module specification

BM7051 - Clinical Biochemistry (2022/23)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2022/23
Module title Clinical Biochemistry
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 200
156 hours Guided independent study
44 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Practical report (1000 words)
Coursework 50%   Written report (1500 words)
Running in 2022/23

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

Module summary

This module provides a review of the principles and practice of clinical biochemistry. It draws student’s attention to evolving technologies and expands understanding of biochemical analysis, metabolism and physiology to those situations commonly encountered in the clinical chemistry laboratory. The aims of this module are to provide a critical review of the principles and practice of clinical biochemistry, to draw students attention to evolving technologies and to expand understanding of biochemical analysis, metabolism and physiology to those situations encountered in the clinical chemistry laboratory. The students will be able to demonstrate how these principles are applied to contemporary clinical and laboratory practice both for service provision and research and able to examine the evidence for use, and limitations of, the common procedures used in the diagnosis and management of patients and donors. It will also enable them to outline the principles of quality management and the principles of health and safety management relating to clinical biochemistry.


Includes the scope and potential of clinical biochemistry. Sampling, storage and safety with particular reference to whole blood, lipaemic and icteric plasma and urine samples.
Methodology and instrumentation. Comparison of the principles and applications of manual and automated (process control) methods - immunoanalysers, multi-channel and centrifugal analysers. NPT. Calibration, quality control, definitive and reference methods.
Metabolic investigations: biochemical abnormalities in fat, carbohydrate and protein metabolism in disease. Qualitative and quantitative determination of body fluid components by enzymatic (both end point and kinetic), immunochemical (e.g. ELISA, EMIT) and chemical techniques.
Organ specific investigations. The principles and use of organ function tests e.g. liver (plasma proteins, bilirubin); thyroid (T3 and T4); GI tract (Schilling test, fat absorption). Enzyme diagnostics and isoenzymes (transaminases, LDH, CK). Tumour marker assays.
Applications of molecular biology techniques with particular reference to prenatal diagnosis.
Regulation and control of laboratory procedures linked to clinical biochemistry.

LO 1-4

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Students' receive 44 hours of instruction time which includes lectures, 2 assessed tests, 4 practical sessions, researching exercises and interactive discussion sessions, a quiz and presentation session. Including the research report, researching and preparation time will give 200 hours student learning time in total.
Students' knowledge and understanding of clinical biochemistry will be developed through a programme of lectures and supporting exercises, together with the guided use of student centred learning resources. Lectures will be used to provide a conceptual framework. Student centred assignments; including the a research report assignment will enable students to reinforce and expand their knowledge and develop subject skills and competence.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module the student should be able to:
1. Critically review published papers, summarising and analysing the findings relating to clinical biochemistry
2. Demonstrate a deep understanding of the principles and practice of clinical biochemistry and demonstrate an in depth understanding of the research interface; evaluate and critically compare the impact of molecular biology techniques in clinical diagnosis.
3. Demonstrate a thorough theoretical understanding of, and practical competence in, a range of appropriate laboratory techniques and complete clinical biochemical analyses with due attention to Quality Control.
4. Critically evaluate and present in information on an appropriate issue utilising primary sources.

Assessment strategy

The module will be summatively assessed by means of a practical report (50% of the overall mark) and a written report (50% of the overall mark).
To pass the module students need to achieve a minimum aggregate mark of 50%. There is an attendance requirement for the practical sessions: without satisfactory attendance students will not be able to develop competency skills and may fail the module.

Component                Learning outcomes
Practical Report         2, 3, 4
Report                       1, 2, 3, 4,



Ahmed N. Clinical Biochemistry (Fundamentals of Biomedical Science) (2016). OUP
Burtis, C.A., Ashwood, E.R. and Bruns, D.E. (2007) Tietz Fundamentals of Clinical Chemistry 6th Edition Saunders
Gaw, A. and Cowan, R. A. et al. (2013). Clinical Biochemistry (An Illustrated Colour Text) 5th edition. Churchill Livingstone.