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Module MSE-1020:
Biomedical Practicals

Module Facts

Run by School of Medical Sciences

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1 & 2

Organiser: Mrs Bethan Davies Jones

Overall aims and purpose

The module will build on the transferable skills developed in the Good Laboratory Practice module and aims to equip students with the skills necessary for later stages in the course. More specifically, it will introduce students to a range of techniques and experimental procedures that are used in molecular biology and the biomedical sciences.

Please note This module is a core component of the School of Medical Sciences accredited Biomedical Sciences degree program

Course content

A range of laboratory exercises will be included to develop proficiency in laboratory and analytical skills. Laboratory sessions will include techniques such as spectrophotometry, microscopic analysis of biological tissue, microbial identification, PCR and electrophoresis. The related transferable skills such as scientific communication, data collection and quantitative data analysis techniques will be developed in tandem with the practical programme.

In addition, students will have the opportunity to visit a clinical laboratory. The aim of this visit is to give students an insight into how biomedical science approves patients' diagnosis and treatment.

Assessment Criteria

C- to C+

Category C (50-59%):

A less engaged student should have sufficient knowledge to provide correct but limited information about the essential facts and key concepts of the topics presented in the module. The student should display a solid ability to organise and present information and should be able to address questions with relevant facts and understanding of the subject matter. Often correct statements are included but not supported by the context. The student should be able to demonstrate and understand the use of laboratory skills. Laboratory calculations are largely correct and only some units may be missing. Figures and tables are included, but they may be incompletely labelled. Captions may be too brief. References may be missing or they may be incorrectly referenced.

There is no evidence of knowledge acquired outside of the provided lecture and practical content.


Category A (70%-100%):

Very good understanding of the methods used in the practicals. The student is very confident and thorough whilst conducting the experimental work. The laboratory reports are self-explanatory following a logical argument and are supported by good figures and tables including informative captions. The laboratory calculations are correct and contain units. There is evidence of knowledge acquired outside of the provided lecture and practical content. References (Harvard style) are relevant and correctly included.

Evidence of critical thinking and wider reading is essential for A+ and A* marks.


Category D (40-49%):

A threshold student should have a basic knowledge of the essential facts and key concepts of the topics presented in the module. A basic ability to organise and present information, and should be able to address questions with relevant facts and understanding of the subject matter. The student should be able to demonstrate and understand the use of basic laboratory skills. Laboratory calculations may be incomplete or incorrect, units may be missing. Figures and tables may be missing or may not be correctly labelled.


Category B (60%-69%):

A good student has a thorough understanding of the methods used in the experimental work and displays a confident level of laboratory skills. The laboratory reports summarise the practical work and underlying theory well, but may be too technical and/or contain some incorrect statements. Statements are followed up by explanation and context. The figures and tables are fully annotated, but the captions may be to brief. Most laboratory calculations are correct and contain units. There is limited evidence of knowledge acquired outside of the provided lecture and practical content. Harvard style referencing is correctly used.

Learning outcomes

  1. Show understanding of the application of molecular techniques to a variety of biological questions.

  2. Follow a written experimental protocol, record and process experimental data, including appropriate statistical analysis

  3. Write an account of experimental work in the laboratory in an appropriate scientific writing style

  4. Keep a record of work done in a practical workbooks.

  5. Obtain, critically evaluate and synthesise information from the literature

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Vitamin C 12.5
Aspirin Practical 12.5
Mycology 12.5
PCR & Agarose Gel 25
Histology 12.5
Clinical Laboratory Tour 25

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Private study

During the time allocated to private study, students are expected to research the theoretical background of the practical exercises and to write practical reports.


6 x 3-hour practical sessions.


1 x Clinical laboratory visit, carried out at the end of the module.


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Safety-Consciousness - Having an awareness of your immediate environment, and confidence in adhering to health and safety regulations
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

Subject specific skills

Medicine benchmarks:

Knowledge of professional skills and practical procedures. (benchmark: 4.2. p) and the research process. (benchmark: 6.1.e)

Be able to perform basic practical skills related to clinical procedures (benchmark: 6.2.1).

Plan and execute research, present coherent scientific arguments, evaluate the data collected, draw valid conclusions and communicate to expert and lay audiences. (benchmark: 5.3)

Synthesise information from a variety of sources to aid knowledge and understanding of medical sciences. (benchmark: 6.1.b)

Analyse, evaluate and interpret the research evidence underpinning medical sciences. (benchmark: 5.2)

Will have gained transferable employability skills in presentation, numeracy, statistics, problem-solving. (benchmark: 5.1)

Will be equipped with inter-personal skills including team building, conflict management, and display behaviour and attitudes required in a professional working life. (benchmarks: 6.1.i, 6.2.2)

Biomedical Science benchmarks:

Graduates will be able to apply their knowledge to a professional, evidence-based approach to research into the pathogenesis and origins of disease processes and the diagnosis and monitoring of disorders. (benchmark: 6.2)

Biomedical science graduates are aware of the current laboratory methods to investigate and diagnose human diseases in clinical and research environments. This includes an appreciation of research and the development of new technologies. (benchmark: 6.3)

Biomedical sciences graduates should recognise and apply subject-specific theories, paradigms, concepts or principles to reach evidence-based decisions. (benchmark: 4.2)

To plan and execute hypothesis-driven research or development work, present coherent scientific arguments, evaluate the evidence and draw valid conclusions and communicate to expert and lay audiences. (benchmark: 4.3)

Be able to undertake practical investigations in a responsible, safe and ethical manner while paying attention to risk assessment, relevant health and safety regulations, ethical issues, procedures for obtaining ethical permission and informed consent and issues relating to patient welfare. (benchmark: 4.3)

To be able to receive and respond to a variety of sources of information (textual, numerical, verbal, graphical), carry out sample selection, produce record scientific records & analyse data within a statistical context (an understanding of statistical significance and statistical power), and to communicate the outcomes to a variety of audiences using a range of formats, media and approaches including the avoidance of plagiarism. (benchmark: 4.4; 4.5)

To be able to identify individual and collective goals and responsibilities and perform in a manner appropriate to these roles, in particular, those being developed through practical, laboratory and/or field studies. (benchmark 4.6).