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BIOD125 Human Biology 1


BIOL121 Human Biological Science 1 , BIOL122 Human Biological Science 2 , BIOL124 - Human Body in Health and Disease 1, BIOL126 Human Biology 2 , BIOL204 Human Body in Health and Disease 2

Unit rationale, description and aim

A thorough understanding of the principles of anatomy and physiology is essential to conduct biomedical research or work in any of the health-related profession. By building on the foundations laid down in BIOD125, this unit expands students’ understanding pertaining to how the human body functions by discussing the endocrine, integumentary, digestive, urinary, reproductive, and immune systems and their various changes across the lifespan. Students will be introduced to foundation-level embryology as well as the body's response to pathogens, stress, and injury. Elementary concepts of pathophysiology and pharmacotherapy will also be introduced. The aim of this unit, together with the prerequisite BIOD125, is to provide students with an understanding of the structure and function of all organ systems in the human body. 

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

Learning Outcome NumberLearning Outcome DescriptionRelevant Graduate Capabilities
LO1Discuss the structure and function of the endocrine, integumentary, digestive, urinary, reproductive, and immune systems across the lifespanGC12, GC1, GC7
LO2Discuss the human body’s response to metabolic changes, stress, injury, and infectious agentsGC12, GC1, GC2
LO3Describe the basic principles of pharmacology, including formulations, routes of drug administration, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamicsGC1, GC2


Topics will include:

  • Selected organ systems; their components, interactions and control, functions, roles in maintaining homeostasis, and changes across the lifespan: 
  • Endocrine system 
  • Integumentary system 
  • Digestive system 
  • Excretory system 
  • Reproductive system 
  • Lymphatic system and immunity 
  • The body’s response to stress and injury: 
  • Cellular adaptation, inflammation, oedema and healing 
  • The main steps of embryological development with emphasis on the development of the cardiovascular, respiratory, musculoskeletal, and neurological systems 
  • Infection, infection control and prevention 
  • Foundation level introduction to pathophysiology and pharmacology 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit uses an active approach with interactive lecture chats and workshops, and guided online learning activities. Students are expected to engage in both the guided online learning activities and the interactive classes each week. The online learning activities allow in-depth exploration of concepts to build the foundational knowledge necessary to successfully meet the learning outcomes, and include knowledge checks to self-assess understanding of content prior to weekly classes. Lecture chat sessions and workshop reinforce key concepts introduced in the online learning activities and offer an opportunity to engage with the material in a supportive and friendly environment. In workshops, students consolidate their knowledge whilst working collaboratively in activities such as case studies, data collection and interpretation.. Active participation is encouraged to assist students in acquiring essential knowledge.

Further to this, to ensure students are ready to transition from the Diploma and articulate into the second year of undergraduate study, transition pedagogies will be incorporated into the unit as the key point of differentiation from the standard unit. This focuses on an active and engaging approach to learning and teaching practices, and a scaffolded approach to the delivery of curriculum to enhance student learning in a supportive environment. This will ensure that students develop foundation level discipline-based knowledge, skills and attributes, and simultaneously the academic competencies required of students to succeed in this unit.

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment strategy encourages students to work in a consistent and stepwise manner throughout the semester with a wide variety of assessments tasks to suit different learning preferences.

Oral presentation

Students will learn the importance of a selected organ and its role in homeostasis. Students will develop and use oral presentation skills to show their understanding of this selected organ as well as how other body systems may compensate when this selected organ has reduced function.

Written assessment

This task includes a case study in which students address questions and problems to demonstrate their understanding and critical thinking skills associated with all of the BIOL126 learning material. The real-world examples used in the case study provide students with an opportunity to integrate and apply anatomical, physiological and pharmacological knowledge in an authentic manner. 


This task assesses all of the learning material covered in the unit and provides students with an opportunity to demonstrate understanding, consolidation and application of their knowledge.

Formative assessments are provided throughout the semester in the form of knowledge checks, which are online, multiple-choice quizzes that present questions similar to those used in summative assessments. These formative tasks allow students to check their knowledge and understanding in a timely manner before summative assessments are due. Opportunities to practice short-answer questions are incorporated in group teaching activities where students can work on and discuss model answers.

To successfully complete this unit, students must obtain an aggregate mark of equal to or greater than 50% for the assessment tasks.

Strategies aligned with transition pedagogies will be utilised to facilitate successful completion of the unit assessment tasks. For each assessment, there will be the incorporation of developmentally staged tasks with a focus on a progressive approach to learning. This will be achieved through activities, including regular feedback, particularly early in the unit of study to support their learning; strategies to develop and understand discipline-specific concepts and terminology; in-class practice tasks with integrated feedback; and greater peer-to-peer collaboration. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Capabilities

Oral presentation  

Students will develop and use oral presentation skills to show their understanding of a selected organ.


LO1, LO2GC1, GC2, GC7

Written assessment 

Students are encouraged to use their critical thinking skills to demonstrate integration and application of the learning material.


LO1, LO2, LO3GC1, GC2, GC7


This task allows students to demonstrate their understanding of the topics dicussed in the unit.  


LO1, LO2, LO3GC1, GC2, GC7

Representative texts and references

Bryant, B., Knights, K.M., Darroch, S., & Rowland, A. (2019). Pharmacology for health professionals (5th ed.). Elsevier.

Bullock, S. & Manias, E. (2017). Fundamentals of pharmacology (8th ed.). Pearson.

Hall, J. (2016). Guyton and Hall textbook of medical physiology (13th ed.). Elsevier.

Lee, G. & Bishop, P. (2016). Microbiology and infection control for health professionals (6th ed.). Pearson.

Marieb, E. & Keller, S.M. (2018). Essentials of human anatomy and physiology (12th global ed.). Pearson Benjamin Cummings.

Martini, F., Nath, J.L., & Bartholomew, E.F. (2018). Fundamentals of anatomy and physiology (11th ed.). Pearson Benjamin Cummings. 

McArdle, W.D., Katch, F.I. & Katch, V.L. (2015). Exercise physiology: Energy, nutrition and human performance (8th ed.). Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Saladin, K.S., Gan, C.A. & Cushman, H.N. (2021). Anatomy & physiology: The unity of form and function (9th ed.). McGraw Hill Companies, Inc.

Sherwood, L. (2016). Human physiology from cells to systems (9th ed.). Cengage Learning.

Stanfield, C.L. (2017). Principles of human physiology (6th ed.). Pearson.

Tortora, G.T., Derrickson, B.H., Burkett, B., Peoples, G., Dye, D., Cooke, J., Diversi, T., McKean, M., Samalia, L., & Mellifont, R. (2019). Principles of anatomy and physiology (2nd Asia-Pacific ed.). John Wiley & Sons.

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