PSC2020 : Cardiovascular System Physiology

Semester 2 Credit Value: 15
ECTS Credits: 8.0


This module aims to develop knowledge and understanding of the physiology of the cardiovascular system. This includes a thorough grounding on intrinsic and extrinsic factors influencing both cardiac and vascular function, incorporating mechanisms at the integrated systemic level and the cellular level. Consideration will be given to structure and function in different physiological conditions. Cardiovascular development, regeneration and ageing will be described. Specific malfunctions will be described at appropriate points within the module and the resultant pathophysiological conditions discussed.

Outline Of Syllabus

This module considers:

- the importance of structure and function of heart and blood vessels, including during development

- excitation-contraction coupling in cardiac and vascular muscle cells

- mechanisms regulating cardiac and vascular function

- remodelling of excitation-contraction coupling in exercise, ageing, pregnancy and disease states

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion115:0015:00Project report
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion112:0012:00Oral Presentation
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture171:0017:00Lectures
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical13:003:00Practical
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching21:002:00Two 1 hour Seminar Sessions
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery11:001:00Support for practical analysis and preparation of assessments
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1100:00100:00Independent Study
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures provide the core information and an indication of the scope of the course as a basis for guided independent study. The seminar sessions will encourage increased understanding of the material through discussion. The practical class will provide experience in recording and analysing biological data to support the core knowledge, carrying out scientific calculations, computer-based presentation skills and working as part of a small group. The oral and written exercises will encourage analysis and discrimination of the scientific literature at a deeper level than that presented in lectures, promoting individual creative work and also providing an opportunity to learn through collective study.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination902A70The EMI section is worth 1/3 (33.3%) the essay section is worth 2/3 (66.7%).Two questions to be answered from a choice of four.
Exam Pairings
Module Code Module Title Semester Comment
PSC2026Cardiovascular Systems for Pharmacologists2Some co-taught components and overlap in some assessment questions
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Prof skill assessmnt2M155 minute individual presentation on practical experiment
Practical/lab report2M15Students to answer set questions on practical data. Group report adjusted for individual contribution.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The end of semester exam tests core knowledge and students’ understanding of the material learned in the module. It also examines their ability to integrate and explore the relationships between the various themes within the module, and tests their ability to develop scientific arguments. The in-course assessments will judge the students’ ability to perform experiments, analyse and present (oral and written format) experimental data in a scientific manner (using computer-based programs), critically interpret and evaluate scientific data and draw appropriate conclusions. The group task will also test their ability to work effectively as a team and to develop their scientific thinking using verbal and written communication skills.

Reading Lists