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PSC2020 : Cardiovascular System Physiology

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Michele Sweeney
  • Lecturer: Dr Simon Bamforth, Professor Christopher Eggett, Dr Gavin Richardson, Dr Tim Cheek, Mr Peter Luke, Professor Michael Taggart, Dr Harley Stevenson-Cocks
  • Owning School: Biomedical, Nutritional and Sports Scien
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
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 completion112:0012:00Preparation and completion of oral presentation
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture171:0017:00PIP
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical16:006:00PIP - Provide skills to collect valid and reliable data for understanding and for oral presentation
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching71:007:00PIP - Facilitate discussion of module content, data analysis & interp, present papers/prob solv exer
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops12:002:00PIP - Scientific Paper Interpretation workshop to practice for end of module exam
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery11:001:00PIP - Support for practical analysis and preparation of assessment
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1105:00105:00Preparing lecture material notes, preparing for seminars and workshop, reading and revision
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 team.

The oral presentation 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 Examination1202A85Invigilated written exam. Part 1 (42%) MCQs (max 60 questions) Part 2 (43%) Paper interpretation exercise
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Oral Examination2M15PIP - 5 minute individual presentation on practical experiment
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The end of semester assessment tests core knowledge and students’ understanding of the material learned in the module. The scientific paper interpretation section of the examination will assess the students' ability to use their knowledge and understanding of the topics in the module to interpret and explain data presented in a scientific research paper.

The in-course assessment will judge the students’ ability to analyse and present experimental data in a scientific manner (using computer-based programs), critically interpret and evaluate scientific data and draw appropriate conclusions. Working on the practical 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