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The University of Southampton

MEDI1031 Foundations of Medicine

Module Overview

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• Introduce the educational facilities and resources provided by the Faculty of Medicine and the University • Enable a smooth transition to studying medicine at university and to encourage students to contribute to the wider activities and life of the Medical School and University • Provide a platform of professional knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours, including self-directed learning, communication skills, leadership and teamworking • Introduce fundamental knowledge of the molecular, cellular and physiological principles underlying the normal function of the human body • Introduce fundamental knowledge of the anatomical and histological structures of the human body • Introduce fundamental knowledge of pathological, immunological, microbiological, nutritional and public health aspects of disease and disease prevention • Introduce the pharmacological principles of drug treatment • Introduce fundamental knowledge of psychosocial aspects of medicine • Enable integration of learning across all subsequent modules. The learning outcomes below map directly to one or more of the Programme learning outcomes [as indicated in square brackets] which in turn are taken from the GMC’s Tomorrow’s Doctors (2009).

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Describe the normal biological functions of the human body at the molecular, cellular, tissue, organ, system, psychological and social levels [1.1a, 1.2.a, 1.2b, 1.2c, 1.3a]
  • Use appropriate information resources (textbooks, journals, websites, databases), interpret scientific and clinical data, and use the information to solve problems [2.2a, 2.7b]
  • Demonstrate improved written and spoken communication skills, including communication through group working [2.1a, 2.1b, 2.3a, 2.3b, 2.3c, 2.3h]
  • Use training in first aid and basic life support to provide emergency care [2.4a, 2.4c, 2.4d, 2.4e]
  • Apply skills of independent study, including time management and IT skills [3.2a, 3.2b, 3.2c, 3.2d, 3.2f]
  • Recognise your personal, professional and legal responsibilities, responding constructively to feedback [3.1a, 3.1b, 3.1f, 3.1g, 3.4a, 3.4c, 3.4d, 3.4f, 3.4i, 3.4j]
  • Demonstrate understanding of the diverse interests and backgrounds of other people, including patients, recognising how opportunities for some people may be restricted by others’ perceptions [2.3b, 3.1c, 3.1d, 3.1e, 3.4a]
  • Demonstrate understanding of the importance of acting honestly and with integrity by adhering to the University’s academic integrity statement in relation to your written work [3.1c]
  • Relate fundamental knowledge of anatomical and histological structures to the physiology and pathology of specific body systems [1.1a, 1.1b]
  • Explain the cellular and molecular principles by which the normal body structures and functions may be altered by disease [1.1b, 1.1c, 1.1d]
  • Discuss biological, psychological and sociological concepts of health, illness and disease. [1.1b, 1.2b, 1.3b]
  • Describe the range of intrinsic and external factors (genetic, social, environmental, occupational, behavioural and nutritional) that can influence health [1.2b, 1.2d, 1.3d, 1.4a, 1.4b, 1.4g, 1.4h, 1.4j]
  • Describe basic principles underlying the use of drugs and other interventions in the prevention, diagnosis, cure and management of disease [1.1e, 1.1f, 1.2e, 1.2g, 1.3e, 1.4a]
  • Discuss the development of health improvement and health policy using principles of the scientific method and the history of medicine [1.4d]
  • Discuss the complexities of the doctor/patient relationship and the roles of doctors and other healthcare professionals in society [1.3e,1.4d]
  • Demonstrate appropriate numeracy skills in the calculation and interpretation of quantitative scientific and clinical data [1.1f, 1.1g]


The module will be based broadly on the successful content of existing subjects, themes and skills: Subjects Anatomy / Histology • Introduction to gross anatomy • Introduction to embryology (germ layers and differentiation) • Introduction to microanatomy • Introduction to imaging Clinical Pharmacology • Introduction to pharmacological principles • Autonomic nervous system pharmacology • Basic pharmacokinetics Human Nutrition • Introduction to human nutrition • Nutrition supply and demand Immunology • Introduction to Immunology • Immunity and infection Microbiology & Infection • Introduction to microbiology • Viral and bacterial structures • Colonisation and infection • Skin and soft tissue infection • Antibiotics and resistance • Toxins and immunisation Molecular Cell Biology • DNA structure and replication • RNA processing and translation • Protein structure and enzymes • Regulation of gene expression • Biomembranes & Ion transport • Carbohydrate metabolism • Protein metabolism • Lipid metabolism • Diagnostics Pathology • Introduction to pathology • Introduction to haematology • Cell cycle and cell death • Cellular adaptations • Host defence and inflammation • Tumour biology and neoplasia Physiology • Introduction to physiology • Body fluids • Ion distribution • Cell to cell communication Psychology (as applied to Medicine) • Introduction to psychology in medicine • Psychological interventions Public Health • Introduction to public health • Global health and health inequalities Sociology (as applied to Medicine) • Introduction to sociology in medicine • Doctors and society Themes Teamworking, leadership and patient safety • Leadership • Patient safety Communication • Learning Skills First Aid & CPR Library resources and IT databases

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The module will be taught through a range of learning and teaching strategies which will include: • Lectures • Tutor led tutorials • Practical sessions • Guided self-study • Problem solving scenarios • Group work • Portfolios • eLearning • Patient based learning

Follow-up work95
Completion of assessment task60
Practical classes and workshops28
Wider reading or practice43.5
Preparation for scheduled sessions95
Total study time562.5

Resources & Reading list

The standard textbooks on the BM5 Recommended Reading List.

Online resources including the Pathology Interactive Practicals (PiPs), interactive materials for anatomy, histology and pharmacology, and formative assessment papers.

The Foundations of medicine module administrative materials and teaching resources.


Assessment Strategy

As compensation applies across assessment components in this module, a fail in any of the components will require a supplementary exam to be undertaken in all of the components of the assessment to progress Students will not normally be allowed to repeat the year


Practice practical paper


MethodPercentage contribution
Multiple choice question  (140 minutes) 40%
Practical paper  (40 minutes) 20%
Written paper  (140 minutes) 40%


MethodPercentage contribution
Supplementary activity 100%


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Lab Coats

Students will be required to purchase a lab coat for use in the anatomy lab.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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