This unit provides students with an understanding of the control and co-ordination of body systems and the effects of disturbances to body functions. Students are introduced to major pathologic processes which may affect all parts of the body. Topics include tissue injury, inflammation and repair, normal immune function and deviations from normal, cancer from the molecular level to the whole person, endocrinology and cardiovascular disease. In the laboratory, students will apply scientific principles to the assessment of dysfunction in humans. Students are also introduced to the research literature, research techniques and the interpretation of case studies.

Unit details

Study level:
Credit points:
Unit code:


RBM1518 - Human Physiology 1

RBM1528 - Human Physiology 2

OR: RBM1174 Human Physiology and SCL1002 Exercise Physiology for students enrolled in the Clinical Exercise stream of the Human Movement and Education degree or equivalent. OR: RBM1103 Bioscience 1 and RBM1202 Bioscience 2 for students enrolled in HBHL Bachelor of Health Science.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Investigate pathological processes including injury, inflammation and immunopathology, neoplasia, endocrine and cardiovascular disorders;  
  2. Deduce from information presented in case studies to identify the likely cause of disease;  
  3. Articulate the importance of dietary management and lifestyle in the prevention of pathophysiological conditions; and  
  4. Application of scientific and pathology principles in the investigation of disease.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Test Multiple choice x 2 (30 minutes each) 20%
Practicum Practicum (1 hour) 30%
Test Multiple choice (2 hours) 50%
Students will answer questions based on the specimens they observed in week 3. They will attend an in class practicum test where they will answer a set of questions based on the specimens they have previously observed.

Required reading

Pathophysiology: The Biologic Basis for Disease in Adults and Children 8th ed.
McCance, K.L. and Huether, S.E., (2019)
St Louis, Missouri: Elsevier

Where to next?

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following courses. Refer to the course page for information on how to apply for the course.

You can choose to study this unit as part of the following courses. Refer to the course page for information on how to structure your course to include this unit.

Study a single unit

This unit may be available as a single unit of study.

Find out more about how to apply for single units of study at VU.

VU takes care to ensure the accuracy of this unit information, but reserves the right to change or withdraw courses offered at any time. Please check that unit information is current with the Student Contact Centre.