AP0639 - Biomedicine In Focus

What will I learn on this module?

In this module you will learn about recent developments in biomedicine. You will be introduced to a range of key research areas relating to new discoveries and developments in contemporary research including new therapies and the development of novel laboratory techniques.

You will also be introduced to a wider perspective on biomedicine with taught sessions looking at the Ethical, Legal and Social Issues connotations of biomedicine and the subsequent impact within modern society. You will consider the importance not only of understanding complex, modern innovations but of communicating key information with stakeholders, be they patients, clinicians, pathology professionals or the general public.

This module will give you the opportunity to investigate and appraise cutting edge research and explore its implications within the biosciences, with an overall aim of developing graduates who are ready to critically evaluate and discuss research. You will be able to interpret the influence of new technology in both practice and society, analyse contemporary science and technology based issues and communicate your understanding to others.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through lectures, workshops, online activities and independent learning. Lectures will cover important concepts that will enable you to understand the contemporary research areas explored in this module and introduce you to key ideas that underpin modern ELSI. Workshops will support you in expanding your scientific and transferable skills areas such as critical appraisal and scientific communication skills.

Technology-enhanced learning is also an important aspect of both the teaching and learning on this module. The module electronic learning portal / the module blackboard site is populated with the module guide, syllabus and module schedule, detailed assessment brief, taught content, including lecture slides, and staff contact details. You are able and expected to engage with online content in advance of classes to maximise your learning opportunity in taught sessions and can review content after scheduled sessions to consolidate your knowledge and understanding. Additional online resources include a digital reading list to support your directed learning and provide a starting point for your wider reading and independent study.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

A range of academic support will be provided for you to access in support of your learning, both in class and accessible outside formal scheduled teaching. You will be taught by a range of academics with specific interests in the taught material who can bring their own perspectives to the content.

You will have access to module materials including learning resources such as lecture slides online through the eLearning Portal. There will be initial study advice provided by the module tutor and workbooks that underpin this advice in order to support you in developing skills such as critical thinking and writing will be accessible through the module site on the eLearning portal. With an emphasis on interactive teaching we aim to promote critical thinking and communication skills in the development of graduates who are able to discuss complex and sometimes controversial scientific advances.

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 be expected to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of some facts, language, concepts and principles relating to contemporary scientific advances.
2. Develop an understanding of the changing social, legal and ethical implications and impacts of biomedicine in modern society.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
3. Describe, analyse, interpret and evaluate scientific information including textual, numerical, graphical and multimedia material
4. Develop transferable skills in reading, research, writing, analysis and presentation in the context of effective science communication

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
5. You will develop and reinforce the ethical characteristics of a Northumbria graduate as you consider values that underpin the use of animals in testing and clinical trials. You will reflect on how they link with your own values.

How will I be assessed?

The assessment in this module will involve two coursework components: Component 1: A scientific literature review (60%) and Component 2: A piece of scientific communication with an accompanying critical appraisal (40%).

Component 1 will test your ability to critically evaluate primary literature in the area and understand their significance in the wider context. (2000 words) (MLO 1,3)

Component 2* will evaluate your ability to communicate complex science to an appropriate audience. You will develop a piece of scientific communication, examples include but are not limited to; a popular media article, a patient information communication and communication to technology adopters (not to exceed 1000 words). This will be presented alongside supporting sources of evidence and a reflective commentary (1000 words)
you may choose your type of communication from the following or an equivalent alternative as agreed with the Module tutor:

*total word count not to exceed 2000 words.
Submission of all supporting sources/ critical reflections will be managed electronically. Submission of the science communication pieces will be dependent on the format of the communication e.g. popular media articles would be submitted electronically.
Feedback on final summative (marked) work will comprise an individual criterion based marks sheet. Individual feedback will be managed electronically. Cohort feedback will be provided via the module electronic learning portal/ blackboard site.

You will also be given the opportunity to clarify your understanding of assessment details such as marking criteria, expected standard/ format of work etc. by participating in a scheduled assessment tutorial.





Module abstract

Biomedicine as a discipline applies biological research to clinical practice. This wide ranging, ever developing subject is key in developing new therapeutic techniques, pharmaceutical agents and research and diagnostic techniques. A key skill for any modern scientist is to be able to both understand new technologies and communicate their importance and relevance to others as well as any impact on wider society.

Through lectures, tutor-led workshops and online activities, this module will investigate a range of key developments in biomedicine, introducing you to cutting edge research in emerging areas of interest. You will be asked to critically appraise key publications and communicate your understanding to others. You will explore the changing ELSI (Ethical, Legal and Social Issues) implications of biomedicine and be able apply that knowledge to recent developments in the field.

Assessment is by coursework assignment, and the format of the coursework will be [i] a critical review of a key primary publication describing a novel treatment of technique and [ii] development and evaluation of a piece of science communication.

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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