module specification

BM7103 - Introduction to Clinical Biochemistry (2022/23)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2022/23
Module title Introduction to Clinical Biochemistry
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 10
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 100
0 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
100 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
In-Course Test 20%   Online Quizzes
Coursework 30%   Reflective Learning Log -PLL (1000 words)
Coursework 50%   Written Assignment - ECA (1000 words)
Running in 2022/23

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year LMET Distance Learning Not applicable -

Module summary

This module provides experience, knowledge and understanding of the principles and practice of clinical biochemistry. It explores the rationale for laboratory testing in routine and specialised investigations, the methodologies used and quality assurance.

Prior learning requirements



The scope and potential of Clinical Biochemistry. Sampling, storage and safety with particular reference to whole blood; lipaemic and icteric plasma (or serum) and urine samples.
Methodology and instrumentation: qualitative and quantitative determination of analytes by enzymatic, immunochemical and chemical techniques; manual and automated (process control) methods. Near Patient Testing. Internal and external quality control. Definitive and reference methods. Reference ranges and interpretation of results.
Core investigations: Routine and emerging diagnostics. Biochemical profiles. Electrolyte homeostasis and acid-base balance. Plasma proteins and trauma. Enzymes, isoenzymes and isoforms. Diabetes mellitus. Principles and use of organ function tests e.g. GI tract and liver, renal. Endocrine function e.g. pituitary, thyroid, adrenal.
Selected special investigations: e.g. the cancer patient and tumour marker assays; the alcoholic

Learning Outcomes LO1 - 4

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Information pertaining to the subject matter will be presented through an integrated programme of lectures and supporting exercises, together with some use of a problem-based learning approach and the guided use of student-centred learning resources.  Lectures will be used to provide a conceptual framework.  Student centred assignments will enable students to reinforce and expand their knowledge, and develop subject specific skills and competence.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course students will be able to:
1. Demonstrate an understanding of the principles and practice of chemical pathology through completion of the quizzes
2. Execute specified analyses with due attention to QC, evaluate obtained and researched experimental data and communicate conclusions effectively
3. Communicate information, ideas, problems and solutions to both specialist and non-specialist audiences.
4. Produce reasoned discourse on a topical issue and show an awareness of the research interface and developing technologies

Assessment strategy

The module will be formatively assessed by in-course online quizzes and two coursework components. A reflective learning log (1000 words) and a written assignment (1000 words). Criteria for assessment will include an understanding of the subject matter; an ability, both orally and written, to explain, describe and discuss the work; completeness and conciseness of written reports and essays with emphasis upon critical ability and scientific rigour. To pass the module students need to achieve a minimum aggregate mark of 50%. There are no practical sessions.

Component                 Learning outcomes
Quizzes                                   1,3
Reflective learning log             2,4
Written assignment                  2,4


Ahmed N (2016) Clinical Biochemistry.(Fundamentals of Biomedical Science) OUP
Hughes J, Jefferson JA. (2008) Clinical Chemistry made easy. Churchill Livingstone.
Murphy M, Srivastava R (2018) Clinical Biochemistry (An Illustrated Colour Text) 6th Ed. Churchill Livingstone.
Kumar V, Abbas AK, (2014) Robbins and Cotran Pathologic Basis of Disease 9th Ed. Elsevier Saunders.