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Last modified: 22 May 2019 17:07

Course Overview

  • cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. Using teaching informed by high-quality research this course provides a comprehensive understanding of cardiovascular physiology and pathophysiology; 
  • you will learn how the knowledge of physiological processes is directed into identifying drugs targets for disease, which will improve your understanding of drug discovery; 
  • insight into the molecular and cellular action of drugs in the cardiovascular system will prepare you for your final year research project; 
  • wider transferable skills include problem solving, data interpretation and training in the ethical and safety aspects of recruiting human subjects in research.  

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 3
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Dr Fiona Murray

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?


Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

This course will cover the physiology of the mammalian heart and circulatory systems and the pathophysiology and pharmacology of cardiovascular disease.  Lectures will provide an integrated view of the cardiovascular system from the cellular level up to the whole animal. Topics include cardiovascular structure and function, excitable membranes, muscle contraction, intravenous fluids, and the physiology of platelets. Fundamental physiological principles will be discussed in relation to pathologic conditions of the cardiovascular system, such as diabetes, hypertension, myocardial infarction, angina and atherosclerosis. The mechanism of action of drugs used to treat these conditions will be described in detail to facilitate an understanding of the rationale for current and future therapeutic interventions.  Practical work and demonstrations will be used to illustrate the experimental techniques that are utilised to derive knowledge of the cardiovascular system.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 30 August 2024 for 1st half-session courses and 20 December 2024 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

1st Attempt: 1 one and a half hour written examination (70%) and in-course assessment - (30%). Continuous assessment comprises: 1 laboratory report, 2 case studies. Resit: 1 one and a half hour essay examination (70%) and previous continuous assessment (30%).

Formative Assessment

- Case-study exercise with feedback in preparation for summative assessments. - PRS-based revision sessions allow students to practice for MCQ tests and receive feedback on their performance.


- Practical reports and case studies will be marked with written comments. - Case study questions will be discussed during a lecture/feedback session. - Students are given general feedback on performance during PRS revision sessions. - Model answers for case studies and practicals also placed on MyAberdeen. - Feedback on laboratory practical performance also given verbally during classes.

Course Learning Outcomes


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