Chemistry for Biology

The details
Essex Pathways
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Foundation/Year Zero: Level 3
Thursday 08 October 2020
Friday 02 July 2021
30 May 2020


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BSC CR00 Biochemistry (Including Foundation Year),
BSC CD00 Biological Sciences (Including Foundation Year),
BSC BD00 Biomedical Science (Including Foundation Year),
BSC CK00 Genetics (Including Foundation Year),
BSC C161 Marine Biology (Including Foundation Year)

Module description

The module aims to provide students with the knowledge and understanding of chemistry needed to underpin advanced study in biology. This involves an understanding of the basic facts, concepts and terminology of chemistry relevant to modern biology.

Module aims

The aims of the module are:

- To ensure that students obtain a broad understanding of basic concepts and terminology of chemistry;
- To enable students to develop their knowledge and understanding by conducting general practical experiments;
- To enable students to describe, explain and analyse at the entry level fundamental concepts relating to chemistry;
- To enhance students' knowledge of and interest in chemistry by preparing them for undergraduate study in the School of Biological Sciences.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module a student will be able to:

1. demonstrate knowledge of the fundamental principles of chemistry;
2. record, calculate, analyse, interpret and present scientific data relating to chemistry;
3. apply knowledge of chemistry to perform calculations, interpret data and analyse problems;
4. demonstrate understanding and knowledge of the fundamental principles of chemistry by clearly communicating ideas in writing;
5. express complex concepts using accurate terminology in an appropriate academic style;
6. demonstrate competence in (a) the analysis and interpretation of data and (b) written communication of experimental results.

Module information


- Formulae, equations and amounts of substance
- Atomic structure
- Bonding and structure
- Inorganic chemistry and the periodic table
- Redox
- Energetics
- Equilibria
- Kinetics
- Organic chemistry
- Modern analytical techniques relevant to biological sciences

Formative assessment
Moodle quiz and; pre-lab quizzes, one during each practical session, to ensure engagement with, and understanding of materials, and safe conduct during the experiment.

Summative assessment

Four online Moodle assessments (4 x 7.5% each, 30% in total) – 50 MCQ to include calculations relevant to topics covered in lectures. This provides an opportunity for students to revise topics and practice their calculation skills, identifying any gaps in their knowledge.

Participation mark based on completion and outcome of in-simulation Labster quizzes (10%). This will encourage engagement with the Labster programme of laboratory simulation and theory revision quizzes relevant to topics covered during the course.

Two post-lab quizzes (5% each, 10% in total). These are practical assessment worksheets and exercises to assess practical skills, data analysis and understanding.

Two post-lab assignments (the first assignment is worth 20% and the second one 30%; 50% in total). These are practical write-ups of experiments in scientific paper format (Introduction, Method, Results, Discussion, Conclusions) and appropriate presentation of data collected in practical sessions in written presentations.

Timed exam - to include 2 sections: short answer and longer format questions to cover all topics taught during the module.

Reassessment strategy
Failed Timed Exam:
Resit the exam which is re-aggregated with existing coursework mark to create a new module aggregate.

Failed Coursework:
Resubmit a lab report (1,500 words) and resit a Moodle quiz which will be re-aggregated with existing exam mark to create a new module aggregate. The lab report involves real data from an experiment (provided by the Module Leader).

The reassessment task will replace the coursework component and will enable the relevant learning outcomes to be met.

Failed Timed Exam and Coursework:
Resit the exam, resubmit a lab report (1,500 words) and resit a Moodle quiz which are aggregated to create a new module aggregate.

Learning and teaching methods

Teaching and learning methods This module will be delivered as follows: one week via 2 x 50-minute lectures, 1 x 1-hour class and 1 x 1-hour tutorial, and the following week via 2 x 50-minute lectures and 2 x 2-hour lab. Learning support Summarized lecture material is provided using PowerPoint presentations, which are given to the students as lecture notes. There are web, Moodle and library resources for the various topics covered in Chemistry for Biology. Practical sessions allow the students to better understand the chemical concepts discussed in lectures with experiments covering those specific topics. Classes and tutorials will provide opportunities to implement knowledge from lectures and practise related skills.


  • Reed, Rob. (2016) Practical skills in biomolecular sciences, Harlow: Pearson Education Limited.
  • Crowe, Jonathan; Bradshaw, Tony. (2014) Chemistry for the biosciences: the essential concepts, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Lewis, Rob; Evans, Wynne. (2018) Chemistry, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework   Moodle Quiz    0% 
Coursework   Moodle Quiz 1    7.5% 
Coursework   Moodle Quiz 2    7.5% 
Coursework   Moodle Quiz 3    7.5% 
Coursework   Moodle Quiz 4    7.5% 
Coursework   Questions under exam conditions    0% 
Coursework   Participation     10% 
Coursework   Post-lab worksheet 1    5% 
Coursework   Post-lab worksheet 2    5% 
Coursework   Post-lab write up 1    20% 
Coursework   Post-lab write up 2    30% 
Exam  180 minutes during Summer (Main Period) (Main) 

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
50% 50%


Coursework Exam
50% 50%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Victoria Allen-Baume, email: v.allen-baume@essex.ac.uk.
Dr Victoria Allen-Baum
Helen Hearn (hhearn@essex.ac.uk or 01206 872842)



External examiner

No external examiner information available for this module.
Available via Moodle
Of 315 hours, 43 (13.7%) hours available to students:
272 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information
Essex Pathways

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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