AP0510 - Medical Biochemistry

What will I learn on this module?

In ‘Medical Biochemistry’, you will learn of how the body breaks down various biological molecules such as sugars, fats and proteins to gain energy. There are a number of cellular pathways through which new biomolecules are synthesised and broken down which is central to normal functioning of the body. These biochemical pathways/ processes and the consequence of their derangements, which results in diseases or disorders, will be studied. Additionally, students will understand how the knowledge of biochemical pathways and clinical biochemistry parameter determination can be used in the diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of various abnormal conditions. You will learn about these various aspects in a Pathway/system/ or organ-specific manner, which will allow you to clearly understand the relationship between normal and disrupted function and how the associated differences link to development of diagnosis tests.

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 the tests available for the diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of commonly encountered diseases. In practical classes, carried out in the Faculty’s state of the art teaching laboratories, equipped with large screen monitors and PA systems, you will further develop your practical skills through applying diagnostic techniques discussed in lectures to generate data and learn how it should be appropriately presented and interpreted in a professional Healthcare situation.

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, self-reflection points for consideration and data interpretation questions via the University’s electronic learning portal after system/ pathway specific sets of teaching sessions are delivered. This material will assist you in consolidating your understanding and knowledge in the relevant area. Case studies will also be posted and discussions will be supported in relevant sessions during the teaching weeks. Your tutors will also use the eLearning portal 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 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 will 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 pathological conditions 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 recognize normal versus abnormal findings and recognise the significance of abnormal findings applying analytical validity and reference ranges.

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 the implications in ensuring efficient treatment.

How will I be assessed?

The assessment in this module will involve two components, a coursework submission (50%) and a practical examination (50%).
The first component will test your specific knowledge and understanding of the biochemical pathways, in addition to your ability to describe the diagnostic tests employed in monitoring their functionality (MLOs 1 & 2).
The second component will test your ability to present, interpret and understand the significance of clinical data, understand the link between biochemical parameter derangement and diseases - (MLOs 3 & 4).

You will be supported in preparing for these assessments though online quiz, directed learning material, workout examples and problem-based question sets as appropriate for the specific topic via online portals.


Level 4 Biochemistry



Module abstract

‘Medical Biochemistry’ 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 convert these into 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 Biomedical Sciences laboratories, you will develop your skills in data generation, interpretation and presentation but additionally in understanding their significance, essential attributes required to work in professional practice as a biomedical scientist.

In ‘Medical Biochemistry’ you will be taught by a combination of research-active tutors and staff from local hospitals which ensures what you are learning is relevant and current to the existing healthcare environment.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 6 years part-time
1 other options available

Department Applied Sciences

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024

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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