Module code: BMS1050

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 to 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

AHMADI Kourosh (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

Independent Learning Hours: 150

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:


Essential Skills

  • Laboratory skills – liquid handling (pipettes), spectriophotometry, protein assay, titration

  • 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 Knowedge

  • The chemistry of water and pH


The structures and functions of

  • The Amino Acids

  • Carbohydrates

  • Lipids and hydrophobic molecules

  • The Nucleotides


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

  • Isomers 

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:

  • One practical report consisting of elements from all practical classes within the module.

  • One multiple choice exam with elements from all taught components of the module.


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 sfaff 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 moleculess and identify their roles within a functioning organism.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Laboratory skills:• To identify and competently use basic laboratory equipment and to do so with sufficient accuracy that they generate repeatable and consistent laboratory data. KCPT
002 Laboratory skills:• To use essential calculations within the laboratory during experiments and to evaluate and analyse experimental data from the laboratory. KCPT
003 Carbohydrates: • To identify the structure and function of biologically important monosaccharide carbohydrates and use this information to explain the properties of the mono, di and polysaccharide carbohydrates. KC
004 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. KC
005 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. KC
006 Nucleotides: • To identify the structures of different nucleotide molecules and describe the non-genetic functions of the different nucleotide molecules. KC
007 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. KC

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.


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: BMS1050

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Sport and Exercise Science BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Nutrition BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Food Science and Nutrition BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Nutrition and Dietetics BSc (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 2020/1 academic year.