FB1PN-Introduction to Human Physiology and Nutrition

Module Provider: Food and Nutritional Sciences
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Prof Jeremy Spencer

Email: j.p.e.spencer@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:

This module will aim to provide a sound understanding of how human physiology underpins medical science and how nutrients and non-nutrients impact on cell, tissue and organ function. An introduction to the fundamentals of human physiology, including that relevant to the cardiovascular, nervous, digestive, hepatic, renal, respiratory, sensory and reproductive systems, as well as that of bone, muscle, blood and the immune system will be covered, detailing the physiological processes relevant to human health and disease. Specific examples of how nutrients impact on the homeostasis of these systems will form the fundamental basis of all Nutritional topics in Parts 2 and 3. In this course, students will learn about:

•Fundamentals concepts in human physiology: cellular, tissue, organ level physiological processes and interactions between them: Rationale: Physiology forms the basis of all human disease. As such, if we wish to understand how nutrients and specific diets work, either positively or negatively within the body, it is essential to understand the physiological and biochemical systems which regulate health and disease in humans.

•Nutritional requirements for growth and maintenance: Rationale: Fundamentally, macro-and micro-nutrients impact on the growth and maintenance of the human body from birth through to old age. An understanding of such actions is critical as a foundation to topics dealing with malnutrition and over-nutrition.

•Macro- and micro-nutrient requirements within the context of each physiological system within the body, including that of the brain, circulatory system, bone, heart, liver etc. Rationale: The impact of specific nutrients on the functioning of each physiological system at the cell or organ level is necessary prior to an understanding of how over or under supply of such nutrients effect influences health and disease (Parts 2 and 3).

•Fundamentals of nutrition research: including laboratory skills, literature searches will also be provided as part of this module.

Assessable learning outcomes:
On completion of the module, students will have gained an understanding of the fundamentals of human physiology and nutrition, including topics in homeostasis, the various physiological systems listed above and how they function, and concepts of nutrient balance required to support such systems.

Students will be able to describe the function of the specialist organs in the body and have some understanding of the importance of nutrition to these systems.

Furthermore, students should be able to complete basic laboratory tasks relevant to nutrition and physiology.

Additional outcomes:
Students will gain experience in advanced knowledge management, interpreting complex and conflicting scientific data and presenting results to a lay and scientific audience.

Outline content:
This module provides the fundamental background to understand human physiology and nutrition. The following topics will be covered: Homeostasis, Cardiovascular system, Renal function, Hepatic function, Digestive System, Respiratory function, Muscle physiology, Central Nervous System, Endocrine System, Immune System, Reproduction & Gestation, Growth and repair and Energy balance.

A total of 5 practical sessions will be taught along the fundamental lectures, that will include basic laboratory skills, blood pressure, blood and common anaemia, renal functions, nervous system, nutrition.

Global context:
Nutrition is an applied health science, as such an understanding of how the body works and the influence and importance of nutrients maintaining this system is essential to the nutrition scientist.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The course will be delivered using a mixture of teaching and learning techniques, in particular lectures and enquiry-based learning, as well as laboratory work.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20 20
Practicals classes and workshops 10 10
Guided independent study 70 70
Total hours by term 100.00 100.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Practical skills assessment 40
Set exercise 60

Other information on summative assessment:

Assessment will be divided into: 2 online Blackboard Tests in Autumn (20%, 10% each) 2 online Blackboard Tests in Spring (20%, 10% each) 6 Practical Reports (Total 60%, 10% each)

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor 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: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    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:

    Requirements for a pass:
    overall mark of 40%

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Students who fail to obtain a 40% pass mark will be reassessed by oral exam before the end of the Summer term

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 31 March 2017

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