column packings, detectors; quantitative applications. Instrumentation for High Performance Liquid Chromatography: theory and quantitative applications. Recent developments in chromatographic systems - chiral chromatography, capillary chromatography, gel filtration.  (1-3)
Developments in Flow cytometry. Ultracentrifugation as a separation technique for fractionation of cells and lipoproteins. ELISA methods for sample identification and quantification.
Electroanalytical techniques: electrophoretic separation of samples theory and practice
Ion-sensitive electrodes, membrane systems, pH electrodes, examples of cation and anion sensitive systems, enzyme sensors and their use in sample analysis (1-4)

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The module is delivered through a range of different mechanisms including introduction to techniques lecures, practical work, tutorials, on-line material and directed course work.
Targeted practical sessions are used to emphasise the need to record experimental data rapidly and accurately, verify quality via QA and QC processes, to produce results to deadline and to display material in clear and appropriate forms. Students will be expected to process and interpret results obtained from sessions.  Literature assignments linked to the practicals are used to place the analyses in context.
Lectures are used to introduce the basic concepts of analysis, backed up by practical application. Theoretical and descriptive information is delivered by a mixture of lectures and tutorials.  Tutorial sessions  are either problem-directed, based on producing numerical solutions to specific data sets, or interactive group problem solving, discussion-based, aimed at establishing the way in which analytical systems is suited to a sample.  Students will be expected to prepare for practical and tutorial sessions weekly by reviewing appropriate material and devoting sometime to problem-solving exercises.
The module is supported by a website on WebLearn which includes a number of electronic learning aids. Students would be expected to use the site for assisted study.  Profiling will be delivered via an on-line site. Students will use the study weeks to reflect on experience to date and prepare material for the portfolio.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
1. outline the theoretical basis for selected analytical techniques and describe the instrumentation required
2. describe the steps involved in a controlled biochemical analysis
3. identify any errors arising from a determination and evaluate the reliability of the results obtained.
4. use instrumental data to verify the presence or concentration of an analyte in a specified sample