Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Teaching organisation

Education Pathways

Unit rationale, description and aim

Extending students’ knowledge and use of medical terminology, and developing their understanding of body systems, assists students in their transition into a health science degree. It is essential that students gain knowledge of medical terminology, and anatomy and physiology to be successful in the health sciences . Developing students’ knowledge and research skills in these areas and a deeper understanding of the human body systems, will assist them in their transition into a health science degree.   

ACOM117 will develop students’ understanding of basic biological processes within the structure and function of the major body systems. The focus of the unit will be on the healthy human body and maintenance of homeostasis.

The aim of the unit is to further develop and consolidate students’ understanding of biological processes, relevant medical terminology, and the academic and communication skills required for undergraduate studies in health sciences.

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 biological processes (GA5)

LO2 - Explain the structure and function of the major body systems (GA5, GA8, GA9)

LO3 - Locate, organise and present appropriate information on health related topics using correct academic conventions (GA5, GA8, GA10)

LO4 - Communicate information about health and the human body using clear, accurate language and terminology (GA5, GA8, GA9)

Graduate attributes

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

GA10 - Utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies


Topics will include:

  • Levels of structural organisation of the human body
  • Cells and metabolism
  • Body systems- structure and function
  • Academic and scientific research and report writing
  • Oral presentation skills

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Strategies utilised in this unit promote an active learning environment. Workshops contain a short lecture component delivered by the tutor and are designed for students to receive instruction on content, and to practise listening and note-taking skills. In addition, workshops are student-focused involving small group learning with student-tutor interaction which is focused upon the study and discussion of human anatomy and physiology as they relate to major organs and organ systems of the body. The assessment require research and critical thinking, and with the support of scaffolded classroom tasks and the facilitation of the tutor, students will examine health-related topics by identifying appropriate sources of information that can be used to investigate content, as well as prepare written and oral assessments.

Face-to-face mode

This unit is delivered face-to-face on campus in a 3-hour weekly workshop. The workshop format is designed to allow students to explore content and language, and subsequently engage with content and apply skills in a classroom setting. It is aimed at maximising the students’ opportunities for interaction and communication with the tutor and with their peers, and provides practice and feedback on impromptu language use. Face-to-face mode is supported by online resources and activities available on the Learning Management System.

Online Mode

In online mode, a 3-hour synchronous weekly workshop is utilised. The workshop is broken up into sections, combining flipped classroom approaches (individual and group) with tutor-led activities and peer work. This promotes independent learning and online learning activities, but provides a supported online experience for offshore pathway students. The tutor-facilitated components would be dedicated to extending student understanding, more personalised learning and “hands-on” activities. The aim is to maximise the students’ opportunities for interaction and communication with the tutor and with their peers, and more practice and feedback on impromptu language use.

Assessment strategy and rationale

Assessment will be equitable for students undertaking either face-to-face or online classes.

The assessment tasks for this unit are designed to enable students to demonstrate achievement of each learning outcome. The tasks have been selected and designed to assist in preparing for the content and assessment requirements of undergraduate studies in health sciences, and to build on knowledge and skills acquired in semester one. As the unit is part of a health science pathway, the purpose of the task design is to assess student communicative competence and discipline-specific language relating to processes and to human anatomy and physiology.

The report builds on skills from Semester 1 and requires students to search for, evaluate and organise relevant academic information and data from more discipline-specific sources and databases, immersing them further in the content of the discipline.  The presentation is the second assessment scheduled as such as it necessitates further inquiry and research into the report topic, but requires students to demonstrate the communicative competence to clearly articulate that content and terminology to an audience or receiver. An exam is included in the assessment schedule as it is a means by which students’ understanding and application of content, and their ability to articulate processes, is assessed.  Exam conditions require the student to demonstrate this in a timed and controlled setting, requiring independent thinking, skills and application.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes


This requires students to demonstrate their ability to research a health-related topic, select appropriate and relevant information, and describe and analyse the topic. The report will assess knowledge and skills covered in the unit, including students' written communication and understanding of the academic report genre.  


LO1, LO3, LO4

GA5, GA8, GA9, GA10

Oral (individual) presentation on a health topic

The presentation is designed to assess students' ability to investigate, in more depth and detail, a specific aspect of the condition covered in the report. Students should demonstrate extended searches and retrieval of quality content from reliable academic sources, a clear focus, and accurate oral communication of content and terminology.


LO3, LO4

GA5, GA8, GA9, GA10

Final Exam

Students are required to respond to short and long-answer questions and texts to demonstrate their understanding of unit content and their ability to communicate clearly and accurately about health and the human body applying content and discipline specific language skills.  


LO1, LO2, LO4

GA5, GA8, GA9

Representative texts and references

Chabner, D. (2015). Medical terminology: a short course. (7th ed.). Elsevier. (accessible online though ACU Library Website) 

Chabner, D. (2018). Medical terminology: a short course. (8th ed.). Elsevier. (with adaptive technology)

Cohen, B.J., Jones, S.A. (2020). Medical terminology: An illustrated guide (9th ed.). Jones and Bartlett.

Cohen, B. J., & Hull, K. L. (2019). Memmler’s The human body in health and disease. (14th ed.). Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

French, J. (2017). Anatomy & Physiology made incredibly easy. Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Mosby. (2016). Mosby’s pocket dictionary of medicine, nursing & health professions. (8th ed.). Elsevier Health Sciences. (Available as an app) 

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