Infection and Defence
This module provides an overview of medical microbiology and immunology to give an understanding of how the body defends itself against pathogens. You’ll study the pathogenic mechanisms of infectious disease and will learn how the immune system responds to foreign agents and pathogenic organisms. Exploring the epidemiology, aetiology and the principles of treatment of selected systemic infections will help to place the subject matter in a medical context which is further consolidated by the basic theory underlying immunisation and anti-microbial strategies. You’ll have 45 hours contact time for this module delivered through lectures and lab-based practical sessions.
Body Structure, Body Function
This module will introduce you to the study of organ systems, including an overview of human anatomy, physiology and biochemistry, in the context of the biomedical sciences. A strong emphasis is placed on the acquisition of transferable skills through early laboratory experience and an introduction to the study of science at undergraduate level. There will be 26 hours contact time for this module comprising lab work, anatomy classes (using human cadavers in our dedicated anatomy suite), tutorials and workshops.
Study and Academic Skills
The aim of this module is to give you a good foundation in transferrable academic and study skills, numeracy skills and statistics to build upon as you progress in the course. It introduces essential aspects needed for research including good experimental study design, ethical consideration and communication skills as a broad base for future research. The need to develop full academic potential is encouraged through independent-learning, and reinforced via formative assessment activities and personal tutor input.
In this module you’ll get an introduction to the study of musculoskeletal and nervous systems in the context of medical physiology and neuroscience. The module will cover the normal anatomy, physiology, and cell biology of skin and connective tissue, types of muscle and bone, before moving on to discuss joint structure, biomechanics, the nervous system, and the control of locomotion. There is 30 hours contact time for this module through a mix of lectures, lab work, anatomy workshops, and group tutorials.
Supply and Demand 1
The aim of the module is to introduce you to the fundamental biomedical disciplines of haematology and biochemistry. The haematological content will provide a basis for understanding aspects related to diseases affecting blood. Basic knowledge regarding nutrition, metabolism, and digestion will allow broad understanding of the relationship between diet, production of energy and health, and appreciation of factors affecting metabolic balance and whole body homeostasis. You’ll have lectures, tutorials and lab-based practical sessions totalling 43 hours for this module.
Supply and Demand 2
This module aims to provide a detailed understanding of the cardiovascular and pulmonary systems, associated pathologies and investigative techniques, to underpin further study at subsequent levels. Transferrable skills are also introduced at an early stage to strengthen the development of core academic skills.
The aim of the module is to provide an introduction to the organisation, structural features and functions of the endocrine system and renal system and to describe the homeostatic role of these systems in health. A case-study approach exploring the biological effect of select common disorders affecting growth and development will be used to introduce a knowledge and understanding of human pathophysiology and to develop problem-solving and inquisitive skills in healthcare science.
This module aims to further develop your understanding of human neurobiology from modules taken in year one. The module provides an overview of the anatomy, physiology, molecular, and cognitive aspects of nervous system function. The pathology of nervous system disease and injury is taught alongside a wide range of practical neurodiagnostic techniques; both current and developing therapeutic approaches are considered. There are over 47 contact hours on this module, made up of lab work and taught classes, including some problem-based learning exercises. You will also share a large number of your lectures and problem-based learning sessions with our medical students (this is especially useful if you are considering applying for Graduate Entry Medicine after your degree in Medical Physiology and Therapeutics).
In this module you’ll examine the core concepts in human reproduction. The emphasis of the module will be on physiological and biomedical mechanisms that underpin both male and female reproductive function, including pregnancy and birth. You’ll also learn about factors contributing to infertility and the main pathophysiologal mechanisms implicated. Options available for treating infertility and the impact of the environment on reproductive outcomes will also be discussed. This module will consist of lectures and tutorials with a total of 35 hours contact time and scheduled problem-based learning sessions.
Contemporary Insights and Skills
This module aims to enhance and consolidate study and academic skills, demonstrate how the interplay between science, society and individuals impacts on health, and expand awareness of contemporary research areas in medical physiology and therapeutics. Diverse topics spanning academic, practical, sociological, biological, statistical arenas are included in readiness for undergraduate studies and future employment. Practical application of information is essential as is involvement in group discussion and debate.
