University of Technology Sydney

69506 Biomolecular Science

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2023 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Science: Life Sciences
Credit points: 6 cp
Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.

Recommended studies:

A general science background is recommended, including foundation areas such as chemistry, cell biology, anatomy, physiology, immunology and biodiversity.

Description

The primary focus of this subject is how tissue samples are examined for diagnosis in modern laboratories. The first module explains normal tissue morphology and the routine processing techniques used in histology. The second module gets you to consider patient backgrounds and cultural diversity in relation to pathology testing. In the third module, students are introduced to molecular biology and molecular diagnostic techniques currently used in research applications and public microbiology laboratories. The final module investigates abnormal tissue samples and how they are diagnosed in an antomical pathology lab, including special stains, immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridisation and molecular pathology methods.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:

1. Describe, compare and contrast normal and pathological appearance and function of selected tissue samples.
2. Explain the rationale and procedures for different techniques and tests used to determine pathological changes.
3. Identify significant issues, challenges or opportunities involved with a diversity of patient samples and experiences.
4. Explore and review the theory underpinning human genetics and molecular biology.
5. Communicate effectively and demonstrate English Language Proficiency.

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes specifically to the development of following course intended learning outcomes:

  • Critically engage with the appraisal of knowledge in the context of medical laboratory science. (1.1)
  • Evaluate relevant scientific literature in the investigation of complex medical and diagnostic problems by undertaking independent research. (2.1)
  • Demonstrate a high-level understanding of health and safety requirements, ethical conduct, risk management, organisation and collaborative skills and record keeping in the context of a professional pathology laboratory. (3.1)
  • Self-reflect and evaluate on the processes used to acquire and apply knowledge and skills within the laboratory environment. (4.1)
  • Use appropriate communication approaches from a variety of methods (oral, written, visual) to communicate medical science concepts to peers, discipline experts, scientists, industry, and the general public. (5.1)
  • Distil and articulate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives in relation to professional laboratory practice relating to pathology testing. (6.1)

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

1. Disciplinary Knowledge - Specialist knowledge of laboratory disease diagnosis in anatomical pathology, molecular biology and cellular pathology.

Disciplinary knowledge will be assessed through topic quizzes and through the completion of the ‘Reports’ assessment task. You will be assessed on understanding the subject's theoretical and technical components in the context of a medical laboratory's routine and specialised work.

2. Research, inquiry and critical thinking - The ability to apply scientific methods to investigate diagnostic techniques through experimental observation, understanding of analytical laboratory testing, critical evaluation and data analyses.

Critical thinking will be assessed in your ability to conduct independent research and assimilate the findings through the ‘Reports’ and 'Essay’ assessment tasks.

3. Professional, ethical and social responsibility - A capacity to work ethically and professionally using technical, practical, and collaborative pathology skills within the workplace and apply these to meet society's current and future needs.

The' Essay' assessment task will assess your ability to place these topics within a professional, ethical, and social framework.

4. Reflection, Innovation, Creativity - The ability to design creative solutions to contemporary diagnostic issues using reflective practices and self-directed learning.

This attribute will be assessed in the ‘Reports’ and 'Essay’ assessment tasks.

5. Communication - Effective and professional communication skills for scientific audiences.

The ‘Reports’ and 'Essay’ assessment tasks will assess effective and professional communication skills. English language proficiency will be assessed in the 'Essay' assessment task.

6. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Knowledges and Connection with Country - A deep understanding and appreciation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Knowledge, culture, history and experiences that can impact medical laboratory management and diagnostic testing.

The essay assignment will assess your ability to identify and explain how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Knowledges, culture, history and their experiences may act as drivers to the review and revise medical laboratory practices and procedures

Teaching and learning strategies

This course is completed via the UTS online learning environment CANVAS (https://canvas.uts.edu.au/). You will work through four independent, self-directed learning modules throughout the session. All subject material will be delivered online. There are no practical classes or on-campus activities associated with this subject. Learning content will be delivered in dynamic formats, including expert interviews, interactive activities, videos, lecture recordings, readings (including scientific research and technical literature), and other online media. Short progress quizzes will be associated with the modules, and there are two written assessment items to submit.

