Professional/Short course Clinical Biochemistry

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

BSc(Hons) Biomedical Top-up

Page last updated 12 October 2023


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 Clinical Biochemistry module, you will be able to:

  • Interpret biomedical data in the investigation and diagnosis of disease and discuss the origin and effects of an abnormal biochemical profile.
  • Critically appraise the nature and diagnosis of disease in terms of abnormalities in the biochemical and molecular biological aspects of cellular process.
  • Discuss the relevance of biochemical, molecular biological diagnostic tests in the investigation of disease.
  • Interpret bold parameters that characterise selected disease states.
  • Critically and analytically appraise relevant scientific literature.
  • Present scientific information as a poster.

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 for more information.



This level 7 (Masters level) module syllabus typically includes:

Philosophy of clinical biochemistry/clinical utility
An area which under pins all of current diagnostic clinical biochemistry, discussing the value of biochemical and molecular biological tests in the investigation of disease. Introducing concepts such as sensitivity, specificity, predictive values and population selection.

Examples of specific clinically relevant enzymes. Tissue damage and relationship to diagnostic use of enzymes and isoenzymes.

Liver function/disease
Review of fundamental liver biochemistry. Causes of acute and chronic liver disease. Liver function tests. Differential diagnosis of jaundice and other disorders.

Disorders of detoxification and excretory mechanisms - renal
Review of normal kidney functions. Tests of the glomerular function - renal clearance, GFR, serum creatinine and urea determinations. Outline of tests of tubular function. Renal calculi and their investigations.

Acid-base disorders
Review of fundamental acid-base concepts. Metabolic and respiratory causes and clinical effects of acidosis and alkalosis. Disturbances to oxygen transport. Assessment of acid-base status; diagnosis and management of acid-base disorders.

Endocrinology disorders
This will discuss the disorders of the hypothalamic pituitary target organ axis, with particular reference to the thyroid and adrenal glands. Other disorders of endocrine control will be studied which involve other systems of the body, for example: abnormalities in calcium metabolism; abnormalities in control of electrolyte and fluid balance. Furthermore, case studies will be used to discuss disorders of gonad function.

Toxicology and drug therapy
Treatment of cancer using cytotoxic drugs highlighting factors which affect treatment with chemical agents.

Plasma proteins in disease
The role of the plasma proteins in the investigation of disease. Typical topics studied include: clinical enzymology and applications in the diagnosis of coronary heart disease; paraproteins as an example of the use of proteins as tumour markers.

Molecular genetics in disease
This topic introduces the role of molecular genetics in the investigation and understanding of disease processes such as in-born-errors of metabolism and cancer.

Biomarkers of bone disease
Pathogenesis of bone disorders such as osteoporosis, Paget's disease and genetic abnormalities. Biomarkers associated with these conditions to help differentiate between disorders will be discussed.

Electrolyte Imbalances
Water, sodium and potassium distribution under normal and pathophysiological conditions.

Learning and Teaching

Scheduled learning

This module will be delivered in discrete sections, following the subject areas outlined in the syllabus. Each topic area will be introduced with underpinning lectures followed by a series of tutorials where extensive use of case studies will bemade. Guided reading will be provided in advance of lectures and will direct the student to both preparative and supplementary information sources. Copies of all hand-outs will be available on Blackboard. A Web site has been constructed which links to some of the best available information sources on the internet. All links have been investigated for their validity and usefulness in this context.

Tutorials: You will be supplied with a case study (see below) prior to the tutorial session. Tutorials will use indicative lists of questions to guide your learning. It is expected that the case study will be completed before the tutorial. Therefore, the tutorial will engage active discussion on individual and group findings. Case studies will be part of the final year assessment and therefore attendance at tutorials will be strongly encouraged.

Poster presentation: You will also be required to prepare a poster presentation on a piece of current research in the area of clinical biochemistry allowing the student to critically evaluate scientific literature.

Case Studies: Case studies will be used to provide the basis of the tutorial programme. Each case study will develop a theme outlined in one of the core lectures. Each case study will be followed by a number of questions directly relevant to that case. Also, there will be an additional set of questions, which are more wideranging, designed to link together other aspects of clinical biochemistry with the case.

Before the tutorial, you will prepare answers to the questions and be ready to discuss their answers within small groups with the lecturer. The questions given with each case study should direct the your reading and study. In addition scheduled learning also includes asynchronous online activities such as quizzes and discussion board, all available on Blackboard.

Independent learning: In addition to lectures and tutorials you are expected to engage in independent reading where core textbooks and journals are highlighted.

This extended reading will help support you for both coursework and examination preparation, where depth and detail in each area is expected. The expected time given to this aspect is 228 hours.

Study time

The contact hours (72) are distributed as follows:

  • 48 hours of lectures
  • 24 hours of tutorials/seminars


Study facilities

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Get a feel for the Health Professions facilities we have on offer here from wherever you are.

Prices and dates

Supplementary fee information

Please visit our full fee information to see the price brackets for our modules.


Please see our timetable for full date information. 

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.

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