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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 26/05/2022 11:31:03

Title of Module: Molecular & Cellular Pathology

Code: BIOL09033 SCQF Level: 9
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Health and Life Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:Farah  Jaber

Summary of Module

The module will look at the role of molecular and cellular based diagnosis in a range of pathological conditions.

The history and development of cellular pathology will be introduced along with a review of increasing use of molecular based techniques to supplement existing diagnostic methods.

The student will be given an overview of processes involved in diagnosis using cell and tissue specimens. In particular, rationale of fixation will be discussed with particular reference to autolysis and putrefaction. The processing of samples from arrival at specimen reception to preparation of a stained, mounted specimen will be will be outlined. There will be reference to specific staining techniques including haematoxylin and eosin and selected special stains. The important role of immunohistochemistry in cellular pathology will be discussed with reference, for example, to identification of tumour type.

The role of cytology will be introduced, both in general terms and with particular reference to gynaecological cytology.

The role of genetic based techniques in pathology will be analysed and demonstrated, with the increasing importance of diagnostic techniques based on molecular biology, specifically in situ hybridisation, PCR and sequencing emphasised by combining technical presentations with examples of applications currently used in a pathology laboratory. Laboratory classes will be an integral part of this module and will typically involve problem based scenarios related as closely as possible to the clinical situation. 

The module will be supported by external practitioners who will deliver lectures for selected parts of the module.

  • This module will work to develop a number of the key “I am UWS” Graduate Attributes to make those who complete the module (e.g.) Universal - Critical thinker, Analytical, Ethically-minded, Inquiring, Collaborative and Research Minded. Work Ready - Knowledgeable, Digitally Literate, Problem-solver, effective communicator. Successful - Autonomous, Innovative, Imaginative, Creative, Daring.

Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
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Term used to describe the traditional classroom environment where the students and the lecturer meet synchronously in the same room for the whole provision.

A mode of delivery of a module or a programme that involves online and face-to-face delivery of learning, teaching and assessment activities, student support and feedback. A programme may be considered “blended” if it includes a combination of face-to-face, online and blended modules. If an online programme has any compulsory face-to-face and campus elements it must be described as blended with clearly articulated delivery information to manage student expectations

Fully Online
Instruction that is solely delivered by web-based or internet-based technologies. This term is used to describe the previously used terms distance learning and e learning.

Online with mandatory face-to-face learning on Campus

Online with optional face-to-face learning on Campus

Work-based Learning
Learning activities where the main location for the learning experience is in the workplace.

Campus(es) for Module Delivery
The module will normally be offered on the following campuses / or by Distance/Online Learning: (Provided viable student numbers permit)
Paisley:Ayr:Dumfries:Lanarkshire:London:Distance/Online Learning:Other:




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Term(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
Term 1check markTerm 2


Term 3


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Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

L1. Demonstrate a broad knowledge and understanding of the scope and application of diagnostic pathology in a clinical setting.

L2. Show an ability to analyse, evaluate and interpret case studies in pathology.

L3. Demonstrate a critical awareness of the importance of data handling and interpretation.

Employability Skills and Personal Development Planning (PDP) Skills
SCQF Headings During completion of this module, there will be an opportunity to achieve core skills in:
Knowledge and Understanding (K and U) SCQF Level 9.

A critical understanding of the molecular and cellular based analytical techniques used in the diagnosis of pathological conditions.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 9.

To utilise a selection of the practices and methodology taught in the module to carry out a series of laboratory and theoretical investigations relevant to clinical diagnosis.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 9.

To undertake a critical analysis of pathological data presented to form a diagnosis.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 9.

Communicate effectively orally and in writing. Use a range of IT skills such as the use of scientific data bases to support and enhance studies.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 9.

