Module code: BMS0005

Module Overview

This module provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge and comprehension, practical skills and reasoned judgements in familiar and unfamiliar contexts. The student will take responsibility for initiating and completing tasks and procedures. 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


Module content

Indicative content includes:

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

Biology and Physiology components

  • The tree of life and taxonomy

  • Biological molecules

  • Osmosis, diffusion and homeostasis

  • Cell biology, tissues and anatomy     

  • Biological buffers

  • Gas exchange and respiration

  • Photosynthesis and metabolism

  • Cardiovascular and lung function

  • Gastrointestinal physiology

  • Renal, hepatic, skeletomuscular, the immune system and the special senses

  • Ecology and the environment

  • Molecular biology (DNA, genes, chromosomes, protein synthesis, gene technologies, DNA fingerprinting)

  • Inheritance and genetics (Mendelian,

  • population and disease)

  • Evolution, biodiversity and speciation

Chemistry components

  • Elements, atomic structure and notation

  • 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 critically read a science paper

  • How to write scientifically

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

  • Arithmetic and numerical computation

  • 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 10
Coursework Reflective ePortfolio including scientific abstract and presentation 20
Examination End of semester 1, 2 hour MCQ & SAQ exam 20
Coursework 3000 word research essay 20
Examination End of semester 2, 2 hour MCQ & SAQ exam 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 (LO 1, 2, 3, 4, 11, 12)

  • 20%, ePortfolio content including scientific abstract and presentation (LO1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13)

  • 20%, Semester 1 multiple choice and short answer question exam to assess integration and application of subject knowledge to problem solving (LO 1, 5)

  • 20%, 3000 word research essay based on a physiological system/subject (LO 5, 6, 7, 14)

  • 20% Semester 2 multiple choice and short answer question exam 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 a formative assessment with feedback for each piece of course work submitted for assessment through the year.  These will be incorporated into the final piece submitted for summative assessment.


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

  • Introduce students to a range of biological subjects and core scientific skills to prepare students for access into 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 effectively 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 an enhanced understanding of the basics of the biosciences 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 Undertake a given task and clearly defined role P
012 Undertake given complex performance tasks 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

Independent Study Hours: 720

Lecture Hours: 384

Tutorial Hours: 24

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

  • Enhance the students learning experience

  • Encourage active student engagement

  • Adopt innovative approaches to learning and teaching

  • Offer high quality educational delivery

  • Create the ability to study independently with support

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

20 hours of contact time will be delivered per week during teaching weeks 1-12 per semester (480 total)

An indicative week might involve 16 hours of lectures, 3 hours practical and a 1 hour tutorial

The practicals comprise 9 sessions of 2-3 hours structured around a 2 central themes of biological buffers and enzymes, and whole body physiological systems in the wet-laboratories with up to an additional 6 sessions of virtual reality immersive and/or online dry-laboratory tasks

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


Other information

Additional Costs

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

Amount:               £20.00

Included in fees? No

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.