module specification

DI6054 - Systems Pathology for Dietitians (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Systems Pathology for Dietitians
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 150
40 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
110 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 40%   Case Study
In-Course Test 60%   In-Class Test
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Monday Afternoon

Module summary

This module characterises the aetiology, pathophysiology, clinical investigation and treatment of selected systems diseases that make a significant contribution to morbidity and mortality within healthcare. Aspects covered begin with an overview of pathology, followed by a systems approach to disease, including cardiovascular, respiratory, renal, gastrointestinal, endocrine, immune disorders, obesity, diabetes, inborn errors of metabolism, nutritional deficiencies, and cancer

Prior learning requirements

DI4006 Anatomy and Physiology for Dietitians
DI4004 Cellular and Molecular Systems for Dietitians

Module aims

The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s, Framework for Higher Education Qualifications. More specifically the module aims to provide an opportunity for in-depth study of selected body systems with reference to the pathogenesis of disease, its diagnosis and therapeutic options.  The module will also highlight the pivotal role of pathology in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and prognosis of disease. In addition students will be shown how body structure and function continues to change throughout the lifespan with reference to the increasing incidence and pathophysiology of selected “age-related” systems diseases. Students’ ability to research and evaluate biomedical issues and present their findings in a cogent manner will be developed.
This module aims to provide students with the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring: the exercise of initiative and personal responsibility; decision making in complex and unpredictable contexts; and, the learning ability needed to undertake appropriate further training of a professional or equivalent nature.


The specified learning outcomes will be developed around a framework based on the following subject matter:
Introduction to systems disease; overview of pathology, monitoring and diagnostic strategies.
Disease and malformation resulting from genetic errors (immune disorders, diabetes  & inborn errors of metabolism).
Aetiology, Pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatment of selected systems diseases (cardiovascular, respiratory, renal, endocrine, immune & gastrointestinal), including those associated with current social issues within the UK (obesity, diabetes and alcohol toxicity).
Pharmacology, medicines management, drug-nutrient interactions.

Learning and teaching

Student learning and understanding of systems pathology will be developed through an integrated programme of lectures, practical sessions and supporting tutorials (40 hours).  Lectures will be used to provide a conceptual framework whilst tutorial/practicals will be used to expand knowledge into more applied areas of pathology, with the focus on professional approaches to clinical diagnosis and investigation of disease.  A web based VLE is available to support, reinforce and test student understanding through the use of on-line quizzes and access to additional learning resources.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

  1. Describe, in depth, the aetiology, pathophysiology, clinical investigation and treatment of selected system pathologies.
  2. Appreciate the social and economic consequences of such diseases with the health service and the UK as a whole
  3. Evaluate and interpret relevant biochemical and medical data for a range of systems diseases.
  4. Investigate topical pathological issues using a wide range of learning resources, interpret and evaluate information, and communicate conclusions effectively, both in an ethical and scientific context.

Assessment strategy

Assessment will comprise:

  1. Case Study (1500 words): This will require students to provide a detailed account of the aetiology, pathology and clinical (medical, pharmacological and surgical) treatment of a given case study suffering from a selected systems disease. As part of the case study students will be required to interpret and evaluate biochemical data.
  2. End of semester unseen exam (90 minutes)

Students must obtain at least 40% to pass this module. In addition students must normally obtain at least 35% in each component of assessment within this module. A mark of between 35% and 39% may be compensated by other components. If the module is passed on reassessment, then the maximum mark awarded will be 40%.                                                                                                

Component   Marks Learning outcomes
Case study (1500 words) 40% 1,3,4
 In class test (90 minutes)   60% 1,2,3,4



Carton J, Daly R and Ramani P (2007). Clinical Pathology. OUP.
Cohen, B.J. (2010) Memmler’s The Human Body in Health and Disease. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Gould B (2006) Pathophysiology for the Health Professionals (3rd ed). Saunders [ CORE]
Kumar V, Abbas A, Fausto N and Aster J (2009).  Pathological Basis of Disease (8th ed) Elsevier Saunders.
Pocock, G and Richards, C.D. (2009). The Human Body. An introduction for the Biomedical and Health Sciences. OUP.
Vander A, Sherman J and Luciano D (2004).  Human Physiology; the mechanisms of body function (9th edition, with CD ROM).  McGraw-Hill Higher Education.