Course Title: Foundations of Human Biology

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Foundations of Human Biology

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


160H Medical Sciences


Sem 2 2011,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 2 2014,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 2 2016

Course Coordinator: Dr Paul Bertrand

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7898

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 223.2.4

Course Coordinator Availability: by appointment only

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

BIOL2272 Biology of the Cell (or equivalent course) is a required prior study prerequisite. Students who have not successfully completed the prerequisite must withdraw, or will be withdrawn if they incorrectly enrol in this course.

Course Description

This course introduces you to the basic principles of normal and abnormal body physiology underpinned by an understanding of anatomy. The course adopts a modular and integrative approach to address key concepts of systems physiology and basic knowledge of anatomy of the human body. It provides essential background to further studies in pathology and pharmacology.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development


This course contributes to the program learning outcomes in the following disciplines:

Pharmacy (BH102)

This course contributes to development in the following Domains of the National Competency Standards Framework for Pharmacists in Australia

  • Critical analysis, research and education (D8)


Laboratory Medicine (BP147)

  • Knowledge capability (PLO 1)
  • Technical capability (PLO 2)


Pharmaceutical Sciences (BP184)

  • Exhibit depth and breadth of scientific knowledge (PLO 1)
  • Critically analyse and solve scientific problems (PLO 2)


On completion of this course you should be able to:

  1. Present key concepts in human physiology and anatomy, and related specific disease states to a peer and academic audience.
  2. Apply critical thinking skills to analyse problems related to human anatomy and physiology.
  3. Describe and explain the structure and function of the musculo-skeletal, nervous, cardiovascular, respiratory, renal and gastrointestinal systems.
  4. Describe and explain the critical importance of homeostasis in the normal human and the endocrine and neuronal basis of homeostasis
  5. Describe how alterations in the homeostatic mechanisms lead to disease.
  6. Communicate your understanding of anatomical structures.
  7. Communicate how physiological parameters can be measured.

Overview of Learning Activities

In this course you will be actively engaged in the following learning activities:

  1. Lectures where material covering human anatomy and physiology will be presented and explained.
  2. Laboratory classes that provide an integrated and hands-on approach to the study of anatomy and physiology.
  3. Group and peer directed tutorials that explore more complex and discipline specific examples.
On-line activities that provide you with an opportunity to discuss issues, concerns and to share your learning experiences with fellow students and with academic staff.


You will undertake the equivalent of three hours per week in lectures; one hour of tutorial per week and one hour of practical/workshop per week.

In addition, you can expect to spend a minimum of four hours per week in independent study.

Overview of Learning Resources

Learning resources used in this course include textbooks, lecture notes (PowerPoint presentations), Lectopia recordings or short videos of lecture presentations, practical exercises, tutorial classes, anatomy laboratory, and additional references on selected topics. The course site in myRMIT provides opportunities for students to independently access much of this material and use asynchronous discussions as an additional mode of learning.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment will be based on both individual fortnightly worksheets and formal tests and exams comprising multiple-choice questions and short answer questions, and collaborative performance of requisite tasks and their subsequent write-up.

Please note that in each two week study module you will take short review quizzes in order to gain experience in answering questions similar to those you will answer in the formal tests outlined above. These tests are not for marks.

Note that:

 ☒This course has no hurdle requirements.

☐ All hurdle requirements for this course are indicated clearly in the assessment regime that follows, against the relevant assessment task(s) and all have been approved by the College Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning & Teaching).

Formative Assessment Tasks:  Review quizzes online

Weighting 0%

Note: these assessment tasks enable formative assessment of your knowledge in order to provide you with helpful feedback to support your improvement for subsequent tests and exams. It carries no marks and is not a hurdle requirement.

This assessment task supports CLOs 2 & 3

Assessment Task 1:  Fortnightly worksheets

Weighting 18%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 3 & 6


Assessment Task 2: Formal assessments

Weighting 70%

This assessment task supports CLO 2, 3, 4 & 7

Assessment Task 3: Groupwork assignment

Weighting 12% 

This assessment supports CLO 1, 4 & 5