Pathophysiology involves the study of disordered physiological processes associated with disease or injury and can therefore be considered core to any degree in biomedicine or health science. This unit examines the effects of dysfunction in particular human body systems, building on students' knowledge of basic pathological processes and overall regulation of the human body (Pathophysiology 1). We will cover disorders of the following systems: cardiovascular renal, respiratory, blood, reproductive, gastrointestinal and musculoskeletal. Students are introduced to techniques for assessment of disorders where they will develop their analytical skills in various laboratory settings.  There will be an integration of topic material relating to specific body systems between Pathophysiology 1 and Pathophysiology 2. Students will have the opportunity to investigate and apply their knowledge of pathophysiology in professional and community situations; this will be exemplified by the group project where students will study the pathophysiology of a disease from the perspective of health professionals and patients.

Unit details

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RBM2530 - Pathophysiology 1

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Locate and integrate a range of peer-reviewed literature including case studies, reviews and primary research articles in the assessment of disease;  
  2. Apply scientific principles and protocols and interpret the results of laboratory tests to investigate pathological conditions;  
  3. Interpret a range of disease processes with reference to specific organ systems and their interplay; and  
  4. Solve pathophysiology problems using case studies individually and with peers.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Test Test 1 (30mins) 10%
Laboratory Work Laboratory Report (1500 word equivalence) 30%
Presentation Group Presentation (6mins per group) 30%
Exercise Case Study (1500 word equivalence) 30%
Laboratory attendance is compulsory and is a hurdle requirement. In order to complete laboratory based learning outcomes students must attend a minimum 75% of labs to pass the subject because lab skills are an essential part of the unit and overall course given that industry expects science graduates to have basic laboratory and analytical skills. This unit is also a pre-requisite for several 3rd year units where students will need to have learnt these basic lab skills to scaffold their learning into more advanced laboratory skills.

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.

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