Module code: BMS2052

Module Overview

The purpose of this module is to provide an understanding of the pathological basis of disease, with a particular focus on abnormal metabolic states. It extends the student’s existing knowledge of human physiology gained at levels 4 (BMS1032) and 5 (BMS2077 and BMS2063) into pathological conditions, with focus on underlying causes, signs and symptoms, diagnosis and practical management and treatment of disease.  Using the biomedical disciplines of clinical biochemistry, haematology, immunology and pharmacology, this module aims to build a knowledge and understanding of disease which students can apply to practical case studies and clinical scenarios, to aid development of a differential diagnosis. As such, it has specific utility for students working in a clinical environment and with population groups who may have underlying pathologies, in order to improve nutritional, clinical and pharmacological management of these individuals. The focus on practical application of knowledge throughout this module also instills critical thinking, resourcefulness and clinical reasoning skills in students, which are highly desirable for future employment.

Module provider

School of Biosciences

Module Leader

JEARY Caitlin (Biosciences)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 5

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 58

Tutorial Hours: 30

Guided Learning: 12

Captured Content: 50

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • Acid base disorders

  • Kidney disease

  • Gastro-intestinal and pancreatic disease

  • Liver disease

  • Endocrine disorders (thyroid, adrenal and pituitary gland)

  • Calcium metabolism and bone disease

  • Diabetes mellitus

  • Cardiovascular disease

  • Haematology

  • Immunology

  • Pharmacology

  • Drug-nutrient interactions

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Online Scheduled Summative Class Test ONLINE (OPEN BOOK) TEST WITHIN 4HR WINDOW (2.5 HOURS) 50

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to both demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the course content and to apply this acquired knowledge to practical patient case studies and clinical scenarios.  As such, the assessment strategy enhances their ability to interpret, problem solve and critically analyse a given situation, all of which are essential transferrable skills to a variety of settings beyond a clinical environment.  


The summative assessment for this module consists of:

Mid Semester online class test - 2.5 hours (150 minutes) total (50% overall module mark)
Part 1: 30 x MCQs / multi-select responses

Part 2: Choice of 4/6 case studies, each comprising of 3-5 short questions. Each case study will present a clinical patient case and students will be asked to devise a differential diagnosis based on interpretation of biochemical data, clinical presentation and other clinical information provided.

Addresses learning outcomes 1, 2, 3


Final examination - 2.5 hours (150 minutes) in total (50% overall module mark)

Part 1: 20 x MCQs / multi-select responses

Part 2: Choice of 4/6 short answer questions based on either a given scenario, clinical case study or statement.

Addresses learning outcomes 1, 3-7


The formative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Practice MCQs on Surreylearn

  • Example case study questions and other exam questions provided in topic-specific tutorials


Opportunities for feedback:

  • Verbal feedback on practice MCQs, case studies and exam questions

  • A feedback tutorial will be provided post mid-semester test

Module aims

  • To enhance understanding and application of physiology from previous level 4 and level 5 modules to build a knowledge of the pathology of diseases.
  • To develop understanding of a broad range of diseases, including the underlying pathophysiology, signs and symptoms, diagnostic techniques and clinical management and treatment.
  • To introduce the underlying principles of pharmacology, immunology and haematology.
  • To enhance problem-solving and critical analysis skills and provide opportunities to demonstrate application of knowledge through the provision of real-life patient case studies and clinical scenarios.
  • To develop the ability to formulate a differential diagnosis and enhance clinical reasoning skills by articulating rationale and interpreting a range of clinical information.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Demonstrate understanding of the underlying pathophysiology, expected signs and symptoms, diagnostic techniques and clinical management for a broad range of metabolic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, endocrine disorders and diseases of the GI tract, liver, kidneys and bone. KP
002 Apply knowledge of metabolic disease to real-life case studies and clinical scenarios through development of a differential diagnosis. KCPT
003 Integrate knowledge with critical thinking to interpret clinical data and propose mechanisms underlying expected signs and symptoms, biochemical results and management strategies. KCPT
004 Explain the basic principles of haematology and describe pathologies of abnormal bone marrow function, including red blood cell production, platelet production and haematological malignancies KP
005 Explain the basic principles of immunology and describe pathologies of an over-active immune system and immunodeficiency KP
006 Describe the mechanisms by which some common drugs work and how they are handled by the body KP
007 Explain why drugs and nutrients interact and describe factors which can affect this interaction KP

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:

  • Provide all students with knowledge and confidence in the fundamentals of understanding the pathophysiology of disease, irrespective of academic background.  This is achieved through the provision of on-demand content which provides an overview of the normal physiology of an organ system, an outline of the aetiology and pathophysiology of different diseases of that organ system, signs and symptoms, clinical biomarkers used for differential diagnosis, clinical management and treatment of disease.

  • Enable students to develop their critical thinking, problem solving and clinical reasoning skills through face to face tutorials which provide example patient case studies and clinical scenarios, for which students will be asked to develop a differential diagnosis based on interpretation of clinical information provided.  This will also enhance their ability to apply acquired knowledge to real-life situations and is a crucial skill for both students who have forthcoming placements in clinical environments and future employment in a wide variety of settings.

  • Encourage students to integrate learning from previous level 4 and level 5 physiology modules to consolidate their understanding of disease states and underlying pathophysiology.

  • Encourage students to actively participate in tutorials, helping them to articulate their own opinions and develop reasoning skills and resourcefulness. These interactive sessions will also support students to develop as engaged and independent learners.

  • Highlight areas of knowledge where additional reading is required, in order to encourage students to take responsibility for their own development.  Taking ownership of learning is also fundamental for successful progression on placement and throughout working life.

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

Other information

Surrey's Curriculum Framework is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills and capabilities in the following areas:

-Digital capabilities

Students are encouraged to effectively utilise and navigate Surreylearn to access weekly on-demand content, and to access additional digital resources to consolidate their knowledge and aid learning.  Throughout this module, they will also gain an appreciation of the role and importance of technology in healthcare to support the diagnosis and effective management of disease.   


This module provides fundamental knowledge and understanding about the pathophysiology and diagnosis of disease, which is a crucial skill for individuals working in a clinical environment or with population groups who have specific underlying pathologies. The multitude of opportunities to apply theory to clinical situations, in the form of case studies, fosters the ability to apply knowledge to a range of real-life situations and enhances problem solving and critical thinking skills, which are often extremely desirable attributes for employment. Through development of differential diagnoses and justification of results, students develop clinical reasoning skills and the ability to coherently justify their thoughts and actions.  These skills are transferrable to a wide-range of jobs, regardless of academic background.

-Global and cultural capabilities

Students are provided with a range of case studies for application of knowledge. They will also gain an increased understanding of increased predisposition to certain chronic conditions, relating to ethnicity as a risk factor.  This consolidates teaching on other level 5 modules e.g. BMS2050.

-Resourcefulness and resilience

Throughout the module, students are encouraged to develop their problem solving and critical thinking skills through active participation in tutorials, where real-life scenarios and clinical case studies are discussed, allowing them to translate theory in practice. This process of devising a differential diagnosis also teaches them to draw on a range of resources (e.g. biochemical measures, clinical presentation, signs and symptoms) to inform their clinical practice and articulate their rationale for interpretations made and conclusions drawn. For those students who will undergo placements in a clinical environment, this module serves as an introduction to challenging clinical cases, which helps to build resilience and equips them to manage these situations in a methodical yet confident manner.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Nutrition BSc (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Sport and Exercise Science BSc (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Food Science and Nutrition BSc (Hons) 2 Optional 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 2023/4 academic year.