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Advanced Topics in Human Disease


  • Credit value: 15 credits at Level 6
  • Convenor: to be confirmed
  • Assessment: coursework (100%)

Module description

In this module you will have an opportunity to study a number of different human diseases of particular clinical and/or societal importance. These will vary annually, reflecting the expertise of the contributing staff (topics might include: cancer, autism, pain, Alzheimer’s disease).

You will be invited to study a subset of the diseases in greater detail through your examination of current literature relevant to their etiology, diagnosis, pathophysiology and treatment. Your focused study may also include consideration of ethical and/or societal dimensions relating to the disease(s) concerned. Thus, you will have an opportunity to apply the considerable background knowledge of biochemistry, cell biology, genetics and immunology acquired in your earlier modules, and to expand upon this.

Indicative syllabus

A series of taught sessions will address:

  • three to five different human diseases/adverse health conditions, providing an overview of the normal physiological state and how deviation from this may be determined (i.e. diagnosis)
  • aspects of the pathophysiology arising from the disease
  • examination of current treatment options.

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • give coherent summaries of selected human diseases including commentary on their etiology, diagnosis, pathophysiology, and treatment
  • closely examine current primary literature of relevance to the understanding and/or treatment of selected human diseases, and provide coherent analyses of this literature in written form
  • critically evaluate ethical issues arising in the diagnosis and/or treatment of selected human diseases and report in writing on the findings of this evaluation.