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BSc Anatomical Sciences / Course details
Year of entry: 2021
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Course unit details:
Cardiovascular Systems (E)
|Unit level||Level 3|
|Teaching period(s)||Semester 2|
|Offered by||School of Biological Sciences|
|Available as a free choice unit?||No|
You will study the normal physiology of the cardiovascular system and the mechanisms underlying its major pathologies such as heart failure, hypertension and stroke.
|Unit title||Unit code||Requirement type||Description|
|Gut and Renal Human Physiology||BIOL21272||Pre-Requisite||Recommended|
|Cell Membrane Structure & Function||BIOL21141||Pre-Requisite||Compulsory|
|Membrane Excitability: Ion Channels & Transporters in Action||BIOL21321||Pre-Requisite||Compulsory|
- BIOL21141 Cell Membrane Structure and Function - Pre-Requisite Compulsory OR
- BIOL21321 Membrane Excitability: Ion Channels & Transporters in Action - Pre-Requisite Compulsory
To provide an understanding of the normal physiology of the cardiovascular system and the mechanisms underlying its major pathologies.
• describe the ionic basis of the resting membrane and action potentials in the heart and the steps involved in coupling electrical activity to the development of active force.
• describe the intracellular mechanisms by which it may be possible to alter the contractile state of the heart and the changes in ion channel function that occur in various heart diseases.
• describe neural, endothelial and pharmacological mediation of excitation-contraction coupling in vascular smooth muscle.
• describe the risk factors for hypertension and the mechanisms underlying the development of primary and secondary hypertension.
• describe the causes and consequences of stroke and current limitations in stroke therapy.
• Introduction to Unit: Overview of cardiovascular system
• Electrophysiology of the heart: Cardiac action potential; excitation-contraction coupling; Cardiac inotropy; heart failure, ageing and arrhythmias
• Blood vessels: Regulation of blood vessel tone; Specialised circulations - inc. skeletal muscle, coronary, cerebral & pulmonary
• Hypertension: Epidemiology and risk factors for hypertension; Secondary hypertension - renal and adrenal mechanisms; Primary hypertension - vascular and renal mechanisms.
• Stroke: Cerebrovascular disease: role of inflammation; treatment & future perspectives
Online, summative self-assessment tests (x3) designed to test both factual recall and deeper understanding of more complex concepts.
- Analytical skills
- Online assessments designed to test understanding of complex concepts and may require students to think analytically about a topic.
- Students will be recommended review and primary research papers to read for particular lectures and should read appropriate textbooks for background material.
- Written communication
- Written essays in the exam require students to demonstrate their knowledge of a topic by structuring answers in a clear and logical manner.
Exam - 2 hour written examination (95%) - answer any two questions out of five
Coursework - 3 online multiple choice question (MCQ) assessments (5%) of 18 questions each (54 in total).
Individual feedback will be provided through online self-assessment tests to help students identify strengths and weaknesses in their understanding.
Review and primary research papers will be recommended by individual lectures. The following textbooks will provide helpful background material.
- Cheriyan, J., McEniery, C.M & Wilkinson I.B, Hypertension, Oxford University Press, 2010, Recommended
- Katz, AM, Physiology of the Heart, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2010, Recommended
|Scheduled activity hours|
|Assessment written exam||2|
|Independent study hours|
|Nicholas Ashton||Unit coordinator|