Clinical biochemistry applies basic biochemistry and analytical chemistry to medical diagnosis, treatment and management. It provides a sound, objective basis on which to gauge the:
extent of a clinical disorder
biochemical consequences of a particular disease process
response to therapy
This programme is designed to provide students with the basic skills needed for a career in clinical biochemistry within the health service.
The programme is run from Hope Hospital, with a special emphasis placed on the practice of clinical biochemistry in hospital medicine. The programme aims to provide students with:
-advanced and applied knowledge of the theory and practice of clinical biochemistry
-an advanced understanding of the impact clinical biochemistry results have on diagnosis
-an understanding of how this information is applied in the day-to-day management of common medical conditions
MSc students develop their experimental and interpretative skills through undertaking a comprehensive research project. The MSc programme provides excellent training for students planning to sit the MRCPath examination.
Teaching staff are all actively involved in providing a hospital-based clinical biochemistry service covering:
-metabolic and endocrine disorders
-therapeutic drug monitoring
-drugs of abuse
-more conventional biochemical tests provided in busy teaching or district general hospitals
Hope Hospital provides a regional porphyrin and catecholamine assay service. The associated teaching hospitals, Manchester Royal Infirmary and the South Manchester University Hospitals are also actively involved in the teaching programme, as is the Willink Laboratory, a specialist centre for the diagnosis of inherited metabolic disorders and the Royal Liverpool University Hospital. Specialist biochemists, clinicians and research scientists from these and other hospitals in the North West contribute to the teaching programme by providing lectures, seminars and supervised projects for students' dissertations.
Teaching staff demonstrate the practical aspects of techniques involved in clinical biochemistry and students attend relevant laboratories and outpatient clinics at Hope Hospital.
Location of teaching
Clinical Sciences Building, Hope Hospital, Salford
Students registered on the programme have access to the clinical biochemistry laboratories at Hope Hospital and the other teaching hospitals in the Greater Manchester area.
Students have full access to all the university's libraries. There is a well-stocked library in the Hope Hospital Postgraduate Education Centre. There is a 'microlaboratory' in the Clinical Sciences Building at Hope Hospital, as well as computers in the main university buildings.
The programme consists of six compulsory course units. Each course unit is worth 15 credits and involves 30 hours of contact time. A further 90 credits is gained by the satisfactory completion of a supervised research project culminating in the submission of a dissertation or report. Each unit has approximately 24 hours of formal lectures, with 6 hours of additional time spent in a combination of seminars, tutorials, essays or oral presentations by students.
-Analytical Methods I and II
-Homeostasis and Nutrition
-Biochemistry of Major Organ Disorders
-Biochemical Screening in Health and Disease
Students are also encouraged to attend course units in Statistics and Research Skills. Diploma students conduct a limited research project and submit a report, and MSc students undertake a comprehensive research project culminating in the submission of a dissertation.
More course units information
The research project:
-forms a major part of the MSc programme
-may be chosen from a list of basic and applied clinical biochemical topics
-is conducted under the direction of experienced supervisors, in either an NHS or university laboratory
-requires six months of work
The programme is recognised by the Association of Clinical Biochemists as part of the North West Regional Training Scheme for Clinical Biochemists.
This is a 3 year training programme designed to meet the requirements of the NHS Trainee Clinical Scientist grade. Trainees are employed on a 3 year contract as Grade A Clinical Scientists and the training programme includes a part-time MSc in Clinical Biochemistry over two years at the University of Manchester, combined with laboratory training in a base hospital (Hope, Manchester Royal Infirmary or South Manchester) and placements in other laboratories in North West England.
The Regional Training Scheme is accredited by the Association of Clinical Biochemists and there are usually 2 or 3 places per year.