MSc Clinical Biochemistry / Overview

Year of entry: 2020

Course unit details:
Introduction to Clinical Biochemistry

Unit code MEDN61701
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Division of Medical Education
Available as a free choice unit? No


The unit will provide students with an introduction to the theory and practice of clinical biochemistry. Specifically, it will equip students with an appreciation of the role of the clinical biochemistry laboratory in the diagnosis and management of common diseases. 


This unit aims to:

  • Provide students with a basic knowledge and understanding of the scientific basis and practice of clinical clinical biochemistry.
  • Provide students with a critical appreciation of the role clinical biochemistry plays in the diagnosis and management of disease.

Teaching and learning methods

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

Knowledge and understanding

  • Explain normal physiological homeostasis of the major organs.
  • Describe and explain the pathophysiology and cause of common disorders of the major organs.
  • Explain the presentation,diagnosis and management of common biochemical disorders of major organ function.

Intellectual skills

  • Appraise, evaluate and define the role the different blood science disciplines play in the diagnosis and management of a given disease
  • Critically appraise scientific literature
  • Critically analyse and objectively interpret information/data
  • Appraise and synthesise information from different sources in order to develop and understand healthcare science and how blood science fits into the patient pathway and the delivery of services

Practical skills

  • 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 and concise and effective manner
  • Work effectively as an individual or part of a team.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • 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 50%
Written assignment (inc essay) 50%

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

Return to course details