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Course Breakdown


Assignment + tutorial: 19%

Lab/reports: 16%

Test 1: 15%

Test 2: 15

Final exam: 35% 

Course Information


Prescribed textbook:

No prescribed textbook. It is recommended that you do not rely solely on lecture slides, but consider the course guide and journal articles too. A recommendation is provided for those that prefer textbooks: Basic Pathology: An Introduction To The Mechanisms Of Disease 5th Ed., Lakhani et al. 

Official UoA Website: link

Basic Course Information

MEDSCI 203 is a course focused on the inner cellular mechanism that are the basis of disease with a focus on Genetic disease, Cell injury, acute inflammation, repair and chronic inflammation (exemplified by fatty liver disease, allergy and autoimmunity),. Mechanisms of bacterial infection,  Metabolic and cardiovascular disease, Abnormalities of growth and tumours.


Lab Component 

The lab component consists of one lab every two weeks. It is unlike most MEDSCI labs as you spend your time sitting at a computer and reviewing histology slides from different disease states. In your labs you learn how to identify different cell types and how each one relates to the disease you are investigating, including atherosclerosis.


Lecture Content

MEDSCI 203 consists of multiple units including, pathology basics:

This module is all about understanding basic pathology including methods of genetic testing and tools used to test for certain diseases as well as putting focus on some of the challenges faced by potentially being faced with too much information.

Injury/Inflammation and repair: 

This section is exactly what it sounds like focusing on how cells can become damaged, what inflammation is/how it occurs and the different paths that cells take after injury. This topic is very interesting but requires a lot of memorising as you have to know lots of cytokines and their effect on the body.



This is a small section of two lectures however don’t be fooled as the lectures on hypersensitivity and autoimmunity cover lots of detail and often can take a long time to get your head around.



Infections is very similar to module two and requires a similar knowledge set and basically combines the previous topics. 

It basically walks you through what happens during an infection and the different ways your body can respond.


 cardiovascular health:

This was a large topic mainly focused around atherosclerosis and has an association lab component. The topic covers different diseases of the heart and how each one can link to follow on diseases. This was one of the easier modules as it has links to other MEDSCI courses and was less heavy on memorising specific pathways and more understanding about broader cause/effect 


Obesity and Diabetes:

Another smaller module which had connections to other MEDSCI papers, the content covered in this module is similar to the information covered in MEDSCI 205 and links in well with the cardiovascular health module.



The cancer module is a big module and is one of the more difficult ones as it once again requires a good understanding of every previous module to understand how there are many different ways cancer can form and spread not only that but it has a lot of its own specific definitions and information which takes a long time to understand 


Additional information 


This course has a decent amount of assignments however they all feel relevant to the module. Some of the research work can be tedious but they give you all the resources you need. This also balances out as the lab reports are a bit smaller than other courses and instead of it being a full report it is more a question and answer. if you take lots of notes in the lab they basically give you most of the answers.

This is a paper for those interested in the inner workings of the human body and its response to disease. This paper is very heavy on memory and specific details though so make sure to be prepared and stay on top of understanding as you go.

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