BSc Biomedical Sciences with Entrepreneurship

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Clinical Sciences RSM

Course unit fact file
Unit code BIOL20902
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? No


This Research Skills Module is designed to develop your experimental design, report writing and practical skills. In a series of practical sessions, you will develop an understanding of the principles underpinning common clinical diagnostic/research techniques in clinical biochemistry, haematology, pathology and microbiology. Topics include; investigating a sample of food implicated in food poisoning, diagnosis of a tumour tissue and investigating the safety and efficacy of new anticoagulant drugs using plasma samples.


Unit title Unit code Requirement type Description
Body Systems BIOL10811 Pre-Requisite Recommended

This unit may be selected by Biomedical Sciences or Biology students.


  • To introduce students to theory and practice of a selection of commonly used techniques used in both clinical and research laboratories
  • To provide training in experimental design and critical interpretation of data
  • To develop practical skills and team working ability

Learning outcomes

Students will:

  • Develop an understanding of the principles underpinning common clinical diagnostic/research techniques in clinical biochemistry, haematology, pathology and microbiology as well as their respective applications and uses.
  • Know how to perform various clinical laboratory research techniques in the aforementioned areas and recognise the need for good experimental design and laboratory practice.
  • Collect, analyse and present data in a format for publication.


During the RSM students will gain experience in 4 different clinical laboratory settings; Clinical Microbiology, Biochemistry, Pathology and Haematology.

Clinical Microbiology will include modelling of a synthetic epidemic as well as identification of bacteria causing infections using selective media, microscopy, biochemical tests and 16srRNA sequencing.

Clinical Biochemistry will look at analysis of blood & urine samples where possible from clinical research scenarios including diabetes and chronic kidney disease. Techniques will include urinalysis, microscopy, urinary drug metabolite testing.

Preparation of experimental solutions, tissue section, histology, immunohistochemistry, diagnosis of tumour tissue as well as data analysis will form the basis of clinical pathology.

For haematology there will be an investigation of the safety and efficacy of new anticoagulant treatments. Students will generate a test hypothesis and design appropriate experiments including selection of appropriate methodologies, data analysis and interpretation.

Employability skills

Analytical skills
All weeks will involve analysis of data/findings and will include manipulation of data and presentation of this information in many formats.
Group/team working
Most experiments will involve an element of small group working/team work.
Many experiments will include an element of innovation where students will be expected to design and plan their actual experiment from start to finish. For e.g. in Pathology and Haematology weeks.
Opportunities for leadership role(s) in various experiments during the 4 weeks.
Project management
There will be opportunities for project management in various experiments.
Oral communication
Many opportunities to ask and answer questions during all sessions on a one-to-one basis and in small groups.
Problem solving
This will be part of all practical experiments in this RSM and also will be incorporated in case studies on some weeks.
All weeks will included a research element be it through wetlab experiments or dry 'case study' scenarios.
Written communication
Online assessments associated with various practicals/experiments and extended practical write-up (scientific paper style).

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Other 50%
Written assignment (inc essay) 45%
Set exercise 5%

Continuous assessment of each week by short answer questions including data analysis and interpretation (45%) Extended write-up in style of a research paper (50%) Short online test: good laboratory practice (5%)

RSM Attendance guidelines. Students are expected to attend all scheduled RSM sessions on time (N.B. Health and safety information will be delivered at the start of practical sessions, and students who are not present at the start may be asked to leave the lab). Students who arrive late will be marked as absent for that session. Failure to attend a session (an unauthorised absence) will result in a 10% (i.e. 10 mark) penalty being applied to the overall RSM mark (i.e. a student obtaining a mark of 65% overall will instead receive a mark of 55%). Further absences will result in further penalties (i.e. 2 absences = a penalty of 20% (as described above)).

Feedback methods

  • During the practical sessions there will be many opportunities for immediate feedback from staff and demonstrators
  • Individual feedback on assessed work

Recommended reading

All recommended reading will be made available through Blackboard and a printed manual will be distributed to students on a weekly basis which contains background information and a description of the relevant practical work.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Practical classes & workshops 72
Independent study hours
Independent study 28

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Michelle Keown Unit coordinator

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