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Module MSE-1024:
Foundations in Chemistry

Module Facts

Run by School of Medical Sciences

10 Credits or 5 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Dr Gwyndaf Roberts

Overall aims and purpose

This module aims to make that students with little or no background in chemistry are secure in the essential knowledge and understanding of different areas of chemistry that are of particular importance in the medical sciences. Students will review the different areas of physical, inorganic and organic chemistry in a biomedical context. They will develop their interest in chemistry and become confident in using chemical nomenclature and concepts in future modules.

Course content


During the course of this module students will explore the following topics:

  1. Atomic Structures and the Periodic Table.
  2. Bonding in chemistry
  3. Amount of substance.
  4. Acids and bases
  5. Fundamental organic chemistry.

Assessment Criteria


Threshold (40%). Knowledge and understanding of the content covered in the course is basic; Problems of a routine nature are generally adequately solved; Transferable skills are at a basic level


Good (~60%). Knowledge base covers all essential aspects of subject matter dealt with in the programme and shows good evidence of enquiry beyond this. Conceptual understanding is good. Problems of a familiar and unfamiliar nature are solved in a logical manner; solutions are generally correct and acceptable. Performance in transferable skills is sound and shows no significant deficiencies.


Excellent (>70%). Knowledge base is extensive and extends well beyond the work covered in the programme. Conceptual understanding is outstanding. Problems of a familiar and unfamiliar nature are solved with efficiency and accuracy; problem-solving procedures are adjusted to the nature of the problem. Performance in transferable skills is generally very good

Learning outcomes

  1. Students will be able to predict the bonding and properties of a molecule based on the atomic structure of its components and their position in the Periodic Table.

  2. Students should be able to demonstrate their knowledge of the Mole and its use in straightforward chemical calculations.

  3. Students will be able to describe what acid and basic substances are, how these qualities are imparted, and how they react together.

  4. Students will understand the important role of carbon in biological macro-molecules.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
MCQ and SAQ Exam 70
Scientific Poster 30

Teaching and Learning Strategy


10x 2h lecture

Private study 80

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
  • 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.
  • 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

Subject specific skills

Students should:

  1. have a basic understanding of biochemistry including the key chemical principles relevant to biological systems.
  2. have a sufficient grasp of chemistry to support the understanding of rudimentary biochemical processes.

(QAA Biomedical Sciences (2015) benchmark: 5.5.3 Core Knowledge, Understanding & Skills; 5.5.12 Core Knowledge, Understanding & Skills)


Talis Reading list

Reading list

Crowe, J. and Bradshaw, T. (2010). Chemistry for the biosciences. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Blackman, A., Bridgeman, A., Laurie, G., Southam, D., Thompson, C. and Williamson, N. (2016). Chemistry: Core Concepts. 1st ed. Wiley.