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MD1B4-30 Illness: Susceptibility and Inequality

Warwick Medical School
Undergraduate Level 1
Module leader
Leda Mirbahai
Credit value
Module duration
6 weeks
40% coursework, 60% exam
Study location
University of Warwick main campus, Coventry
Introductory description


Module web page

Module aims

To facilitate a broad base of understanding of illness as it pertains to susceptibility and inequality. Students will experience integrated perspectives of illness from the course themes which are consolidated and advanced through case-based learning.

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.

This module follows the systems module and will follow the assessments for that earlier block. Again, the module will include taught content with lecture theatre-based presentations and interactive presentations as well as case-based learning sessions, all supported by TEL online content. Students will be expected to be familiar with the demands of CBL and becoming more confident with their developing skills in enquiry based learning and communication with their peers.

In the medical sciences, students will cover the anatomy and physiology of reproductive and endocrine systems. Students will start to investigate some of the challenges associated with reproductive ageing and fertility in an ageing population. The field of oncology will be introduced including topics such as the molecular basis of cancer, tumour physiology, tumour immunology, diagnosis, treatment and management.

In the health sciences, systems of governance, decision making in health and basic health economics will be re-visited framed around the availability of life extending drugs. There will be exploration of ethnic and socioeconomic inequalities in health, the differences between research and therapy and the value in preventative medicine interventions.

The cases in this module will explore contemporary examples of health and susceptibility to disease across the human life, health and socioeconomic span and the problems therein. Students will consider responsible use of new and existing technologies and their potential role in managing problems in health and care in these areas.

Learning outcomes

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

  • 1. To illustrate familiarity with the key concepts, principles and theories, which will support a multidisciplinary approach to understanding, prevention and management of non-communicable diseases and promotion of healthy ageing
  • 2. To demonstrate a basic understanding of health promotion & disease prevention across the lifespan and for different populations
  • 3. To interrelate basic aspects of human anatomy and physiology of the reproductive and endocrine systems in health and disease
  • 4. To demonstrate familiarity with the field of oncology and to understand multidisciplinary care of cancer management
  • 5. To use applied examples and a relevant model to explain a challenging and interlinked concept in health
  • 6. To demonstrate an awareness of socio–economic relationships with chronic non-communicable diseases and long term conditions
  • 7. To develop and use reasoning skills to engage with others to individually or collectively put forward ideas that can have a positive influence on local and global challenges in health
Indicative reading list
  1. Tortora and Derrickson., (2008) Principles of anatomy and physiology. Volume 1&2. 12th edition, Wiley.
  2. Lopez-Otin et al., (2013) The hallmarks of Ageing. Cell. 153(6): 1194-1217
  3. Heffner and Schust. (2010) The reproductive system at a glance. 3rd edition. Wiley-Blackwell.
  4. Hoskin et al., (2009) Clinical oncology: basic principles and practice. 4th edition. CRC Press.
  5. Phillips C.J., (2005) Health economics: an introduction for health professionals. 1st edition. BMJ Books.
  6. Greer et al., (2016) Strengthening health system governance: better policies, stronger performance. Open University Press.
Subject specific skills


Transferable skills


Study time

Type Required
Lectures 39 sessions of 1 hour (13%)
Seminars 27 sessions of 1 hour (9%)
Other activity 22 hours (7%)
Private study 212 hours (71%)
Total 300 hours
Private study description

Students would be expected to engage in 212 hours of self-directed learning outside other learning and teaching activities outlined above.

Other activity description

Technology enhanced learning, including the use of online interactive presentations and videos, quizzes


No further costs have been identified for this module.

You do not need to pass all assessment components to pass the module.

Assessment group D1
Weighting Study time
Written Report 40%
Locally Timetabled Examination - Multiple Choice 30%
Locally Timetabled Examination - Synoptic Paper 30%
Feedback on assessment

Feedback will be provided to students from their multiple choice question examinations by highlighting the topic areas the student answered incorrectly. The written report and synoptic exam will be marked using standardised rubrics, which will provide feedback to the students (including individualised feedback) in line with WMS assessment criteria (including submission to Plagiarism software). Further verbal feedback will be available to students on request. Every student who fails an element of assessment will be offered an appointment for face to face feedback.

Past exam papers for MD1B4


This module is Core for:

  • UMDA-B990 Undergraduate Health and Medical Sciences
    • Year 1 of B990 Health and Medical Sciences
    • Year 1 of B990 Health and Medical Sciences