Module code: BMS1049

Module Overview

This module will introduce the students to the fundamental biochemistry of life and will provide an understanding of the biological molecules that will inform their studies throughout their degree programme. Students  will experience a combination of taught lectures, 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

Module Leader

KIM Youngchan (Biosciences)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 4

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

Overall student workload

Workshop Hours: 1

Independent Learning Hours: 45

Lecture Hours: 40

Tutorial Hours: 5

Laboratory Hours: 9

Guided Learning: 10

Captured Content: 40

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Essential skills:

  • Practical skills: liquid handling (pipettes), spectrophotometry, protein assay, titration

  • Calculations: e.g. but not limited to, concentration, dilution, moles and molarity, basic statistics, Units in chemistry and biochemistry

  • Data analysis: Statistics

  • Writing skills: formative development of writing skills with a view to supporting the students in future modules.

Subject knowledge:

  • The chemistry of water and pH

  • Analytical methods

The structures and functions of:

  • Amino Acids & proteins

  • Carbohydrates

  • Lipids and hydrophobic molecules

  • Nucleotides


Taught material for each of these groups of molecules will contain the relevant biochemical concepts and may include:

  • UV-Vis & fluorescence spectrometry

  • Water - the solvent of life

  • Intra- & inter-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
Examination MCQ invigilated exam - 1hr 60

Alternative Assessment

COURSEWORK PRACTICAL PROFORMA Students will be provided data to complete the necessary evaluative elements of practical classes to enable completion of the coursework practical proforma.

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.

The summative assessments for this module consist of:

  • A practical report consisting of elements from all practical classes within the module (40% weighting).

  • A multiple-choice and multi-answer exam from all components of the module (60% weighting).

Formative feedback & advice will be provided through:

  • In-class questions and discussions (lectures, practicals, workshops)

  • In-class polls, e.g. PollEveryWhere & Kahoot

  • Assessments brief

  • Worksheets linked to laboratory practicals

  • SurreyLearn tests

  • One-to-one advice

Summative feedback will be provided on the students’ practical report submission.


Module aims

  • Provide a solid foundation of basic biochemical knowledge that will facilitate the students' understanding of biological molecules and their roles within a functioning organism.
  • Develop practical laboratory and data analysis skills to enhance student confidence to undertake practical work in future modules.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Chemistry: To evaluate the impact of electron structure and atomic properties on the formation and physical properties of organic molecules. KC
002 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
003 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
004 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
005 Nucleotides: To identify the structures of different nucleotide molecules and describe the non-genetic functions of the different nucleotide molecules. KC
006 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
007 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
008 Laboratory skills: To use essential calculations within the laboratory during experiments and to evaluate and analyse experimental data from the laboratory. KCPT
009 Generate a laboratory report that demonstrates data analysis skills and critical understanding of relevant topics KCPT
010 Demonstrate independent learning and relevant further reading, thus further developing scientific and critical thinking skills KPT

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:

  • Enhance students’ knowledge of biochemistry

  • Develop the critical understanding of biochemical concepts;

  • Develop and enhance confidence in students’ practical skills;

  • Develop and enhance skills within numeracy and   written communication.

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Lecture classes

  • Laboratories

  • Workshops

  • Tutorials

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: BMS1049

Other information

Resourcefulness & Resilience: Students will be provided with guidance, both direct (wellbeing & resilience workshop) and indirect (further workshops & tutorials), to further develop their resilience and reflective skills (Learning Outcome 10).

Digital capabilities: Students will enhance their digital and literacy skills throughout the module, in particular through data analysis and demonstration of critical thinking in their reports as well as the final exam (Learning Outcomes 8 & 9).

Employability: Students will indirectly gain employability skills through the development of their data analysis, critical thinking, literacy and communication skills, which will be further developed at  levels 5 & 6 (Learning Outcomes 9 & 10).

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Veterinary Biosciences BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Biological Sciences (Infection and Immunity) BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Biological Sciences (Animal Biology and Ecology) BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Biological Sciences (Cellular and Molecular Sciences) BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Biological Sciences BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Biomedical Science BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Biomedical Science MSci (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Microbiology 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 2025/6 academic year.