AP0411 - Introductory Pathological Sciences

What will I learn on this module?

You will learn about the roles of the five major pathology disciplines and their role in investigation and diagnosis of disease processes. Each pathology discipline, namely; Medical Microbiology, Immunology, Cellular Pathology, Haematology and Transfusion science and Clinical Biochemistry, will be explored providing you with a theoretical understanding of the subject specialism and laboratory based analytical processes and methodologies that lead to disease diagnosis. This introduction to the fundamentals of Biomedical Science will enable you to identify the roles each laboratory plays in a Pathology Department and in combination with sessions focussed on professional skills will equip you with the skills needed to work in a safe and ethical manner to generate and assess the validity of data used in the diagnosis and monitoring of disease states.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through lectures, laboratory classes, and independent learning. Online learning in the form of interactive sessions and guided independent learning activities will be used where it complements the taught material. The lectures will provide the knowledge required to understand the theoretical and practical aspects of the specialist subjects that will enable you to put into practice these concepts and techniques during the laboratory sessions. These laboratory sessions will focus on one specialism at a time, and frame the understanding of the specialism in disease diagnosis through problem and clinical scenario based learning. You will be introduced and gain essential skills in the major diagnostic investigations and techniques adopted by pathology laboratories. Directed learning will support the material delivered during taught and practical sessions and will allow you to consolidate your knowledge and understanding of the subject matter and support your transition to independent learning and critical analysis.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be supported through feedback during laboratory sessions, where the opportunity to ask directed questions and receive small group support from tutors is available. In addition, tutors will respond to questions via the module’s discussion board at the University’s eLearning Portal so that the whole group can benefit.

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:
1. You will learn and understand the roles played by each of the 5 specialism areas within a pathology department and the contribution each plays in disease diagnosis.
2. You will be able to describe the principals and theoretical aspects behind many investigations performed by the various laboratories in disease diagnosis.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
3. You will develop your skills in the safe and ethical handling of clinical samples and appreciate the health and safety aspects of working in pathology laboratories.
4. You will be able to perform a range of practical techniques employed in diagnostic investigations.
5. You will develop critical evaluation skills in assessing data validity by using QC and standard samples.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
6. All individuals working in biomedical science are members of a scientific profession and as such are expected to maintain and uphold professional standards. You will develop the higheststandards of professionalism and commitment to ethical conduct.
7. You will develop personal values and skills expected of a Northumbria graduate and be able to work effectively as a team and an individual, maintain a high standard of professionalism at all times.

How will I be assessed?

Summative assessments will involve 4 components. Two of these will be CW based (total 40%) and two will be practical exam (60%)

The theoretical aspects and principals of the 5 pathology specialisms both separately and in combination in disease diagnosis will be assessed via MCQ and SAQ on eLP. This will assess your knowledge and understanding of both theoretical aspects and the application in diagnostics. The coursework is divided into 2 individual pieces of assessment:
• Component 1: MCQ and SAQ on Medical Microbiology, Cellular Pathology and Professionalism - 80min (20%) (MLO 1, 2, 6 tested)
• Component 2: MCQ and SAQ on Clinical Biochemistry, Haematology and Immunology 80min (20%) (MLO 1 & 2 tested)

Practical Examination:
Components 3 & 4
Competency in practical techniques and assays from each specialism and the safe handling of samples will be assessed via2 x 2.5hr practical examination (2x30%) (MLO 3, 4, 5 tested)

Formative Assessment:
Self-assessment quizzes on each of the specialisms, such as cell recognition in photomicrographs, exercises on blood group phenotypes and genotypes, MCQ and SAQ’s, will be available on eLP.





Module abstract

At the heart of Biomedical Science is the science of Pathology and the importance that the five pathology specialisms (Clinical Biochemistry, Cellular Pathology, Medical Microbiology, Haematology and Transfusion Science and Clinical Immunology) play in disease diagnosis, monitoring and treatment. Introductory Pathology Science introduces the principles and theory behind the five specialisms and an initial introduction into how these specialisms can combine to help formulate medical diagnoses. Laboratory experience is a key component of this module and you will develop strong practical skills needed in diagnostic pathology. This module aligns with the professional standards and code of practice expected in Biomedical sciences and is your first taste the functions of an NHS pathology lab. Taught by academics and informed by NHS practitioners, you will gain the skills and knowledge needed for a career within Biomedicine and beyond. The assessment is designed to evaluate your understanding of the theory of the individual subject areas, and through practical examination, assess your competency in generating quality, validated diagnostic data.

Course info

Credits 40

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 6 years Part Time
1 other options available

Department Applied Sciences

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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