Pharmacology and Therapeutics
This compulsory module provides an overview of pharmacology (drug action) and therapeutics (the treatment of disease using drugs and other non-pharmacological methods) to help underpin study in other modules in years two and three. In addition, through seminars from clinical academics and case studies, you’ll learn about the principles of the therapeutic approach in a range of common diseases (e.g. diabetes, renal disease and cancer). Assessment of learning in the module includes use of an innovative ‘integrated therapeutics’ essay, in which you are able to demonstrate in-depth scientific understanding of the modern multi-pronged approach to treatment of disease.
Skeletal Muscle in Health and Disease
This module aims to equip students with a strong foundation in human skeletal muscle physiology and have an understanding of the principle state of the art analytical methods and techniques used in the research of musculoskeletal health (muscle metabolism/ muscle function) and related parameters (body composition/ cardio-respiratory performance). Students are also expected to develop a number of transferrable skills such as group working, literature critique and written presentation skills in addition to academic knowledge. By the end of the module students should be able to describe, in detail, the major approaches and techniques in skeletal muscle research for the assessment of muscle protein turnover/ metabolism, muscle function, body composition and cardio-respiratory fitness, including the scientific (physiological) basis for these techniques and their strengths and limitations.
This module extends basic understanding of respiratory physiology. You will develop an understanding of the biomedical basis for a range of common respiratory diseases in the UK (eg occupational, chronic obstructive lung disease and lung cancer), and the means by which they are investigated and diagnosed. Principles of management will also be discussed. You will also develop a wide range of clinical skills for diagnosis, including: percussion and basic palpation of the chest wall and thorax, auscultation of the breath sounds. The core anatomy and physiology will be delivered alongside applied teaching which focuses on the acquisition of clinical diagnostic skills in practical classes. The module facilitates the development of group work and written communication skills and requires you to apply your knowledge to mock clinical cases and write a detailed case study report.
This module will provide you with an overview of cancer, considering the concept of cancer, risk factors for cancer, molecular level changes that occur in cancer, cancer treatment and the prevention of cancer. The laboratory techniques currently used in the diagnosis of cancer in medical practice and in cancer research will be highlighted throughout. Multiple session practical classes that provide the opportunity to develop laboratory based skills used in the detection and diagnosis of cancer will be undertaken and you will analyse data and compare data to the current peer-reviewed knowledge base.
This module aims to teach the major methods for diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the cardiovascular system. Core anatomy and physiology is delivered alongside applied teaching focused on the acquisition of clinical diagnostic skills including, palpation, sphygmomanometry, auscultation, and electrocardiography. This knowledge will need to be applied to mock clinical cases and a detailed report on the findings of the diagnostic tests from one of these cases will be assessed. This module will allow students to develop generic clinical skills, consolidate previous learning, and develop group work and written communication skills.
This unique module, comprising 50% of your final year, will fully immerse you in the research environment providing you with direct experience of contemporary research in the biomedical and clinical sciences. This enables the development of the practical and organisational skills needed for a career in scientific or clinical research. You’ll undertake a project that reflects the research activities of the School of Medicine by designing, planning and carrying out a research project under the guidance of an academic supervisor. The form of the research project will vary and can include laboratory-based work and/or clinical, patient-based studies. Contact time is self-driven from a minimum of two days/week to a full 35 hour working week.
Research Design, Research Methods and Statistics
In this module you’ll learn specific methods for carrying out your own research in the medical and biomedical sciences. It will prepare you for research project work in a variety of settings covering topics such as literature searching, compiling bibliographies, advanced medical statistics, scientific writing, evidence-based health and clinical trial and design among others. You’ll have 121 hours of contact time via lectures and workshops.
Personal and Professional Development
This compulsory module has two main aims: to help you to develop ‘employability’ skills and skills for lifelong learning such as reflective practice. The module is delivered by academic staff in the School, with the help of advisers from the University’s Careers Service, external speakers and Nottingham alumni. Speakers come from a range of disciplines, including laboratory research, clinical research, physiological measurement commercial/government organisations as well as medical school graduates talking about their careers. By the end of the module, you will have learned about your strengths and weaknesses and reflected on these in a meaningful way, preparing you for life after graduation.
