AP0507 - Principles of Cellular and Biomolecular Analysis

What will I learn on this module?

In this module you will explore and apply the fundamental biological and chemical principles used to develop important analyses in modern bioscience. You will learn how the composition of complex mixtures of molecules are analysed and interpreted to support clinical diagnosis or to illuminate bioscience research. In some cases molecules are separated to facilitate their identification and quantitation in a complex mixture (electrophoresis and chromatography), elsewhere the specificity or selectivity of an analytical instrument (selective electrodes, biosensors, enzyme assays and immunochemical assays) will be key. In yet other scenarios, specific information may be gleaned from spectral analyses of mixtures (nuclear magnetic resonance, UV-vis spectrophotometry and mass spectrometry). Additionally, the use of cell culture to support biomedical analyses in cytotoxicity testing and also their responses to modelled pathophysiological challenges in biomedical research will be an important and exciting feature. As well as the content illustrating important biological and analytical principles, the mode of assessment will develop your generic research skills in literature searching and evaluation, data analysis, critical appraisal of methodologies and report writing to prepare you for your final year research project and beyond in life as a professional scientist.

How will I learn on this module?

You will be taught through a combination of lectures and practical classes. The theoretical basis of an analytical principle or supporting biological technique or technology will be explained in lectures and illustrated with contemporary examples of diagnostic or research applications. Additionally, the characteristics of the analyte and its matrix and methods required for adequate preservation to ensure generation of meaningful data will also be discussed. The practical sessions will give you hands-on experience of key analytical techniques/technologies and associated data analyses. In all sessions the generic principles associated with the research and diagnostic processes will be reinforced.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be supported by a team of staff associated with the module in a number of ways. Staff will deal with your questions and queries in lecture and practical sessions on issues of module content and also to provide guidance on interpretation of the coursework briefs and the development of the core skills necessary to retrieve, evaluate, discuss and apply the research findings of others. Staff can be contacted outside of sessions via a variety of channels to deal with your queries. Supporting information will also be distributed by the eLP - Blackboard Ultra.

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:
M1. Understand the operating principles of a range of illustrative molecular separation technologies, spectrometric technologies and selective technologies and their application in bioscience analyses
M2. To understand the methodologies and precautions necessary to use cultured cells in research and diagnosis.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

M3. To be able to select appropriate technologies to deliver a biomedical analysis for research or diagnostic purposes based upon sample characteristics, sensitivity, selectivity and professional workflow constraints.
M4. To competently and professionally generate, record, analyse, describe, interpret and compare analytical data sets.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
M5. To recognise the variety of approaches available to secure an analytical outcome and to recognise the role of a gold standard test and how to evaluate a replacement.

How will I be assessed?

Students will write an IMRAD report describing the use of a cell-based analytical methodology (2000 words) which contributes 50% of the module score. Feedback for the IMRAD component is given within the turnnitin which the students can access through the eLP (Blackboard Ultra).
MLOs assessed M1-M2, and M4-M5.

Students will compare analytical methodologies to achieve a diagnostic or research outcome in a poster format explaining analytical principles, specificity, sensitivity, and workflow considerations. Worth 50% module score. Feedback for the poster is given in the rubric used for marking.
MLOs assessed M1, M3, and M5.





Module abstract

The module provides a firm foundation in major molecular and cell based techniques that are important in modern bioscience investigation, whether in a diagnostic or research setting. You will see how the composition of complex biological samples can be analysed using technologies based on molecular separations (electrophoresis and chromatography) or on molecular selectivity (selective electrodes and biosensors, immunochemical detection and enzyme assays). An additional exciting aspect of the module focusses on the use of cultured human cells to generate research models of disease and assays of cellular responses to toxins or new medicines. Aside from learning the theoretical aspects and gaining hand-on laboratory experience in these techniques, you will learn to evaluate, compare and make sound evidence-based choices regarding analytical approach and experimental design that will prove a key skill in your future career.

Course info

UCAS Code B940

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

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

Department Applied Sciences

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2023 or September 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing.

Full time Courses starting in 2023 are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but may include elements of online learning. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with additional restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors, potentially to a full online offer, should further restrictions be deemed necessary in future. Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.


Current, Relevant and Inspiring

We continuously review and improve course content in consultation with our students and employers. To make sure we can inform you of any changes to your course register for updates on the course page.

Your Learning Experience

Find out about our distinctive approach at 

Admissions Terms and Conditions

Fees and Funding

Admissions Policy

Admissions Complaints Policy