BNurs Mental Health Nursing / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Fundamentals of Anatomy and Physiology for Nursing Practice

Course unit fact file
Unit code NURS10030
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Full year
Available as a free choice unit? No


This unit is designed to provide students with the knowledge of the biosciences related to nursing practice. This will include the exploration of the human body throughout the life continuum in both health and disease. The concept of homeostasis will underpin much of the unit content demonstrating its importance into understanding the function of the human body in health and illness. The unit will allow students to identify the importance of knowledge of the biosciences and how this conceptually and theoretically underpins many aspects related to patient assessment, care and treatment in relation to both nursing and medical interventions. 


This unit aims to :
  • Enable students to develop knowledge relating to the normal anatomy and physiology of the human body across the age continuum, and relate this to the experience of health, wellbeing and illness
  • Equip students with knowledge of the importance of maintaining physiological homeostasis and how disruption within bodily systems can lead to homeostatic imbalance and ill health
  • Enable students to develop knowledge relating to the pathophysiological origins of ill health, including infection causes, and associated treatment interventions, together with pharmacological aspects
  • Develop student’s awareness of the importance of the biological sciences in underpinning assessment, planning and delivery of nursing care

Learning outcomes

The learning outcomes map to the NMC (2018) Platforms

Teaching and learning methods

The unit indicative content will be reflected in subject matter covered in the teaching and learning approaches which will include key note lectures supplemented by field specific lectures and directed study, related to the assessing of physiological parameters in patients, students will be exposed to in their clinical learning environments. These approaches will promote students in meeting the unit learning outcomes focussing on those aspects linked to the core biosciences subjects within nursing practice. The formative and summative assessments will focus specifically on examining the students’ underpinning theory, related to the indicative content, including application in relation to physiological assessment, so testing knowledge and understanding of the bioscience concepts and their application to nursing practice.

Knowledge and understanding

  • Describe the body organisation at the chemical, cell, tissue, organ and systems levels (3.1, 3.2)
  • Describe the functional anatomy and physiology of the body systems and how they contribute to homeostasis (2.9, 3.1, 3.2, 4.4, 4.5)
  • Discuss the importance of homeostasis and how it contributes to health and how breakdown in homeostasis leads to ill health (1.8, 2.4, 2.9, 2.10, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.4, 4.5)
  • Describe the anatomical and physiological developmental aspects, including genetics, and relate these to the life continuum.(2.4, 3.1, 3.2, 4.5)
  • Apply knowledge of pathophysiology in examining disease of body systems and biological processes (1.8, 2.9, 2.10, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.4, 4.5)
  • Describe drug groups and relate these how these affect body systems and assist homeostatic mechanisms (2.10, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.4, 4.5)

Intellectual skills

  • Organise their knowledge into coherent descriptions of how the structure and function of major anatomical body systems are affected when homeostasis is challenged by disease. (1.8, 2.9, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.4, 4.5)
  • Organise and structure thinking so being able to integrate and apply information from each bioscience discipline (1.8 2.4, 2.9, 2.10, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.4)
  • Identify how knowledge of the biosciences contributes to the evidence base underpinning nursing practice (1.8, 2.9, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.4, 4.5)

Practical skills

  • Apply knowledge of physiological basis of clinical observations in the assessment of patients (1.8, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.4, 4.5)
  • Identify the importance of the biosciences in underpinning all aspects of nursing practice (1.8, 2.9, 2.10, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.4)
  • Identify and utilise correct terminology relating to the biosciences and  pathophysiology in relation to health and disease (2.9, 2.10, 3.1, 3.2, 4.5)
  • Describe how pathophysiological changes on homeostatic mechanisms  differ through the life cycle and so impact on patient assessment (1.8 2.4, 2.9, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.4, 4.5)
  • Apply knowledge of homeostasis and physiological processes to nursing  practice (1.8, 2.9, 2.10, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.4, 4.5)

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Demonstrate effective use of digital/information technology such as that used to support this unit (1.12, 3.2, 5.5)
  • Reflect on own skills and areas for development following self- assessment (1.8, 1.,13, 5.9) 

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 100%

Feedback methods

Students will normally have the opportunity to receive feedback on formative work submitted prior to the summative assessment. Other feedback opportunities will also be available in class and online discussion boards. Online feedback is provided in Grademark. Provisional feedback based on internal marking will be made available prior to the Exam Board on the basis that these marks are yet to be ratified at the Exam Board and therefore may be subject to change. A standard feedback mechanism in Grademark is utilised across all undergraduate programmes within the School which provides detailed and constructive feedback on each component and aspect of assessment and identifies areas of strength and those aspects which could be enhanced.

Student feedback is obtained through open discussion forums on blackboard, in class discussions, via formal University unit evaluation forms and also qualitative, in house evaluations at the end of the unit. 

Recommended reading

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Assessment written exam 2
Lectures 60
Independent study hours
Independent study 138

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Nigel Henderson Unit coordinator

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