AP0514 - Human Metabolism

What will I learn on this module?

In ‘Human Metabolism’ you will learn of how the body breaks down various biological molecules such as sugars, fats and proteins to gain energy and how it converts these molecules into the other various essential components required to function normally. You will learn about the disorders that can arise and the resulting consequences, with a food and nutritional sciences approach. Consequences such as malnutrition, vitamin deficiencies, diabetes and obesity will be discussed. You will learn about these various aspects in a system/organ-specific manner which will include the liver, the kidneys, heart and digestive tract, allowing you to clearly understand the relationship between normal and disrupted function.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through a combination of lectures, practical sessions, directed reading and independent learning. The lectures, supplemented by directed reading, will provide you with an overview of the major biochemical pathways, their regulation and the principles underlying metabolic integration during normal and dysfunctional states. In practical classes, carried out in the Faculty’s state of the art teaching laboratories, equipped with large screen monitors and PA systems to facilitate in-class tutorials, you will further develop your practical skills through carrying out investigations into the role of specific compounds and enzymes in key pathways in cell metabolism.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Support for your learning in this module will include feedback during practical sessions by tutors on your data presentation and interpretation skills. In addition, tutors will provide a series of online quizzes and data interpretation questions via the University’s electronic learning portal after each system/organ-specific set of lectures and practicals. This material will assist you in consolidating your understanding and knowledge in the relevant area. Your tutors will also use the eLearning portal (Blackboard Ultra) to post the answers to any questions that arise during the course that they feel would benefit the class as a whole. Finally, the eLearning portal (Blackboard Ultra) will also be used by tutors to communicate any important information relating to the course.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:

1. You gain specific knowledge of the major metabolic pathways found in the body, the principles by which they are controlled and the role they play in generating components necessary for normal functioning.
2. You will be able to describe common nutritional disorders that arise from disruption to metabolic pathways and the laboratory methods employed in their routine investigation.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

3. You will be able to apply reference ranges to recognise normal and abnormal findings and recognise the significance of abnormal findings.
Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
4. You will develop an understanding and appreciation of the role played by the biochemistry laboratory in the screening, diagnosis and monitoring of disease and nutritional disorders and the implications in ensuring efficient treatment.

How will I be assessed?

The assessment in this module will involve two components, a short answer format examination (60%, MLO 1, 3) and a coursework assessment based on the activities carried out during practical sessions (40%, MLO 2, 3, and 4). The first component will test your specific knowledge and understanding of the biochemical pathways and principles of metabolic integration. The second component will test your ability to present, interpret and understand the significance of experimental data.
You will be supported in preparing for these assessments via formative feedback obtained during the laboratory sessions and formative exercises delivered via the eLearning Portal which will include multi-choice quizzes and problem-based question sets.


Level 4 Biochemistry or Level 4 Introduction to Biological & Medicinal Chemistry



Module abstract

‘Human Metabolism’ will provide you with a solid understanding of how the body gains the energy it requires to function from molecules such as sugars, fats and proteins and how it can converts these in other essential components that it requires. You will also develop an understanding of how diseases arise from disorders in these processes and gain an appreciation of the role biochemistry plays in the diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of these diseases.
Through engagement in practical sessions, carried out in our state of the art Biosciences laboratories, you will develop your skills in data generation, interpretation and presentation but additionally understanding their significance and learning essential attitudes required to work as a laboratory bio-scientist.

Course info

UCAS Code F115

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years full-time with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Applied Sciences

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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