Human Biology & Physiology BSc/MSci

Cardiovascular Science 4A option BIOL4025

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Cardiovascular and Metabolic
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course will explore current research on the challenges to the understanding of the physiology and pathophysiology of human heart and vasculature. The material centred on cardiac function discusses the latest theories on inotropic and electrical dysfunction associated in atrial and ventricular tissue. Presentations on vascular function synthesises the recent literature on endothelial control of vascular tone and the new data on changes associated with hypertension and arteriosclerosis. Translation of research to the clinic is covered by lectures on arrythmias, systemic hypertension and the potential for gene therapy for treatment.


This option is assigned to block S2-A. There is normally one 3-hour session on Mondays. 

Excluded Courses



The course will be assessed by a 3-hour examination (100%).

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

The course aims to cover a broad range of cardiovascular science, from the cellular basis for the heart beat to the role of neurotransmitters in the control of blood pressure.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course, students will be able to: 

■ Appraise the current theories for contractile and electrical function in cardiac muscle;

■ Appraise the current theories for vasomotor function in blood vessels;

■ Compare the cellular and molecular changes that occur in the cardiovascular system in response to different physiological or pathological stress stimuli;

■ Discuss problems with the theories and identify areas where we lack a specific understanding of the observed events;

■ Consider a reductionist approach and the rationale for the use of model organisms in cardiovascular studies. 

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.