Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

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Unit Overview


This unit discusses the human body plan, body organisation and basic histology. Basic physiology, cell communication and cell biology are presented in an integrated fashion.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 1 core unit in the Integrated Medical Sciences and Clinical Practice; Integrated Dental Sciences; Biomedical Engineering; Podiatric Health and Medical Sciences major sequences

Students are able to (1) describe and recognise structural components of the body in gross anatomical terms; (2) describe the organisational levels in the structure of the human body, from cells to organ systems; (3) understand the basic structure and function of primary tissues—epithelium, connective tissue, muscle and nervous tissue; (4) describe the general principles of structure and functions of the skeleton, joints and muscles; (5) describe the overall organisation of the nervous system; (6) discuss skeletal tissue structure and function at the gross and microscopic level; (7) define the basics of the cardiovascular system, blood and lymphatics; (8) describe skin and soft tissue histology and anatomy; (9) describe the overall body plan and correlate it with early development; (10) describe the basic human body plan in early development and embryogenesis; (11) discuss human body physiology and homeostasis; (12) describe cell membrane function and transport processes; (13) appreciate the importance of electrophysiology and sensory transduction; (14) define sensory processing and somatosensation; (15) understand basic muscle function and contractility; (16) discuss the physiology of the autonomic nervous system; and (17) discuss blood components and physiology.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) final examination and (2) in-semester tests. 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)
Dr Robert White
Unit rules
Enrolment in
MJD-MEDSC Medical Sciences
or MJD-IMSCP Integrated Medical Sciences and Clinical Practice
or MJD-VISSC Vision Science
or MJD-ENGSC Engineering Science (specialisation in Biomedical Engineering)
or MJD-EBMEG Biomedical Engineering
or MJD-PHMSC Podiatric Health and Medical Sciences
Approved quota: 400—a place in the unit is determined on a first-come, first-served basis. Selection is based on time of enrolment with first places given to those who select this as a degree-specific major; second to those who select the major as a second major. Any remaining places are given to those students according to when they enrol until all places are filled.
Contact hours
lectures: 3 hours per week
practical sessions/labs: 12 hours per semester
  • 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.