MEDSCI 312 : Neuroendocrinology of Growth and Metabolism

Medical and Health Sciences

2023 Semester Two (1235) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

An introduction to the mechanism controlling the production of hormones and how these achieve their effects in regulating body function. The course focuses in particular on the hormone systems controlling growth and metabolism and contrasts the differences between fetal and adult life. It also highlights how defects in endocrine systems are associated with conditions such as obesity and diabetes.

Course Overview

Medsci 312 contains three distinct modules, which complement each other in terms of content as well as integration.
Module A: Principles of Endocrine System
Module B: Growth and Development
Module C: Clinical Endocrinology

Course Requirements

Prerequisite: MEDSCI 205 and 15 points from BIOSCI 203, MEDSCI 201

Course Contacts

  1. Course Director
    Dr. Gus Grey
    extn: 83174

  2. Course Coordinator
    Anuj Bhargava
    extn: 86200

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. Demonstrate an understanding of the function of the major organs in neuroendocrine homeostasis. (Capability 1 and 2)
  2. Critically evaluate how endocrine function of the human body is essential for development and good health to develop an appreciation for the outcomes when this goes wrong. (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
  3. Integrate information from laboratories and lectures into a cohesive, clear understanding of fat production, metabolism, and variables which alter this. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5)
  4. Analyse and evaluate data in laboratories to produce meaningful conclusions and challenge scientific ideas. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Laboratories 28% Group & Individual Coursework
Quizzes 4% Individual Coursework
Test 30% Individual Test
Final Exam 38% Individual Examination
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4
Final Exam
"In any paper that includes practical work as well as written work, a student must obtain passes in both the practical and written work in order to pass that paper as a whole."  

To pass Medsci 312 course, you are required to pass both the final exam and the internal assessments. This means: 

(i) Final exam: you need to obtain at least 19% out of 38%.

Internal Assessments: you need to obtain at least 31% out of 62% (made up of 32% practical lab activities and 30% module tests).

Specifically, you need to:

(ii) Attend and actively participate in the laboratory practical sessions. 

(iii) Submit all the FOUR assessments (as above). 

(iv) Receive a minimum mark of 16% out of 32% in the laboratory course component.

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 2 hours of lectures, a 3 hour lab session, 3 hours of reading and thinking about the content and based on previous students feedback, about 10+ hours of work on assignments and/or test preparation.

As per Bachelor of Science regulations-Practical Requirements 6 In any course that includes assessed practical work as well as other assessed work, it may be required that a student must obtain passes in both the practical and the other work in order to pass that course as a whole. Where this is specified a student who passes the practical work but who fails the other work may, at the discretion of the Academic Head, have the result for the practical work carried forward when the course is retaken.

To pass Medsci 312 course, you are required to pass both the final exam and the internal assessments. This means:

(i) Final exam: you need to obtain at least 19% out of 38%.

Internal Assessments: you need to obtain at least 31% out of 62% (made up of 32% practical lab activities and 30% module tests).

Specifically, you need to:

(ii) Attend and actively participate in the laboratory practical sessions.

(iii) Submit all the FOUR assessments (as above).

(iv) Receive a minimum mark of 16% out of 32% in the laboratory course component.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience & Campus Experience

Attendance is required at scheduled activities including labs/tutorials to complete and receive credit for components of the course.

Learning activities including lectures/seminars/tutorials/labs might be available as recordings.

The course will include live online events including group discussions/tutorials.

Attendance on campus for term tests and final exam is required.

The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable. 

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.

For each lecture we have provided specific course objectives to help focus your study. We have a recommended text to assist in revision of basic cardiovascular physiology. If this text does not work for you, the library holds many more that may better suit. The more detailed knowledge required for the course will be found in specialist literature: books, reviews and original scientific papers. A list of starter references are provided for each lecture or module, but students are expected to read more widely. 

  1. Integrated Endocrinology Author(s): John Laycock Karim Meeran
    First published:23 October 2012
    Print ISBN:9780470688137 |Online ISBN:9781118450642 |DOI:10.1002/9781118450642
    Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
  2. Essential Endocrinology and Diabetes
    Richard I. G. Holt and Neil A. Hanley

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.

Based on the SET feedback around the lab report assessments we have increased the weighing of this assessment to truly reflect the associated workload.
We will also be providing more feedback on both mmid term as well as end of semester tests.

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.

Further information can be obtained from: (Students - Plagiarism and Cheating section).
If you are under pressure or stressed by deadlines, discuss this with the Course co-ordinators. We are here to help you.

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.