Surrey University Stag


Module code: BMSM028

Module Overview

This module is designed to cover the pathogenesis of a broad range of diseases that affect cells; tissues, and organs. Emphasis is placed on pathophysiology, disease markers and diagnosis, together with research that aims to improve understanding of these diseases and their diagnoses. Expert lecturers will cover detailed case studies of different diseases, with assessments designed to encourage independent further study of diseases not covered in the main lecture programme. A range of transferrable and professional skills are included in the module, including ethical considerations, and the use of reference ranges in identifying abnormal results.

Module provider

School of Biosciences and Medicine

Module Leader

ASIM Mohammad (Biosc & Med)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

JACs code: B131

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 122

Lecture Hours: 20

Tutorial Hours: 8

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

BMS3046 Pathology and Medicine and/or BMS3063 Cancer – Pathogenesis and Therapeutics

Module content

Indicative content includes:

Introduction to pathology

Cellular responses to stress and toxins- e.g. hyperplasia, apoptosis, atrophy, necroptosis, etc

Diseases of cells, carcinomas: Sarcoma; skin cancers; lymphomas, pancreatic cancer, neuroendocrine tumours

Tumours markers and molecular sub-types 

Prostatic hyperplasia and cancer, disease staging, markers and prognosis

Non-cancerous lesions, e.g. arthritis, ulcers; cirrhosis, fibrosis, lupus etc

Pathogenesis of diabetes, hypertension, atherosclerosis 

Neurodegenerative disorders, Alzheimer’s’ disease, Neurofibromatosis

Gynaecological and non-gynaecological cytopathology

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Case Study Exercise 60
Oral exam or presentation Poster Presentation 40

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate:

Learning Outcomes 1- 5, as detailed below:

1) Knowledge and understanding of the pathogenesis, and clinical management of a range of cell; tissue, and organ disease

2) Ability to describe the principles of pathological methods to diagnose disease and detect biomarkers of disease

3) Ability to critically evaluate, for specific disease examples, the role of cellular/molecular pathology in making differential diagnoses

4) Ability to identify and critically evaluate limitations of current diagnostic methods, and research that is intended to overcome these limitations

5) Knowledge and understanding of ethical issues involved with working with human cells and tissues

The case study exercise fosters a deep understanding of clinical and scientific principles that underpin the logical “process of elimination” used by pathologists to arrive at a definitive diagnosis from an initial clinical presentation. The scenarios include realistic and authentic challenges, e.g. initial symptoms that may be vague and have myriad possible causes, or where the patient has complex underlying illnesses. This assesses Learning Outcomes 1; 2, and 3.

The poster presentation assessment evaluates recent research in cellular pathology. How does research into pathogenesis reveal biomarkers for improved diagnostic methods? Students will choose a specific disease and research recent scientific literature to discuss the limitations of current methods, together with research developments that aim to improve this. This assesses Learning Outcomes 1; 2; 4; 5

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

• Case study exercise (60%): Investigation of two different disease cases, (weighted at 30% each)

• Poster presentation (40%): Individual assignment, to be presented to class members during a poster session

Formative assessment:

Formative assessment is integral to this module and will be provided by a specific tutorial to discuss the coursework assessments, and during lectures, by using questions and discussions throughout.


Students receive verbal feedback during lectures. Detailed feedback is given for the coursework by extensive annotation of the written case study reports, and by a feedback report for the poster presentation assessment.

Module aims

  • Study the pathogenesis and clinical management of a range of diseases of cells; tissues, and organs
  • Study the principles of pathology investigations used to diagnose and detect biomarkers of these diseases
  • Highlight the scope and limitations of biomedical cellular and molecular pathology investigations in the context of making differential diagnoses
  • Describe diagnostic and prognostic research in cytopathology and histopathology investigation
  • Discuss ethical issues involved with working with human cells and tissues

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Explain the pathogenesis, and clinical management of a range of cell; tissue, and organ disease
002 Understand the principles of pathology methods to diagnose disease and detect biomarkers of disease
003 Discuss, for specific disease examples, the role of cellular /molecular pathology in making differential diagnoses
004 Critically evaluate and identify limitations of current diagnostic methods, and explain examples of research which is intended to overcome these limitations
005 Discuss ethical issues involved with working with human cells and tissues

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategies are designed to:

Provide specialist lectures about the pathogenesis and clinical management of a range of diseases of cells; tissues, and organs.

Fundamental concepts of the role of laboratory investigations in the diagnosis and prognosis of this group of diseases will be introduced through lectures and consolidated through class discussion.

The teaching methods therefore include:

An interactive lecture programme, complemented by several tutorials, and a special tutorial to discuss coursework assessments and class discussion about limitations and challenges in pathology. 

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: BMSM028

Other information


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Biomedical Science MSci (Hons) 1 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 2023/4 academic year.