BMSC13002 - Advanced Clinical Biochemistry

General Information

Unit Synopsis

On completion of this unit, you will be able to evaluate the evidence base for biochemical tests used in the diagnosis and management of diseases in the major organ systems of the body. Problem solving and decision making skills will be developed through use of authentic case studies. Skill development in instrument calibration, best practice measurement, interpretation of test results and test quality control monitoring will occur through practical exercises. You will be required to attend a residential school at the biochemistry laboratory on the Rockhampton campus.


Level Undergraduate
Unit Level 3
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band SCA Band 2
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125
Pre-requisites or Co-requisites


BMSC12010 Clinical Biochemistry and (BUSN11016 Introduction to Study and Professional Practice or BMSC11003 Introduction to Medical Sciences).

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

Class Timetable View Unit Timetable
Residential School Compulsory Residential School
View Unit Residential School

Unit Availabilities from Term 1 - 2024

Term 2 - 2024 Profile
Mixed Mode

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Undergraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Case Study 20%
2. Laboratory/Practical 0%
3. Practical Assessment 30%
4. Examination 50%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%).

Consult the University’s Grades and Results Policy for more details of interim results and final grades

Past Exams

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Previous Feedback

Term 2 - 2023 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was 15.38% (`Agree` and `Strongly Agree` responses), based on a 58.33% response rate.

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Source: SUTE
Some students found the extensive use of guest lecturers resulted in a lack of consistency across the unit.
Refresh the lectures with a limited use of guest lecturers in highly specialised areas only.
Action Taken
To meet challenges posed by the changeover of the new lecturer mid-year (joined after the start of the term), the college has approved the use of previously recorded lectures for students to ensure continuity. The new lecturer/academic was advised to primarily focus on delivering predesigned tutorials. While these adjustments are challenging for the students, these are unfortunately inevitable to manage staff movement and shortages. However, all the tutorials were given by the new academic in accordance with the previously designed study questions.
Source: SUTE
Students appreciated the weekly tutorials but some felt that weekly revision quizzes in addition to the Study Questions would enhance learning.
Consider adding weekly revision quizzes (formative) to the tutorials.
Action Taken
A revision quiz session was also given in the residential school. Consideration of adding revision quizzes in addition to study questions may be taken into account if necessary after further refreshing the lectures.
Source: Informal student feedback
The Residential School was appreciated by students as it allowed them to put theory into practice.
Continue the format of the Residential School.
Action Taken
The Residential School format was retained.
Source: Student Feedback
Heavy Content
It's essential to note that the standardized content has remained consistent with previous years and adheres to established guidelines, ensuring alignment with accreditation standards, therefore, it can only be changed if required necessary. While I acknowledge the need for simplicity and increased clarity, there are limitations in significantly reducing the actual content due to accreditation requirements. Nevertheless, our teaching team is committed to making the content more plausible and approachable without compromising the necessary depth and standards. We will explore ways to enhance the clarity and presentation of the material to facilitate better understanding.
Action Taken
Source: Student Feedback
Use of guest lecturers
There were concerns about the use of guest lecturers in the context of this being an unactioned item from students`previous feedback. Upon my recent arrival at the university, joining mid-year (when the term had already been started), due to staff movements and the departure of the previous lecturer, the college decided to utilize previously recorded guest lectures from the previous term set by my predecessor for continuity. In recognition of the workload associated with this transition, a new lecturer was specifically tasked to focus on delivering pre-designed tutorials in accordance with the study questions. It is understandable that this arrangement may not have been clearly communicated to all students, leading to concerns about the use of guest lecturers. This feedback highlights the importance of communication, and I am committed to improve transparency in conveying such arrangements in the future. I believe that open and regular communication is vital, especially during periods of staff movements or transitions.
Action Taken
Source: Student Feedback and self reflection
Anxiety over invigilated exam
It's important to note that the university has historically employed invigilated exams as an exam format in line with accreditation standards. The online exams were implemented temporarily during the COVID situation. This year, the decision was made to return to invigilated exams as the primary assessment method. I understand that this change may induce anxiety, as students are transitioning back to this format. To address these concerns, I am committed to providing support by orientating students to the invigilated exam process. This will include detailed guidance, and information sessions to help them feel comfortable and prepared for the upcoming exams
Action Taken
Unit learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  1. Explain the various processes involved in biochemical method evaluation, interpretation and development
  2. Explore the limitations of laboratory procedures, regulatory aspects including external quality assurance and accreditation bodies
  3. Describe the rationale and clinical correlation of specialised biochemical tests used in the detection and monitoring of processes affecting the major organ systems
  4. Demonstrate skills in the use of biochemical instrumentation, including specimen handling and test processing in automated systems and institution of appropriate corrective action as required in response to errors in automated instrumentation function
  5. Evaluate biochemical clinical cases to derive a provisional diagnosis.

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5
1 - Case Study
2 - Laboratory/Practical
3 - Practical Assessment
4 - Examination
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5
1 - Communication
2 - Problem Solving
3 - Critical Thinking
4 - Information Literacy
6 - Information Technology Competence
8 - Ethical practice
Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10