module specification

CH5007 - Bioanalytical Science (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Bioanalytical Science
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 300
87 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
213 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
In-Course Test 10%   Progress Test 1 (30 mins)
Coursework 15%   Practical Report (1500 words)
In-Course Test 25%   Progress Test 2 (1 hour)
In-Course Test 10%   Interpretation exercises (750 words)
Coursework 10% 40 Personal Development profile (750 words) 40% needed on this component
Unseen Examination 30%   Unseen Examination (1 1/2 hours)
Attendance Requirement 0%   Practical Attendance
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Wednesday Afternoon

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

CH4001 Laboratory Science and CH4002 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.

This module aims to provide students with the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of personal responsibility and decision-making.


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. Qualitative analysis of materials: infrared spectroscopy, 1H and 13C nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, mass spectrometry.

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).

Imunoassay techniques: radioimmunoassay, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, competitive immunoassay.

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 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 linked to the practicals are used to place the analyses in context.

Lectures are used to introduce the basic concepts of analysis. 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 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.

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 .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.

Students’ study responsibilities are articulated in the FLS Staff/Student Agreement which is available on the Faculty website.

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. use spectroscopic data to predict the chemical structure of a compound
6. evaluate any errors arising from a determination and assess the reliability of the results obtained.
7. Use the preparation of a portfolio to reflect on their employability and personal development

Assessment strategy

 The module will be assessed by a mix of time-constrained assessments of varying length, a practical report and data interpretation exercises

There will be two short-answer progress tests one of 30 min duration  (10%) - 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 of 1 h duration (25%) 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 both summative and formative assessment.

A practical report on spectroscopic analysis (15%) will be submitted to assess the ability to acquire, manipulate and interpret experimental data. This element will provide both summative and formative assessment.

The qualitative spectroscopy will be assessed by a series of time-constrained interpretation exercises involving the use of IR, MS and NMR spectra to predict the chemical structure of unknown compounds. (10%) This will provide both formative and summative feedback.

The principal summative component will be the end-of-module exam (1 1/2 h, 30%) which will provide assessment of the ability to describe relevant analytical methods accurately, perform appropriate calculations, draw appropriate conclusions from data and communicate this clearly. This assessment will focus on material presented from week 15 onwards.

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
1. Progress Test 1 1, 2, 4
2. Practical Report 2, 4, 6
3. Progress Test 2 1,2, 3, 4
4. Spectroscopic assignments 3, 5
5. Personal Profile 7
6. Exam 2, 3, 4, 5, 6



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. (2006) Principles of Instrumental Analysis,6th Edn , Brooks/Cole

Williams, DH., and Fleming, I. (2007) Spectroscopic Methods in Organic Chemistry, 6th Edn, Magraw Hill  

Plus on-line material, see the WebLearn site for details.