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2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

MEDI1216 Introduction to Medical Sciences

Module manager: Dr Richard Pease

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

Pre-requisite qualifications

Compulsory strand of MBChB programme- all students study IMS on entry to the programme


MEDI1204Individuals and Populations
MEDI1213Research, Evaluation and Special Studies 1
MEDI1214Innovation, Development, Enterprise, Leadership and Safety 1
MEDI1215Campus to Clinic 1
MEDI1218RESS 1 Special Studies Project
MEDI1220Body Systems

Module replaces

Biomedical Sciences 1

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

The purpose of this ICU is to give an introduction to the molecules, cells and tissues which underpin normal structure and function to enable students to apply these principles to an understanding of disease. The topics covered will be integrated across and through the curriculum by linking to the other Science ICUs and forming a foundation for BMS2. The clinical relevance of biomedical scientific principles will be highlighted throughout, to ensure that students appreciate the importance of these to understanding human disease processes. Lectures will provide a foundation for learning, with small group tutorials supported by clinical and academic staff to enable students to develop understanding. These will be supplemented by web based learning. The study guide will indicate online resources and practice tests which students will be encouraged to use to self monitor progress.


By the end of the unit the student will be able to:
1. Identify the normal structure and function of cells, organelles and tissues.
2. Recognise key features of cells and organelles from histological specimens.
3. Describe the stages in development of the human embryo.
4. Describe the developmental and functional anatomy of the male and female.
5. Demonstrate an understanding of the structure and function of RNA and DNA, including the transcription and replication processes which underpin genetics and genetic disorders.
6. Describe the key features of amino acids, protein structure and metabolism, enzyme function and the regulation of enzymes.
7. Explain the role of hormones, receptors and neurotransmitters in controlling cell activity.
8. Explain the principles of homeostasis.
9. Describe the structure and function of tissues including blood, connective tissue, bone, muscle and nervous tissue.
10. Explain the process of infection, the nature of infective agents and the use of antibiotics in treating bacterial infection.
11. Explain the principles of immunity and the nature of the immune response in relation to common clinical conditions.
12. Explain the fundamental principles underlying pharmacology and pharmacokinetics using examples from MBChB Medicine Management curriculum.

Learning outcomes
By the end of the unit students will know:
1. Normal structure and function of cells, organelles and tissues.
2. The stages in development of the human embryo.
3. Anatomical structure of pelvis and perineum.
4. Structure and function of amino acids, proteins, metabolism, enzyme function and regulation.
5. The role of hormones, receptors and neurotransmitters in controlling cell activity.
6. The principles of homeostasis.
7. Structure and function of blood, connective tissue, blood, bone, muscle, nervous tissue.
8. The principles of infection and immunity and common conditions where the immune response is altered.
9. The principles of pharmacology and pharmacokinetics applied to drugs from the year 1 formulary.

Skills outcomes
- Application of scientific principles to medical practice as appropriate.
- Application of anatomical dissection techniques.


Cells and Organelles
- Fundamental cell structure, types of cells, cell membranes, specialised cell structures, microbes.
- Membranes and lipids, movement of molecules across membranes.
- Structure and function of DNA, cell growth and division, transcription and replication.
- Basic principles of genetics and genetic disease, common genetic disorders.

Proteins and Enzymes
- Amino acids, structure of proteins, protein synthesis, translation of mRNA.
- Medical importance of amino acid structure and metabolism, protein purification and analysis.
- Introduction to enzymes and enzyme function, regulation of enzyme activity, introduction to enzyme kinetics, enzymes in diagnosis, prognosis and treatment.

Tissue Structure and Function
- Types of epithelial tissue, function and distribution, regeneration.
- Secretory tissue, types of glands, secretory processes and active transport.
- Introduction to blood, types of cells, function of cells, role of haemoglobin, common blood disorders.
- Structure and function of connective tissue, main types, structure and function of cartilage.
- Types of muscle, structure of muscle, function of skeletal muscle, muscular contraction.
- Nervous tissue; conduction, membrane equilibrium, nerve impulse and action potential, neuromuscular transmission, common neuromuscular disorders.
- Embryonic development and the origin of tissues and organs.

Scientific basis for infectious and non-infectious disease
- Introduction to principles of infection, use of antibiotics Hospital Acquired Infection and antibiotic resistance.
- Introduction to non-infectious disease; aetiology and incidence of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke and cancers.
- Principles of pharmacology; introduction to the mechanism of drug action, drug receptor interactions, common examples.
- Individual variation in response to drugs, genetic polymorphism, application of pharmacokinetics in tailoring drugs to individuals.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Class tests, exams and assessment22.004.00
Group learning103.0030.00
Private study hours36.00
Total Contact hours122.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)158.00

Private study

Private study and independent learning will allow students to reflect upon and apply the information and knowledge from the themes that they have discussed and explored in the group sessions and seminars they have attended. Weekly directed independent study with regular on-line test (quizzes) will be set.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students will be required to document progress through the electronic portfolio. The portfolio will incorporate access to monitoring and tracking of students' progress towards the intended learning outcomes as well as a personal developmental progress log (shared with other ICUs and strands in the MBChB programme. Monitoring of progress in this strand will be follow the student support model (with local monitoring and feedback from (clinical) teachers and regular meetings with tutors and groups to look at overall progress periodically within Introduction to Medical Science and a review of student progression via examination boards and the Student Progress committee, incorporating academic and personal tutoring mechanisms.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
In-course MCQNon-graded Pass required0.00
In-course MCQNon-graded Pass required0.00
In-course MCQNon-graded Pass required0.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)0.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Exam with advance information on questions3 hr 00 mins0.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)0.00

- Assessment for learning tools (online quizzes etc) - Regular revision tests as part of group tutorials - Multi-choice in course exam with non-graded pass required - For progression graded pass in the Integrated Year 1 Written Exam is required

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 29/04/2022 15:42:38


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