SHE Level 1
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M1C124442
Module Leader James Reilly
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • B (January start)

Summary of Content

This module aims to develop a basic knowledge and understanding of the structure and function of the human body at the cellular, tissue, organ and systems levels. Topics covered include: human anatomy; basic tissues; structure and function of main body systems; inheritance and development; disordered function.


Anatomy Superficial anatomy: anatomical regions; anatomical directions. Location of main organs and systems. Structure of skeleton, joints and musculature. Cell Biology Structure of typical cell; key organelles; cell membrane structure; transport through cell membrane. Histology Structure and function of epithelial tissues; connective tissues; muscle tissues; nervous tissue; adaptive and pathological cellular change. Homeostasis Principles of homeostasis: role of negative feedback. Role of positive feedback. Nervous System Structure of nerve cell; role of glial cells; generation and conduction of the action potential; synaptic transmission; neuromuscular communication; effects of drugs on neuromuscular communication; control of skeletal muscle contraction; sliding filament mechanism. Structure of central nervous system: gross anatomy of brain and spinal cord; functions of spinal cord; function of key brain areas; localisation of cortical function; effects of damage to nervous tissue. Endocrine System Principles of hormonal regulation; role of hypothalamus and pituitary gland; functions of hypothalamic and pituitary hormones; structure and function of selected glands. Digestive System Basic structure of gastrointestinal tract; structure and function of mouth, oesophagus and stomach; gastric secretion; structure of small and large intestines; digestion and absorption in small and large intestines; role of accessory structures including pancreas, liver and gall bladder; examples of pathological conditions. Cardiovascular System Gross structure of the heart; intrinsic control of heartbeat; conduction pathway; mechanical events of cardiac cycle; regulation by nervous and endocrine factors. Structure and function of blood vessels; circulation and blood pressure; regulation of blood flow; examples of pathological conditions including atherosclerosis; b lood cells. Respiratory System Structure and function of airways and lungs; mechanics of breathing; control of respiration; gas exchange and transport; disorders of respiratory function. Renal System Structure and function of kidneys and associated organs; process of urine formation; regulatory function of the kidneys; disorders of renal function. Protection Skin structure and function; mitosis, cell cycle and apoptosis in context of skin function; inflammation and immunity; role of white blood cells; tissue repair; immunodeficiency and hypersensitivity. Sensory Systems Principles of sensory processing; adaptation; transduction; receptive fields; skin senses; structure and function of the visual system. Development Principles of genetics; Male reproductive system: general structure; sperm production; fertilisation of ovum. Female reproductive system: general structure; ovum production and development; reproductive cycles; implantation; maintenance of pregnancy. Embryological and foetal development; critical periods in development.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module the student should be able to:a) demonstrate a knowledge of the anatomical structure of the human body;b) demonstrate a knowledge of the functions of the major body systems;c) demonstrate an understanding of the link between structure and function in normal physiological processes;d) comprehend and describe the principles of homeostasis, physiological control and interdependence between body systems;e) appreciate disordered physiology as the basis of pathological change;f) understand the processes underlying inheritance and development;

Teaching / Learning Strategy

A variety of learning strategies will be used including lectures, tutorials, student-centred learning, data interpretation sessions, practical laboratory classes and regular on-line formative assessments. The emphasis will be on participative modes of learning, particularly in tutorials and practical classes. In tutorials, the case study approach will incorporate real world scenarios and problem solving.

Indicative Reading

Essential Text: Martini,F.H., Nath, J.L. and Bartholomew, E.F. (2014) Fundamentals of Anatomy and Physiology, 10th Edition. Pearson. Recommended Reading: Lawrence,E. (Ed) (2016) Henderson's Dictionary of Biology, 16th Edition. Pearson.

Transferrable Skills

Students will develop communication skills through tutorial discussion sessions and through the writing of laboratory reports that will require the accessing, evaluation and interpretation of scientific information. The practical sessions will allow students to develop the ability to work in small groups, the logical planning and undertaking of experiments, and the effective analysis and presentation of data. Independent study skills will be developed through student-centred learning packages that will supplement the lecture programme.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Independent Learning (FT) 130.00
Assessment (FT) 20.00
Practicals (FT) 12.00
Tutorials (FT) 4.00
Lectures (FT) 22.00
SCL (FT) 12.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Exam (Dept) 02 1.00 50.00 35% MCQ
Exam (Dept) 01 1.00 50.00 35% MCQ