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2020/21 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

BMSC1103 Basic Laboratory and Scientific Skills

20 creditsClass Size: 200

Module manager: Dr Michael Harrison

Taught: Semester 1 View Timetable

Year running 2020/21

Pre-requisite qualifications

Suitable qualifications for entry to programmes of study in Biomedical Sciences


BMSC1110Foundations of Biomedical Sciences
BMSC1210Biology of the Mind
BMSC1212Introduction to Pharmacology
BMSC1213Basic Laboratory and Scientific Skills 2
BMSC1214Human Endocrinology

This module is not approved as a discovery module


The module aims to prepare students with the basic skills that are needed to carry out laboratory work and analyze data in the biomedical sciences.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module students should have acquired basic skills including the ability to:
- display data in an appropriate manner;
- perform basic statistical analysis;
- manipulate units of length, mass and volume;
- manipulate simple algebraic expressions;
- define an exponential process and convert an exponential curve into a straight line;
- perform basic calculations of concentration and prepare solutions to the correct composition;
- use correctly a variety of basic laboratory equipment;
- perform some basic histological techniques;
- write a coherent account of experimental work in a scientific style;
- use some standard software applications and web resources.

Skills outcomes
This module will help develop your teamworking skills and provide training in using data handling and presentation software. There is a strong focus on developing key basic practical skills, including use of standard lab equipment and procedures that you will use throughout your degree course. Particular emphasis is placed on learning how to work safely in the laboratory environment.


This module will cover the basic laboratory and numerical skills that are essential to proper understanding of experimental work in biomedical sciences. These elements of the syllabus will be integrated into the development of some basic laboratory skills. The latter will include the correct use of automatic pipettes, spectrophotometer, the light microscope and electrophoresis equipment.

Students will also receive instruction on how to:
a) write and word process a conventional laboratory report; and
b) use standard software applications to present results as graphs and spreadsheets.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours158.00
Total Contact hours42.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

5 hours: class tests, exams and assessment;
36 hours: preparation for and consolidation of practical classes: (9 x 4 hours);
40 hours: preparation of practical report: (2 x 20 hours);
30 hours: consolidation of lecture material: (10 x 3 hours);
30 hours: revision for MCQ assessments (2 x 15 hours);
12 hours: tutorial preparation (3 x 4 hours).

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students will complete practical worksheets, VLE based exercises and written practical reports.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
In-course MCQOn-line test on course material25.00
Practical ReportPractical report - laboratory report prepared to prescribed format25.00
Practical ReportA lab-based exercise on solutions and concentrations and MCQ50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Any absence from a practical class will attract a v-code. To remove the v-code the student must submit a lab report, based on data provided to them, by a given deadline. The lab report will be check marked to determine it has reached a pass standard. Feedback will not be provided on it.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 17/04/2019


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