Course Title: Cardiovascular Biology

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Cardiovascular Biology

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


160H Medical Sciences


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 1 2014,
Sem 1 2015


Bundoora Campus


173H School of Health and Biomed


Sem 1 2017

Course Coordinator: Professor Owen Woodman

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7305

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 223.02.01A

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

System Enforced Pre-requisites (Enforced by SAMS)

Assumed Knowledge



Course Description

This course will undertake a comprehensive examination of the human cardiovascular system in both health and disease. Building on the knowledge gained from the first year courses BIOL2043 Human Physiology 1 and BIOL 2044 Human Physiology 2, you will study in detail the normal physiology of the heart, blood vessels and blood using that knowledge to develop an understanding of the adverse outcomes of cardiovascular disease at a cellular, organ and system level.

Knowledge of the pathophysiological processes will be used to develop an understanding of the symptoms observed in patients suffering from common disorders such as hypertension, atherosclerosis, heart attack, heart failure, stroke and others. An understanding of cardiovascular pathophysiology will be used to provide an appreciation of different approaches to treatment including lifestyle changes, pharmacological treatment and surgical interventions. 

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development


This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes forBiomedical Science BP231:

2: Exhibit a breadth and depth of scientific knowledge;

3: Critically analyse and solve scientific problems;

4: Demonstrate effective communication of biomedical science.


On completion of this course you should be able to:

  1. Relate relevant scientific literature regarding the pathophysiology of the cardiovascular system and the scientific basis of some treatments of cardiovascular disease.
  2. Integrate knowledge in cardiovascular anatomy, physiology, pathology and pharmacology to understand the function and interactions of the system
  3. Compare the normal physiology of the heart, blood vessels and haemostasis to dysfunction that arises in pathological states.
  4. Relate pathological processes leading to common cardiovascular disorders such as hypertension, atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, stroke and thrombosis.
  5. Identify approaches to treatment currently available
  6. Locate and interpret research developments in cardiovascular research
  7. Apply a scientific approach to the analysis of the treatment of cardiovascular disorders.
  8. Communicate, in writing and orally, current understanding of a selected aspect of cardiovascular anatomy, pathophysiology or pharmacology.

Overview of Learning Activities

The learning activities will include lectures, practical classes and tutorials. Lecture material will encourage reference to previously learned material (Body Systems 1 and 2) and its relationship to pathophysiology.

Practical classes and tutorials are designed to enhance the material delivered in lectures.  They are also intended to give students feedback on their progress and to aid integration of the topics presented in different lectures with the students’ research of the literature.

You will undertake 2 hours lectures and 1 hour tutorial per week.  In addition you will attend 8 hours of practical classes and student presentations per semester.  In addition you can expect to spend a minimum of 70 hours per semester in independent study and assignment preparation.

Overview of Learning Resources

Students are expected to make use of the course site on Blackboard accessed through myRMIT, which will include announcements, lecture notes and additional resources.

Overview of Assessment

This course has no hurdle requirements. 

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task 1:  Online tests (x 3)

Weighting 20%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3 & 4

Assessment Task 2:  Practical tests (x 3)

Weighting 10%

This assessment task supports CLOs 2, 3 & 4

Assessment Task 3: Assignment and oral presentation

Weighting 20%

This assessment task supports CLO 8

Assessment 4: Written examination

Weighting 50% 

This assessment supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7