Special Study Modules
There are a number of optional Special Study Modules from which you can choose two. Current modules include:
Drug Development and Use in Children and Adults
This module will introduce key aspects of pharmacology. The main component is directed to some of the considerations needed in the pharmaceutical care of children and adults. Content will include: introduction to pharmacology, drug licensing system and clinical trials, adverse drug reactions and the yellow card reporting system, pharmacokinetics in adults and children, issues with use of unlicensed and off label drugs and ethics of pharmaceutical research in children and adults. This module will consist of 12 hours of small group teaching plus independent self-directed study of current literature.
The Cellular Basis of Disease
This module will introduce students to core concepts related to aberrant cellular signalling and diseases. The content will focus on several diseases, such as cancer, dysfunctions of the CNS, cardiovascular disease etc, and consider the symptoms, basis of the pathophysiology, and therapeutic treatments. Practical methods used to investigate the diseases will also be taught, and combined with complementary laboratory practical classes and tutorials.
Skeletal Muscle Physiology and Metabolism in Exercise, Health and Disease
This module will introduce you to central role of skeletal muscle in health, ageing and disease and how muscle mass is regulated by nutrition, exercise and hormones. Everyone will be aware of the ability of muscle to grow bigger and stronger through resistance exercise e.g. bodybuilders and also that muscle mass and function can be easily lost in disease conditions i.e. cancer. You will discover the biochemical mechanisms underlying these phenomena and also ways in which we can prevent or minimise these changes. We are now investigating ways of regulating muscle mass in man, using nutritional interventions (incl. nutraceuticals), exercise and drugs. In this module, initially, you will learn the basic physiology, anatomy and biochemistry of muscle an insight into why muscle changes occur in health and in disease. Through a series of lectures and associated practical’s, you will have the opportunity to learn about and gain practical skills of the state of the art approaches and techniques (e.g. molecular biology western blotting and PCR, mass spectrometry using stable isotope labelled compounds) that are currently available in our laboratories to understand the regulation of muscle mass and function.
Clinical Cases in Endocrinology and Diabetes
This module has a strong problem-based learning approach to investigate endocrinological disorders. Initially, the axes of the endocrine system will be reviewed to consolidate previous learning about the normal physiology and pathology of the major endocrine systems before clinical cases are used to describe the importance of dynamic function testing in endocrine disorders. You will gain experience in interpretation of laboratory results to aid the diagnosis and become familiar with the use of reference ranges. Furthermore, your will gain an insight into factors that may confound diagnostic interpretation. A main focus will be on the common endocrinological dysfunction, diabetes mellitus. Not only will you learn about the major forms and causes of diabetes mellitus in society, but how international policy is directing laboratory testing for the diagnosis and monitoring of the condition.
Rehabilitation and Long Term Conditions
This module will introduce you to some of the evidence which currently underpins rehabilitation and the management of long term conditions. Rather than discussing a variety of diagnoses, you will focus on a neurological condition which affects young adults and use this from which the group can discuss common clinical problems and the contribution of different rehabilitation services. Initially, lectures will provide you with an overview of the condition and the underlying pathology. This will enable a review of knowledge of neuroanatomy and physiology and allow you to consider the action of different prescription drugs. Through a combination of lectures, small group discussions and workshops, you will gain an overview of the challenges which patients, relatives and members of the multi-disciplinary team experience when treating or living with a long term condition which has a marked impact on mobility and other activities. You will obtain an understanding of the secondary consequences and risks of a long term condition and the variables which can impede or facilitate rehabilitation.
Biologicals as Potential Medicines of the Future
“Biologicals”, or small molecules (e.g. cytokines, growth factors and signalling peptides) produced by living cells may be useful as potential therapeutics in the future. As a greater understanding of the physiological and pathological nature of such molecules is gained then there should be new opportunity for drug development and intervention. In this module, students will develop their knowledge of these molecules and will further explore their pathophysiology looking for possible areas of intervention or regulation. Ethical issues involved around areas such as genetic manipulation and clinical trials will be discussed.
Diagnostic Histopathology and Imaging
The aim of the module is to provide students with the theory and practical skills needed in a diagnostic laboratory environment. You will be introduced to a wide variety of microscopical techniques and the range of preparation options available. You will learn to choose options and techniques relevant to diagnostic/research questions and critically, to interpret and report on their findings. You will also cover the principles of general pathology. There will be 26 hours contact time for this module consisting of lectures, tutorials, workshops and practical classes complemented by laboratory visits.
The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result may change for reasons of, for example, research developments or legislation changes. The above list is a sample of typical modules we offer, not a definitive list.