This unit provides students with an understanding of the control and co-ordination of body systems and the effects of disturbances to body functions. The mental status and some psychosocial factors associated with these processes will be discussed. 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, neural and endocrine dysfunction including impaired cognition such as dementia and impaired co-ordination and control. In the laboratory, students will be introduced to basic laboratory techniques and apply scientific principles to the assessment of dysfunction in humans. Students are also introduced to the research literature, research techniques and the communication of scientific information by a series of presentations.

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. Demonstrate the ability to locate and critically analyse scientific data relevant to pathophysiology utilising a range of materials and report findings effectively in oral and written formats;  
  2. Explain how homeostatic imbalances may progress to disease;  
  3. Describe and explain a range of pathologic processes including injury, inflammation and immunopathology, neoplasia, genetic, endocrine and neurological disorders;  
  4. Utilise knowledge of pathophysiology to solve problems and analyse case studies of disease;  
  5. Discuss the scientific basis for preventative interventions and management of important pathophysiological conditions; and  
  6. Apply basic scientific principles in the laboratory investigation of disease, analysis of laboratory data or case reports.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Presentation Oral presentation (five (5) minutes, 400 words) 5%
Laboratory Work Lab reports (800 words) 20%
Examination Multiple choice and SA test (1.0 hours, 800 words) 25%
Examination Multiple choice and SA exam (2.5 hours, 2000 words) 50%
Students must attend a minimum of 80% of all labs to pass the unit; Acquisition of laboratory skills is an integral part of the learning outcomes for this unit and for students to achieve GC1, in terms, of working collaboratively with others.

Required reading

Pathophysiology: the biologic basis for disease in adults and children 7th ed.
McCance, K.L. and Huether, S.E., (2014)
Mosby Elsevier, Maryland heights, Missouri

Rubin's Pathology: clinicopathologic foundations of medicine 7th ed.
Strayer, D. and Rubin, E., (2014)
Wolters Kluwer / Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, Philadelphia

NOTE: Students require only ONE of the above texts.

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