Fundamental Human Biology - BIOS3050

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2021 to 2022
Autumn Term 4 15 (7.5) Rosalyn Masterton checkmark-circle


Cell structure and function: cell organelles; cytoskeleton; DNA/RNA structure; introduction to transcription and translation; introduction to disorders of cells and tissues.

Cell division: mitosis; meiosis; mechanisms of creating genetic variation.

Cell differentiation and body tissues: tissue types; extracellular matrix; cell junctions.

Organ systems of the body including:
Musculoskeletal system: muscle types; mechanism of skeletal muscle contraction; structure, development and maintenance of bone; types of joints.
Circulatory system: overview of circulation; composition of blood; cells of blood.
Immune system: infectious agents; lymphatic system; innate and acquired defences.
Digestive system: digestive tract and accessory organs; types of nutrients; major digestive enzymes; absorption and assimilation.
Urinary system and excretion: kidney and urinary tract; urine formation; functions in waste removal, homeostasis.
Endocrine and Nervous systems: concept of homeostatic loops; endocrine glands and hormones; organization of nervous system; generation and conduction of a nerve impulse; synapses and neurotransmitters; comparison of neural and hormonal signalling.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 21
Private study hours: 129
Total study hours: 150

Method of assessment

IC Test (20%)
IC Test (20%)

Exam (60%), 2 hours

Indicative reading

Human Biology by S.S. Mader, McGraw-Hill. Recent editions suitable; latest is 13th edition (2013)

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will have fundamental knowledge and understanding of:
The components and organisation of cells.
How cells divide and differentiate.
The major physiological systems of the body – musculoskeletal, immune, digestive, excretory, nervous, endocrine.

The intended generic learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to have a knowledge and understanding of:
Written communication
Recall and synthesis of information under time constraints


  1. Credit level 4. Certificate level module usually taken in the first stage of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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