The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2020

Course handbook


This course provides an introduction to the anatomical, biochemical and physiological bases of health and illness. It provides an integrated approach to understanding body function, and, where possible, places the learning in the context of the nursing and midwifery professions, in order to reinforce the relevance and importance of this underpinning knowledge to the nursing and midwifery student's future study and career. The course material is structured around the National Health Priority areas of Cardiovascular Health, Diabetes, Asthma, Obesity, Cancer Control, Mental Health, Arthritis & Musculoskeletal conditions and Injury Prevention & Control.

This course cannot be counted as credit for HUBS1401 Human Bioscience.

Availability2020 Course Timetables


  • Semester 1 - 2020


  • Semester 1 - 2020

Port Macquarie Nth Coast Inst

  • Semester 1 - 2020

Manning Base Hospital

  • Semester 1 - 2020

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. The basic characteristics of atoms, molecules and ions.

2. Organic & inorganic compounds: their importance in physiological function.

3. Chemical reactions, reversible reactions and the role of enzymes as catalysts.

4. Acids and bases and how these are buffered physiologically.

5. The function and life cycle of a generalised human cell, and the processes, which, when disordered, result in cancer.

6. The specialisation of cells into the major tissue types, and how those specialisations underlie the various functions of tissues and organs.

7. The composition and functions of blood.

8. The response of tissue to injury: the processes of inflammation, pain and healing.

9. The basic plan of the musculoskeletal system and the movements and forces which predispose to common injuries within the system.

10. The basic plan and principles by which endocrine and nervous systems operate to control and coordinate physiological function, and how their failure can lead to disease.

11. The principle of homeostasis and how it is achieved.

12. The processes of reproduction and development.

13. The body's defences, including a basic understanding of how these defences operate against bacteria, viruses and other classes of microorganisms, and the body's own damaged or abnormal cells. The basis of immunisation and the use of antivenins.

14. The respiratory system and its roles in ventilation, gas exchange, and acid-base balance

15. Cardiovascular function, control of blood pressure and the relationship between the respiratory, cardiovascular and renal systems sufficient to understand how failure in one system can lead to chronic disease affecting multiple systems.

16. The processes of digestion and metabolism, the major nutrients and the maintenance of energy balance. The role of the nervous and endocrine systems in the control of appetite.

17. The process of excretion. The roles of the renal system, including blood volume control and acid -base balance in addition to excretion.

18. The central and peripheral nervous systems. Autonomic and somatic, sensory and motor function.

19. The major brain areas and neurotransmitters involved in the control of movement, emotions and memory.


This course covers the basic bioscience underpinning nursing and midwifery practice, and will cover all the body systems at an introductory level. The content is organised around the themes of the National Health priority areas: Cardiovascular Health, Diabetes, Asthma, Obesity, Cancer Control, Mental Health, Arthritis & Musculoskeletal conditions and Injury Prevention & Control, and will include the anatomy and physiology required to provide a basic understanding of these areas and their management in nursing and midwifery.


This course is only available to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Midwifery or Bachelor of Nursing programs.

Assumed knowledge

Basic chemistry and biology.

Assessment items

In Term Test: Online tests

Formal Examination: Exam *

* This assessment has a compulsory requirement.

Compulsory Requirements

In order to pass this course, each student must complete ALL of the following compulsory requirements:

Course Assessment Requirements:

  • Formal Examination: Pass Requirement - Students must pass this assessment item to pass the course.

Contact hours

Callaghan, Ourimbah, Manning Base Hospital and Port Macquarie Nth Coast Inst


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for 12 Weeks


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for 12 Weeks