Professional course Advanced Life Sciences

Entry year
Course code
Professional/Short Course
Applied Sciences
Distance learning

30 credit level 2 module

Page last updated 2 April 2020


On successful completion of this module you will be able to fulfil the learning outcomes from two of the following three Life Sciences themed units of study:

Applied Genetics

  • Describe the range of current gene-based techniques used in genetic studies.
  • Discuss selected applications of current gene-based technology.
  • Appreciate the continuing development gene-based technology.
  • Explain the impact of gene-based technology on human society.
  • Understand and discuss the general principles underlying genome structure and function in a range of organisms, with a focus on the human genome.
  • Understand the fundamentals of molecular evolution and the basis of population genetics.
  • Analyse and interpret laboratory data.

Biology of Microorganisms

  • Understand fundamental aspects of microbial growth, metabolism and lifestyle.
  • Describe the unique nature of viruses.
  • Appreciate the significance of classification of bacteria.
  • Appreciate energy generation and metabolism in microorganisms.
  • Analyse data derived from laboratory study of microorganisms.
  • Relate the characteristics of certain microorganisms to their survival and success as pathogens.

Human Physiology

  • Interpret and explain the principles of operation of the major physiological systems (as in the condition of health), with particular reference to homeostasis.
  • Relate particular practical investigative instrumentation / techniques in human physiology and pharmacology to the principles of operation noted above.
  • Analyse and interpret laboratory data.


Careers / Further study

This module can contribute towards:

FdSc Healthcare Science
BSc (Hons) Healthcare Science (Transfusion and Transplantation Sciences)



You will study an appropriate combination of two from the following three themed units of study:

Applied Genetics

  • Overview: Applied genetics; revision of basic genetic concepts and terminology; manipulating the genome - recombinant DNA technology.
  • Genome Mapping: Human genome structure; DNA types; approaches to mapping genes - functional and positional cloning; comparing physical and genetic maps; interpreting sequence data; Using model genomes to afford an insight into functional genomics; legal and ethical issues.
  • Genotyping: DNA variation within organisms; detecting specific DNA variants within individual genomes; disease diagnosis; genetic screening; DNA profiling; ethical and legal issues.
  • Population genetics: Allele frequencies, genetic equilibria, population mixing, genetic drift and gene flow.
  • Transgenic Organisms: Creating transgenic organisms; using the technology to study gene function and regulation, transgenic mouse models for human disease; introduction to gene therapy; legal and ethical issues.
  • Developmental genetics: Stem cells; cell type specification in animals; patterning during embryogenesis; Hox genes in drosophila and mammals.

Biology of Microorganisms

  • Growth, nutrition and death of microbes; catabolism and anabolism.
  • Microbial evolution; 16sRNA; bacterial taxonomy.
  • Gram positive and Gram negative bacteria of medical, general or industrial importance.
  • Virus structure and replication; lysogeny; classification of viruses.
  • Certain microbiological diseases and their control relationship between host and microorganisms, mechanisms of pathogenicity.

Human Physiology

  • Review of neural and endocrine communication systems related to homeostatic control; somatic neuromuscular control; types of muscle as effectors.
  • Cardiovascular system: Cardiac muscle and intrinsic properties of the heart; extrinsic control; vascular system and peripheral resistance; regulation of cardiovascular parameters such as blood pressure.
  • Respiration: Mechanics of lung ventilation; neural and chemical control; gas exchange and transport including acid-base considerations;
  • Endocrinology: Selected examples from the endocrine system will be used to illustrate the role of hormones in homeostatic systems.
  • Digestion: Structure and functional differentiation of human digestive tract; examples of integration of neural and endocrine control of motility and digestive secretions.
  • Renal physiology: nephron form and function; measures of function such as clearance; fluid, electrolyte and acid-base balance; endocrinology as appropriate, including ADH, Aldosterone, ANP, Renin-Angiotensin system
  • Principles of Pharmacology: Receptors, autonomic and neuromuscular pharmacology; structure-activity relationships; pharmacological analysis of drug-receptor interactions.
  • Applied physiology: Examples of the integrative functioning of physiological systems under stress, to include dynamic, sustained exercise; extreme heat; stress and the general adaptation syndrome.

Learning and Teaching

You are expected to spend 72 hours on scheduled learning and 228 hours on independent learning. Theoretical material within the module will be presented to the students in the form of regular lectures throughout each of the semesters in the academic year. During those times of work based learning, these lectures will be delivered online and involve a number of technological enhancements. The learning of lecture content will be reinforced through time spent in independent learning by the directed reading of recommended texts and through the use of technology enhanced learning resources that will be provided online.

This online learning and engagement will be delivered through several avenues:

  • Synchronous online tutorials in protected learning time where the student will contribute/attend an online activity appropriate to the content at the time at which the academic will be present online to facilitate and lead this scheduled/timetabled session. This tutorial will be themed/planned.
  • Asynchronous discussions in the student's own time (or during protected time where permitted and appropriate) where they will engage/collaborate with other students on the course or in specified groups, and in which the academic is permitted to moderate where necessary, but is not expected to contribute.
  • Synchronous surgery sessions timetabled for a specific time in which the academic will be available online to answer live questions via discussion boards/blogs/collaborate or to respond to questions posted/asked prior to the session. Interactive, online formative quizzes made available either following a particular package of knowledge exchange/learning, or in specified sessions/time periods.
  • Lectures delivered online through a combination of one or more of the following: visual/audio/interactivity/personal formative assessment.

Practical classes will include simulated case-study based investigations which will allow you to develop your analytical, interpretive and data handling skills.

The remainder of the independent learning time allocated to the module should be spent preparing written assessments for submission and undertaking revision for the controlled component.

Scheduled learning includes lectures, seminars, tutorials, project supervision, demonstration, practical classes and workshops; fieldwork; external visits; work based learning; supervised time in studio/workshop.

Independent learning includes hours engaged with essential reading, case study preparation, assignment preparation and completion etc. These sessions constitute an average time per level as indicated in the table below. Scheduled sessions may vary slightly depending on the module choices you make.


The Assessment Strategy has been designed to support and enhance the development of both subject-based and more general skills, whilst ensuring that the modules learning outcomes are attained, as described below.

Component A
The written exam will provide students with an opportunity to demonstrate both their knowledge on a broad range of topics through a series of short essay questions.

Continuous assessment will be provided by the use of 3 x 30 minute online activities embedded in the module. These activities will require UWE login. The module leader will have full access to up-to-date data to monitor progress and marks obtained by students. Feedback at this level will also be provided online and will be by review of the tests after they have been completed and will include the correct answers (after the relevant assessment period has concluded).

The design of these online assessed activities will be varied, for example:

  • Timed essay questions
  • MCQ
  • Label the structure
  • Prioritisation structure
  • Scenario based questions

Component B
The element will capture the content of online learning and practical workshops delivered in the block weeks. This summative assessment will take the form of a poster presentation.

Formative feedback is available to students throughout the module through group discussions, and in workshops. You are provided with formative feed-forward for your exam through a revision and exam preparation session prior to the exam and through the extensive support materials supplied through Blackboard.

All work is marked in line with the Department's Generic Assessment Criteria and conforms to university policies for the setting, collection, marking and return of your work. Where an individual piece of work has specific assessment criteria, this is supplied to you when the work is set.

Prices and dates

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How to apply

How to apply

You will apply online for your CPD modules, which you can take as stand-alone courses or as part of an undergraduate or postgraduate (Masters level) programme.

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