Credit points



BIOL123 Cells and Tissues - the Fabric of Life


BIOL121 Human Biological Science 1 ,BIOL122 Human Biological Science 2 , BIOL125 Human Biology 1 , BIOL126 Human Biology 2

Unit description and aim

The ability to be able to identify, describe and understand normal human body system processes and compare to pathophysiology of diseases is essential in study of biomedical sciences. These knowledges and skills in normal and affected human body systems enables students to be able to further research and design new methods in therapeutics, diagnosis, detection methods, research, information and support materials for current and future generations. This core unit extends students' understanding of anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology in six body systems and prepares them to translate biomedical science into health and clinical applications. An overview of the integumentary and immune systems will lead to detailed study of digestive, renal, endocrine and reproductive systems in normal and diseased state and across the lifespan. The clinical features, current and future treatment prospects of selected major diseases in these systems will be explored. Evaluation of current scientific research and epidemiological trends will be used to engender inquiry skills. The aim of this unit is to provide students with an ability to identify, describe and understand normal body systems and the pathophysiology of major diseases within these body systems.

Learning outcomes

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

LO1 - relate the gross and micro-anatomical structure and physiological function of the body systems; (GA 4, GA5) 

LO2 - discuss a selection of diseases affecting the chosen systems using the pathophysiological framework in the context of the National Health Priority areas where relevant; (GA4, GA5, GA8); 

LO3 - explain the importance of nutrition and metabolism to healthy body function and the consequences of under and over nutrition; (GA 4, GA5); 

LO4 - demonstrate skills in team work, oral and written communication and evaluation of biomedical research and applications; (GA 7, GA.8, GA 9) 

LO5 - apply the concept of homeostasis to physiological processes at the cellular, tissue, systemic and organismic levels and demonstrate an understanding of chronological changes in structure and function of the selected body systems (GA 4, GA5, GA8) 

Graduate attributes

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

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

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

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


Topics will include:  


  • Integumentary system 
  • Structure and function of the skin and accessory structures 
  • Burn injury 
  • Local and systemic responses 
  • Principles of management 
  • Life span considerations 


  • Immune (Lymphatic) system 
  • Structure and function of the lymphatic system 
  • Immune disorders 
  • Immune deficiency 
  • Hypersensitivity 
  • Autoimmune disorders 
  • Life span considerations 


  • Gastrointestinal system 
  • Structure and function 
  • Chemical digestion 
  • Absorption 
  • Metabolism 
  • Alterations in gastrointestinal function 
  • Alcoholic Liver Disease 
  • Colon cancer 
  • Lifespan considerations 


  • Renal system 
  • Structure and function of the urinary system 
  • Nephron and urine formation 
  • Renal regulation and integration 
  • Fluid homeostasis and electrolytes 
  • Renal disorders 
  • Nephritis and nephrosis 
  • Acute tubular necrosis 
  • Acute and chronic renal failure 
  • Incontinence and lifespan considerations 


Endocrine system 

  • Structure and function of major endocrine glands 
  • Hormone action 
  • Endocrine disorders 
  • Diabetes mellitus 
  • Alterations in endocrine function 
  • Lifespan considerations 


  • Reproductive system 
  • Structure and function in males and females 
  • Hormonal regulation 
  • Conception 
  • Pregnancy 
  • Maternal adaptations 
  • Parturition 
  • Reproductive disorders 
  • Infertility 
  • Family planning and assisted reproductive technology 
  • Benign prostatic hyperplasia and prostate cancer 
  • Breast cancer and cervical cancer 
  • Sexually transmitted diseases 
  • Lifespan considerations 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Learning and teaching strategies include flipped and active learning, case-based learning, individual and group activities, web-based learning and critical thinking activities, delivered during the semester, via lectures (3 X 1 hour), practical (1 X 2 hours) and tutorial (1 X 1 hour). All these strategies will allow students to meet the aim, learning outcomes and graduate attributes of the unit. Lectures provide the course content via flipped delivery, active learning and web-based learning methods to students. Practicals and tutorials provide the opportunity for students to apply and extend learning of the content from lectures through individual and group activities, critical thinking and case-based learning methods to examples relevant in life. Learning and teaching strategies demonstrate respect for individual as both an independent and collaborative learner. 

Assessment strategy and rationale

In order for students to best demonstrate achievements in attaining unit learning outcomes and appropriate development of desired graduate attributes, a range of assessment strategies which are consistent with University assessment requirements are used. Such assessments include: ongoing reflection and revision through formative online quizzes, a collaborative workshop task, a written mid-semester test and final examination. 


Students create Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ) weekly using PeerWise online database. Students will also be able to rate, provide feedback and answer questions within the database. This exercise supports students to engage with the learning content, and to participate in peer learning. A sample of well written questions will be included in the mid-semester test and final exam. 


The workshop assessment allows students an opportunity to display their growing understanding, especially of the tutorial and practical classes they have participated in. Students will work in groups of 3, read and analyse a journal article and write a critical review. This provides an opportunity for students who tend to under-perform in exam conditions to shine. In addition, more complex questions can be raised, as students have several weeks to think about and read around the articles/topics being questioned and perform a critical analysis as a group. 


The mid-semester test assesses material from Weeks 1-6 and provides an indicator to students as to how they are progressing midway through the unit. 


The final exam assesses material from all content areas. Having been provided with feedback from the earlier assessments, students are now able to address misunderstandings and conceptual difficulties identified from these earlier tasks, and show that they have now met these learning objectives. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Online quizzes 

-formative/summative assessment for students to do revision and attain understanding of course content in the unit 



GA4 & 5 

Workshop-practical and tutorial assessment 

-summative assessment which requires students to collaborate and communicate during the semester in order to develop capacity to interpret, translate, apply, critique, evaluate and conduct inquiry into the course content 



GA4, 5, 7 9 

Mid-Semester Test 

-summative assessment which requires students to demonstrate their understanding of course content at approximately halfway through the unit 


LO 1-4 

GA 4 & 5 

Final examination 

-summative assessment which requires individual students to demonstrate their understanding of the required knowledge, skills and dispositions in the human body, health and disease tested in the exam 


LO1 - 4 

GA 4, 5, 8 & 9 

Representative texts and references

  1. Bullock S and Hales M. Principles of pathophysiology (2nd edition); Melbourne: Pearson Australia; 2019. Available from: 
  2. Copstead L-E C, Banasik JL. Pathophysiology (5th edition); Elsevier Saunders.2014. Available from: 
  3. Hall JE. Guyton and Hall textbook of medical physiology (13th edition); Philadelphia: Elsevier Saunders; 2015. Available from: 
  4. Huether SE, McCance KL. Understanding pathophysiology (3rd edition); Mosby; 2018. Available from 
  5. Kumar V, Abbas A, Aster J. Robbins and Cotran pathologic basis of disease (9th edition); Philadelphia: Elsevier Saunders; 2014. Available from: 
  6. Martini FH, Nath JL, Bartholomew EF. Fundamentals of anatomy and physiology (11th Edition); Pearson Australia; 2018. Available from 
  7. Tortora GJ, Derrickson B, Burkett B, Peoples G, Dye D, Cooke J, Diversi T, McKean M, Samalia L, Mellifont, R. Principles of Anatomy & Physiology (2nd Asia-Pacific edition); Milton QLD: Wiley; 2019. Available from 

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