Human Biology 1A (Anatomy and Physiology)

Course CodeBSC101
Fee CodeS1
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

Study Online Human Biology - a foundation course in Human Anatomy and Physiology.

  • Learn what you need to know to work in the health or fitness industries.
  • A 100 hour foundation course ideal for Certificate, Diploma or Degree Students.
  • Self paced course, start any time, study at home.
  • Quality course materials plus expert tutor feedback and support.


Suitable for -

This course provides you with the knowledge basis to a career in health science. You will understand what is a human body, how it works and which factors determine health.

This course is designed for people working or looking to work in the health care industry, or for people who want to have the basic knowledge of human anatomy and physiology.

Lessons cover: cells and tissues;  the skeleton; the muscular system; the nervous system; digestion and excretion; physiological systems.

Lesson Structure

There are 6 lessons in this course:

  1. Cells and Tissues
    • Introduction
    • Cell Components
    • Human Tissues
    • Epithelial tissues
    • Connective tissues
    • Fluid tissues
    • Muscle tissues
    • Nervous tissues
    • Cell Division
    • Cell Processes
    • Osmosis and Diffusion
    • Hydrostatic Pressure
    • Active Transport; Phagocytosis, Pinocytosis
    • Electro Chemical Gradient
    • Nutrient and Waste Exchange in Cells
  2. The Skeleton
    • Introduction
    • Bone tissue
    • Cartilage
    • Bone marrow
    • The periosteum
    • Osteology
    • Bone Anatomy
    • Bone Types; long, short, flat, sesamoid irregular, sutral
    • Review of all Bones in a Human Skeleton
    • Bone Joints; Synarthrosis, amphiarthrosis, Diarthroses
    • Types of Bone Movements; gliding, angular, rotation, other
    • Skeletal Functions
    • Fractures
    • Fracture Healing
    • Osteoporosis
  3. The Muscular System
    • Parts of the Muscular System
    • Tendons
    • How Muscles Move
    • Muscle Fibre (Filament) Types; thick, thin, elastic
    • Smooth (or involuntary) muscle
    • Striated (or voluntary) muscle
    • Cardiac muscle
    • Types of Skeletal Muscle; slow and fast oxidative fibres, Fast glycolytic fibres
  4. The Nervous System
    • Nerve Cells
    • Sensory Neurons
    • Motor Neurons
    • Terminology
    • The Nervous System
    • Central Nervous System
    • Peripheral Nervous System
    • The Brain; Cerebellum, Olfactory bulb, Cerebrum, Thalamus, Hypothalamus, Medulla Oblongata
    • Spinal Cord
    • Spinal Cord Injuries
    • Cranial Nerves
    • Spinal Nerves
    • Autonomic Nervous System
    • Reflex Actions
  5. Digestion and Excretion
    • Digestive System Introduction
    • The Alimentary Canal
    • The Mouth
    • Oesophagus
    • Stomach
    • Small Intestine
    • Large Intestine
    • Accessory Digestive Organs; tongue, teeth, salivary glands, liver, hepatic artery, gall bladder, pancreas.
    • Nutrient and Digestion Disorders
    • Vomiting
    • Peptic Ulcer
    • Jaundice
    • Lactose Intolerance
    • Haemorrhoids
    • Cirrhosis
    • Excretion; The Kidneys, Ureters, Bladder
    • Urinary System
  6. Physiological Systems
    • Endocrine System
    • Effects of Hormones; seven types
    • Summary of Endocrine Glands
    • Respiratory System
    • Trachea
    • Bronchial Tree
    • Left and Right Bronchus
    • Lungs
    • Physiology of Respiration
    • Gaseous Exchange
    • Rate and Depth of Breathing
    • Reproductive System; male and female
    • Physiology of Reproductive System
    • Pregnancy and Birth
    • The Circulatory System
    • Blood composition, functions, blood vessels, arteries, veins
    • Heart, physiology of circulatory system, blood pressure, spleen
    • Lymphatic System


  • Explain the human body at a microscopic level, including the structure and function of cells, tissues and membranes.
  • Explain features of the human skeletal system.
  • Describe the human muscular system in terms of structure and basic function.
  • Explain the human nervous system in terms of structure and basic functions.
  • Explain different physiological systems of digestion and excretion in the body.
  • Explain different physiological systems of the body.

