Module details for Applied Biological Sciences for Food and Human Health


This module aims to provide a broad introduction of the theory and practice of biological sciences in both a theoretical and practical context.


The aim of this module is via practical food applications to introduce the fundamental concepts of biology, chemistry, genetics, and immunology as they relate to food and nutrition.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module the student should be able to:

1.  Describe the details of cell structure, function, and basic biochemistry and their importance in the food and nutrition sector.

2.  Show competency in the use of fundamental laboratory techniques.

3.  Demonstrate competency in biological data handling and basic experimental design.

4.  Explain and understand the fundamentals of basic genetics and their relationship to food and nutrition.

5.  Identify and describe the role of microorganisms important in food microbiology.

6.  Explain the concept of the human microbiome and how its composition can impact health.

Indicative Content

1 Microorganisms important in food microbiology

This may include the following topics: • Introduction to microbiology o Overview of cell structure & and its function o Biochemical principles • Microorganisms relevant to food and nutrition o Microbial starter for food fermentation o Lactic Acid Bacteria used for:  Dairy processing  Bakery operations  Pickling  Curing meat o Yeast and mould o Microorganism and beverage (microbrewing) o Micro Algae

2 Human microbiome and health

This may include the following topics: • Diversity of the human microbiome and its relevance for health • How diet can change the microbiome (overview) • Probiotic and prebiotic food products

3 Principles of human biology for food and health

• Principle of genetics • Genes and proteins in health and disease (overview) • Non-specific defences (Physical and chemical defences; inflammatory response, phagocytes and natural killer cells) • Specific defences (Lymphocytes and their action) • Fundamental concepts of biological organisms (homeostasis and evolution)

4 Basic laboratory techniques

Utilisation of basic lab instruments (i.e. spectrophotometers and microscopes), preparation of solutions, handling of liquids and solids (use of glassware and pipettes). Development of aseptic techniques, media selection & preparation, growth and isolation of microorganisms, enumeration, subculturing techniques. Macro & microscopic examination. Staining for microscopy. Selection of applied food fermentation techniques including microbrewing. Recording and interpreting data

5 Health and Safety

Health and safety in the laboratory, Risk assessments and COSHH regulations as applied to the laboratory.

6 Data Handling and Numeracy Skills

Basic numeracy skills for laboratory work (converting between units, molarity, percentage (w/v), percentage (v/v), stock solutions). Introductory statistics for applied science: populations, variables, samples, randomness and independence (including basic statistical measurements). Interpretation of graphs and numerical data.

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Teaching and Learning Method Hours
Lecture 20
Tutorial/Seminar 12
Practical Activity 27
Assessment 41
Independent 100
Total 200

Guidance notes

SCQF Level - The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework provides an indication of the complexity of award qualifications and associated learning and operates on an ascending numeric scale from Levels 1-12 with SCQF Level 10 equating to a Scottish undergraduate Honours degree.

Credit Value – The total value of SCQF credits for the module. 20 credits are the equivalent of 10 ECTS credits. A full-time student should normally register for 60 SCQF credits per semester.


We make every effort to ensure that the information on our website is accurate but it is possible that some changes may occur prior to the academic year of entry. The modules listed in this catalogue are offered subject to availability during academic year 2021/22 , and may be subject to change for future years.