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Scientific investigation underpins an evolving understanding of the structure and function of the healthy human body, as well as threats to human health and changes that occur as the body ages. This subject aims to develop students’ understanding of both health and disease, integrating the contributions of biology, chemistry and physics.
Careful development of students' academic skills is embedded in this subject.
- The multicellular organism: the importance of surface area to volume ratio;
- Body systems: Systems maintaining balance (homeostasis) – gases, salt, water, temperature; systems detecting the environment - sensory and nervous systems (detection of light, electrical conduction); other body systems - musculoskeletal system (movement, biomechanics);
- Chemistry of the human body: acids and bases, gas laws, molecules of life (e.g. proteins);
- Upsetting the balance: Infectious disease (treatment and prevention), other diseases (e.g. cancer), venom and its effects;
- Medical interventions: antibiotics, traditional and modern medical treatments, future of medicine;
- Newton’s laws and human health: forces of motion as applied to transport and communications.
- The influence of the environment on human health: assessing environmental health, biodiversity and human heath, health effects of nuclear radiation and reactions.
Intended learning outcomes
To enable students to apply the methods of science to understanding the interaction of the structure and function of the human body, and develop their capacity to:
- explain the principles underpinning our understanding of human bodies, both when healthy and when experiencing injury and disease;
- explain the interaction between the environment and human health (natural and modified elements of the environment, including physical, chemical and biological factors);
- apply these principles using logical reasoning, together with appropriate mathematical reasoning, to a variety of familiar and novel situations and problems in the biological, chemical and physical sciences; and
- acquire experimental data using a range of measurement instruments and interpret these data within the context of human and environmental health.
A student who completes this subject should be able to:
- explain their understanding of science principles and applications clearly, both in writing and orally;
- acquire and interpret experimental data and design experimental investigations;
- participate as an effective member of a group in discussions and practical work;
- think independently and analytically, and direct their own learning; and
- manage time effectively in order to be prepared for regular classes and assessment tasks.
Last updated: 10 November 2023