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The University of Southampton

NPCG1025 Foundations of Health Sciences for Nursing Practice

Module Overview

In this module you will gain an introduction to the health sciences that underpin nursing practice through a biopsychosocial model. It will enable you to gain an integrated understanding of relevant anatomy and physiology from the cellular to whole body system level. It will provide an introduction to human health and functioning, and to people's physical, psychological and social development across the lifespan.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

For you to develop your understanding of health and life sciences that informs fundamental nursing care across the lifespan.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Understand and demonstrate knowledge of scientific terminology relevant to the study of life sciences for nursing
  • Describe the basic structure and function of cells, tissues and key body systems
  • Discuss key psychosocial models and concepts relevant to healthcare, (such as health beliefs, identity, supported self-management, and behaviour change).
  • Describe key milestones in physical, psychological and social development through childhood, adolescence and into adulthood


The material delivered in the lecture programme may include: Anatomical terminology Cells and tissues including a foundation in basic biochemistry and metabolism Integumentary system including inflammation and tissue repair Musculoskeletal System including the structure and function of bones, joints and associated muscles, common bone disorders e.g. osteoporosis, degenerative and inflammatory arthritis An overview of the nervous system including the autonomic nervous system and special senses Structure and function of the cardio-respiratory system: heart, arteries, veins, respiratory tract, muscles of breathing, key aspects of respiratory and cardiac physiology Lymphatics and immune system including links to immunisation Renal and digestive system including basic nutrition The endocrine system including relevant links to the stress response and autonomic nervous system Reproduction and development including milestones in physical developmental through childhood, adolescence and into maturity Key principles of psychosocial sciences will be provided within a biopsychosocial framework. The key topics that will be covered may include: Health and illness beliefs and cognitions Identity and supported self-management Depersonalisation, dignity and general empathy Loss and Coping Models of health behaviours and readiness to change Psychological, social and identity development through childhood, adolescence and into adulthood

Special Features

Shared teaching is a key feature of Life Sciences for Nursing Practice. Students from different professional programmes, including Physiotherapy, Podiatry, Occupational Therapy, and Healthcare Sciences will attend lectures alongside those from Nursing.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

This module will use a blended-learning approach, with a range of teaching and learning activities. You will be directed to attend lead lectures which are identified as essential to underpin your knowledge and future practice. You should also gain the skills necessary to manage your own learning, and to exercise initiative, and personal and professional responsibility.

Blended Learning30
Guided independent study151.5
Total study time187.5

Resources & Reading list

Boyd D and Bee H (2012). Lifespan development. 

Acland's video atlas of human anatomy (access usually free at point of use during studentship).

Anatomy.TV (Primal Pictures Online) (access usually free at point of use during studentship).

Denny E, Earle S and Hewison A (2016). Sociology for nurses. 

Marieb EN and Keller SM (2017). Essentials of human anatomy and physiology, global edition. 

Rogers A and Pilgrim D (2014). A sociology of mental health and illness. 

LWW Health Library Online (access usually free at point of use during studentship).

Peate I and Gormley Fleming E (2015). Fundamentals of Children's Anatomy and Physiology: a textbook for Nursing and Healthcare Students. 

Walker J, Payne S, Jarrett N, Ley T (2012). Psychology for nurses and the caring professions. 


Assessment Strategy

Multiple choice question examination


MCQ-applied knowledge assessment


MethodPercentage contribution
Multiple choice Test  (1 hours) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: External


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:


There are no additional costs associated with this module

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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