Fundamentals of Lifesciences

The details
Health and Social Care (School of)
Southend Campus
Autumn & Spring
Undergraduate: Level 4
Thursday 03 October 2024
Friday 21 March 2025
07 September 2022


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BSC B740 Nursing (Adult),
BSC B740CO Nursing (Adult),
BSC B742 Nursing (Adult) (Including Year Abroad),
BSC B742CO Nursing (Adult) (Including Year Abroad),
BSC B760 Nursing (Mental Health),
BSC B760CO Nursing (Mental Health),
BSC B762 Nursing (Mental Health) (Including Year Abroad),
BSC B762CO Nursing (Mental Health) (Including Year Abroad),
MSCIB770 Nursing (Dual Award in Adult and Mental Health),
MSCIB770SO Nursing (Dual Award in Adult and Mental Health)

Module description

Applying knowledge of anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology and pharmacology provides the foundations for understanding people's lived experiences of physical health and physical deterioration and distress and enables nurses to deliver person-centred care and initiate interventions that reduce distress and restore homeostasis. This module prepares students in the fundamentals of life sciences as applied to nursing. It recognises the interaction of the external and internal environments that shape and influence people's experiences of physical health.The module introduces and applies best practice approaches to managing situations where students observe physical ill health, distress, and deterioration in a range of contexts and settings.

Module aims

This module introduces and develops fundamental knowledge of human life sciences, human development across the lifespan, anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology and pharmacology, and enables students to apply this knowledge in how they assess physical health status, vulnerability, distress, and deterioration.

Module learning outcomes

1. Demonstrate fundamental knowledge of human development from conception to death and apply this knowledge to nursing practices.

2. Demonstrate fundamental knowledge of body systems, homeostasis, human anatomy and physiology and apply this knowledge to nursing practices.

3. Demonstrate fundamental knowledge of pathophysiology, pathogenesis and symptoms and signs of physical ill health, distress, deterioration and sepsis.

4. Demonstrate fundamental knowledge of pharmacology, immunology and the evidence base for immunisations and vaccinations.

5. Listen to people’s experiences of their own bodies and recognise how these experiences relate to physiological and pathophysiological processes.

Module information

Human anatomical and physiological development over the lifespan

Human body systems' structure, function and interaction

Homeostasis, the relationship between external and internal environment that maintains physical health, and the observable signs of good physical health

Introduction to pathophysiology, its effects on human body systems and homeostasis, and the observable signs and symptoms of homeostatic disruption

Introduction to pharmacology and the ways medicines affect human body systems, homeostasis, and the observable signs of medicines effects

Introduction to immunology and the effects of immunisations and vaccinations on the immune system

Observing and assessing signs and symptoms of physical deterioration and distress, and the evidence base for managing deterioration and distress

Observing and assessing signs and symptoms of sepsis, and the evidence base for managing sepsis

Learning and teaching methods

Lectures and flipped classroom: Students will engage in interactive lectures introducing anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, immunology and pharmacology delivered by keynote speakers and practitioners. Lectures and flipped classroom activities will introduce the evidence base for best practice approaches to assessing the physical health status of people of all ages Seminars and tutorials: Small group activities that enable students to reflect upon evidence from people with lived experience to gain insight into the lived experience of physical distress, deterioration, sepsis and other conditions. Seminars will also be used to consolidate learning through clinical and non-clinical scenarios. Students will also engage in online simulation to practise approaches to observing and assessing people’s physical health and wellbeing status.


The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course.
The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students.
Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Adult Nursing (Southend): Summative assignment     

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Shabnam Sagar, email: ss19549@essex.ac.uk.



External examiner

Mr Donald George Hamilton
London South Bank University
Senior Lecturer
Available via Moodle
Of 104 hours, 0 (0%) hours available to students:
104 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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