Module code: BMS1054

Module Overview

This module will introduce the students to the fundamental biochemistry of life and will provide students with an
understanding of the biological molecules, which will inform their studies throughout their degree programmes. Students
will experience a combination of taught lectures, guided seminars and workshops and practical classes to enhance their
learning experience and provide them with the maximum opportunity for success and personal development.

Module provider

School of Biosciences and Medicine

Module Leader

TRINDER Sarah (Biosc & Med)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 4

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Workshop Hours: 1

Independent Learning Hours: 96

Lecture Hours: 39

Laboratory Hours: 14

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

Essential Skills
Laboratory skills – liquid handling (pipettes), spectrophotometry, protein assay, titration and two from extracting caffeine from tea, aspirin synthesis, assessment of vitamin C degradation over time.
Laboratory mathematics – e.g but not limited to, concentration, dilution, moles and molarity, basic statistics, Units
in chemistry and biochemistry
Writing skills – formative development of writing skills with a view to supporting the students in future modules.

Subject Knowledge
The chemistry of water and pH

The structures and functions of
The amino acids
Lipids and hydrophobic molecules

Taught material for each of these groups of molecules will contain the relevant chemical concepts and may include:
UV-Vis & fluorescence spectrometry
Water - the solvent of life
Intra-molecular interactions
Bonding, electrons and molecules
Acids & bases, pH, buffers
Carbon – the basis of biological life
Reactivity of biological molecules
Reaction kinetics & energy

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting

Alternative Assessment

Students will be provided data to complete the necessary evaluative elements of practical classes.

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate a confidence in expressing how the chemical nature of a molecule influences the biological behaviour. To demonstrate confidence with mathematics in a laboratory setting. To express confidence in laboratory mathematics and statistics.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

Practical reports consisting of elements from all practical classes within the module.

One multiple choice exam with elements from all taught components of the module (1 hour in length).

Formative assessment

Mutiple choice questions associated with each practical class.

Regular use of Kahoot/Poll Everywhere to assess student understanding of the material.

Face to face contact with staff during practicals and workshops to provide verbal feedback.


Feedback to the students will be provided instantly after online MCQ formative assessments, during workshops and practical session in the form of verbal feedback, and during lecture classes where the class as a whole can receive feedback on formative work. Summative feedback will be provided on the students’ practical submission, although this will not come until the end of the module for logistical reasons.

Module aims

  • Enhance and develop practical laboratory skills and provide students the confidence to undertake practical work in
    future modules.
  • Provide a solid knowedge base from which the students can describe and explain the properties of biological
    molecules and identify their roles within a functioning organism.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Laboratory skills: To identify and competently use basic laboratory equipment in Chemistry & Biochemistry and to do so with sufficient accuracy that they generate repeatable and consistent laboratory data. CKPT
002 Laboratory skills: To use essential calculations within the laboratory during experiments and to evaluate and analyse chemical and biochemical experimental data from the laboratory. CKPT
003 Amino acids: To identify the chemical characteristics of the amino acids and to use this information to explain the four levels of structure within proteins. CK
004 Lipids: To identify different types of structural and energy storage lipid molecules and apply the chemical behaviour of the each to explain the functions of the lipid. CK
005 Water: To identify the role of the chemistry of water in determining the pH of a physiological system and hence the biological function of all biological molecules. CK
006 Chemistry: To evaluate the impact of electron structure and atomic properties on the formation and physical properties of organic molecules. CK
007 Chemistry: To explain the energy flow in a chemical reaction with reference to thermodynamic principles and concepts. CK
008 Biodiversity: To evaluate the impact of biochemistry on biodiversity. KCPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:
Develop a confident understanding of the molecular basis of biology; encourage proactive, interactive and enthusiastic
learning; develop and enhance confidence in students’ practical skills; develop and enhance skills within numeracy and
written communication.

The learning and teaching methods include:
Lecture classes
Practical classes
Small group workshops

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: BMS1054

Other information


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Biochemistry BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Biochemistry MSci (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2019/0 academic year.