BI1BAD2-Pathology and Histology

Module Provider: School of Biological Sciences
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Natasha Barrett


Type of module:

Summary module description:

Pathology is the study of diseases and how they affect the body, whilst histology is the study of tissues.  This module introduces the tissue structure (histology) of the major systems in the human body and the disease states (pathology) that can affect them.


The module will take an integrated approach to studying normal tissue architecture and how this is affected by disease. The cell biology and physiology concepts and laboratory skills introduced in the autumn term will be built upon to develop a more detailed picture of how individual cells become specialised and organised into complex tissues. This will then be applied through an overview of the major disease states affecting these tissues, leading to an appreciation of the range of diseases that affect humans.

Assessable learning outcomes:

At the end of the module students will be able to:

- Demonstrate an understanding of cell specialisation in different tissues of the body

- Identify different the major tissues of the body via microscopic examination or from micrographs.

- Demonstrate a practical and theoretical understanding of the methodologies used to study cells and tissues.

- Evaluate methodology for studying structure and function of cells and tissues.

- Describe the causes, aetiology, epidemiology and diagnosis of several of the most important diseases affecting these tissues in humans.

- Describe the treatment and management of patients who suffer from such diseases.

Additional outcomes:

Students will have improved their technical lab skills and team working skills through practical sessions.

Students will have developed self-directed reading skills.

Outline content:

The basic building block of life is the cell and an understanding of cellular biology is crucial to understanding how unicellular and multicellular organisms function as well as the diseases that affect them. This module will introduce students to a more detailed molecular understanding of how cells work and to concepts of how complex tissues are formed from basic cell units. This will be linked to the study of the major human diseases affecting these tissues.


The lectures cover:

- Essential methodologies in cell biology including cell culture, cells as experimental models, and various types of microscopy.

- From cells to tissues - looking at epithelia, muscle, nervous and connective tissues and their cellular and extracellular constituents.

- Pathology - covering the causes, aetiology, epidemiology, diagnosis and treatment of diseases affecting these tissues, such as: cancer, cardiovascular disease (e.g. atherosclerosis, heart failure, stroke), CNS disorders (e.g. depression, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer's, schizophrenia), autoimmune diseases (e.g. rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis), diabetes, asthma and other respiratory diseases, GI tract disorders, and infections (bacterial, viral, fungal, parasitic, etc).


Practical classes cover the preparation, staining and identification of fixed tissue sections (histology).

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Theoretical knowledge of pathology will be gained through formal lectures, whilst theoretical and practical knowledge of histology will be gained through lectures and practical sessions.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 26
Seminars 2
Practicals classes and workshops 10
Guided independent study 162
Total hours by term 200.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 70
Set exercise 30

Summative assessment- Examinations:
One and a half hour examination

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Relative percentage of coursework: 30%

Assignments based on the practical classes and lecture content will contribute to the overall coursework assessment.

Formative assessment methods:

Formative assessment and verbal feedback of practical laboratory skills will be given continuously during all practical sessions.

Practice calculations (molarity, concentrations etc.) are available on blackboard.

Practice examination questions, with answers for self-assessment, are made available on blackboard and/or in a revision session.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Assessment requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Re-examination in August/September

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    1) Required text books: Recommended text books are available in the library, or to purchase if students prefer.  Wider reading of journal articles is also recommended and suitable ones can be accessed for free through the library.

    2) Specialist equipment or materials: Practical classes and associated online assignments may require use of a calculator, ruler, paper, pens and pencils.

    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear: In compliance with the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) 1992 Act, while studying this module students will be expected to wear the following item/s: Lab coat/Safety glasses/Safety gloves. The Department/School can provide students with lab coats at an approximate cost of £15 (to purchase) or a small rental fee (per session). Safety glasses and gloves are provided in the classes, though students may wish to purchase their own glasses at £3.  Safety gloves will be provided.  Students who choose not to purchase from the University must ensure that their PPE meets the latest British/European Safety Standards.

    4) Printing and binding: None expected.

    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification: Online assignments will need to be completed on a standard computer over the internet.  Students can use their own or one of the university computers in computer rooms around campus.

    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:  None expected.

    Last updated: 20 April 2018


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