Module Provider: School of Biological Sciences
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites: Recommended module
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2014/5

Module Convenor: Prof Phil Knight


Summary module description:

This course aims to provide the student with a comprehensive introduction to the role of the endocrine system in regulating the activities of the major organ systems of mammals, with emphasis on man.

Assessable learning outcomes:
Assessable outcomes
At the end of this course students should be able to:
(i) recognise and discuss the vital role played by the endocrine system in regulating the function of cells, tissues, organs and the integrated response of the organism to changes in the external and internal environment;
(ii) list the major endocrine organs and describe their anatomy and physiology and the biochemical properties of their hormonal products
(iii) compare and contrast the different categories of hormones and the basic mechanisms by which they elicit a receptor-mediated response in target tissues;
(iv) recognise the roles of individual hormones in maintaining health as well as the pathophysiological consequences of disordered hormone secretion.

Additional outcomes:
Students will enhance their presentational skills by designing a "miniposter" to illustrate a specific aspect of the subject in a clear, concise and accessible manner.

Outline content:
The following topics will be covered in lectures: general concepts of endocrinology; different categories of hormone, their biosynthesis, secretion and mode of transport; hormone-receptor interaction and signalling mechanisms; organisation of hypothalamic-pituitary system, control of secretion and physiological actions of the neurohypophyseal hormones (oxytocin and vasopressin); overviews of: hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis, hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis; renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system; hormones of the pancreas (insulin, glucagon) and their principle metabolic actions. The role of growth hormone in growth, development and metabolic regulation. Parathyroid hormone, calcitonin and the regulation of calcium balance. Both the causes and consequences of under- and over-secretion of particular hormones will be considered

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
There will be two 50 minute lectures each week. Students will be expected to learn through directed reading and through the use of 4 self-study computer-assisted tutorials (accessible at all times on networked campus computers). Two short videos (30 minutes) each followed by a 30 min discussion session will also be held. Three in-course tests (each of 30 minutes duration maximum) with multiple choice questions will be held in weeks 4, 7 and 10. As well as being part of the in-course assessment these tests should encourage students to review and supplement their lecture notes and make use of the self-study tutorials.
In week 4 students will be issued guidelines on the "miniposter" assignment and allocated a specific endocrinological topic to review, summarise and present in the form of a concise A4-size "miniposter". These are to be handed in by end of week 9 to allow peer-assessment by fellow students and subsequent marking by staff.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 16
Seminars 4
Guided independent study 80
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 70
Project output other than dissertation 15
Class test administered by School 15

Other information on summative assessment:
(i) Three in-course tests held in weeks 4, 7 and 10. Each test will last a maximum of 30 minutes and will consist of multiple choice questions. If a test is missed by a student for good reason, a supplementary test may be offered on a date that is mutually convenient.
(ii) "Miniposter" assignment. In week 4 students will be issued guidelines and allocated a specific endocrinological topic to review, summarise and present in the form of a concise A4-size "miniposter". These are to be handed in during the session in week 9 to allow assessment by fellow students (groups of 6-8); miniposters will subsequently be assessed by a member of academic staff who will allocate the final mark for this assignment.
Relative percentage of coursework: 30% (15% for 3 tests; 15% for miniposter)

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:
    A one-and-a-half hour examination requiring the answering of two questions out of four. This contributes 70% of the overall assessment for this module.

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Re-examination in August/September only

    Last updated: 8 October 2014

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