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BIOL125 Human Biology 1


BIOD126 Human Biology 2 , BIOL121 Human Biological Science 1 , BIOL122 Human Biological Science 2 , BIOL124 - Human Body in Health and Disease 1, 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 BIOL125, 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 BIOL125, 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.

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

LO1 - Discuss the structure and function of the endocrine, integumentary, digestive, urinary, reproductive, and immune systems across the lifespan (GA4, GA5, GA8) 

LO2 - Describe the main events of embryonic development with emphasis on the cardiovascular, respiratory, musculoskeletal, and neurological systems (GA4, GA5, GA8) 

LO3 - Discuss the human body’s response to metabolic changes, stress, injury, and infectious agents (GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9) 

LO4 - Describe the basic principles of pharmacology, including formulations, routes of drug administration, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics (GA5, GA8). 

Graduate attributes

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

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

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

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


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 lectures and workshops supported by online activities. Lectures allow teachers to convey necessary information so that students acquire an overall understanding of human anatomy and physiology. Lectures also provide opportunities for students to check their understanding and ask questions. Workshop classes reinforce key concepts introduced in lectures and offer an opportunity to engage with the material in a supportive and friendly environment. In workshop classes students work collaboratively and engage in activities such as computer simulations, case studies, data collection and interpretation, as well as synthesis and evaluation of class content. This unit further supports student learning by providing online material through LEO, including formative feedback quizzes and links to videos, additional learning activities and quiz activities.  

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment strategy encourages students to work in a consistent and stepwise manner throughout the semester and there are a variety of assessment tasks to suit different learning styles.

Oral presentation: This task will introduce students to a specific organ in the human body. Students will learn the importance of this organ and its role in homeostasis. Students will develop and learn oral presentation skills and progress their understanding as to how this organ works. 

Quiz: This task assesses a large proportion of the material covered in this unit. This task enables students to demonstrate their comprehension of the body systems covered at the time of the assessment. Students will have the opportunity to develop quiz skills required for this task by completing formative feedback quizzes (see below). 

Written assessment: The final task includes a case study in which students address questions and problems to demonstrate understanding and critical thinking skills associated with all of the BIOL126 learning material. The real-world example used in the case study will provide students with the opportunity to integrate and apply anatomical and physiological knowledge in an authentic manner. 

Formative assessments are provided throughout the semester in the form of topic feedback quizzes, which are online, multiple-choice quizzes that present questions similar to those used in graded assessments. These formative tasks allow students to check their knowledge and understanding in a timely manner before submitted summative assessments. Opportunities to practice short-answer questions are also incorporated into group teaching activities so that students can gain insights into the various question types and model answers. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Oral presentation  

Students will learn how a particular organ helps to maintain homeostasis and develop oral presentation skills.


LO1, LO3

GA4, GA5, GA8


This task enables students to demonstrate their understanding of the topics covered at the time of the assessment.  


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA4, GA5, GA8

Written assessment 

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


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9

Representative texts and references

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

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

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

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

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

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

McArdle, W.D., Katch, F.I. & Katch, V.L. (2015) Exercise physiology: Energy, nutrition and human performance (8th ed.). Philadelphia: 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.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill Companies, Inc.  

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

Stanfield, C.L. (2017) Principles of human physiology (6th ed.). Boston, MA: 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, Milton, Qld, Australia.  

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