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Throughout the 2021-22 academic year, we will be prioritising face to face teaching as part of a blended learning approach that builds on the lessons learned over the course of the Coronavirus pandemic. Teaching will vary between online and on-campus delivery through the year, and you should read guidance from the academic department for details of how this will work for a particular module. You can find out more about the University’s overall response to Coronavirus at: https://warwick.ac.uk/coronavirus.

BS374-12 Modern Approaches to Human Disease

Department
Life Sciences
Level
Undergraduate Level 3
Module leader
Philip Young
Credit value
12
Module duration
10 weeks
Assessment
100% exam
Study location
University of Warwick main campus, Coventry
Introductory description

The module cannot provide exhaustive coverage of these medical specialties: these will be used to exemplify the importance of evidence and ethics in medicine. However, to provide the appropriate context, there will be accounts of the nature of the disorders of these systems and how they are dealt with.

The module will be introduced by lectures on the concepts of evidence-based medicine and medical ethics.

What do we mean by "evidence-based medicine"?

The concept of evidence-based medicine has developed over the last few years as a means of formalising decisions concerning health care. The most important tools are the randomised controlled trial, in which two alternative treatments are compared in an objective manner, and the systematic review, in which all the evidence (e.g. derived from trials) relating to a clinical issue is assessed in an objective manner to allow a definitive conclusion on the issue. Go to the Cochrane Library to read more on evidence-based medicine and to view systematic reviews.

What do we mean by "medical ethics"?

The fundamental concept here is the autonomy of the individual. Only I can make decisions about my well-being. It follows that in medicine the physician advises the patient on what is the best course of action, but it is the patient who decides. It follows that treatment can only be given if the patient consents.

Module web page

Module aims

This module aims to combine several different, but related, disciplines to the study of important human disorders. In particular to give an understanding of how science is combined with medicine to provide the modern treatment regimes used today. The module will cover the clinical situation of disorders (symptoms, causes, treatment) and combine that with lectures on the underlying science including: genetics, physiology, immunology, epidemiology, current research etc. The module will start with an introduction to drug design, phase 1, 2, 3, clinical trials etc. The module will then examine a small number (3) of important medical areas such as mental health, metabolic disorders and reproduction. It would be possible to have similar combinations in other disorders such as control of pain, and heart disease. The exact conditions covered would depend on staff appointments and topicality of the topics

Outline syllabus

This is an indicative module outline only to give an indication of the sort of topics that may be covered. Actual sessions held may differ.

The module will start with an introduction to drug discovery (and design), testing new drugs, treatments, using clinical trials (trial design), the different phases of drug introduction etc
The module will then examine a small number of important disorders as example conditions.
These could include:
Mental health, for example schizophrenia
Medical aspects of the conditions, presenting symptoms, causes, treatment etc. Current research, animal models of the diseases, current theories of disease, causes and new treatments.

Reproduction
Infertility, treatment, causes, genetics.

Metabolic diseases; diabetes, obesity
Clinical situation, scientific background, current research etc

Each of the 4 areas would have around 5 lectures associated with them.

It would be possible to have similar combinations with other medical areas such as transplantation, pain management and heart disease. The exact conditions covered would depend on who is available to teach and their research interests. We plan to have a clinician or clinical scientist associated with each section together with Biological Sciences staff.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • Discuss methods of drug discovery and evaluation of medicines in humans
  • Evaluate current research in example medical conditions
  • Discuss the genetics and physiology of example human disorders
  • Discuss the epidemiology of example human conditions
  • Provide a clinical overview (symptoms, treatment) of example conditions
Indicative reading list

Students will be directed to current review articles in the literature as well as up-to-date research articles where appropriate. Their second year core Physiology texts will continue to be useful.
Pocock and Richards Human Physiology: the Basis of Medicine (2006)
Widmaier, Raff and Strang. Vander’s Human Physiology (2006)

Subject specific skills

a. Demonstrate clear understanding of the scientific topic

b. Contain evidence of extended reading and lateral integration of material not covered in the lectures

c. Demonstrate independent thought and deep understanding

d. Specifically answer the set question using information from multiple lectures and sources

e. Be structured and formatted in a way that demonstrates understanding and logical flow

f. Use multiple sources to construct complex scientific arguments and integrating these to build and develop the student's own scientific conclusions.

Transferable skills
  1. Critical appraisal of source material
  2. Self directed learning
  3. Adult learning

Study time

Type Required
Lectures 20 sessions of 1 hour (17%)
Private study 100 hours (83%)
Total 120 hours
Private study description

100 hrs self-study and directed reading

Costs

No further costs have been identified for this module.

You must pass all assessment components to pass the module.

Students can register for this module without taking any assessment.

Assessment group B1
Weighting Study time
Written Examination 100%
Feedback on assessment

Pastoral meetings with personal tutor

Past exam papers for BS374

Courses

This module is Core for:

  • Year 3 of UBSA-C1B9 Undergraduate Biomedical Science
  • Year 3 of ULFA-C1A3 Undergraduate Biomedical Science (MBio)
  • Year 3 of ULFA-C1A7 Undergraduate Biomedical Science with Industrial Placement (MBio)
  • Year 4 of UBSA-CB19 Undergraduate Biomedical Science with Intercalated Year