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The University of Southampton

HPRS1027 Scientific Basis of Healthcare Science (Part 2)

Module Overview

This module will provide a basic yet broad foundation in the sciences that underpin the practice of Health Care Sciences. It will enable students to gain an understanding of key biological and psychosocial principles applicable to the human condition, such as immunology, pharmacology, coping with illness, the impact of culture on illness and microbiology.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

To ensure that the student has the underpinning knowledge of biochemistry, immunology, epidemiology, public health medicine, genetics, microbiology and the psychosocial dimensions of health to provide the foundations for study in healthcare science.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Explain the principles of inheritance, DNA and genetics including carrier status, genetic crosses/pedigree/punnet squares/cross diagrams.
  • Explain how the body changes from birth to old age.
  • Explain the basic principles of physics that underpin healthcare science e.g. ultrasound, radiation, chromatography.
  • Describe how reference ranges are generated and their limitations.
  • Explain the role of genetics in medicine.
  • Be aware of potential new development in the field of healthcare.
  • Become recipients of research evidence in healthcare science by considering the range of research activity in healthcare science / cardiac physiology / respiratory & sleep physiology by accessing professional journals and associated literature.
  • Describe the anatomy, physiology and pathology of the body across the Brain and nervous system, Gastrointestinal system (including nutrition) and reproductive system.
  • Recognise the difference between pharmacology, clinical pharmacology, therapeutics and prescribing and medicine management.
  • Explain how reference ranges are generated and their limitations.
  • Explain the basic principles of pharmacology, pharmacokinetics and therapeutics including drug names and classifications, definitions of terms and basic mechanisms.
  • Explain the basic principles of biochemistry and metabolism.
  • Describe the factors that affect the health of the population and how these may be addressed.
  • Describe how factors affecting health may contribute to inequalities in health between populations
  • Explain basic epidemiological and statistical concepts and how these contribute to evidence-base medicine.
  • Explain the basis of health protection including principles of surveillance, infectious disease control and emergency planning; a basic understanding of how epidemiology is used in planning health services; how epidemiology relates to individual patients and how chronic disease may impact on a patient.
  • Explain the principles of screening programmes in healthcare and be aware of current screening programmes in a relevant Division.
  • Examine patients’ responses to illness and treatment and consider the impact of psychological and social factors, including culture, on health and health-related behaviour.
  • Explain the process by which embryonic evelopment occurs from conception to birth.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Respect and understand individuals’ beliefs and ways of coping with illness.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the influence of culture and beliefs on health.
  • Use a range of study skills including time management, organisational skills, using the library, search engines, self-directed learning, critical analysis and avoiding plagiarism.


The Health Science students will be directed to attend compulsory lectures which are identified as essential to underpin their future practice. In addition to the lead lectures, a series of ‘Health Science specific’ practical classes and seminars will reinforce and build on core lecture content. A broad introduction to key knowledge and principles across body systems will be complimented with an introduction to the basic principles of physics, psychosocial science and biological concepts that underpin healthcare science. Indicative Content Basic principles of • Molecular Biology (Enzymes, Proteins, Metabolism) • Biochemistry • Genetics • Epidemiology • Public Health Medicine • Pharmacology, Therapeutics, Pharmacokinetics • Health Protection Introduction to screening in healthcare e.g. what is screening and when is a screening programme justified and the organisation of screening Basic principles of physics including Ultrasound, Radiation,chromatography Introduction to Physics, Medical Physics and Clinical Engineering Response to illness, health beliefs, psychology and sociology of health and illness Behavioural change Reference ranges Basic principles of Epidemiology Basic principles of Pharmacology and prescribing

Special Features

This module will be supported by the strong science base within the University of Southampton. It is our intention to maximise opportunities for our students working within this robust academic environment by sharing learning opportunities and being exposed to experts in the field. Access to the universitys Centre for Learning Anatomical Sciences (CLAS), for instance, will provide a strong learning environment for our students. The Faculty has invested in a proprietry simulated learning package: ‘Lab-Tutor’. This will be used to augment laboratory based learning. The faculty has invested in electronic learning resources provided by the Pearson publishing group. This will enhance the delivery of physiology and anatomy content through access to an e-copy of the Marieb & Hoehn text and associated e-learning resources free at the point of use. Students will also have free access throughout the course to Acland’s video Atlas of Human Anatomy, via CLAS.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Learning opportunities will include both profession specific learning and learning alongside students from other Faculty of Health programmes. The teaching and learning methods will include lectures, seminars, practical classes and self-directed study. Learning will be augmented by electronic learning resources, core texts and directed study activities. Students will be encouraged to take responsibility for the development of their own learning by utilising a variety of means such as multimedia resources, and the library, and by self-directed development of the study skills necessary to access these resources.

Wider reading or practice248
Preparation for scheduled sessions50
Total study time376

Resources & Reading list

Kazung, Masters and Trevor (2012). Basic and clinical pharmacology. 

Naidoo and Willi (2010). Health promotion: foundations for practice. 

Corr, Edition (2006). Understanding biological psychology. 

Friis and Sellers (2013). Epidemiology for public health practice. 

Stringer (2006). Basic concepts in pharmacology: a student’s survival guide. 

Pigeot (2014). Handbook of epidemiology. 

Campbell, Machin and Walters (2007). Medical Statistics: a textbook for the health sciences. 

Author: Bruce Alberts, Editor: Bruce Alberts (2013). Essential cell biology: an introduction to the molecular biology of the cell. 

Gaw, Murphy and Cowan (2013). Clinical biochemistry: an illustrated colour text. 

Davidovits (2012). Physics in biology and medicine. 

Martin (2003). Essential biological psychology. 

Acland’s video Atlas of Human Anatomy.

Waller, Derek G, et al (2009). Medical Pharmacology and Therapeutics. 

Author: Rang & Dale, Edition: Seventh (2011). Rang & Dale’s Pharmacology. 

Elaine Marieb & Katja Hoehn (2004). Human Anatomy & Physiology. 

Turnpenny, Peter D., Imprint: Philadelphia (2011). Emery's elements of medical genetics. 

Sarafino (2014). Health Psychology: Biopsychosocial Interactions. 

Kumar, Abbas and Aster (2013). Robbins basic pathology. 

McCance and Huether (2010). Pathophysiology: the biologic basis for disease in adults and children. 

Petrie and Sabin (2009). Medical statistics at a glance. 



Online Extended Matched Questions (EMQ) and short answer questions


MethodPercentage contribution
Timed and unseen Extended Matched Questions (EMQ) and short answer examination  (3 hours) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Timed and unseen Extended Matched Questions (EMQ) and short answer examination 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: External

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