MEDSCI 100G : Human Mind and Body Relationships

Medical and Health Sciences

2023 Semester One (1233) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Humans share with other living things the features of physical self-generation and adaptation to the environment. Humans also live in a mental (mind) world and maintain relationships with our perceived environments. Minds and bodies mutually affect one another. This mind/body dance, which is explored in this course, is what gives rise to all of human behaviour from simple daily activities to the highest forms of creativity.

Course Overview

What makes you human? Why do you think and feel the way you do? How does the structure of you body affect your thoughts and feelings, and how do your thoughts and feelings affect your body? What does your brain have to do with your thoughts and feelings, your mind, your soul and your spirit, and what are ‘mind’, ‘soul’ and ‘spirit’ anyway? Why do humans seem to be so different from other animals?
If you have ever wondered about any of these questions then you will enjoy this course. Human Mind and Body Relationships is taught by award-winning staff from the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences who love what they do and are keen to introduce you to the magic and mystery of people.
You will learn things about human biology, human anatomy, brain structure and function, how and why people are different from machines, mental processes, and how our thoughts, feelings, emotions, beliefs and expectations affect how our bodies work (using examples such as ‘placebo’ and ‘nocebo’ effects), and why humans cooperate in social and cultural groups.
You will explore many areas of human life and have plenty of opportunities to ask questions and discuss ideas. Because this course is about what it is to be human, it will help you understand yourself and other people while at the same time having a great deal of fun.

Course Requirements

No pre-requisites or restrictions

Course Contacts

Associate Professor Roger Booth

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities
Graduate Profile: Bachelor of Science

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Recognise how we perceive and distinguish things in our world using our senses, our expectations and our explanations. (Capability 1)
  2. Describe and discuss the components that make up living things and the way they are organised to remain living. (Capability 1 and 3)
  3. Understand and explain how our musculoskeletal, respiratory, cardiovascular, digestive and nervous systems work within our bodies to keep us alive in our ever-changing environments. (Capability 1 and 2)
  4. Critically reflect on on what it means to have a sense of self and what aspects of our lives might have contributed to the development of each of our particular selves. (Capability 2, 4, 5 and 6)
  5. Describe, analyse and consider the role of other people in the development of our own minds and the degree to which events in our lives affect how our bodies function and how we think, feel and behave. (Capability 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6)
  6. Understand and explain how our expectations affect how medicines and even life events affect our thoughts, feelings and behaviours in phenomena such as placebo and nocebo effects. (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
  7. Critically reflect on the fact that because humans are a social species, each of us has an impact on the minds and bodies of those we interact with and consider how knowing this can help us live together more constructively. (Capability 2, 4, 5 and 6)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Five Assignments (5% each) 25% Individual Coursework
Mid-semester MCQ Test 15% Individual Test
End-of-course written exam 50% Individual Examination
Peer-marking task 5% Individual Coursework
Online quiz 5% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Five Assignments (5% each)
Mid-semester MCQ Test
End-of-course written exam
Peer-marking task
Online quiz

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15-point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect 33 hours of lectures, 2 hours tutorials, 70 hours of reading and thinking about the content and 10-15 hours of work on assignments and/or test preparation.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience or Online

This course is offered in two delivery modes:

Campus Experience

Lectures and tutorials will be available as recordings. Other learning activities including assignments will be completed online.
The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.


Lectures and tutorials will be available as recordings. Other learning activities including assignments will be completed online. Some live online tutorials will also be scheduled.
Study material will be released progressively throughout the course coinciding with lectures.
This course runs to the University semester timetable and all the associated completion dates and deadlines will apply.

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

Student Feedback

At the end of every semester students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback and respond with summaries and actions.

Your feedback helps teachers to improve the course and its delivery for future students.

Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the department and faculty staff-student consultative committees.

A change we made in 2022 from student feedback was to provide online resources clearly labelled as pre-reading for each lecture and this was appreciated by the class. As a result of 2022 feedback, we are considering including short, quizzes at the end of each week to assist students with regular review of the course material. We will also explore whether we can set up occasional tutorials, either in-person or online throughout the semester for those students who would like a more question-and-answer format available.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

The delivery mode may change depending on COVID restrictions. Any changes will be communicated through Canvas.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 28/10/2022 10:56 a.m.