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BIOL121 Human Biological Science 1


BIOL125 Human Biology 1 , BIOL126 Human Biology 2 , BIOL124 Human Body in Health and Disease 1 , BIOL204 Human Body in Health and Disease 2

Teaching organisation

Teaching and learning strategies will include lectures, tutorials, web-based learning and science laboratory activities. Students will be expected to take responsibility for their learning and to participate actively within group activities, demonstrating respect for the individual as an independent learner.

Unit rationale, description and aim

Health professionals need to have an understanding of disease processes and drug action in order to prevent and manage diseases, promote health and care for their patients/clients.     

In this unit students will extend their knowledge of the human body by developing an understanding of pathophysiology and pharmacology with respect to selected National Health Priority (NHP) areas and Quality Use of Medicines (QUM). The influence of lifespan changes will also be introduced in the context of these areas and drug administration. Basic principles of microbiology will be linked to infection control practices. 

Students will apply scientific knowledge to understand disease processes and their pharmacological management for successful progression to later units in their respective courses. 

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.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Describe basic principles of pharmacology with respect to Quality Use of Medicines (QUM) (GA4, GA5) 

LO2 - Describe the pathophysiology of selected National Health Priority areas to explain their respective clinical manifestations and pharmacological management (GA4, GA9) 

LO3 - Explain how physiological changes that occur across the lifespan impact on disease processes and drug administration (GA4, GA9) 

LO4 - Relate microbiological principles to infection control practices (GA4, GA5) 

Graduate attributes

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 

ANMC Competency Standards Nurse developed in this unit are: 

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia National Competency Standards for Registered Nurse developed in this unit are: 

Standard/Attributes/CriteriaLearning Outcomes

Professional Practice 2.6 


Critical Thinking and Analysis 3.3 

LO1,LO2, LO3,LO4

Provision and Coordination of Care 

5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 6.1, 6.2, 8.1, 

LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

Collaborative and Therapeutic Practice 9.5 


Standards/Attributes/CriteriaLearning Outcomes


Topics will include those related to National Health Priority areas, their lifespan considerations, their pathophysiology and their pharmacological management:

Principles of pathophysiology

·      Inflammation and cell death

·      Oedema

·      Healing

·      Thrombosis

Principles of pharmacology

·      Pharmacokinetics

·      Pharmacodynamics

·      Adverse drug reactions

·      Drug interactions

Microbiological principles

·      Prevention and control of infection

·      Host-microbe interactions


·      Regulation of airway resistance

Musculoskeletal conditions

·      Rheumatoid and osteoarthritis

·      Traumatic and pathological fractures

·      Osteoporosis


·      Principles of neoplasia; benign and malignant tumours

Diabetes mellitus

·      Pathophysiology and complications of diabetes mellitus

·      Differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus

Cardiovascular health

·      Alterations in haemostasis and oxygenation

·      Haemodynamic derangements with emphasis on atherosclerosis, hypertension, coronary artery disease, and stroke

Mental health

·      Alterations in nervous system function, including changes to neurotransmission underlying depression, dementia, and addiction


·      Common contributors to obesity, and how obesity contributes to and interacts with other chronic health conditions

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Lectures, web-based learning and interactive workshops will be scheduled over a ten week semester. 

This unit uses an active approach with online lectures and workshop classes that are supported by online LEO activities. Lectures allow teachers to convey necessary information so that students can gain an overall understanding and make connections between different components. Lectures also provide opportunities for students to check their understanding and ask questions. Workshop classes will consolidate student learning in a supported environment. A series of pre-class activities will allow students to build foundational knowledge and evaluate their understanding in order to successfully undertake workshop classes. In workshop classes students will work collaboratively and engage in activities such as reading, writing, discussion, or problem solving to promote analysis, synthesis and evaluation of class content. Case studies will also be used so that students can explore how what they have learned applies to real world situations. Online activities at the end of each week will provide students with feedback regarding their understanding of the relevant topic 

Assessment strategy and rationale

In order to successfully complete this unit, students need to complete and submit three assessment tasks. Students must obtain an aggregate mark of equal to or greater than 50% for these three assessment tasks. 

The assessment strategy used allows students to progressively develop their knowledge of pathophysiology and pharmacology. The first assessment task is divided into two parts and primarily focusses on knowledge acquisition and assimilation. Part A is an early assessment task, which enables students to receive timely feedback regarding their progress in the unit whereas part B is organised later into the semester and will assess students’ ability to relate pathophysiology principles to selected National Health Priority areas to their pharmacological management. The second assessment task is a vodcast, where students produce a 5-minute voice recording with accompanying visual material based on a person who has a disease/condition that is a National Health Priority area.  This assessment task allows students to apply their knowledge of pathophysiology and pharmacology to a real situation. The final assessment task is the end-of-semester worksheet, which will assess integration and application of key concepts covered in this unit. This assessment allows students time to connect and integrate different aspects of the content.  

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assignment 1— Quizzes

Part A: Online quiz

This quiz enables students to use appropriate resources to demonstrate knowledge of basic principles of pathophysiology and pharmacology, including lifespan influences on drug administration.

Part B: Online quiz.

This quiz enables students to relate disease processes to clinical outcomes and pharmacological management of selected National Health Priority areas.



LO1, LO2 LO3

LO2, LO4

GA4, GA5

GA4, GA9

Assignment 2—Vodcast

The vodcast is an oral presentation that enables students to describe a National Health Priority area in relation to a person.


LO2, LO3



Assignment 3—End-of-semester worksheet

The end-of-semester worksheet requires students to use critical thinking skills to demonstrate their knowledge of pathophysiology and pharmacology.




Representative texts and references

Bryant, B. & Knights, K. (2015). Pharmacology for health professionals (4th ed.). Chatswood, NSW:Elsevier. 

Bullock, S. & Manias, E. (2014). Fundamentals of pharmacology (7th ed.).French’s Forest, NSW: Pearson Australia. 

Copstead, L.C., & Banasik, J.L. (2013). Pathophysiology (5th ed.). St. Louis, Missouri: Elsevier Saunders. 

Guyton, A.C., & Hall, J.E. (2011). Textbook of medical physiology (12th ed.). Philadelphia: Saunders. 

Lee, G. & Bishop, P. (2010). Microbiology and infection control for health professionals (4th ed.). French’s Forest, NSW: Prentice Hall. 

Martini, F., Nath, J. & Bartholomew, E (2015). Fundamentals of anatomy and physiology (10th ed.). San Francisco: Benjamin/Cummings. 

McCance, K., & Huether, S. (Eds.) (2014). Pathophysiology: The biologic basis for disease in adults and children.(6th ed.). St. Louis, Mo.: Elsevier Mosby. 

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