This course teaches a foundation of biological topics sufficient to appreciate the main systems of the body and some of the more common diseases that affect the human body and mind. The course begins with an overview of the human body and then focuses on important themes in Medical Biology such as central nervous system coordination and disease, cardiovascular disease, blood, the immune system and infectious disease.
Students have a wide range of interests: many wish to have a better grasp of how the parts work together, others have a scientific interest in the details, some are searching for general ideas about Biology to link up with their other studies. For this reason, individual tutorials are used to take the work in whichever direction is preferred.
The following topics are considered: –
- Overview of the Human Body
This provides an introduction to the human body as a physiologically integrated organism. The major systems are discussed with emphasis placed on their interrelationships in order to maintain the internal environment of the body (homeostasis) and the consequences when these break down.
- The Central Nervous System
The role of the Central Nervous System (CNS) in physical and biochemical coordination is discussed. Emphasis is placed on the structure, function and diseases of the CNS.
- The Cardiovascular System
Cardiovascular disease is one of the largest causes of disease and mortality in the Western world. This module discusses the causes, pathology and treatment of heart disease.
- Diseases of the Blood
The causes, pathology and treatment of diseases of the blood system are considered.
- Genetic Disease
This section of the course looks at a range of genetic diseases like phenylketonuria (PKU) and diabetes and examines the benefits and problems which have arisen from knowledge of the human genome.
- The Immune System
This module gives an overview of the immune system and the ways that it can be compromised by, for instance, the HIV virus in AIDS.
- Parasites and Tropical Diseases
International travel and global rise in temperature have created an increased risk of diseases from disorders like malaria and Chagas disease.
- Infectious Disease and Antibiotics
Sources of infectious disease are discussed and examples given of antibiotic action.
An introduction to the types and causes of this increasingly prevalent disease.
To gain a perspective on the human body and its systems with normal and abnormal functioning.
The weighting of the assessment is principally focused on the work done on written research papers and by an end of course test. These marks, combined with an assessment of student performance in class, make up the final grade for the course, as shown.
- 40% Research papers
- 40% Test
- 10% Class Participation
- 10% Attendance
This class is normally delivered over one term, with 90 teaching hours or equivalent in Michaelmas term, and 60 teaching contact hours for Hilary and Trinity terms. For students requesting credit, we recommend the transfer of three college credits for Michaelmas and two college credits for Hilary and Trinity, on successful completion of the class and the final project.
|Appropriate, accurate and well-detailed knowledge of medical|
|Distinction||biology. Excellent organisation and structure of arguments, displaying|
|Grade A||substantial evidence and appropriate balance. Excellent|
|Credit||Appropriate and detailed but slightly limited medical biology|
|Grade B||knowledge. Arguments presented coherently, but balance not always|
|achieved. Oral and written skills good.|
|Merit||Limited medical biology knowledge, but generally accurate.|
|Grade C||Reasonable arguments constructed and some evidence of breadth or|
|depth is displayed. Oral and communication skills satisfactory.|
|Description of issues is weak and understanding is muddled and|
|Pass||incomplete. Basic knowledge displayed orally and in written form.|
|Grade D||Weak communication skills.|
|Fail||Failure to reach a minimum standard of communication, content and|
The list below is for guidance and to supply some ideas for preliminary reading. We recommend that you do not purchase the books on this list before arrival and certainly not all of them; most should be available from a good library. Your tutor will recommend the most appropriate books for purchase at the first class of term.
Ross & Wilson: Anatomy & Physiology In Health & Disease K J W Wilson & A Waugh Churchill Livingstone (1996; 8th Edn).