Module code: BMS2052

Module Overview

The purpose of this module is to provide an understanding of the pathological basis of disease from a perspective of perturbed metabolic states. It extends the student’s existing knowledge of human physiology gained at levels 4 and 5 (BMS1032 & BMS2038 respectively) into pathological conditions, with focus on the differential diagnosis, and practical management and treatment of disease, using the biomedical disciplines of clinical biochemistry, haematology, immunology and pharmacology. The module aims to build a knowledge and understanding of disease, which can then be applied to improve the nutritional and pharmacological management of hospitalised patients. As such, it has specific utility for dietitians and nutritional scientists working in a clinical environment.

Module provider

School of Biosciences and Medicine

Module Leader

GRIFFIN Bruce (Biosc & Med)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 5

JACs code: B130

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

Overall student workload

Workshop Hours: 12

Independent Learning Hours: 64

Guided Learning: 24

Captured Content: 50

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

Core for Nutrition/Dietetics (B401), Compulsory for Nutrition (B400), Sports and Exercise Nutrition (38YX)  and Food Science and Microbiology (CD56) Optional for Nutrition and Food Science (BD46)

Module content

Introduction to the module:
Aims and learning outcomes
Diagnostic pathology and clinical laboratory medicine; distinguishing health from disease, concept of normality and classification of disease. Interpreting biochemical data (precision, accuracy and quality control/assurance, statistical testing). Understanding absolute, relative and attributable risk

Diabetes mellitus: carbohydrate metabolism
Metabolic and respiratory acid base disorders
Kidney disease, acute and chronic renal failure
Liver disease: acute and chronic liver failure, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), non-alcoholic steato-hepatitis (NASH)
Gastro-intestinal and pancreatic disease
Bone disease

Coursework – A series of 5 case studies covering content from lectures 1-16 – 50% of module mark

Pathologies continued:
Endocrine disease; thyroid, adrenal, pituitary and gonads
Diseases of the immune system
Diseases of the blood: RBC pathology and clotting disorders

Reducing metabolic risk associated with pathology           
(Diabetes, CVD, NAFLD, GI, Bone)
Cardiovascular diseases and cardio-metabolic risk and therapeutic lifestyle changes: diet, exercise and weight loss strategies
Drug-nutrient interactions
Revision tutorials

Final Examination 50% of the module marks

Answer 20 out of 25 short answer questions (50% marks)

Answer 2 out 4 long answer questions (50% marks)

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Online Scheduled Summative Class Test ONLINE (OPEN BOOK) TEST WITHIN 24HR WINDOW (2 HOURS) 50

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

Mid Semester in class test -  2 hr exam of two parts.

Part 1 is a 60 min MCQ of 50 questions – 10 questions for each subject area (liver, bone, renal, diabetes, gastro).

Part 2 would be a 60 min short answer question paper with 2-3 questions based on case studies previously supplied to the students. Students would have 12 mins per case study subject and questions would be designed to require concise responses only. 

Final Examination paper (2 hr)  50%

Two equally weighted sections ‘A’ and ‘B’

Section A: 20 short answer questions (2.5%/question) covering lectures 17-36 (50%)

Section B: Two longer, essay-type, answer questions covering lectures 17-36 (2x25%) 

Module aims

  • To provide an introduction to the biomedical sciences as a multi-disciplinary link between clinical medicine, biochemistry and physiology
  • To define what is meant by health and disease, and provide an understanding of the pathophysiology of metabolic disease, and the biomedical principles of differential diagnosis, disease management and risk prevention
  • To give an appreciation of both the short-term and long-term mechanisms which regulate intermediary metabolism
  • To provide a brief overview of the principles of pharmacology
  • To provide an understanding of immunology
  • To give an overview of blood-born diseases, and study of haematology

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Be able to demonstrate the theoretical and practical basis for the use of biochemical tests in the differential diagnosis and management of disease (metabolic, diabetes, liver, renal, bone, GI tract, blood, immunological, in the hospitalised patient KCPT
2 Appreciate some of the ways in which some common drugs can work and how they are handled by the body KCPT
3 Understand the basic principles of immunology and haematology and their clinical significance KCT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

Lectures (38h)
A typical teaching strategy would include providing a brief review of the normal physiology of an organ system (eg. liver, kidney, bone, immune, blood), an outline of the disease’s epidemiology, aetiology, and pathophysiological basis (identify underlying risk factors, metabolic, infectious, immune, inflammatory mechanisms), clinical biomarkers used for differential diagnosis, clinical management and treatment of disease. Each topic is concluded with an application and evaluation of the learned knowledge using clinical case histories; some real, some fictitious scenarios involving clinical/biochemical diagnosis, management and treatment of disease. 

Revision tutorials (4h)
Case histories in small (n~6) working groups, each of which present their strategy for the diagnosis, management and treatment of the patient to the class. Tutorials also include the examination of passed exam papers (short and longer essay-type questions). Examples of cases histories and exam questions are also made available to students throughout the module on Surrey Learn. 

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: BMS2052

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Nutrition and Dietetics BSc (Hons)(CORE) 2 Core Each unit of assessment must be passed at 40% 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 2022/3 academic year.