FOUNDATION YEAR FOR BIOSCIENCES - 2020/1

Module code: BMS0005

Module Overview

This module provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate the knowledge, comprehension skills, practical skills, and reasoned judgements required to join level 4 study in the Bisociences.  Three strands of knowledge: Chemistry, Biology, and Physiology are taught at level 3, but with an emphasis on transition to the undergraduate style of learning.  Skills development is embedded throughout the strands and encourages students to take responsibility for their own learning.  The module will use a combination of teaching strategies that encompass cross discipline learning, reflection on outcomes, self-guided research, and traditional lecture teaching.  There will be synoptic assessment of the assimilation of knowledge and understanding across the main strands of study in the module. The chemistry and biology strands will be connected by shared topics of importance (i.e. buffers, acids, bases and enzymes).

Module provider

School of Biosciences and Medicine

Module Leader

HATCH Robert (Biosc & Med)

Number of Credits: 120

ECTS Credits: 60

Framework: FHEQ Level 3

JACs code: C100

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

Module Availability

Year long

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

N/A

Module content

The content for this module will build knowledge and understanding around the following areas in an integrated way:

Indicative content includes:

Biology components


  • Biological molecules

  • Enzymes and energetics

  • Biological membranes, transport, & buffers

  • Cell structure & signaling

  • Cell cycle, Mitosis & Meiosis

  • Cellular respiration & photosynthesis

  • Cell and tissue adaptation

  • DNA, genes, transcription & translation

  • Molecular biological techniques

  • The tree of life and taxonomy

  • Inheritance and genetics (Mendelian, population and disease)

  • Evolution, biodiversity and speciation

  • Ecology and the environment



Physiology components


  • Physiological principles

  • Neuroendocrine system

  • Gastrointestinal system

  • Cardiovascular & pulmonary system

  • Renal & hepatic systems

  • Skeletomuscular, the immune system and the special senses



Chemistry components


  • Atomic structure and notation

  • Electron orbitals and bonding

  • Amount of substance, moles and molarity

  • Acid alkali balance, buffers and indicators

  • Bonds and spectrophotometry

  • Rate equations and equilibria            

  • Periodicity                                          

  • Oxidation, reduction and redox

  • Organic chemistry (alkanes, alkenes, alcohols, aldehydes, ketones, carboxylic acids, aromatic compounds)     

  • Polymers        

  • Analytical Techniques



Core transferable skills


  • Professionalism, team working

  • Reflection, ePortfolio work

  • Engagement in feedback

  • How to make notes, understanding academic integrity, referencing

  • How to perform effective literature searches

  • What is the scientific method?           

  • How to read a science article

  • How to write academically

  • Presentation skills; how to communicate clearly (written and oral)

  • Arithmetic and numerical computation

  • Digital literacy

  • Data presentation, analysis and interpretation (including statistics)


Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Practical based assessment Practical series 1 experiment write-up semester 1 10
Practical based assessment Practical series 2 experiment write-up semester 2 including scientific abstract 10
Coursework Reflective ePortfolio 20
Examination End of semester 1, MCQ & SAQ exam totalling 3 hours 20
Coursework 3000 word research essay with poster presentation 20
Examination End of semester 2, MCQ & SAQ exam totalling 3 hours 20

Alternative Assessment

Alternative assessments for the practical write-ups: guided reading around the relevant theory will be provided along with indicative data for analysis and write-up for summative assessment.

Assessment Strategy

A range of formative and summative assessments will be set throughout the programme.

The module will be assessed using synoptic methods to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate learning across the subjects taught over the two semesters. 

The students will complete a reflective ePortfolio based around specially designed learning events that are developed over the 2 semesters and will demonstrate the imbedding of key experimental and analytical skills. All aspects of the ePortfolio must be completed, to include activities such as:-

experimental design; scientific report writing; abstract/poster presentation; plagiarism task; essay planning; numeracy.

Thus, the summative assessments for this module consists of:


  • 10%, Practical series 1 write-up in semester 1 (LO 1, 2, 3, 4, 11, 12)




  • 10%, Practical series 2 write-up in semester 2 including scientific abstract (LO 1, 2, 3, 4, 11, 12)

  • 20%, ePortfolio content (LO1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13)

  • 20%, Semester 1 multiple choice and short answer question exam -comprising two papers of 90 minutes each- to assess integration and application of subject knowledge to problem solving (LO 1, 5)

  • 20%, 3000 word research essay with poster presentation (LO 5, 6, 7, 14)

  • 20% Semester 2 multiple choice and short answer question exam -comprising two papers of 90 minutes each- to assess integration and application of subject knowledge to problem solving (LO 1, 5)



Formative assessment

Opportunities for formative assessments will be integrated throughout the programme to support the development of knowledge and understanding, intellectual and cognitive skills and practical skills.  There will be formative assessment with feedback prior to  each piece of summatively assessed course work (feed-forward).

