module specification

BS5051 - Fundamentals of Bioanalytical Science (2018/19)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2018/19
Module status DELETED (This module is no longer running)
Module title Fundamentals of Bioanalytical Science
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 150
106 hours Guided independent study
44 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
In-Course Test 20%   Progress Test 1 (30 mins)
Coursework 50%   Practical Report (1500 words)
Unseen Examination 30%   Progress Test 2 (1 hour)
Attendance Requirement 0%   Practical Attendance
Running in 2018/19

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
No instances running in the year

Module summary

This module will survey the fundamentals of analysis of simple molecules in biological and other relevant systems. Modern instrumental methods will be reviewed and practical experience given.

Prior learning requirements

BS4001 Laboratory Science andCH4002 Chemistry and Biochemistry or equivalent

Module aims

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 practical work and structured examples, it will give students experience of 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.


Principles and terminology of analysis: qualitative and quantitative techniques, absolute and empirical methods, sampling, sample treatments, standards, calibration techniques.
Spectroscopic methods: Solution spectrophotometry - instrumentation and applications; light sources; monochromators and filters; photodetectors; the Beer-Lambert Law: Quantitative analysis of solutions in the UV/Visible; quantitation in the infrared; fluorescence and phosphorescence.
Separation Methods:  analytical and preparative chromatographic techniques: theoretical models of chromatographic separation - Plate Theory, HETP, the van Deemter equation and modifications. Instrumentation for gas chromatography- injectors, column packings, detectors; quantitative applications. Instrumentation for High Performance Liquid Chromatography: pumps; sample introduction valves; column packing; broad band and specific detectors; quantitative applications. Recent developments in chromatographic systems - chiral chromatography, capillary chromatography, gel filtration.  Developments in Flow cytometry. Electrophoresis. Ultracentrifugation as a separation technique for fractionation of cells and lipoproteins
Electroanalytical techniques: potentiometric and conductimetric titrations; analytical potentiometry - the Nernst equation, electrodes of the first and second kinds, Ion-sensitive electrodes, membrane systems, pH electrodes, examples of cation and anion sensitive systems, enzyme sensors. brief description of diodes, transistors and field effect transitors (FETs), ion-sensitive FETs (ISFETs).

Learning and teaching

The module is delivered through a range of different mechanisms including practical work, tutorials, lectures, on-line material and directed course work.
Targeted practical sessions (12 h) are used to emphasise the need to record experimental data rapidly and accurately, 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 (10 h) linked to the practicals are used to place the analyses in context.
Lectures (20 h) are used to introduce the basic concepts of analysis. Theoretical and descriptive information is delivered by a mixture of lectures and tutorials.  Tutorial sessions (12 h) are either problem-directed, based on producing numerical solutions to specific data sets, or discussion-based, aimed at establishing the way in which analytical systems operate and the areas in which they are used.  Students will be expected to prepare for tutorial sessions by reviewing appropriate material and devoting sometime to problem-solving exercises (15 h).
The module is supported by a website on WebLearn which icludes a number of electronic learning aids. Students would be expected to use the site for assisted study (30 h).  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

  1. describe the steps involved in a chemical analysis
  2. outline the theoretical basis for selected analytical techniques and describe the instrumentation required
  3. use instrumental data to verify the presence of an analyte in a specified sample
  4. use instrumental data to calculate the concentration of analyte in a specified sample
  5. comment on any errors arising from a determination and give some indication of the reliability of the results obtained.

Assessment strategy

The module will be assessed by a two time-constrained assessments and a practical report .
There will be a short-answer progress tests  of 30 min duration  (30%) - this will assess the ability of students to perform appropriate calculations and to describe accurately the principles of the analytical methods and to assess understanding of the principles of chromatography.  This element will provide both summative and formative assessment. The second test, of 1 h duration (40%), will examine the students’ understanding of UV/Visible spectrometry and electrochemistry as well as their grasp of the principles of analysis and ability to use results to calculate levels of the analyte in samples appropriately. This element will provide summative assessment.
A practical report on spectroscopic analysis (30%) will be submitted to assess the ability to acquire, manipulate and interpret experimental data. This element will provide summative. Students will have the opportunity during lab sessions to gain feedback on their understanding of the material.
To pass the module, students need to achieve a minimum aggregate mark of 40%.  There will be an attendance requirement for the practical sessions. If the module is passed on reassessment, then the maximum mark awarded will be 40%

Assignment Learning Outcomes
Progress Test 1 1, 2, 4
Practical Report 2, 4, 5
Progress Test 2 1, 2, 3, 4



Anderson,RJ., Bendell, DJ.,  and Groundwater, PW.  (2004) Organic Spectroscopic Analysis, , RSC
Harris, DC. (2010) Quantitative Chemical Analysis, 8th Edn. Freeman
Holme, DJ., and Peck, H. (1998) Analytical Biochemistry, 3rd Edn., Longman
Skoog, DA., Crouch, SR., and Holler, FJ. (2007) Principles of Instrumental Analysis,6th Edn , Brooks/Cole
Williams, DH., and Fleming, I. (2008) Spectroscopic Methods in Organic Chemistry, 6th Edn, Magraw Hill  
Plus on-line material, see the WebLearn site for details.