Module MSE-2018:
Histology & Histochemistry

Module Facts

Run by School of Medical Sciences

10 Credits or 5 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Mrs Bethan Davies Jones

Overall aims and purpose

The aim of this module is to develop the knowledge gained in MSE-1021 Human Physiology (& Anatomy). The module will give students an understanding of the various principles and applications of cell and tissue imaging, providing an opportunity to become familiar with the appearance of a number of different types of tissues, organs, and systems. This will involve the various microscopic ways of examining tissue and cell structures at cellular levels including ways of processing and staining tissues. It will also introduce the major microscopic changes occurring in cells, tissue, and organs which underlie the major forms of pathology. It will provide a theoretical and practical insight into the investigative methods used in cellular pathology together with the microscopical identification of particular tissue types.

Please note This module is a core component of the School of Medical Sciences accredited Biomedical Sciences degree programs. As such students without appropriate pre-requisite background knowledge and understanding of human physiology, anatomy, and cellular biology may find the module content and assessments challenging.

To enhance learning and understanding, lectures are recorded using the Panopto system.

Course content

Lectures Lectures will cover:

  • Stabilisation and preparatory procedures
  • Methodologies for the demonstration of microorganisms, carbohydrates and mucins, connective tissue, lipids, amyloid, pigments and minerals, proteins and nucleic acids.
  • Immunostaining
  • Histological and histochemical analysis of selected mammalian organ systems.

Tutorial The module will conclude with a tutorial to prepare for the end of module exam.

Practical The practical will provide a hands-on experience in the preparation and interpretation of stained mammalian tissue sections.

Assessment Criteria

C- to C+

Category C (50%-59%):

Completed assessments present relevant accurate taught material but may lack explanation and context. Statements are largely correct but not further supported. Essays, answers, and reports are sufficiently coherent and well presented to demonstrate a sound understanding of module material.


Category A (70%-100%):

Completed assessments present very accurate relevant taught material, integrated with numerous directed outside core text-reading and some self-researched information sources. Essays, answers, and reports present very coherent and well-organised arguments that demonstrate excellent overall knowledge and understanding of all module material.

Evidence of in-depth critical thinking and wider reading are important for grades of A+ and above.


Category B (60%-69%):

Completed assessments present overall good accurate relevant taught material, integrated with some directed core text outside-reading. Essays, answers, and reports are well organised and structured, contain good coherent arguments, and demonstrate good overall knowledge and understanding of all module material.


Category D (40%-49%):

A threshold student should have a basic knowledge of the essential facts and key concepts presented in this module. Written answers should demonstrate an ability to organise relevant lecture material into a coherent argument. The answer may contain errors and knowledge gaps.

Learning outcomes

  1. Identify a number of 'normal' tissue-types from their microscopic appearance.

  2. Prepare appropriately stained sections of mammalian tissues

  3. Understand the use and limitations of the common histological and histochemical methods for preparing mammalian cells and tissues for microscopical study

  4. Outline the processes involved in the preparation of tissue sections and explain the purpose of each of these processes.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT Mid module formative MCQ 0
REPORT Report 40
EXAM End of Module Exam

Format: eMCQ and short answers


Teaching and Learning Strategy


Preparation for End of Module Exam.

Private study

Directed and self directed reading around the topic. Complete the practical report. Revision for mid module test and end of module exam including cell recognition.

Practical classes and workshops

Laboratory classes support learning. They illustrate scientific approaches to discovery, provide opportunities for acquisition of subject-specific technical and transferable skills and reinforce the taught curriculum. This may be associated with appropriate methods to deal with data handling and statistics.

Another objective is to help students to consolidate, deepen and extend the knowledge and understanding that they have previously acquired. Above all, such classes train students in the practical skills and competencies required of their chosen subject area.


The core of the module consists of 8 lectures.

Lectures may convey substantial elements of the subject content, provide core themes and explanations of difficult concepts, as well as set the scene for and inspire students' independent learning. Lectures encourage and enable students to develop skills in listening and selective note-taking, to appreciate how information is structured and presented, and to understand the means by which scientific information is obtained. Where appropriate, lectures include reference to experimental evidence and arguments for and against specific hypotheses. The traditional format may be enhanced through the use of computer-based or other learning aids and interactive student participation in groups or by communication networks.


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

Biomedical Science benchmarks:

The programme aims to give students a comprehension of scientific investigation of human histology & histochemistry. (benchmarks: 5.1; 5.3; 5.5)

On successful completion of the course, students will be able to engage with essential facts, major concepts, principles, and theories associated with human histology & histochemistry, and understand the biological mechanisms underlying human pathological conditions and the basis of the analytical techniques used to diagnose and monitor these conditions. (benchmark: 6.4)

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)

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

Graduates should develop the skills necessary for self-managed and lifelong learning, have an appreciation for the role and impact of intellectual property, and identify and work towards targets for personal, academic, professional and career development. (benchmark: 4.7)


Pre- and Co-requisite Modules