module specification

CH6061 - Advanced Bioanalytical Science (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Advanced Bioanalytical Science
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 144
44 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
100 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 30%   Practical Report (1000 words)
In-Course Test 20%   Time-constrained problem solving exercise (700 words)
Unseen Examination 50%   Unseen Examination (90 mins)
Attendance Requirement 0%   Practical Attendance
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Friday Morning

Module summary

This module will review advanced bioanalytical techniques, including hybrid techniques, used in the analysis, detection and quantification of molecules in biological and other relevant systems.

Prior learning requirements

CH5007 Bioanalytical Science, or BS5051SU  Fundamentals of Bioanalytical Science

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 develop students’ understanding of advanced bioanalytical techniques and to enable students to determine which analytical technique is suitable for a particular type of sample.  The module will reinforce and build on analysis skills introduced in CH5007 and provide an opportunity for students to interpret more advanced data, particularly spectra and chromatograms and to solve defined problems.  The students will gain practical experience in selected analytical techniques.

This module aims to provide students with the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of initiative and personal responsibility and decision-making in complex and unpredictable contexts.  The module should also help students to gain the learning ability needed to undertake appropriate further training of a professional or equivalent nature.


Development and application of modern analytical instrumentation. 

Validation of analytical measurements. Quality assurance, quality control and SOPs.

Chromatographic techniques not included in CH5007: size exclusion chromatography, affinity chromatography and ion exchange chromatography.

Atomic spectroscopy. Instrumentation and applications. Atomic absorption spectroscopy: hollow cathode lamps; pneumatic nebulisers; the air-acetylene flame as an atom cell for atomic absorption. Inductively coupled plasma (ICP), arcs, sparks and other discharges as atom cells. X-ray techniques including x-ray fluorescence.

Hybrid techniques: Gas chromatography with mass spectrometric detection (GC-MS), liquid chromatography with mass spectrometric detection (LC-MS), inductively coupled plasma with mass spectrometric detection (ICP-MS).
Applications to include metal analysis by ICP-MS; selective and sensitive detection of analytes using GC-FTIR.

Mass spectrometry: electron impact ionisation fragmentation patterns and their use in structural elucidation of a molecule.  Proteomics and metabolomics; analysis using LC-MS; to include a case study on the detection of phytoestrogens in urine.

Methods for the detection of drugs of abuse using amphetamines as an example: to include fluorescence polarisation immunoassay (FPIA) and identification of amphetamines by mass spectrometry.

Biosensors with a focus on the development of the glucose biosensor and future development of implantable biosensors.

Raman spectroscopy: Mechanism of generation of Raman spectra, comparison of Raman and IR data.


To reinforce and develop analysis skills introduced in MP501, there will be an emphasis on analysis of data: HPLC chromatograms, including trouble shooting – how to achieve good separation on HPLC; GC-MS data; LC-MS spectra; NMR spectra.

Learning and teaching

Students will be allowed the opportunity to acquire knowledge of the subject material through teacher-led activities in the form of lectures (26 hours) and tutorials (10 hours) and practicals (8 hours). This will be supported by the use of directed reading and the provision of web-based material (100 hours). Students' abilities to seek, handle and interpret information will be developed through tutorial exercises. Students' abilities to think critically and produce solutions will be developed through the presentation of a practical laboratory report and data evaluation exercises encountered in tutorials. Students will be expected to reflect on taught material in order to demonstrate their understanding of the principles and practices of modern bioanalytical techniques.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, a student will be able to:
1. Critically evaluate the principles and practice of selected bioanalytical techniques;
2.  Discuss critically the impact of these techniques in the analysis of a variety of different sample matrices;
3.  Evaluate and interpret HPLC chromatograms and GC-MS data;
4.  Complete analyses with due attention to quality control, evaluate the data obtained and communicate results effectively.

Assessment strategy

The module will be assessed by a time-constrained progress test and an examination, and a practical report.  The progress test will provide both formative and summative assessment, the examination summative assessment alone.

The students’ abilities to interpret information, to think critically and then to present solutions will be assessed by a time-constrained progress test (20%).  This will be in the form of a seen research article or set of data (e.g. HPLC chromatograms; GC-MS data; NMR spectra) on which the students will be required to answer unseen questions.

A full written practical report (30%) will assess the students’ abilities to carry out an analysis, acquire data and interpret their own and fellow students’ data and evaluate the suitability of the analytical technique employed.

An end-of-module examination (50%) will assess the students' critical analysis of the subject material and their ability to communicate this in written form.

In order to pass this module, students must achieve a minimum aggregate pass 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
Practical report 1, 4
Time-constrained progress test 2, 3
Unseen exam 1, 2, 4



Anderson, R.J., Bendell, D.J. and Groundwater, P.W. (2004) Organic Spectroscopic Analysis, Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, UK

Harris, D C. (2010) Quantitative Chemical Analysis, 8th edition, W H Freeman and Co.,  New York, USA

Skoog, D.A., Crouch, S.R., and Holler, F.J.  (2006) Principles of Instrumental Analysis, 6th edition, Brooks/Cole, USA

Williams, D. and Fleming, I. (2008) Spectroscopic Methods in Organic Chemistry, 6th edition, McGraw-Hill Higher Education, Maidenhead, UK.