AP0547 - Digestion and Metabolism

What will I learn on this module?

In this module you will learn about the anatomy and histology of the digestive system and actively integrate it with the biochemistry and physiological function of this organ system. You will familiarise yourself with the digestion and metabolism of the macromolecules: carbohydrates, lipids and proteins and their nutritional significance. Special emphasis will be placed on the inborn errors of metabolism associated with each of these metabolic pathways and the lab tests and the molecular basis for the clinical signs and symptoms of these disorders. The module will be interspersed with clinical cases and study of imaging and histology of the gastrointestinal tract. Clinical cases on inborn errors of intermediary metabolism and metabolic disorders will enhance your understanding of the importance of these aspects of metabolism.

How will I learn on this module?

You will build on the knowledge and understanding developed in Blocks 1-4 and apply anatomy, histology, biochemistry and physiology to the understanding of the gastrointestinal system. 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/faculty 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 will include digital on-line reading lists to instantly access 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 a strengths and weaknesses overview based on category and subject of the material to provide information for further improvement. Feedback on progress will be provided throughout module delivery, after lectures or during office hours. All feedback is aimed to feed forward so you can apply it to your future assessed pieces of work throughout your study.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Faculty will provide support during office hours and by email to explain aspects of taught material, and direct you to relevant resources. The teaching team will also provide feedback on formative activities and summative assessments. All teaching and assessment material will either be posted on the electronic course management site (SAKAI), and announcements regarding any changes in scheduled delivery will be posted on the module site and e mailed to all students. Small groups will be facilitated by clinical tutors who are medical doctors to help guide the exploration of cases, discussions, labs and worksheets. Detailed objectives, practice problems, open ended question and answer sets, web based practice quizzes, case reports and other supportive material will be posted to the course management site to help guide you through the module.

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. Explain the underlying basis of normal functioning of the gastrointestinal system at the structural, microscopic, molecular, cellular, and physiological level.
2. Apply the knowledge of normal metabolic pathways in the understanding and interpretation of disorders of intermediary metabolism
3. Apply the knowledge of nutritional factors contributing to the development of metabolic diseases
4. Analyse the lab findings and be able to differentiate the various disorders of intermediary metabolism

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
5. Develop effective communication and professional conduct during discussion of relevant clinical cases and labs

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment will be provided through in-class quizzes and clicker questions (interactive MCQ sessions) (MLO 6).

Summative assessment
1. Assessments in small groups (MLO 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
2. Weekly graded online quizzes and iMCQ sessions (MLO 1, 2, 3, 4)
3. Final module exam (MLO 1, 2, 3, 4)


Blocks 1-4 of SGU School of Medicine



Module abstract

This module will provide you with a thorough interdisciplinary understanding of the structure (gross and microscopy) biochemical and physiologic functions and homeostasis of the gastrointestinal system. A detailed understanding of intermediary metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids and aminoacids will provide a basis for interpretation of lab results and a basis for the management of the inborn errors of metabolism. The underlying nutritional factors involved in the understanding of obesity, undernutrition, vitamin deficiencies and diabetes mellitus will be addressed. Professional competencies, clinical reasoning, basic interpretation of modern imaging techniques and communication and interpersonal skills will be developed through small group sessions. This module will provide an essential foundation for Pathology, Pathophysiology, board exams and core clinical clerkships.

Course info

Credits 11

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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