What You Will Do

  • Prepare a summary explaining the function of the main types of human body tissues.
  • Explain, in your own words, 3 problems that can occur with different human tissues.
  • Explain cellular division (mitosis and meiosis) using your own illustrations.
  • Write an essay to explain problems that can occur with different bones
  • Explain the purpose of different structural components of muscle tissue, in an human muscle of your choice.
  • Explain the function of a typical nerve cell, using words and illustrations.
  • Explain the function of the central nervous system, using words and illustrations
  • Describe three (3) physiological process which occur in the digestive system.
  • Describe two (2) physiological process which occur in a properly functioning excretory system.
  • Broadly classify the effects of hormones
  • Explain 2 processes which occur in a properly functioning endocrine system.
  • Describe the anatomy of the lung
  • List the parts of the respiratory system
  • Define inspiration and expiration
  • Write briefly about the trachea
  • Explain 2 processes that occur in a properly functioning respiratory system.
  • Draw and label diagrams of the parts of respiratory system

An Introduction to the Cell

All living matter is composed of functional units called cells. At one end of the scale in the animal kingdom, there are unicellular organisms composed of a single cell (e.g. Protozoa or Amoeba). In an amoeba all the vital processes of the animal take place inside a single cell.

Cells are capable of digesting food, growing, respiring, excreting, secreting, reproducing and responding to stimuli. All these things happen in a single-celled animal.

At the other end of the scale, there are the multi-cellular organisms such as the higher animals and humans. In these organisms, the cells become specialised, and one or more of these different functions may be lost.

The various parts of the animal cell and their functions are:

  • Cell membrane. This is the outer layer of the cell. It gives the cell its shape and holds the liquid inside the cell. It is semi-permeable which means it allows certain things to pass in and out of the cell. The membrane itself is a phospholipid bilayer.
  • Nucleus. This is the part of the cell which holds the genetic material, the chromosomes and chromatin which are concerned with reproduction of the cell. Inside the nucleus is the suborganelle known as the nucleolus, which functions to make and assemble ribosomes.
  • Cytoplasm. This is the water based fluid inside the cell which contains salts and other ions and molecules suspended in solution. Within the cytoplasm you will find filaments, proteins, organelles and vesicles.
  • Cytoskeleton. A network of protein filaments in the cytoplasm that provide a structural framework for the cell, and it is responsible for cell movements.
  • Golgi apparatus. This is essentially a large folding membrane. It serves as a processing factory within the cell, primarily working on proteins and lipids. It also packages macromolecules for transport to other regions of the cell, or for secretion.
  • Lysosomes. These organelles contain powerful enzymes known as hydolases that break down food molecules, old or unwanted organelles and even invading pathogens.
  • Ribosomes. Ribosomes are tiny, roughly spherical structures attached to the rough endoplasmic reticulum. They are involved in the synthesis of proteins. They also occur free in the cytoplasm.
  • Centriole. This is concerned with cell division, the reproduction of the cell and the movement of cell chromosomes.
  • Mitochondrion. Mitochondria (plural of mitochondrion = mitochondria) are concerned with the respiration of the cell. Respiration produces energy for the cell. These are the cell’s powerhouses.
  • Endoplasmic reticulum. Another membrane organelle that associates with the nuclear membrane. Serves a variety of functions, the most important being protein synthesis and folding. Some proteins move on to the Golgi for more modification and final packaging.
  • Peroxisomes. These organelles contain peroxides that digest lipids and some other foods.
  • Fibrils. These are concerned with nervous responses.
  • Glycogen. A complex polymer of glucose that acts as a storage/supply of glucose in the liver and muscle cells.
  • Microfilament. Protein filaments that give shape, support and movement in non-muscle cells, and form the contractile units of muscle cells.
  • Secretory vesicle. A tiny sac inside the cell that contain molecules for secretion to the outside environment. These may be waste materials, or hormones, or other molecules with important function outside of the cell that produced them.

Although the cell is very, very small, you can see that it contains many different parts and can perform an array of functions.

ACS Student Feedback:

"The materials were clear and informative and lead you to explore other information. The online quizzes were a good way to check understanding. The assessments meant you needed to research in more depth. I have started an Occupational Therapy course at Uni so it has given me a good foundation. An excellent learning opportunity to work in my own time, but with support."

Lisa Greenhead, UK - Human Biology 1a (Anatomy and Physiology) course.

" ... [the course] is very informative and worthwhile. I am glad I started the course. Of the many available from different schools, this offers the best value for money." 

Sonia, QLD, Human Biology

"The information given was excellent, but the assignments also made you look further to find answers yourself and I find this a much better way of learning than just being handed all the answers. It has given me a grounding knowledge in human biology which is perfect as I am applying to study Chiropractic at university next year. I couldn't have asked for more from my tutor. She was very thorough and extremely helpful with any problems I encountered".

 Kate, Anatomy course

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There is a lot to learn as the human body is very complex, but this course approaches the subject in a systematic way providing a well structured pathway to learning. In addition to high quality course materials, your are also supported in your studies by our excellent tutors.

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