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2020/21 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

HECS1090 Biological Knowledge for Practice

30 creditsClass Size: 420

Module manager: Jim Jolly

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2020/21

Pre-requisite qualifications

Programme entry criteria

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

Early detection and response to changes in the physical health status of an individual is important but needs to be underpinned by relevant knowledge and understanding of normal biological functioning and the vital signs that indicate a challenge to the homeostasis of an individual. Therefore, this module will contextualise a range of skills for practice within knowledge and understanding of key anatomical structures and physiological systems that sub-serve homeostasis. So, for example, students will explore the musculoskeletal system and then consider issues related to posture and moving and handling; they will learn about the cardiovascular system and then how to accurately measure pulse and blood pressure and basic life support. The VLE will be used to extend student learning relevant to their individual programmes.


This module will provide students with the biological knowledge required to underpin healthcare practice across disciplines. Throughout the module, emphasis will be placed upon the student gradually gaining independence in learning. To this end students will be required to contribute to tutorial activities, complete a guided study package and apply biological knowledge to the practice area.

Learning outcomes
On completion of the module students will be able to:
- Outline how homeostasis provides a context for understanding the concept health;
- Discuss aspects of anatomy and physiology from a homeostatic perspective;
- Outline structural and functional relationships between physiological systems;
- Discuss how physiological systems regulate biological function;
- Describe how knowledge of anatomy and physiology can be usefully applied to healthcare interventions and how these may affect homeostasis;
- Using selected examples, outline how knowledge of anatomy and physiology can be applied to promote health.

Skills outcomes
This module will introduce the students to human anatomy and physiology and the application of this knowledge to nursing interventions.


Introduction to the concepts health, biological health and homeostasis; Introduction to negative feedback mechanisms drawing upon clinical examples such as regulation of temperature;
Cells as functional units of life;
Biological communication: endocrine and nervous systems;
Infection and immunity: barriers to infection, adaptive immunity and immunisation, healthcare acquired infections and infection control; Musculoskeletal system including how knowledge and understanding of the musculoskeletal system informs moving and handling within practice;
Cardiovascular system including the structure and function of the heart and vessels, homeostatic regulation of heart rate and blood pressure, application of drugs which affect the heart rate and blood pressure.
Respiratory system: structures and processes related to breathing including neural homeostatic control mechanisms.
Fluid and electrolyte balance and renal function. Linkage of hormonal control of fluid balance to blood pressure, and application to drugs which influence fluid balance and blood pressure
Nutrition: Healthy diet and the gastrointestinal tract;
Genetics: an introduction to core concepts and the applicability to healthcare including screening, interventions and the role of the healthcare professional.
Principles of wound care and healing

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Independent online learning hours9.00
Private study hours230.00
Total Contact hours61.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)300.00

Private study

Students will be required to complete a guided study package designed to provide coherence and applicability of taught and learned content.

It is anticipated that the guided study package will take 27 hours to complete. This time will specifically focus upon developing the taught content of the module and will be taken from the student's private study time. How knowledge of anatomy and physiology can be used to maximise health in the practice arena, in an attempt to reduce the major causes of mortality and morbidity, will also be addressed in the guided study package

Students will engage with online lectures.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students have the opportunity to expand on key lecture material and seek clarification to aid learning. in group tutorials

Formative multiple choice questions will be set at intervals throughout semesters 1 and 2a to allow the students opportunities to practice with MCQ-style questions.

Monitoring of Progress:
Student progress will be monitored through completion of the guided study package, online end of topic multiple choice questions and both self-assessment and formative tutor feedback during practical sessions. Student's ability to access and manage information will be monitored via the online guided study package.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
AssignmentGuided Study Package: Tutor selected elements of the guided study package will be assessed100.00
In-course MCQFORMATIVE: MCQ and short answer questions0.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Total word length of assessed work not in excess of 4000 words

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 10/08/2020 08:37:15


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