pathophysiological processes

pathophysiological processes

Essay Students will select an essay title from a range of titles given at the start of the module.  This will allow the students some personal choice in what they choose to study.  The questions will require students to carry out extensive research for the essay and present the work in a cogent and scientifically sound format.

The essay is worth 35% of the module marks, pass mark 40% with a minimum qualifying mark of 30%.

The essay will assess learning outcomes 2, 5 and 6 (see module handbook).

LO2.     Describe, using appropriate terminology, the major pathophysiological processes, their underlying mechanisms and how they contribute to the features of disease;

LO5.    Interpret the macroscopic and microscopic changes that occur in pathological conditions and explain the uses of common laboratory and imaging procedures in the diagnosis and monitoring of pathophysiological changes;

LO6.    Critically apply journal sources, and internet databases and texts to inform their learning.

Assessment criteria will be that students:

•    Demonstrate a critical understanding of pathophysiological processes pertinent to the title;
•    Demonstrate the ability to use current, objective material, properly referenced using an appropriate academic writing style.
Please refer to the marking grid.
Work must be submitted electronically online via Blackboard.  Details of how to submit your work electronically can be found in the general module handbook on Blackboard.  Follow these instructions carefully to ensure your work is submitted correctly.

The last day you can submit work is by 10 am on Monday 23rd February 2015. Use your time management skills to organise your course work and its submission.  You will be given sufficient time to complete the task and so don’t leave it until the last minute.  You can submit course work at any time up to the deadline, so if you don’t need to wait until Monday morning for any other reason, it makes sense to submit it sometime during the previous week.

There will be two titles to choose from.  These are given below.  After Reading week you will be able to sign up for one title: you will be informed of when you can do this via Blackboard.  There will be a quota system allowing just over half of students to choose each topic.  You are advised to refer to the marking grid to help you plan your work.

1.    Shakespeare refers to old age as “Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything”.  Is ageing inevitably associated with disease?  Use in depth examples of at least two diseases to discuss theories of ageing and how it impacts on health.

You might consider these resources as starting points.  Remember for a critical essay the quality of your sources is important so do find up to date primary research papers relevant to the question you are answering.

You might like to look at this link and paper to start:

Mather, K. A., Jorm, A. F., Parslow, R. A., & Christensen, H. (2011). Is telomere length a biomarker of aging? A review. The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, 66(2), 202-213.

Available at:

2.    Angelina Jolie and the BRAC1 gene mutation effect.

When Angelina Jolie announced that she had a double mastectomy to prevent getting breast cancer, an increase in referrals of women for genetic testing was seen for at least the following 6 months in many English speaking countries globally.

In this essay you will explain in detail why having a BRAC1 mutation is not an automatic diagnosis of breast cancer and also explain what other common factors are associated with the pathogenesis of breast cancer (this may be in combination or separately to a BRAC1 mutation).

You might like to look at these videos and paper to start:

Fasching, P. A., Ekici, A. B., Wachter, D. L., Hein, A., Bayer, C. M., Häberle, L., … & Beckmann, M. W. (2013). Breast Cancer Risk–From Genetics to Molecular Understanding of Pathogenesis. Geburtshilfe und Frauenheilkunde, 73(12), 1228.

Available at: