MSc Clinical Biochemistry / Overview

Year of entry: 2020

Course unit details:
Diseases of Major Organs

Unit code MEDN61050
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Full year
Offered by Division of Medical Education
Available as a free choice unit? No

Overview

This unit will provide students with an in depth understanding of how disorders of the major organs (lungs, kidneys, liver, brain and muscle) impact biochemical parameters such as acid base balance, blood gasses, blood and urine proteins, water and electrolyte balance. In addition, students will gain an in depth insight into the role biochemical investigations play in the diagnosis and management of common cancers. This unit will also equip students with a critical appreciation and understanding of how information obtained through the biochemical investigation of major organ function can be applied to diagnose disease.

 

Aims

The unit aims to:

  • provide students with a knowledge and understanding of the biochemical consequences of common disorders of the body’s major organs.
  • provide students with a critical appreciation of the role biochemical investigations play in the diagnosis and management of common cancers.
  • equip students with the knowledge and necessary skills to enable them to diagnose major organ disease through the analysis and interpretation of data generated by the laboratory investigation of organ function.

 

Teaching and learning methods

This unit employs a range of teaching and learning approaches including: lectures, tutorials, case studies/presentations and data analysis and interpretation exercises.

 

Knowledge and understanding

Students will have or be able to:

  • Knowledge and understanding of the clinical investigation of hydrogen, water and electrolyte homeostasis and blood gases.
  • Knowledge and understanding of the function of the kidney in a range of pathological conditions and the biochemical parameters employed to investigate renal function and diagnose kidney disease.
  • Knowledge and understanding of the use of liver function tests to differentiate the cause of liver disease and to assess the degree of liver damage and/or remaining function.
  • Knowledge and understanding of the major causes of abnormal cardiac function and the biochemical investigations used to investigate the nature of the pathological condition responsible.
  • Knowledge and understanding of the process of bone remodelling in health and disease and the biochemical investigation of normal and abnormal bone metabolism and calcium homeostasis.
  • Knowledge and understanding of the properties and functions of a range of specific proteins in health and disease.
  • Knowledge and understanding of the role clinical biochemistry plays in the screening, diagnosis and management of common cancers.
  • Knowledge and understandings of the basic principles of epidemiology and study design.
  • Understand the concept of evidence based practice and its application to improve the delivery of service and improvement of patient care.

Intellectual skills

Students will have or be able to:

  • Synthesise, analyse and interpret data obtained from the biochemical investigation of major organ function.
  • Synthesise, analyse and interpret data relating to the biochemical investigation of common cancers.
  • Critically compare, contrast and evaluate the performance of new and established analytical technologies for the assessment of major organ function.
  • Employ critical thinking and reflection to formulate appropriate strategies to identify disease through the biochemical investigation of major organ function.
  • Appraise and synthesise information from different sources in order to develop a coherent critical analysis of issues relating to the practice and delivery of clinical biochemistry services.
  • Formulate appropriate research questions, objectives and hypotheses relevant to healthcare sciences, and critically and objectively select appropriate designs and methods to answer research questions.

Practical skills

Students will have or be able to:

  • Retrieve, manage and collate information from primary and secondary sources.
  • Present information clearly in the form of verbal and written reports.
  • Communicate complex ideas and arguments in a clear, concise and effective manner.
  • Work effectively as an individual or part of a team.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

Students will have or be able to:

  • Effectively utilise a range of information sources including information technology / health informatics.
  • Demonstrate capacity for self-learning and independent thinking and to utilise problem solving skills.
  • Demonstrate effective communication skills (verbal and written).
  • Be able to set priorities and link these with effective time management.
  • Critically evaluate their personal performance both as an individual and within a team.
  • Demonstrate skills in working collegiately and effectively with others as a member of a team.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 100%

Feedback methods

Marks will be provided online within 3-4 weeks of assessment deadline.

Study hours

Independent study hours
Independent study 150

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Philip Macdonald Unit coordinator
Helen Jopling Unit coordinator

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