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BIO2215 Clinical Biochemistry 1

Semester 1, 2021 External
Short Description: Clinical Biochemistry 1
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Health and Wellbeing
Student contribution band : Band 2
ASCED code : 010901 - Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Grading basis : Graded
Version produced : 14 April 2021


Examiner: Prajwal Gyawali


Pre-requisite: BIO1103 and CHE2120


Medical laboratory scientists working in clinical biochemistry laboratories interact with clinicians and other healthcare professionals to generate and interpret data from the biochemical analysis of clinical specimens. These investigations assist in determining the metabolic status of patients, the diagnosis of a wide range of diseases and the monitoring of the efficacy of therapeutic interventions. This course, will provide students with the theoretical knowledge that underpins biochemical assays and the interpretation of biochemical data.
This course will prepare students for a Pathology Clinical Placement in the biochemistry department of a clinical pathology laboratory.


This course builds on the foundational knowledge acquired in the clinical biochemistry module of BIO1103 Pathology Studies with a more in-depth study of human biochemistry in health and disease. Clinical Biochemistry 1 explores the physiology and pathophysiology of major human organ systems and the metabolism of important macro and micronutrients. This course also provides an overview of the major homeostatic mechanisms in the human body and explores the pathophysiology and associated laboratory investigation of homeostatic disturbances. The effect of pre-analytical, analytical and post-analytical factors on biochemical data, the establishment and use of reference ranges and the nature and importance of quality control and quality assurance procedures are also investigated. This course also provides an overview of the analytical instrumentation and analytical methods used in clinical biochemistry laboratories and investigates the work health and safety issues associated with working in a clinical biochemistry laboratory.

Clinical Biochemistry 1 will provide a solid background in the discipline to prepare students to undertake more advanced studies in this discipline or to commence work in either a diagnostic or research setting.

This course contains a mandatory residential school for both external and on-campus students.


On completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. outline the role of the clinical biochemistry laboratory in the screening, diagnosis, prognosis and monitoring of disease states;
  2. explain the effects of pre-analytical, analytical and post-analytical factors on biochemical data and outline the establishment and use of reference ranges, diagnostic cut-offs, critical limits and action limits;
  3. describe the various analytical techniques and analytical instrumentation used in clinical biochemistry and analyse and interpret the clinical significance of the data generated;
  4. describe the pathophysiology of a range of disease states and relate this to measurable alterations in the composition of body fluids and associated changes in biochemical parameters.
  5. demonstrate a high level of academic, scientific and professional literacy;
  6. employ safe work practices;
  7. evaluate quality control and quality assurance data and apply a methodical problem solving approach to quality control failures.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Overview of clinical biochemistry 16.00
2. Digestion, nutrition and nutritional disorders 24.00
3. Control of fluid and electrolyte balance and associated disorders 12.00
4. Calcium metabolism and disorders of calcium metabolism 12.00
5. Carbohydrate metabolism and disorders of carbohydrate metabolism 8.00
6. Lipids digestion, transport and metabolism 8.00
7. Plasma proteins 8.00
8. Acid-base homeostasis and disorders of acid-base balance 12.00

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. (

Turgeon, M.L., 2020, Linne & Ringsrud’s Clinical Laboratory Science: Concepts, Procedures, and Clinical Applications, 8th edn, Elsevier, St. Louis.

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, M J, Cowan, R A, O’Reilly, D St J, Stewart, M J & Shepherd, J 2018, Clinical biochemistry, 6th edn, Churchill Livingstone, Edinburgh.
Kaplan, L.A. & Pesce, A,J., 2010, Clinical chemistry, 5th edn, Mosby, NY.
Marshall WJ and Bangert SK (eds) 2014, Clinical Biochemistry: metabolic and clinical aspects, 3rd edn, Churchill Livingstone Elsevier Ltd.
Nelson, DL & Cox, MM 2017, Lehninger principles of biochemistry, 7th edn, WH Freeman, New York.
Rifai, N., Horvath, A.R. and Wittwer, C.T., eds 2018, Tietz Textbook of Clinical Chemistry and Molecular Diagnostics, 6th edn, Elsevier, St. Loius.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Assignments 20.00
Online Lectures 26.00
Online Tutorials 13.00
Private Study 90.00
Residential Schools 16.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
Online Quiz 20 20 19 Mar 2021
Laboratory Report 20 20 27 Apr 2021 (see note 1)
Essay 20 20 24 May 2021
Open Exam - Online 40 40 End S1 (see note 2)

  1. The dates and location of the mandatory residential school are available from the Residential School Timetable ( On-campus students can follow the Class Timetables ( as a guide or enrolled students can refer to their student portal and navigate to Student Centre>Self Service>Timetables>My Weekly Schedule.
  2. This will be an online exam. Students will be provided further instruction regarding the exam by their course examiner via StudyDesk. The examination date will be available via UConnect when the Alternate Assessment Schedule has been released.

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 material 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.

    Student (external and on-campus) attendance at the residential school is mandatory (non-attendance will mean the student cannot pass the course). The residential school delivers the practical component for the semester, students must attend and actively participate in the laboratory sessions in the course and maintain a satisfactory record of practical work.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    Due to COVID-19 the requirements for S1 2021 are:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks for that item.

    Requirements after S1 2021:
    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:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    Due to COVID-19 the requirements for S1 2021 are:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

    Requirements after S1 2021:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must obtain at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course (i.e. the Primary Hurdle), and have satisfied the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised), i.e. the end of semester examination by achieving at least 40% of the weighted marks available for that assessment item and must have satisfied the Secondary Hurdle (Proficiency), (i.e. the laboratory report) by achieving at least 50% of the marks available for that assessment item.

    Supplementary assessment may be offered where a student has undertaken all of the required summative assessment items and has passed the Primary Hurdle but failed to satisfy the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised), or has satisfied the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised) but failed to achieve a passing Final Grade by 5% or less of the total weighted Marks.

    To be awarded a passing grade for a supplementary assessment item (if applicable), a student must achieve at least 50% of the available marks for the supplementary assessment item as per the Assessment Procedure (point 4.4.2).

  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:
    Due to COVID-19 the requirements for S1 2021 are:
    An Open Examination is one in which candidates may have access to any printed or written material and a calculator during the examination.

    Requirements after S1 2021:
    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:
    Normally Deferred and Supplementary Examinations are held in the next Examination period. In S1 2021 selected courses will pilot an early Deferred and Supplementary Examination period held within 30 business days of results release. The list of courses involved can be found at

  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.

  3. Students should be aware that the originality of any submitted assignment will be checked by the USQ service, "Turnitin". An originality index must be generated and will be checked - an acceptable Turnitin similarity index is <15%.

Date printed 14 April 2021