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Unit information: Biomedical Sciences Lab Summer Programme in 2020/21

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Unit name Biomedical Sciences Lab Summer Programme
Unit code PHPH10016
Credit points 10
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Dr. Goodhead
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Physiology, Pharmacology & Neuroscience
Faculty Faculty of Life Sciences


The unit is designed to offer student a wide exposure to a variety of laboratory skills and experiences within the biomedical sciences with a particular focus on preparing students for a future career in biomedical research. The unit consists of three main themes: an introduction to biomedical science techniques; exploring the systems of the body; and clinical and scientific inquiry.

To promote understanding of the biomedical sciences through exploration of scientific techniques
To work independently in the laboratory environment to design, carry out and analyse biomedical experiments and data
To develop scientific communication skills
To promote the integration of scientific theory with practical application
To promote further study and career opportunities in biomedical research

The unit is taught via practical based laboratory sessions and skills-based symposia. The laboratory sessions will include:

Quantifying drug action
Measurement of drug action on isolated blood vessels

Homeostasis and the effects of altitude
Human electrocardiography and effects of haemorrhage simulation
Dynamic lung volumes and control of breathing simulation

pH and buffers
Recombinant DNA technology

Techniques in microbiology

Comparison of normal and diseased lungs
Tissue structure and function

Muscle nerve properties in the human forearm
Neurophysiology cockroach stimulation
Reflex and voluntary contractions of human muscle

Field work
Visit to We The Curious
Visit to the University of Bristol Botanic Garden

The symposia will include:
Careers and postgraduate study
Biomedical sciences research symposium

The unit will include a three-day research project in the final week whereby students will use techniques and skills already developed to design, carry out and analyse experiments which will be presented via an oral presentation towards the end of the week.

It is envisaged that the unit will help develop a wide range of skills required for all biomedical science students, both laboratory based as well as transferable skills such as group work, problem solving and scientific communication.

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of the unit students should have developed skills including:

  • Demonstration of key laboratory skills including the use of pipettes, handling animal tissue, microscopes and obtaining physiological recordings
  • Being able to communicate effectively in both oral communications and written work
  • Working in groups to collect and analyse data
  • Using problem solving skills to trouble shoot
  • Being able to contribute to planning, carrying out and analysing a short research project
  • Time management

Teaching details

Practical based work in laboratories

Field trips to local sites of scientific relevance

Careers and future prospects symposia

Oral communication session

E-learning portfolio using EndNote and e-voting using TurningPoint

Assessment Details

The unit will be assessed through a combination of coursework and TurningPoint quizzes undertaken throughout the unit and a group oral presentation delivered in the final week.

Coursework (50%)

Satisfactory reflective laboratory proforma completion using OneNote

TurningPoint quizzes (20%)

Content based quizzes completed each week using evoting

Oral presentation (30%)

Group based oral presentation

Reading and References

There are no set texts for the unit but below lists key texts for each of the disciplines studied during the unit:

  • Pharmacology, (7th Edition) H.P. Rang, M.M. Dale, J. M. Ritter, R. J. Flower and G. Henderson, Churchill Livingstone.
  • Berne and Levy physiology. 7th rev ed. BM Koeppen and BA Stanton.
  • Chemistry for the Biosciences, 2nd edition, J Crowe and T Bradshaw, Oxford 2010 The Molecules of Life, 1st edition, J Kuriyan, B Konforti and D Wemmer, Garland Science, 2013.
  • Brock Biolology of Microorganisms (12th edition) MT Madigan, JM Martinko, PV Dunlap, DP Clark
  • Wheater’s functional histology. 6th ed. Young B, O’Dowd G, Woodford P. Churchill Livingstone; 2013
  • Neuroscience Exploring the Brain (4th Ed) M.F. Bear, B.W. Connors, M.A. Paradiso.