Module MSE-3018:
Clinical Biochemistry

Module Facts

Run by School of Medical Sciences

10 Credits or 5 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Miss Alyson Moyes

Overall aims and purpose

  1. This module encompasses the use of biochemical techniques both in the study of fundamental disease processes and in the diagnosis and management of disease.

  2. Analytical principles are explored and integrated with recent developments in methodologies and instrumentation.

  3. To provide the necessary theoretical background of the physiological and biochemical changes that occur in various disease states studied in the module.

Course content

This module will provide in-depth information on the development and application of analytical techniques used in clinical biochemistry for diagnosis, monitoring and to detect complications of disease. The metabolic and clinical aspects of disease, selection of appropriate investigations and interpretation of results are discussed. Subject areas include physiology and pathophysiology of body water and electrolyte balance; theory behind laboratory investigations of renal function; acid-base homeostasis including interpretation of results in various metabolic and respiratory disorders; disorders of calcium and bone metabolism; disorders of lipid metabolism and clinical significance; investigating endocrine disease; diagnostic use of enzymes; techniques for therapeutic drug monitoring and screening for drugs of abuse and the impact of new technology and automation and how it might influence the role of the laboratory in the future.

Assessment Criteria

C- to C+

Category C (50%-59%):

A less engaged student should have a correct understanding of the essential facts, principles and clinical significance of key investigations presented in the module.

Written answers should demonstrate an ability to organise relevant lecture material into a coherent argument. Answers may lack context and explanation. No evidence of wider reading.

For the practical reports, the student must demonstrate a sound understanding of the aims and objectives of the experiment and be able to present and interpret the data in a satisfactory manner.

excellent

Category A (70% - 100%):

An excellent student should have a thorough factual knowledge across all aspects of the module, integrated with a comprehensive understanding of the analytical principles and clinical significance of investigations presented in the module.

Written answers should demonstrate an ability to think critically about the subject and to synthesise lecture material and information from background reading. For the practical reports, the student must additionally demonstrate ability to relate data to various clinical conditions, to critically evaluate the experimental data and have incorporated material into reports which has been gleaned from external sources.

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

good

Category B (60%-69%):

A good student should have a thorough factual knowledge across all aspects of the module, integrated with a comprehensive understanding of the analytical principles and clinical significance of investigations presented in the module.

Written answers should demonstrate an ability to think critically about the subject and to synthesise the lecture materials.

For the practical reports, the student must demonstrate the ability to relate data to various clinical conditions, to critically evaluate the experimental data.

threshold

Category D (40%-49%):

A threshold student should have basic knowledge of the essential facts, principles and clinical significance of key investigations presented in the module.

Written answers should demonstrate an ability to organise relevant lecture material into a coherent argument.

For the practical reports, the student must demonstrate a basic understanding of the aims and objectives of the experiment and be able to present and interpret the data in a satisfactory manner.

Learning outcomes

  1. Obtain, interpret and synthesise information from background reading and use it to effectively supplement lecture notes.

  2. Demonstrate an ability to understand experimental procedures for the dry laboratory investigation of disease with interpretation and discussion in a written report.

  3. Evaluate the role of the laboratory in therapeutic drug monitoring and screening for drugs of abuse, critically discuss the methods used.

  4. Demonstrate an integrated understanding of the principles of some analytical investigations performed in clinical biochemistry laboratories and their clinical significance.

  5. Discuss the role of clinical biochemistry investigations in diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of disease.

  6. Demonstrate knowledge of the physiology and pathophysiology of the major organ systems under investigation in clinical biochemistry.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
COURSEWORK Dry Practical report 40
EXAM Final module exam

Essay style examination, where students are required to answer two essay questions from a choice of 4 possible essay questions.

60

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Private study

Directed and self-directed reading around the topics taught to supplement lecture material.

Self directed study time to focus on the write up of dry practical report.

Self directed revision for final exam.

80
Lecture

9 x 2 hours lectures.

18
Tutorial

1 x 2 hour exam revision/ preparation session.

2

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • 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

Resources

Reading list

Clinical biochemistry - Nessar Ahmed c2011 (Book Testyn Craidd - Core Text)

Tietz fundamentals of clinical chemistry and molecular diagnostics - Carl A. Burtis, David E. Bruns, Norbert W. Tietz 2015 (Book Argymhellir ei ddarllen - Recommended Reading)