Feedback

Continuous feedback strategies are built into the module to capture the students experiences and development of their:


  • Peer and tutor facilitated

  • Ability to articulate reflective practice through their writing

  • Reflect and discuss learning

  • Develop their interpersonal skills

  • Encourage engagement and communication skills


Module aims

  • Educate in the core biological, chemical, and physiological concepts and core scientific skills such that students are comprehensively prepared to progress on to a biosciences degree programme
  • Develop key and transferable skills that will help in the assimilation of knowledge and develop autonomy in learning
  • Develop cognitive skills that allow for critical thinking, problem solving and analysis of data and information

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Relate principles and concepts to underlying theoretical approaches C
002 Carry out defined investigative strategies and successfully communicate the result C
003 Collect information to solve standard problems C
004 Analyse a range of data using pre-defined principles or criteria C
005 Have a deeper understanding of biosciences fundamentals K
006 Demonstrate an awareness of the subject area and current areas of debate in the field K
007 Demonstrate attitudes and behaviours that support lifelong learning T
008 Demonstrate skills in communication, interpersonal skills and reflection T
009 Demonstrate confidence and self-awareness in becoming an independent learner T
010 Demonstrate an ability to assess own capabilities against given criteria T
011 Safely perform relevant practical tasks P
012 Complete complex performance tasks with guidance P
013 Adapt behaviour to work with others in joint tasks P
014 Demonstrate an awareness of ethical issues in the biosciences P

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Workshop Hours: 192

Independent Study Hours: 764

Lecture Hours: 144

Tutorial Hours: 20

Laboratory Hours: 40

Practical/Performance Hours: 40

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:


  • Enhance a student’s learning experience

  • Encourage active student engagement

  • Integrate innovative approaches to learning and teaching

  • Offer high quality educational delivery

  • Develop a student’s ability to study independently



During the course a number of learning and teaching methods will be used, including:


  • Lectures and interactive seminars

  • Flipped learning

  • Discussion groups and problem solving classes

  • Revision and feedback tutorials

  • Independent study and self-directed learning

  • Guided group/team work

  • Wet laboratory practical sessions (including pre-practical tutorials)

  • Dry laboratory practical sessions (including immersive virtual reality and online tasks)

  • Experiential learning

  • Blended learning

  • Reflective learning

  • ePortfolio building

  • Peer evaluation



18 hours of contact time will be delivered per week during teaching weeks 1-12 per semester (432 total)

An indicative week might involve 6 hours of lectures, 8 hours of active learning (including computer labs), 3 hours practical, and a 1 hour small group tutorial

Both practical series comprise nine 2-3 hour sessions structured around the central themes of 1. biological buffers and enzymes, and 2. whole body physiological systems.  Additional sessions of virtual reality immersive and/or online dry-laboratory tasks are provided.

24 hours per week of independent study across weeks 1-15 per semester (720 total)

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

Reading list for FOUNDATION YEAR FOR BIOSCIENCES : http://aspire.surrey.ac.uk/modules/bms0005

Other information

Additional Costs

Description:         Laboratory safety pack (Laboratory coat,  glasses, book, pen & padlock)

Amount:               £20.00

Included in fees? No

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Nutrition and Dietetics with Foundation Year BSc (Hons)(YEAR LONG) Year-long Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Nutrition with Foundation Year BSc (Hons)(YEAR LONG) Year-long Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Biological Sciences with Foundation Year BSc (Hons)(YEAR LONG) Year-long Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Veterinary Biosciences with Foundation Year BSc (Hons)(YEAR LONG) Year-long Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Biomedical Science with Foundation Year BSc (Hons)(YEAR LONG) Year-long Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Food Science and Nutrition with Foundation Year BSc (Hons)(YEAR LONG) Year-long Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Microbiology with Foundation Year BSc (Hons)(YEAR LONG) Year-long Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Biochemistry with Foundation Year BSc (Hons)(YEAR LONG) Year-long Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Sport and Exercise Science with Foundation Year BSc (Hons)(YEAR LONG) Year-long Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% 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 2020/1 academic year.