MEDIC ST 3101A - Scientific Basis of Medicine III Part 1

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2021

Through the study of clinical cases students continue to develop their knowledge and understanding of the basic scientific principles that underpin the practice of medicine. The Case Based Learning Program emphasises the need for students to be able to explain the mechanisms responsible for the production of symptoms and signs of diseases and to be able to relate these to pathophysiology and related underlying scientific disciplines. At this level the cases give more consideration to diagnosis and management. Student learning in this course is supported by relevant resource sessions and lectures.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code MEDIC ST 3101A
    Course Scientific Basis of Medicine III Part 1
    Coordinating Unit Medicine
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Contact Weekly lectures, CBL sessions & resource sessions
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Prerequisites MEDIC ST 2000A/B, MEDIC ST 2101A/B, MEDIC ST 2102A/B, MEDIC ST 2103A/B, MICRO 2506 and an approved Level II elective; or by approval of the Dean of Medicine
    Restrictions Available to MBBS students only
    Course Description Through the study of clinical cases students continue to develop their knowledge and understanding of the basic scientific principles that underpin the practice of medicine. The Case Based Learning Program emphasises the need for students to be able to explain the mechanisms responsible for the production of symptoms and signs of diseases and to be able to relate these to pathophysiology and related underlying scientific disciplines. At this level the cases give more consideration to diagnosis and management. Student learning in this course is supported by relevant resource sessions and lectures.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Professor Sepehr Shakib

    Contact is initially care of the CBL tutor. The course is taught by tutors and teachers drawn from scientific and clinical staff.
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

    Furtherdetails of the timetable structure will be made available at the start of the course. 
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    The SBM thread runs across Years 1-3 of the Medical Program. In Year 1 students will be introduced to basic concepts and vocabulary. Learning will become more complex as the course progresses. All of the courses in Years 1-3 are designed to help prepare students to undertake clinical placements in Years 4-6.

    Detailed objectives for each year level in the MBBS Program are distributed as part of the case-based learning program and may include, but not be limited to, the following

    1 Demonstrate the required professional behaviour in all educational, clinical and professional relationships, including with other students.
    2 Have a critical and questioning approach to learning.
    3 Be enthusiastic about learning, and understand the importance of life-long learning.
    4 Develop competence in case-based learning (CBL) processes, including the integration of knowledge across disciplines.
    5 Begin to effectively use information technology in communication and decision-making, and understand the application of research on evolving methods of health care.
    6 Understand the thematic structure of the case-based program in Years 1-3.
    7 Able to use appropriate medical terminology and vocabulary.
    8 Able to understand and explain the mechanisms whereby normal biological and anatomical processes are disturbed in disease, and be able to apply the knowledge base gained from previous cases to new but related cases.
    9 Able to identify gross and surface anatomical, histological, microbiological and macroscopic and microscopic pathological features.
    10 Demonstrate an understanding of the concept of homeostasis, and the basic mechanisms by which the internal environment is regulated, with a particular emphasis on fluid balance, electrolytes, blood pressure, acid-base balance.
    11 Demonstrate an understanding of the concepts of cellular function and its control by neurohumoral mechanisms via receptors and signaling processes.
    12 Demonstrate an understanding of the concepts of genetic control of cellular function, the role of genetics in disease pathogenesis, the basics of Mendelian and polygenic inheritance, and the increasingly important role of genetics in medicine.
    13 Demonstrate knowledge of the mechanistic links between basic sciences (biological and psychological) and the normal and abnormal findings on physical and mental state examination of the systems studied.
    14 Understand the importance of the social and behavioural sciences to medical practice and demonstrate an awareness of the importance of patients’ cultural and linguistic background, the value of diversity and tolerance of uncertainty, and the affect of culture and history on health.
    15 Progressively develop clinical reasoning skills through the practice of clinical reasoning and the application of integrated knowledge.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Students will be required to purchase a standard medical examination kit and textbooks.
    Recommended Resources
    Much of the information which can be found on the internet is of questionable accuracy and it is vital that students have accurate information. There will be recommended textbooks for specific courses and students will be advised of these as part of introduction to that course.

    For the SBM course, students will need basic textbooks on anatomy and histology, physiology, pathology and pathophysiology and biomedical science. There are a lot of different textbooks available and different textbooks will appeal to different learners. The Adelaide Medical Students’ Society publishes and distributes a document to assist you in deciding which textbooks to buy. We recommend that you spend time looking at different textbooks and talking to your peers about what has worked for them, before you purchase any textbooks.

    Extensive electronic and paper-based resources will be recommended as the course progresses.
    Online Learning
    Online learning is an important curriculum component in all years of the MBBS course. Material for all courses are provided through the medical program curriculum website at or through MyUni.

    Reliable sources of reference journal articles are available online through the University Barr Smith Library (BSL) and various search engines.

    Wikipedia can be a useful guide for definitions, but it is generally an unreliable source of medical and technical information. You are recommended instead to search PubMed or Google Scholar for peer reviewed articles and research evidence.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    There are numerous teaching and learning methods used, with the emphasis on active learning methods including, but not limited to: case based learning, large group lectures, seminars and workshops and laboratory resource sessions. This content may be delivered face to face or online. There will be self-directed research and/or study, written assignments, case presentations, and critical analysis.