To exercise autonomy and initiative in preparing reports and solving individual case studies and realize the importance of this in a professional setting

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Core Biomedical Science
Human Biology
Other:Only Available for students on Programme Codes C910 P BSc/ABS (Applied Biomedical Science), B940 P BSc/BiomS (Biomedical Science) and BSc (Hons) Science.
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
The module will be presented using a mix of traditional and modern learning styles. Formal lectures, Tutorials, laboratory classes and blended learning techniques (Videos, animations, self-assessment questions, external links) will be used to introduce topics including much of the theory behind the techniques used in Pathology. External experts will also contribute to the module delivery, providing real-life examples and experience of pathology in a modern diagnostic laboratory setting.
Learning Activities
During completion of this module, the learning activities undertaken to achieve the module learning outcomes are stated below:
Student Learning Hours
(Normally totalling 200 hours):
(Note: Learning hours include both contact hours and hours spent on other learning activities)
Lecture/Core Content Delivery16
Laboratory/Practical Demonstration/Workshop16
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity16
Independent Study152
200 Hours Total

**Indicative Resources: (eg. Core text, journals, internet access)

The following materials form essential underpinning for the module content and ultimately for the learning outcomes:

Cytopathology (Fundamentals of Biomedical Science): Shambayati B. (ed) 978-0199533923

Histopathology (Fundamentals of Biomedical Science): Orchard G. & Nation B. (eds) 978-0199574346

Peter H. Raven, George B. Johnson, Kenneth A. Mason, Susan Singer, Jonathan Losos. (2014) Biology, 10th Edition McGraw Hill Higher Education ISBN: 0073383074

Benjamin A. Pierce. "Genetics: A Conceptual Approach", Edition 4, Freeman W. H. & Company, (2010). ISBN: 1429232528

Subject area Journals i.e. Genetics, Journal of Medical Genetics, Journal of Pathology, Journal of Clinical Pathology.

(**N.B. Although reading lists should include current publications, students are advised (particularly for material marked with an asterisk*) to wait until the start of session for confirmation of the most up-to-date material)

Engagement Requirements

In line with the Academic Engagement Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on the relevant learning platform, and complete assessments and submit these on time. Please refer to the Academic Engagement Procedure at the following link: Academic engagement procedure

Where a module has Professional, Statutory or Regulatory Body requirements these will be listed here:
Attendance at synchronous sessions(lectures, workshops, tutorials), completion of asynchronous activities, and submission of assessments to meet the learning outcomes of the module. This module has a practical element as part of the Royal Society of Biology accreditation.
which must be attended.

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Supplemental Information

Programme BoardBiological Sciences and Health
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelBiology L7-11
ModeratorRobin Freeburn
External ExaminerD Stobo
Accreditation DetailsThis module is part of the BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science programme; accredited by Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) and approved by Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) as part of BSc (Hons) Applied Biomedical Science programme.
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Coursework 1 - 50% of Total Module Marks (comprised as below)
Laboratory Final Report (30%) of Total module marks)
Laboratory Results Presentation (20% of Total module Marks)

Coursework 2
Case Studies Portfolio (50% of Total Module Marks)
(N.B. (i) Assessment Outcomes Grids for the module (one for each component) can be found below which clearly demonstrate how the learning outcomes of the module will be assessed.
(ii) An indicative schedule listing approximate times within the academic calendar when assessment is likely to feature will be provided within the Student Handbook.)

Assessment Outcome Grids (Footnote A.)

Component 1
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Report of practical/ field/ clinical workcheck markcheck markcheck mark300
Presentationcheck mark check mark202

Component 2
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Case studycheck markcheck markcheck mark500
Combined Total For All Components100% 2 hours

A. Referred to within Assessment Section above
B. Identified in the Learning Outcome Section above

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  1. More than one assessment method can be used to assess individual learning outcomes.
  2. Schools are responsible for determining student contact hours. Please refer to University Policy on contact hours (extract contained within section 10 of the Module Descriptor guidance note).
    This will normally be variable across Schools, dependent on Programmes &/or Professional requirements.

Equality and Diversity
In line with current legislation (Equality Act, 2010) and the UWS Equality, Diversity, and Human Rights Code, our modules are accessible and inclusive, with reasonable adjustment for different needs where appropriate. Module materials comply with University guidance on inclusive learning and teaching, and specialist assistive equipment, support provision and adjustment to assessment practice will be made in accordance with UWS policy and regulations. Where modules require practical and/or laboratory based learning or assessment required to meet accrediting body requirements the University will make reasonable adjustment such as adjustable height benches or assistance of a ‘buddy’ or helper.
Please refer to the UWS Equality and Diversity Policy at the following link: UWS Equality and Diversity Policy

UWS Equality and Diversity Policy
(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School)

2014 University of the West of Scotland

University of the West of Scotland is a Registered Scottish Charity.

Charity number SC002520.