There will be a scheduled time for all students to meet and converse with classmates and the subject facilitator via a weekly Zoom session. (https://utsmeet.zoom.us/). While attendance is not mandatory, students are encouraged to attend as many sessions as possible to stay connected and also have the opportunity to get face-to-face advice as to the different assessment tasks. Occasionally, guest speakers may be invited to give a talk at this time, or small tutorials may be held. It is an opportunity to touch base and participate in a collegiate scientific environment.

Students will receive feedback through small formative self-guided tests and activities throughout each module and through the end-of-module quizzes. Students can also discuss their learning and assignment progress in live ZOOM classes and in the discussion board in CANVAS.

This subject aims to help you develop academic and professional language and communication skills to succeed at university and in the workplace. To determine your current academic language proficiency, you are required to complete an online language screening task, OPELA (information available at https://www.uts.edu.au/research-and-teaching/learning-and-teaching/enhancing/language-and-learning/about-opela-students). If you receive a Basic grade for OPELA, you must attend additional Language Development Tutorials which will run in block mode throughout the semester in order to pass the subject. These tutorials are designed to support you in developing your language and communication skills. Students who do not complete the OPELA and/or do not attend 80% of the Language Development Tutorials will receive a Fail X grade

Content (topics)

Module 1 - Weeks 2 to 4 - Histology: This module is an introduction to human tissue appearance, function, and identification. You will examine basic tissue types and selected organs in comprehensive detail. Routine tissue processing techniques and staining procedures used in current laboratory practice will be explained.

Module 2 - Week 5 - Pathology in the Community: This module is aimed at increasing awareness and understanding of patient diversity and how different people have different experiences in relation to pathology testing.

Module 3 - Weeks 6 to 8 - Molecular Genetics: This module is an introduction to molecular biology and the current techniques used to identify changes in gene expression or gene modification.

Module 4 - Weeks 9 to 12 - Anatomical Pathology: This module expands upon knowledge of tissue analysis into the diagnostic field and explores more advanced and complex methods used in Australian and international laboaratories to confirm a histological diagnosis.

Assessment

Assessment task 1: Module quizzes

Intent:

This assessment task contributes to the development of the following graduate attributes:

1. Disciplinary Knowledge

Objective(s):

This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

1, 2 and 4

This assessment task contributes to the development of course intended learning outcome(s):

1.1

Type: Quiz/test
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 40%
Criteria:

Marks will be awarded for correct answers to questions presented in a quiz / test format. No marks will be deducted for any wrong answer

Assessment task 2: Report

Intent:

This assessment task contributes to the development of the following graduate attributes:

1. Disciplinary Knowledge

2. Research, inquiry and critical thinking

3. Professional, ethical and social responsibility

4. Reflection, Innovation, Creativity

5. Communication

Objective(s):

This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

1, 2, 4 and 5

This assessment task contributes to the development of course intended learning outcome(s):

1.1, 2.1, 3.1, 4.1 and 5.1

Type: Report
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 30%
Length:

1500-2000 words for all parts

Criteria:

You will be assessed against a marking rubric which will be available to view in Canvas.

Assessment task 3: Essay

Intent:

This assessment task contributes to the development of the following graduate attributes:

1. Disciplinary Knowledge

2. Research, Inquiry and Critical Thinking

3. Professional, Ethical and Social Responsibility

4. Reflection, Innovation, Creativity

5. Communication

6. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Knowledges and Connection with Country

Objective(s):

This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

2, 3 and 5

This assessment task contributes to the development of course intended learning outcome(s):

1.1, 2.1, 3.1, 4.1, 5.1 and 6.1

Type: Essay
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 30%
Length:

1000-2000 words

Criteria:

You will be assessed against a marking rubric available to view in Canvas. You will also be assigned 10% of the total available marks for participation in a discussion forum on the topic

Minimum requirements

English language proficiency: It is a requirement of this subject that all students complete OPELA. Students who receive a Basic grade in OPELA are required to attend 80% of the Language Development Tutorials in order to pass the subject. Students who do not complete OPELA and/or do not attend 80% of the Language Development Tutorials will receive a Fail X grade.