Module Details

BS321-6-AU-CO: Biomedical Spectroscopy

Note: This module is inactive. Visit the Module Directory to view modules and variants offered during the current academic year.

Year: 2017/18
Department: Biological Sciences (School of)
Essex credit: 15
ECTS credit: 7.5
Available to Study Abroad / Exchange Students: Yes
Full Year Module Available to Study Abroad / Exchange Students for a Single Term: No
Outside Option: No

Supervisor: Dr Brandon Reeder
Teaching Staff: Dr Brandon Reeder, Dr Metodi Metodiev, Prof Chris Cooper
Contact details: School Undergraduate Office, email: bsugoffice (Non essex users should add to create the full email address)

Module is taught during the following terms
Autumn Spring Summer

Module Description

In today's science and medicine there is too much 'black box syndrome', where scientists and medics alike view technology as mysterious black boxes that 'magically' give you a number or image. How then can you interpret the data, how then can you know if these readings are correct? The aim of this module is to demystify modern spectroscopic and imaging techniques through an understanding of the basic principles behind the techniques. The module also addresses their use in biochemical and biomedical science research.

The module starts with an outline of a range of basic spectroscopic methods, from UV-Visible and Fluorescence to NMR and Mass Spectrometry. This leads on to the use of spectroscopy in medical imaging including MRI, CAT and PET scans. Lectures are given by experts in the area, familiar with the practical and theoretical basis of the techniques described. The research applications in biochemical and biomedical science are integrated into the discussion of the techniques. A disease-centred approach is then taken to address the use of a variety of spectroscopy in clinical biomedical science research. Finally students themselves will be required to apply the principles they have learnt to lead discussions on specific diseases where a range of spectroscopic techniques have been used to address questions relating to mechanism and potential therapies.

Learning Outcomes:

To pass this module students need to be able to:
1. describe the underlying principles of a variety of advanced spectroscopic methods;
2. discuss the application of these methods in research in biomedical science;
3. apply their knowledge of spectroscopic methods to study the mechanism of a range of diseases;

Learning and Teaching Methods

Lectures: 19 x 1 hr lectures, 1 x 1 hr data analysis class
Student managed learning: 130 hours
Total: 150 hours


100 per cent Exam Mark

Other details

Summer Exam: weeks 33-36

Exam Duration and Period

3:00 during Summer Examination period.


  • I.D. Campbell, and R.A. Dwek (1984) Biological Spectroscopy (Addison-Wesley)
  • D.G. Gadian (1995) NMR and its applications to living systems, 2nd ed. Oxford Science
  • Publications
  • Cooper, C. E. (2002). Radical reactions of haem proteins. Critical Care Focus, Volume 8:
  • Blood and Blood Transfusion. H. F. Galley. London, BMJ Books/Intensive Care Society:
  • 66-79
  • J. Pope Medical Physics: Imaging (Heinemann Advanced Science) ISBN: 0435570943

Further information