    Learning by doing:
    Students are expected to actively participate in CBL tutorials and develop the skills required to work as a member of a team. Case presentations are a very important communication tool among medical practitioners. They are used in a variety of setting: ward rounds, teaching rounds, hand-over, transfer of patient care between units, discussing a referral and communication between different practitioners.

    The skills of reasoning in CBL and case presentations need to be acquired in preparation for the clinical years, where it features as a major forum for the academic and clinical communication to peers and consultants in the hospital.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    Attendance at tutorials is compulsory. While lectures are not compulsory, the material presented in a lecture will assist your ability to participate in tutorials and will provide examinable material. The development of time management skills is important for future medical practice. Students are expected to develop study skills and allocate time to self-directed learning. In Years 1-3, the standard total student workload for 24 units is 48 hours a week.
    Learning Activities Summary
    The curriculum begins with an introduction to CBL processes and study continues in large and small groups using clinical cases of the most common and important diseases as a basis. Lectures, anatomy sessions and workshops and are carefully staged throughout the CBL cases to provide key information to assist the students as they progress. Rather than memorising unnecessary detail, the emphasis throughout the program is on understanding, and being able to explain, mechanisms and principles.
    Specific Course Requirements
    Students must meet the requirements set out in the letter of offer. Students will be required to obtain a first aid certificate by the end of semester 1. As a medical student you will be registered with the Medical Board of Australia. All commencing students in Medicine, Dentistry, Oral Health and Nursing will be required to obtain a satisfactory criminal history clearance (CHC). Information on acquiring the clearance is outlined in the letter of offer.
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    The predominant learning method for the MBBS Program is small group discovery learning.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Students wiill receive verbal formative feedback from their CBL tutors throughout all asssessment periods. Summative assessment will be reflective of formative feedback. Summative tasks are outline below.

    Assessment Task Task Type Due Weighting
    Data Anaylsis Question 1 Summative

    Semester 1

    Data Anaylsis Question 2 Summative Semester 1 15%
    Cancer Screening Task Summative Semester 1 10%
    Data Anaylsis Question 3 Summative Semester 2 20%
    Data Anaylsis Question 4 Summative Semester 2 20%
    CBL tutor assessment of professionalism Summative Semester 1/2 10%
    Anatomy Assessment Summative Semester 1/2 10%

    Academic Progression Requirements
    Progression from one year to the next in the MBBS is dependent on the student successfully completing a compulsory annual examination course in which a full year’s learning is assessed.

    To progress into year 4 a student must pass MEDIC ST 3000A and 3000B - Third Year MBBS Examination Part 1 and Part 2 courses and have achieved a pass in all year level components (24 units).

    To successfully complete the MEDIC ST 3000A and MEDIC ST 3000B courses, the student must pass the end of year examinations and have successfully completed all year level component courses (24 units).

    IF a student fails the compulsory examination course no passing grade will be received for any core medical studies courses.

    IF a student has not completed all required MEDIC ST units of the year they must successfully complete an appropriate remedial course of the same or greater value as specified in Term 4 of the same academic year.

    A student will only be eligible for summer school if the following criteria are met:
    • The student does not have a recorded breach of genuine academic misconduct;
    • The student has completed all core assessment tasks within the failed course;
    • The student has attended more than 80% of core teaching activities across the academic year, within the failed course.

    Assessment Related Requirements
    Students must learn and appropriately use a complex set of skills to achieve the learning outcomes in the MBBS courses. These skills cannot be learnt without repeated practice, constructive feedback and then practice again. In addition, the professional competencies required of a medical professional need to developed. Development of competency is through discussions, observing, practicing and demonstrating. Attendance at the mandatory learning activities is essential for the progressive development of the attributes and competencies required of a medical professional. As such, attendance at core structured learning activities is mandatory as per the Assessment for Coursework Policy – Procedures Section 1c.

    Exemptions to mandatory attendance requirements may be granted by the Program Coordinator in consultation with the relevant course coordinator and year level advisor if there are exceptional medical, compassionate or extenuating circumstances as defined by the Modified Arrangements for Coursework Assessment Policy.

    Tutor assessments are based on student demonstration of knowledge, reasoning and professional competence in tutorials. All tutorials are weighted equally. Students are unable to demonstrate competence if they are not present, therefore students will receive a zero grade for tutorials where they are not present unless there are exceptional medical, compassionate or extenuating circumstances as defined by the Modified Arrangements for Coursework Assessment Policy. Students who are absent for multiple tutorials should seek advice from the course coordinator or year level advisor.

    Core structured learning activities in this course are: Supervised CBL tutorials, Anatomy resource sessions.
    Assessment Detail
    Complete assessment requirements for this course are detailed in the corresponding Canvas Course
    Students may be required to submit assessments via Turnitin.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    NOG (No Grade Associated)
    Grade Description
    CN Continuing

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme: GS4 Non-graded pass.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

    Students should familarise themselves with the University Policy on Additional Assessment/Replacement Assessment.
  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

    The MBBS Program has a regular program of evaluation. In addition, student representatives are appointed to MBBS committees and are encouraged to report on issues of importance to students.
  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.