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Course Breakdown


Laboratory Tests: (3x, SAQ):        15%

Mid-Semester MCQ/SAQ Test:  17%
End-Semester MCQ/SAQ Test:  18%

Final Examination (SAQ):             50%

Course Information

Recommended textbook:
Human Anatomy (7th ed) - Martini, Timmons, Tallitsch

Both audio and video lecture recordings provided.

Official UoA Website: link.

Course Overview


MEDSCI 201 can be considered a stage II MEDSCI 142 without as much physiology. Like 142 it is run by the excellently efficient Angela Tsai, so the paper is highly organised and has an abundance of learning resources. The course runs through the anatomy and histology of various organ systems, and relies heavily on visualisation of structures and how they function together in the body. Lecturers from 142, such as Peter Riordan, come back to build upon concepts introduced in stage I at a more advanced level. The style of in-course tests also changes with the introduction of SAQ to assess theory taught in the course. Overall, many students in my year highly enjoyed this paper and consider it to be challenging, but one of their favourite papers they took in semester one.
By taking MEDSCI 201 (in addition to MEDSCI 205) the prerequisite for MEDSCI 312 (endocrinology of growth and metabolism) is met.


Key Topics of this Paper:

  • Histology of tissues
    A study of the defining histological features of connective tissue, endothelial tissue, nervous tissue, and muscle tissue.

  • Tissues under load
    An overview of the structure and mechanical capabilities of the solid connective tissues (cartilage and bone), and the anatomy of the human knee joint.

  • Reproduction
    Covers the anatomy of the male and female reproductive systems, involving development of the systems and histology of their tissues.

  • Alimentary system
    A chronological study of the digestive tract, looking at structures, histology and relationships between different areas.

  • Renal system
    A look at the structure and function of the kidneys, with a focus on the different pathways of blood and urine.

  • Musculoskeletal system
    A detailed set of lectures that teach students all the bones, muscles and joints of the upper limb.

  • Neural system
    An overview of the innervation of the upper limb, and the differences between the sensory and motor neural pathways.

  • Skin & Hypertrophic scars
    A brief look at what constitutes the skin, and how scarring occurs.

  • Respiratory system
    An overview of the structure of the lungs and lung development.

  • Cardiovascular system
    A look at the development of the heart, the structures of blood vessels around the body and the pathologies these vessels are prone to.

  • Endocrine system
    An overview of the different organs that make up the endocrine system, and how these structures interact with other organs via the hormones they produce.



The fortnightly MEDSCI 201 labs involve a variety of practical applications of the theory learnt in class. While a lot of the labs do teach histology, there are some very interesting dissections such as the cow knee joint. There is a frequent use of plastinated tissues, which allow students to see firsthand a variety of views of the body and its structures. In terms of assessment, MEDSCI 201 is known for its infamous lab tests. These alter the style of in-lab assessment from MEDSCI 142 and involve a separate 1 hour SAQ test that assesses two of the six labs (e.g. lab test one would assess labs 1 and 2). Revision material for these tests was always provided so students had an idea of the style of questions they would be asked in the test.


General Advice for this Course:

  • In 2018 we had an (optional) introductory laboratory that took us through the Medical Sciences Learning Centre and into the Human Anatomy Lab (where cadaver dissections occur). If this is repeated I 100% recommend students to attend this as it is a rare and highly interesting experience.  

  • The Medical Sciences Learning Centre has a lot of models that are very helpful in studying the more anatomy-heavy parts of the course e.g. the musculoskeletal lectures.

  • A lot of histology is assessed in this course, the university provides access to virtual slides (vslides) which are extremely helpful in familiarising yourself with structures seen under the microscope.

  • As no images are able to be provided of plastinated tissue, make effective use of your time with the tissue in the lab
    (especially the musculoskeletal lab!)


If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to message our friendly SAMs Exec team on Facebook:

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