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Unit Overview


This unit is part of the pathway course for Indigenous students seeking access to postgraduate health professional science courses. The co-requisite for this unit is AHEA1103 Introduction to Human Biological Sciences I which runs concurrently. The unit provides the opportunity for students to apply the framework of principles and processes developed in AHEA1103 Introduction to Human Biological Sciences I, within one specific system—the cardiovascular system. The seven modules covered in AHEA1103 Introduction to Human Biological Sciences I provide seven themes that are given application with specific reference to the cardiovascular system: (1) scale—identification of blood vessels on the basis of relative size of lumens and walls, heart muscle fibres from z-line through intercalated disc to branched myofiber, use of red blood cell as a universal yardstick; (2) terminology—application of terminology relevant to the heart, blood and vascular system; (3) communication—regulation of central blood pressure through direct neural and hormonal regulation of the heart, and the indirect contribution of the renal system and tissue processes; (4) imperfect balance—competing forces governing heart rate and cardiac output, the emergence of the four-chambered reflexed heart; (5) development change—solving the problem of delivery of nutrients to the human organism at different stages of development; (6) modularity—development of the vascular system; and (7) quantification—quantifying cardiac output.

6 points

Students are able to (1) demonstrate an appreciation of the appropriate ordering by scale of intracellular and cellular components of the cardiovascular system; (2) apply appropriate biological terminology to the cardiovascular system; (3) map the interrelated processes regulating blood pressure; (4) distinguish the competing forces balancing heart rate, stroke and volume, and cardiac output; (5) describe the differing demands for nutrients from the human organism at different stages of development and how these are met; (6) describe the processes underlying the development of the vascular system; and (7) demonstrate the capacity to translate common-sense descriptions of the regulation of cardiac output into formalised statements.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) written short answers; (2) multiple-choice questions; (3) formative online exercises; (4) group presentation; (5) one-hour end-of-semester final examination; and (6) laboratory exercises. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor Dawn Bessarab
Unit rules
AHEA1103 Introduction to Human Biological Sciences I
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.