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Last modified: 25 May 2018 11:16

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

Qualification Prerequisites

  • Either Programme Level 3 or Programme Level 4

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

  • Either BI20B2 Physiology of Human Cells (Passed) or BI25B2 Physiology of Human Organ Systems (Passed)
  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)

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.

Degree Programmes for which this Course is Prescribed

  • BSc Biomedical Sciences (Molecular Biol)
  • BSc Biomedical Sciences (Pharmacology)
  • BSc Biomedical Sciences (Physiology)
  • BSc Immunology & Pharmacology (Biobus)
  • BSc Immunology and Pharmacology
  • BSc Neuroscience with Psychology
  • BSc Pharmacology
  • BSc Pharmacology (Biobusiness)
  • BSc Physiology
  • BSc in Biomedical Sciences (Pharmacology & Biobusiness)
  • Bachelor Of Science In Physiology (Biobusiness)
  • Bcs in Neuroscience with Psychology (Biobusiness)
  • Bsc In Biomedical Sciences (Molecular & Biobusiness)
  • Bsc In Biomedical Sciences (Physiology & Biobusiness)
  • Bsc In Immunology And Pharmacology (Biobusiness)
  • MSci Neuroscience with Psychology & in Pl't
  • MSci Pharmacology with Industrial Placement
  • MSci Physiology with Industrial Placement
  • MSci in Biomedical Science (Molecular Biol) with Ind Plac't
  • MSci in Biomedical Science (Pharmacology) with Ind'l Pla'mnt
  • MSci in Biomedical Science (Physiology) with Ind'l Placement
  • MSci in Immunology and Pharmacology with Indust'l Placement
  • Master In Science In Pharmacology (Bio Bus) With Ind Pla
  • Master In Science In Physiology (Bio Bus) With Ind Pla
  • Msci In Biomedical Sciences (Molecular Bio& Biobus) With Ip
  • Msci In Biomedical Sciences (Pharmacology & Bio Bus) With Ip
  • Msci In Neuroscience With Psychology (Bio Bus) With Ind Pla

Contact Teaching Time

44 hours

This is the total time spent in lectures, tutorials and other class teaching.

Teaching Breakdown


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.

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