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Module titleBioenergetics
Module codeESS1703
Academic year2024/5
Module staff

Dr Sarah Jackman (Lecturer)

Dr Luke Liddle (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

This module covers the biological and chemical reactions that are relevant to the ‘basic’ processes which sustain human life, to those which are integral to elite sports performance. How is it possible to increase one’s metabolic rate by 100 times above resting in a split second? This module will detail the majestic co-ordination of the processes in the human body that allow this incredible feat (and many others) to occur. Considering the biological and chemical mechanisms which sustain and support life, this module builds an understanding which forms the foundation of exercise physiology. There are no pre- or co-requisites for this module and it is suitable for non-specialist students who have studied some science at A-Level or equivalent.

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module aims to enhance your understanding of the biological and chemical mechanisms, which sustain and support life and form the foundation of exercise physiology.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Describe the biological and chemical basis of human structure and function
  • 2. Explain the biochemical actions and reactions that take place in the human body
  • 3. Describe how the key biochemical areas relate to exercise and sport
  • 4. Demonstrate basic laboratory skills

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 5. Collate and analyse information to resolve module specific problems
  • 6. Apply module specific knowledge to applied situations
  • 7. Present ideas/information competently

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 8. Take responsibility for your own learning
  • 9. Use learning in new or different situations
  • 10. Use appropriate technology and information sources
  • 11. Negotiate, delegate and work productively in a co-operative context

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

  • Introduction to biochemistry; back to basics – matter, elements, and cellular organisation
  • Oxidation and reduction reactions
  • Acid-base concentration and pH
  • Energy and enzymes
  • Phosphate bond energy
  • Transport of nutrients across cell membranes and homeostasis
  • Carbohydrate metabolism¬†
  • Fat and protein metabolism
  • The citric acid cycle and coenzymes
  • Cellular oxidation

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching22Lecture
Scheduled Learning and Teaching22Practical and seminar classes
Guided Independent Study20Laboratory report writing
Guided Independent Study28Reading
Guided Independent Study10Group study tasks
Guided Independent Study10.5Seminar preparation
Guided Independent Study31.5Exam preparation
Guided Independent Study6Formative assessment on ELE


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Multiple choice quizzes on ELE20-30 questions per quiz (x3)1-4, 8, 10Score

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Laboratory infographic and summary30Infographic + 1000 word summary 5-6, 8-11Written
Examination701 hour1-3, 7, 9-10Written


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Laboratory infographic and summary(30%) Laboratory infographic and summary5-6, 8-11August/September assessment period
Examination (70%)Examination1-3, 7, 9-10August/September assessment period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to sit a further examination. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Indicative basic reading list:

  • Tidus, Tupling, R, and Houston, E. (2012). Biochemistry Primer for Exercise Science. (4th Edition). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
  • McArdle, WD, Katch, FI, and Katch, VL. (2015) Essentials of Exercise Physiology, fifth edition, Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, Philadelphia.
  • McArdle, W. D., Katch, F. I., & Katch, V. L. (2015). Exercise physiology: nutrition, energy, and human performance (8th Edition). Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
  • Maughan, RJ, and Gleeson, M (2010). The Biochemical Basis of Sports Performance, Oxford University Press.

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Biochemistry, exercise, performance, fatigue, chemistry, limitations, energy

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date