Foundations of Biomedical Science

Subject MEDS90001 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

Credit Points: 81.25
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2013.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 10 hours of lectures, 6 hours of small group case based tutorials, 6 hours of practical classes per week (configurations will vary)
Total Time Commitment:

1340 hours





Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.
The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:

Subject Overview:

This subject will build on the prerequisite knowledge for the course to consolidate the bioscience knowledge and skills necessary for establishing clinical competence in the remainder of the course. Learning will be in the context of clinical cases using a body system integration of the core bioscience disciplines of anatomy/embryology, physiology, biochemistry, pathology, pharmacology, microbiology, immunology, behavioural science and population health.


In line with the graduate attributes of the MD, by the end of the subject students should have developed the following objectives to a level appropriate for the first year of the course:

1. Understand normal structure, function and development of the human body and mind at all stages of life
2. Understand the principles (pharmacological, physical, nutritional, behavioural and psychological) underlying key medical conditions
3. Understand the molecular, biochemical and cellular mechanisms that are important in maintaining the body’s homeostasis
4. Understand normal life processes including conception, development, birth, ageing and death
5. Understand the factors that might disturb normal structure, function and development
6. Understand the basic aetiology and pathology, of important illnesses
7. Understand the scientific method relevant to biological, behavioural and social science
8. Understand research methods
9. Access new knowledge from key sources and to analyse and interpret it in a critical manner
10. Understand the importance of learning from teachers and peers
11. Understand the importance of contributing towards the generation of new knowledge

1. Understand the principles of reflective practice
2. Understand the principles of self awareness
3. Identify and address learning needs in a preclinical setting
4. Respond constructively to assessment feedback
5. Apply effective time-management and organisational skills to the preclinical setting

1. Understand the rights of patients including patient choice, dignity and privacy
2. Understand the factors affecting human relationships and the psychological, cultural and spiritual well-being of patients
3. Understand chronic illness and disability and its impact on the patient, their carers and communities

1. Understand the interactions between humans and their social and physical environment
2. Understand the determinants of a well society and the economic, political, psychological, social and cultural factors that contribute to the development and persistence of health and illness
3. Understand the principles of health promotion including primary and secondary prevention
4. Understand the health of indigenous Australians including their history, cultural development and the impact of colonisation and the ongoing health disparities of indigenous people in this country and globally
5. Understand the burden of disease in differing populations and geographic locations
6. Consider local, regional, national and global ramifications of health care issues
7. Understand the relationship between environmental issues and the health of local communities and society

Medical Profession
1. Understand the principles of ethics in the provision of health care and research.
2. Give effective feedback to colleagues in a small group tutorial setting

Systems of Health Care
1. Understand the principles of team work and the ability to work effectively in a team
2. Understand the principles of efficient and equitable allocation and use of finite resources in health care systems, locally and globally

  • Seven hours of written tests throughout the year (35%);
  • One essay of 2000 words due at the end of semester 1 (5%);
  • Tutor mark: End of semester 1 (5%); End of semester 2 (5%);
  • Three hour written examination (Short Answer Questions), end of year (25%);
  • Two hour written examination (MCQ), end of year (25%);
  • Hurdle requirements:
    • Achievement of a satisfactory grade for Professional Behaviour;
    • 75% attendance at CSL tutorials;
    • 75% attendance at all other practical classes, tutorials and workshops.

Prescribed Texts:
  • Naish J, Revest P, Syndercrombe Court D, editors. Medical Sciences. Saunders Elsevier; 2009.
  • Goering R. et al. Mims Medical Microbiology. 5th ed. Elsevier. 2013
  • Kumar V, Abbas AK, Fausto N and Aster J, editors. Robbins and Cotran Pathologic Basis of Disease. 8th ed. Saunders Elsevier; 2010 (unlimited online access available through MD Consult).
  • Young, B, Lowe, J, Stevens, A, Heath, J. Wheater's Functional Histology: A Text and Colour Atlas. 5th ed. Elsevier, 2006.
Recommended Texts:

Anatomy and Cell Biology

  • Drake, Vogl and Mitchell. Gray’s Anatomy for Students. 2nd ed. Churchill Livingstone; 2010.
  • Moore KL, Dalley AF. Clinically Oriented Anatomy. 6th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2010.
  • Eizenberg N, Briggs C, Adams C and Ahern G. General Anatomy: Principles and Applications. McGraw-Hill; 2007.
  • Eizenberg N, Briggs C, Barker P and Grkovic I. An@tomedia [CD-ROMs] (All students are provided with a copy as part of their enrolment in the MD)

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

  • Devlin T, editor. Textbook of Biochemistry with Clinical Correlations. 7th Ed. Wiley-Liss; 2010.


