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BIO3215 Clinical Biochemistry 2

Semester 2, 2013 External Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Sciences
School or Department : Biological & Physical Sciences
Version produced : 21 July 2014

Contents on this page


Examiner: Michael Kotiw
Moderator: Robert Learmonth


Pre-requisite: BIO2215


Medical laboratory scientists in Clinical Biochemistry laboratories interact with clinicians and other healthcare professionals to perform and interpret data from biochemical investigations. These interpretations assist in determining the status of patients, diagnosis of disease and efficacy of therapeutic interventions. Graduates need the theoretical knowledge that underpins biochemical assays and the skill to analyse and interpret data against reference standards. Knowledge of the range of diseases for which biochemical assays are useful and application of appropriate assays is an essential component of work in this field.


This course builds on the foundations obtained in course BIO2215 Clinical Biochemistry 1. The course provides a review of metabolic normal and abnormal functions. The impact of disorders on metabolic processes is introduced with disease states of specific organs highlighted. The course extends the students' knowledge of specific disease states and the applications of technologies to determine the status and prognosis of patients with specific organ disorders. The nature of specific manual laboratory tests and automated technologies are explored as is the need for an awareness of safety measures required to be taken in a clinical biochemistry laboratory.


On completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. analyse and interpret the significance of biochemical data
  2. analyse spectrophotometric data to determine concentrations of drugs an metabolites in patient samples
  3. describe the use of clinical biochemistry technology in the diagnosis of genetic disease including tumour markers
  4. describe the role of hormones in metabolic processes, the nature of endocrine disorders and the technologies applicable to diagnosis of endocrine diseases
  5. describe the role of enzymes in metabolic processes
  6. describe the principles of enzyme measurement and the relationship to tissue damage
  7. describe the use of acute phase and complement assays in the investigation of immune diseases
  8. describe the metabolic and pathophysiologic analysis of renal and hepatic diseases
  9. describe the theory, application and interpretation of manual and automated technologies used in a Clinical Biochemistry laboratory
  10. investigate relevant literature and prepare technical reports on aspects of Clinical Biochemistry
  11. be aware of the safety issues relevant to a Clinical Biochemistry working environment


Description Weighting(%)
1. An overview of the human biochemistry and safety 8.00
2. Endocrinology
a. The nature of hormones
b. Control of hormone production
c. Endocrine disorders
d. Measurement of hormone diseases
3. Enzymes
a. Clinically important enzymes
b. Enzymes and tissue damage
c. Assays for measuring enzyme activity
4. The immune system
a. Overview of the normal immune system
b. Immunoglobulin disorders
c. Complement and complement disorders
d. Acute phase proteins
5. Kidneys
a. Renal structure and function
b. Renal disease
c. Analysis of renal disease
6. Liver
a. Liver structure and function
b. Hepatic diseases
c. Liver function tests
7. Case studies in metabolic diseases 16.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • Kaplan, LA & Pesce, AJ 2010, Clinical Chemistry, 5th edn, Mosby.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Gaw, A, Murphy, MJ, Cowan RA, O'Reilly, D St J, Stewart MJ & Shepherd J 2008, Clinical Biochemistry, 4th edn, Churchill Livingstone.
  • Luxton, R 2008, Clinical Biochemistry, 2nd edn, Scion Publishing.
    (ISBN 978 1904842 41 5.)

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Assignments 30.00
Directed Study 52.00
Examinations 2.00
Online Tutorials 26.00
Private Study 62.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 20 20 16 Jul 2013 (see note 1)
ASSIGNMENT 2 20 20 16 Jul 2013 (see note 2)
2HR CLOSED EXAM 60 60 End S2 (see note 3)

  1. Examiner to advise the end of semester due date for assignments.
  2. Examiner to advise the end of semester due date for assignments.
  3. Examination dates will be available during the Semester. Please refer to the examination timetable when published.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as tutorials) scheduled for them, and to study all materials provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks. (Depending upon the requirements in Statement 4 below, students may not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to receive a passing grade in this course).

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit reports after the due date without prior approval of the examiner then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the report may apply for each working day late late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded. No assignments will be accepted after model answers have been posted.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the weighted aggregate of the marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    In a Closed Examination, candidates are allowed to bring only writing and drawing instruments into the examination.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the next examination period.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. Students may be required to provide a copy of assignments submitted for assessment purposes. Such copies should be dispatched to the USQ within 24 hours of receipt of a request to do so.

  2. Harvard (AGPS) is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use Harvard (AGPS) style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The Harvard (AGPS) style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide.