AP0543 - Foundations to Medicine

What will I learn on this module?

In this first module, you will learn about the biological molecules associated with cells, tissues and organs from biochemical and cellular discussions towards a molecular understanding of human disease and pathology. You will learn about normal and abnormal physiological states including homeostasis and how it is controlled via biochemical and genetic means. Cellular control of proliferation, senescence, apoptosis and necrosis will be explored. Histological, biochemical, physiological, and genetic aspects of cancer will be synthesized to develop a comprehensive analysis of the principles of this disease state. You will increase your knowledge of human patterns of genetic inheritance beyond Mendelian concepts with the objective of seeing patients through a genetic lens. Genetic and genomic tests for diagnosis and characterization will be taught so that students will have a broad understanding of the advantages and limitations of these technologies. An overarching theme of this module is to introduce you to the language embedded in pathology tests and to provide an understanding and interpretation of the results. To this end, biochemical, physiological and genetic aspects of pharmacology will also be introduced.

How will I learn on this module?

You will build on the knowledge and understanding developed in your premedical education which includes physics, chemistry, and biology. Transfer of information in this module will occur through lectures, interactive audience response devices (clickers), small group discussions, large group discussions, laboratories, directed study, and independent study. St. George’s University actively promotes technology-enhanced learning through the use of SAKAI course management software, TurningPoint interactive response software (clickers), and the ExamSoft testing platform. All relevant information including the module guide, syllabus, detailed objectives, timetable, staff contact details and assessment information will be posted on the module site of the electronic learning portal. There will be dedicated resources to each taught section in the module. These include digital pdf lecture notes, key texts, problem sets, tutorials, paper cases, as well as the carefully designed assessment task details. Summary feedback will be offered for exams delivered on ExamSoft which includes an overview of your strengths and weaknesses based on category and the subject of the material to provide information for further improvement. Feedback is also offered to you during each lecture via clicker questions, and during weekly formative assessments organized as interactive multiple choice question clicker sessions. All feedback is aimed to feed forward so you can apply it to your future assessed pieces of work throughout your study. Formative feedback is also provided throughout module delivery, after lectures or during office hours. These will be aligned to the assessment and feedback pillar in the programme framework for Northumbria awards.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Faculty provides support during office hours and via email to clarify concepts and/or direct you to relevant resources. All teaching and assessment material, including web-based practice problems and quizzes, case reports and other supportive material, is posted on the electronic course management site (SAKAI) and announcements regarding any changes in scheduled delivery will be posted on the module site and emailed to all students. Detailed objectives, practice problems, open ended question and answer sets, web based practice quizzes, and other supportive material will be posted to the course management site to help guide you through the module. The discussion forum folder on SAKAI is a powerful tool of the course where you may post your questions regarding administrative as well as academic issues and will be encouraged to take part in the discussion. This is facilitated by faculty members. Junior clinical faculty members provide guidance and learning support during case discussions, worksheets, imaging and clinical practical skills within small group and practical lab sessions. You will also be assigned faculty advisors to provide academic and personal support.

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. Compare and contrast the molecular basis of normal and disease state at the molecular, cellular, histological, genetic, and a physiological level.
2. Analyze a variety of molecular diagnostic tests and provide their interpretations.
3. Discuss biochemical, histological, physiological, and genetic aspects of cells, tissues and organs.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
4. Develop effective communication of information when discussing and critically analyzing medically related cases

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment is provided through practice questions hosted on the electronic educational platform, weekly iMCQ sessions, discussions in small groups and via in-class clicker questions during each lecture. Professionalism and skills proficiency will be formatively assessed through small-group activities (e.g., small-group discussions, labs and physical examination sessions).

Summative assessment
1. Assessments in small groups (MLO 1, 2, 3, 4)
2. Weekly graded online quizzes (MLO 1, 2)
3. Mid module exam (MLO 1, 2, 3)
4. Final module exam (MLO 1, 2, 3)


Admission into SGU School of Medicine



Module abstract

This module will provide you with a thorough grounding in the molecular, biochemical, cellular, histological, physiological, and genetic underpinnings for the understanding of the normal and the pathological state. This first module of the School of Medicine is designed to link basic physics, chemistry, and biology to the basic sciences of the study of medicine. All discussions related to biochemistry, biomolecules, cells, tissues, organs, physiology, and genetics will be done so by comparing and contrasting the disease state to the normal human state. Successful completion of this module will prepare you to continue in the School of Medicine curriculum.

Course info

Credits 21

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 4 Year Programme

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start August or January

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing.

Full time Courses starting in 2023 are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but may include elements of online learning. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with additional restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors, potentially to a full online offer, should further restrictions be deemed necessary in future. Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.


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