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BIOL126 Human Biology 2 data-versionlabel=2 > OR BIOL204 Human Body in Health and Disease 2


BIOL122 Human Biological Science 2

Unit rationale, description and aim

Having acquired sound understanding of the structure and function of the healthy human body, students are now ready to critically analyse changes that underlie, accompany, and result from various disease processes. This unit begins by introducing the molecular, cellular, and histological changes underlying the human body’s responses to pathologic stimuli, including inflammation, healing, haemodynamic and immunological derangements, and neoplasia. Students will then focus on understanding how specific organ systems respond to disease processes, with emphasis on National Health Priority areas such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, cancers, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, osteoporosis, and dementia. Relevant screening techniques and diagnostic protocols important for the prevention and diagnosis of these conditions will also be discussed. Successful completion of this unit permits students to progress to the later units that address pharmacological management of disease and equips them with the ability to find, critically analyse, and appraise current research aimed at finding novel ways to prevent, treat, or manage the discussed pathologies. The aim of this unit is to introduce biomedical scientists, nutrition scientists, and health care professionals to the most prevalent diseases affecting Australians.

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 - Explain how cells and tissues respond to pathologic stimuli at molecular, cellular, tissue, and organ levels (GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9)

LO2 - Discuss the aetiology, pathogenesis, pathology, and pathophysiology of diseases identified by the National Health Priority Areas and describe ways to prevent, treat, or manage them (GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9)

LO3 - Analyse and interpret diagnostic data of selected diseases (GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9)

LO4 - Apply fundamental pathophysiological concepts to diverse and challenging scenarios mimicking real-life situations, and effectively communicate their observations and conclusions (GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9).

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:

Principles of pathology and pathophysiology

  • Cell adaptation, injury, and death
  • Inflammation and healing
  • Haemodynamic derangements
  • Immunological derangements

Musculoskeletal conditions

  • Osteoporosis, rheumatoid- and osteoarthritis

Respiratory conditions

  • Asthma, COPD

Cardiovascular conditions

  • Atherosclerosis, hypertension, coronary artery disease, and stroke and their consequences
  • Cardiac failure

Endocrine disorders

  • Diabetes mellitus and metabolic syndrome

Renal disorders

  • Glomerulonephritis

Principles of carcinogenesis; selected benign, pseudomalignant, and malignant tumours

Nervous system conditions

  •  Dementia and spinal injury

GI tract disorders

  •  Gastric and duodenal ulcers and cirrhosis of the liver

Reproductive conditions

  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome and endometriosis

Immune and haemopoietic disorders

  • Selected autoimmune diseases and anaemias

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit uses active learning to encourage students to understand the cause, progress, and consequences of the most important pathologies.

In weekly lectures, students’ questions, active participation, and feedback are encouraged. Lectures aim at helping students acquire the fundamentals of the pathology and pathophysiology and enable them to understand specific disease conditions that affect the human body.

In weekly workshops, students work collaboratively by engaging in activities such as problem-solving, discussion, and reading to promote analysis, synthesis, and critical evaluation of the learning material. Case studies will be used to provide an authentic approach so learners can read medical histories, propose diagnoses, analyse data, form an opinion, and draw conclusions regarding a person’s condition. These workshops serve to both assimilate and apply the knowledge relevant to the given week’s topic learning objectives.

Assessment strategy and rationale

A range of assessment activities is used to meet the unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes consistent with University assessment requirements. The assessment tasks for this unit are designed to encourage students to demonstrate achievement of each learning outcome. There are ongoing formative assessments to provide feedback about students’ progress and learning, and three summative assessments described below.

Assignment 1 is a quiz that has two parts (part A and part B). This quiz assesses students’ understanding of the learning material and encourages the use of critical thinking skills.

Assignment 2 is an oral presentation. This assessment task requires students to reflect on the learning material, utilize their advanced critical thinking skills, and showcase their oral communication skills as well as their ability to search, access, and critically evaluate scientific information.

Assignment 3 is the final worksheet task, where students are required to submit their answers to open-ended questions derived from case study/studies. Completion of this assessment task requires students to demonstrate advanced critical thinking and written communication skills, and reflect on the learning material of the entire unit.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Quiz (Parts A and B)

The online summative quizzes assess students’ understanding of the learning material


LO1, LO2

GA4, GA5

Oral Presentation

The oral presentation requires students to reflect on the learning material, utilize their advanced critical thinking skills, and showcase their oral communication skills as well as their ability to search, access, and critically evaluate scientific information.


LO2, LO3, LO4

GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9

Worksheet assessment

The worksheet (case study) assessment task requires students to demonstrate advanced critical thinking and written communication skills


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9

Representative texts and references

Banasik, J.L.; Copstead, L.E. (2019). Pathophysiology, 6th edition, Elsevier, ISBN 978-0323354813.

Bullock, S.; Hales, M. (2019) Principles of Pathophysiology, 2nd edition, Frenchs Forest, Australia, Pearson, ISBN 9780733994159.

Craft, J.; Gordon, C.J.; Huether, S.E.; McCance, K.L.; Brashers, V.L.; Rote, N.S. (2019) Understanding Pathophysiology, 3rd Australian and New Zealand edition, Elsevier, ISBN 9780729542647.

Hammer, GD; McPhee, SJ (2018). Pathophysiology of Disease: An Introduction to Clinical Medicine, 8th edition, McGraw-Hill Education, ISBN 9781260026504.

Kumar, V; Abbas, A; Aster, J. (2018) Robbins Basic Pathology, 10th edition, Saunders, ISBN 9780323353175.

Herlihy, B. (2013) The Human Body in Health and Illness, 5th edition, Elsevier, ISBN 9781455772346.

McCance, K.L.; Huether, S.E.; Brashers, V.L.; Rote, N.S.(2019) Pathophysiology: The Biologic Basis for Disease in Adults and Children, 8th edition, Elsevier, ISBN 9780323402811.

Sherwood, L. (2010) Human Physiology: From Cells to Systems, 7th edition, Cengage Learning, ISBN 9780495391845.

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