module specification

BC6051 - Systems Pathology (2021/22)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2021/22
Module title Systems Pathology
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 150
110 hours Guided independent study
40 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 60%   Practical Report (1500 words)
Unseen Examination 40%   exam (1.5 hours)
Attendance Requirement 0%   Practical Attendance
Running in 2021/22
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
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.

Prior learning requirements

BC4003, BC4004


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. LO1,LO2,LO3,LO4
Disease and malformation resulting from genetic errors (immune disorders, diabetes and inborn errors of metabolism).
Aetiology, Pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatment of selected systems diseases (cardiovascular, respiratory, renal, endocrine, immune and gastrointestinal), including these associated with current social issues within the UK (obesity, diabetes and alcohol toxicity). LO3,LO4

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

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 a practical Report (1500 words) where a part of the report students will be required to interpret and evaluate biochemical data and an exam (90 minutes)
To pass the module, students need to achieve a minimum aggregate mark of 40%.  There will be an attendance requirement for the practical sessions. If the module is passed on reassessment, then the maximum mark awarded will be 40%.


Bilous R. (2010) Handbook of Diabetes. Wiley
Cohen, B.J. (2010) Memmler’s The Human Body in Health and Disease. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins
Gould B (2014) Pathophysiology for the Health Professionals (5rd ed). Saunders
Kumar V, Abbas A, Fausto N and Aster J (2014).  Pathological Basis of Disease (9th ed) Elsevier Saunders.
Pocock, G and Richards, C.D. (2009). The Human Body. An introduction for the Biomedical and Health Sciences. OUP.
Walker BR, Colledge NR, Ralston SH, Penman I (2018) Davidson's Principles and Practice of Medicine 23rd Edn. Churchill Livingstone