Chemistry for Biology

The details
Essex Pathways
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Foundation/Year Zero: Level 3
Thursday 05 October 2023
Friday 28 June 2024
04 January 2024


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 C521 Ecology and Environmental Biology (Including Foundation Year),
BSC CK00 Genetics (Including Foundation Year),
BSC C161 Marine Biology (Including Foundation Year),
BSC C111 Biotechnology (Including Foundation Year),
BSC C220 Human Biology (Including Foundation Year),
BSC C511 Global Sustainability (Including Foundation Year),
BSC C556 Microbiology (Including Foundation Year)

Module description

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

Module aims

The aims of this 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 Life Sciences.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will be expected to be able to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the fundamental principles of chemistry.

  2. Apply knowledge of chemistry to perform calculations, interpret scientific data and analyse problems.

  3. Demonstrate understanding and knowledge of the fundamental principles of chemistry by clearly communicating ideas in writing;4. Express complex concepts using accurate terminology in an appropriate academic style.

  4. Demonstrate competence in (a) recording, analysis and interpretation of data and (b) written communication of experimental results.

Skills for your professional life (Transferable Skills)

By the end of this module, students will have been offered opportunities:

  1. To improve your literacy and numeracy skills.

  2. To develop skills in preparative and analytical chemistry through experimentation.

  3. To develop your IT skills by learning to work with Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), laboratory simulation and other software programs.

  4. To improve your awareness of chemistry in the real world by working on problems and familiarization with current Life Science topics.

  5. To enhance your communication skills through participation in class discussions, presentations and scientific writing.

  6. To develop your abilities in goal setting and time management to undertake practical experiments, coursework assessments and exams.

Module information


  • Amounts of substance.

  • Matter and Energy.

  • Atomic structure.

  • The periodic table.

  • Bonding and structure.

  • Acids, bases and buffers.

  • Oxidation and reduction.

  • Energetics.

  • Chemical Equilibria.

  • Kinetics.

  • Organic chemistry.

  • Modern analytical techniques relevant to Life Sciences.

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be delivered via:

  • One 2-hour lecture per week, followed by
  • One week: One 1-hour class and 1 x 1-hour tutorial;
  • Following week: One 3-hour practical session.

Teaching and learning on Essex Pathways modules offers students the ability to develop the foundation knowledge, skills, and competencies to study at the undergraduate level, through a curriculum that is purposely designed to provide an exceptional learning experience. All teaching, learning and assessment materials will be available via Moodle in a consistent and user-friendly manner.

Learning support

Summarised lecture material is provided using PowerPoint presentations, which are given to the students as lecture notes. There are web, Moodle and library resources provided 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. Lectures, classes and tutorials will provide opportunities to implement topic knowledge and practise related skills. Students can also contact the Module Leader for one-to-one assistance via email or, during Academic Support Hours, details can be found on the IA123 Moodle page.


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography for this year.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Moodle Quiz 1 - 16/11/2023    10.71% 
Coursework   Moodle Quiz 2 - 07/12/2023    10.71% 
Coursework   Moodle Quiz 3 - 22/02/2024    10.71% 
Coursework   Moodle Quiz 4 - 25/03/2024    10.71% 
Coursework   Practical lab note-book Term 1  22/01/2024  14.3% 
Coursework   SPF Post Lab Report Version 1   08/02/2024  7.14% 
Coursework   SPF Post Lab Report Version 2   14/03/2024  21.43% 
Coursework   Lab Notebook Practical 1 - Formative  29/04/2024  0% 
Coursework   Practical lab note-book Term 2  29/04/2024  14.3% 
Exam  Main exam: In-Person, Open Book (Restricted), 120 minutes during Summer (Main Period) 
Exam  Reassessment Main exam: In-Person, Open Book (Restricted), 120 minutes during September (Reassessment Period) 

Additional coursework information

Formative assessment

  • Moodle quiz in week 3 and short answers under examination conditions in week 30. 10 x 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 – MCQ to include calculations relevant to topics covered in lectures. This provides an opportunity for students to demonstrate their knowledge and ability to perform calculations and solve problems.
  • Laboratory notebook - mark based on completion of notes and analysis of laboratory experiments.
  • Post-lab report in Scientific Paper Format - To assess scientific communication, data analysis and presentation skills of information gained in practical laboratory experiments.
  • A two-hour in-person, open-book (restricted) examination – to include 2 sections: short answer (answer 3 from 6) and longer format questions (answer 2 from 6) to cover all topics covered over the module.
  • Reassessment strategy
  • Failed Exam - Resit the exam which is re-aggregated with the existing coursework mark to create a new module mark.
  • Failed Coursework - Resubmit a lab report (1,500 words) which will be re-aggregated with existing exam marks to create a new module aggregate. The reassessment task will replace the coursework component and will enable the relevant learning outcomes to be met.
  • Failed Exam and Coursework - Resit the exam and resubmit a lab report (1,500 words) which are aggregated to create a new module aggregate. The weighting will be divided equally between the lab report and the exam.

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
70% 30%


Coursework Exam
70% 30%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Victoria Allen-Baume, email: v.allen-baume@essex.ac.uk.
Dr Victoria Allen-Baume
Helen Hearn (hhearn@essex.ac.uk or 01206 872842)



External examiner

Dr Austin Tomlinson
University of Birmingham
Available via Moodle
Of 172 hours, 97 (56.4%) hours available to students:
75 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s), module, or event type.


Further information
Essex Pathways

Disclaimer: The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its Module Directory is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to programmes, modules, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to modules may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery or assessment of modules and other services, to discontinue modules and other services and to merge or combine modules. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications and module directory.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.