  • Metcalfe, S. Medical GenetiX: Clinical and Molecular Aspects of Human Genetics Disorders. CD-ROM, Version 3.0, 2009. ISBN: 978-0-7340-2774-0. (All students are provided with a copy as part of their enrolment in the MD).
  • Korf BR and Irons MB (ed). Human Genetics. 4th ed. Wiley-Blackwell, 2013.
  • Nussbaum RL, McInnes RR and Willard HF (ed). Thompson & Thompson Genetics in Medicine. 7th ed. Saunders Elsevier; 2007.

Microbiology and Immunology

  • Murphy KM, Travers P, Walport M. Janeway’s Immunobiology. 7th ed. Garland Science; 2008.


  • Purves D, Neuroscience. 4th ed. Sinauer Associates Inc; 2008.
  • Bear MF, Connors BW and Paradiso MA. Neuroscience, Exploring the Brain. 3rd ed. Lippincott;2007.
  • Kandel ER, Schwartz JH and Jessell TM. Principles of Neural Science. 4th ed. McGraw-Hill; 2000.
  • Haines DE. Neuroanatomy: An atlas of structures, sections and systems. 7th ed. Lippincott; 2008.
  • Nolte J and Angevine JB. The human brain: In photographs and diagrams. 3rd ed. Mosby; 2007.


  • Klatt, E. Robbins and Cotran Atlas of Pathology. Saunders Elsevier, 2012
  • Lilly LS (ed). Pathophysiology of Heart Disease, A Collaborative Project of Medical Students and Faculty. 5th ed. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, 2012.
  • Mitchell R et al. Pocket Companion to Robbins and Cotran Pathologic Basis of Disease. 8th ed. Elsevier Saunders; 2011.
  • Ross MH, Pawlina, W. Histology: a text and atlas: with correlated cell and molecular biology. 6th ed. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2011
  • Stevens A, Lowe J and Scott I. Core Pathology. 3rd ed. Mosby 2009.
  • Young, B, Stewart W, O’Dowd G. Wheater’s Basic Pathology, A Text, Atlas and Review of Histopathology. 5th ed. Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2011.

Population Health

  • Jekel JF, Katz DL, Elmore JG. Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Preventive Medicine with Student Consult Online Access. 3rd ed. Philadelphia: Saunders Elsevier; 2007.
  • Straus SE, Richardson WS, Glasziou P, Haynes RB. Evidence-Based Medicine. 3rd ed. Churchill Livingstone; 2005.
  • Kirkwood B, Sterne JAC. Essential Medical Statistics. 2nd ed. Blackwell Scientific Publishing; 2003.
  • Kerridge I, Lowe M, McPhee J. Ethics and law for the health professions. 3rd ed. Federation Press, Sydney; 2009.


  • Rang H, Dale M, Ritter J and Flower RJ. Rang & Dale’s Pharmacology. 7th ed. Churchill Livingstone; 2012.
  • DE Golan Tashjian AH, Armstrong EJ & Armstrong AWl. Principles of pharmacology: the pathophysiologic basis of drug therapy. 3rd ed. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2011.
  • Katzung BG. Basic and clinical pharmacology. 12th ed. McGraw Hill/Lange; 2012. (Available online through the University catalogue)
  • Brunton L, Lazo J & Parker KL. Goodman and Gilman’s The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics. 12th ed. McGraw Hill 2011. (Available online through the University catalogue)


  • Boron WF, Boulpaep EL. Medical Physiology. 2nd ed. Saunders; 2008.
  • Barrett KE, Barman SM, Boitano S, Brooks H. Ganong's Review of Medical Physiology. 23rd ed. McGraw-Hill; 2009.

Psychological Science

  • Ayers S & de Visser R Psychology for Medicine. Sage Publications; 2011.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of this subject, students should have developed the following generic skills:

  • the ability to understand the relationship of basic scientific knowledge to health and disease
  • the capacity to integrate knowledge across disciplines
  • the ability to work in a team to understand a problem and communicate solutions.
Related Course(s): Doctor of Medicine

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