Human Biology & Physiology BSc/MSci

Human Biology 3A BIOL4228

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Cardiovascular and Metabolic
  • Credits: 60
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

In this course, you will explore the scientific principles that underlie investigations into the function of the human body from a molecular and cellular level to a whole body level. Human Biology 3A is intended to build on the Level-2 Life Sciences courses, developing a balanced understanding of the biology of the function of the human body. As well as a programme of laboratory practicals, there will be discussion of the relevance of human biology to society, including current research, clinical applications and inter-disciplinary links.   


This course will consist of five teaching blocks, each consisting of approximately 10 one-hour lectures and supporting labs and workshops, lasting 2-3 hours in most cases. Five one-hour tutorials, and some sessions on scientific skills and graduate attributes will also run throughout the semester. The timetable will vary week to week to accommodate staff and resource availability and to meet the educational needs of the block. 

Excluded Courses





The course will be assessed by means of a 1-hour examination (10%) in the winter diet, a 3-hour examination (50%) in the spring diet and in-course assessment (40%) including laboratory reports (15%), a group work assignment (10%) and a reflective portfolio (15%).

Main Assessment In: December and 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 aims of the course are:

■ To provide a broad-based knowledge and understanding of Human Biology;

■ To develop basic practical skills relevant to techniques used in human biology research;

■ To develop skills relating to the systematic acquisition and analysis of factual information and data;

■ To develop the ability to solve problems and to critically analyse, interpret and discuss factual information and data;

■ To provide opportunities to practise and improve written and oral communication skills.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ Discuss the central facts and the experimental basis of current scientific thinking about human biology from cellular physiology to whole body approaches; 

■ Appraise the use of modern technologies for the study of human biology; 

■ Critically describe how fundamental laboratory techniques, including physiological measurements, are used to study human biology;

■ Apply appropriate methods, including statistics, to analyse experimental data;

■ Communicate experimental, interpretative and ethical aspects of science, using oral presentations, written work and digital technology;

■ Identify and critically evaluate relevant scientific literature.

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.