Professional/Short course Studies in the Biology of Disease

Entry year
Course code
Professional/Short Course
School of Applied Sciences
Frenchay Campus
Course Director
Dr Chris Moore

BSc(Hons) Biomedical Top-Up

Page last updated 22 March 2024


Modules can be offered either individually or collectively if you have had your first degree evaluated by the IBMS and require further Top-up studies in order to complete the educational requirement for IBMS accreditation.

On successful completion of this 30 credit module, Studies in the Biology of Disease, you will be able to:

  • review the mechanisms responsible for disease and disorders in the human body.
  • demonstrate knowledge of the pathophysiology, investigation and diagnosis of selected diseases.
  • develop the ability to integrate the specialist areas of biomedical science into the context of a coherent case study approach.
  • perform appropriate experiments and analyse data in practical sessions within the context of a clinical case study.

For an applicant looking to top-up an undergraduate degree to obtain an Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) or Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) accreditation, please refer to the Biomedical Science module top-up for IBMS/HCPC accreditation page for more information.



You will carry out case studies selected to illustrate the multifactorial and integrated nature of disease and its laboratory investigation. The module syllabus typically includes:

Homeostasis and malignant disease

  • Central importance of homeostasis, mechanisms of control and the consequences of failure.
  • Concepts of disease and normality, reference ranges.
  • Mechanisms of cancer development at a cellular level, haematological disorders and diagnosis and treatment.

Cellular pathology

  • Microscopic analysis of cells and tissues.
  • Preparative processes for microscopical analysis of tissues and cells.
  • Cell and tissue stabilisation.
  • Histological and cytological features of the disease state.
  • Clinical laboratory applications of cellular pathology; its role in diagnosis, prognosis and prediction.

Clinical biochemistry

  • Diagnosis, screening and monitoring of disease through qualitative and quantitative evaluation.
  • Diagnosis of liver, cardiac diseases and endocrine disorders.
  • Drug toxicity and drug monitoring.

Haematology and transfusion science

  • Haematology of normal and disease states, haemoglobinopathies and thalassaemias, anaemias, leukaemias and thrombosis.
  • Laboratory investigation of disease states
  • The role of the laboratory in monitoring of therapy.


  • Identification of blood group antigens, methods for antibody detection and compatibility testing and safety aspects of blood transfusion.

Medical microbiology

  • Relationship between host and microorganisms, mechanisms of pathogenicity, transmission and response to infection, factors influencing susceptibility, epidemiology, laboratory investigation of infectious diseases and vaccination.


  • Structure and function of the immune system, innate and acquired immunity, inflammation, tolerance.

Professional/generic aspects

  • Requirements for registration, the HCPC and IBMS.
  • Standards that govern pathology laboratory practice, health and safety, ethics.
  • Quality assurance and quality control, sources of error.

Study time

The contact hours (72) are distributed as follows:

  • 18 lectures (3 hours per lecture) = 54 hours
  • 6 laboratory sessions (3 hours per practical) = 18 hours.


Study facilities

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Prices and dates

Supplementary fee information

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How to apply

How to apply

Please click on the Apply Now button to apply for your CPD module, which you can take as a stand-alone course or as part of an undergraduate or postgraduate (Masters level) programme.

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Extra information

If the course you are applying for is fully online or blended learning, please note that you are expected to provide your own headsets/microphones.

For further information