MEDSCI 729 : Perinatal Physiology and Medicine

Medical and Health Sciences

2021 Semester One (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Fetal development has long-term consequences for health. This advanced course offers a wide range of research themes relating to fetal development and future health. Topics include: placental development, fetal physiology, and endocrine regulation and metabolic function during fetal and postnatal life. The course explores pathogenesis of disease and injury of the fetus and newborn, and how biomedical research leads to potential clinical treatment strategies.

Course Overview

This advanced course offers a wide range of research themes relating to fetal development and future health. Topics include: placental development, fetal physiology, and endocrine regulation and metabolic function during fetal and postnatal life. The course explores pathogenesis of disease and injury of the fetus and newborn, and how biomedical research leads to potential clinical treatment strategies. Students will be required to submit two essays (3,500 word, excluding abstract, figures and references) worth 20% each during the period of the course and provide one 15 minute seminar presentation . Guidelines for selection of topics for each essay and seminar presentation are to be found in the 'Assignments" section. The students will also undertake a final examination worth 50%.

Course Requirements

No pre-requisites or restrictions

Course Contacts

A/Prof Mhoyra Fraser (m.fraser@auckland.ac.nz)
Dr Anuj Bhargava (a.bhargava@auckland.ac.nz)

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Critically appraise and evaluate general concepts of early pregnancy and placental development. (Capability 1, 2 and 4)
  2. Critically appraise, critique, compare and contrast key principles of growth and functional development of the lung and respiratory system and gastrointestinal tract. (Capability 1, 2 and 4)
  3. Critically appraise, critique, compare and contrast key concepts of fetal growth and metabolism and both normal and abnormal postnatal growth including the importance of the growth plate. (Capability 1, 2 and 4)
  4. Critically appraise, critique, compare and contrast key concepts of normal perinatal brain development and the impact of various pathological processes that may occur as a result of disease or injury. (Capability 1, 2 and 4)
  5. Critically appraise, critique, compare and contrast key concepts and features of perinatal electroencephalography (EEG) monitoring as an aid to the evaluation of normal and abnormal brain activity and seizures in infants with HIE (Capability 1, 2 and 4)
  6. Critically appraise, critique, compare and contrast key concepts of the maturational development of the fetal hypothalamic-pituitary axis and the impact of various pathological processes that may occur as a result of disease or programming. (Capability 1, 2 and 4)
  7. Critically appraise, critique, compare and contrast key principles of the growth hormone axis and how it relates to health and disease. (Capability 1, 2 and 4)
  8. Critically appraise, critique, compare and contrast key concepts for development of neuroendocrine circuits controlling appetite and body weight. (Capability 1, 2 and 4)
  9. Develop excellent scientific writing and referencing skills. (Capability 1, 2, 4 and 5)
  10. Develop and apply scientific knowledge learnt as part of the course to effectively communicate by oral presentation. (Capability 1, 2, 4 and 5)

Assessments

Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Essay 1 20% Individual Coursework
Essay 2 20% Individual Coursework
Presentation 10% Individual Examination
Final Exam 50% Individual Examination
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Essay 1
Essay 2
Presentation
Final Exam

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 700 level 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 20.5 hours of lectures, a 2-4 hour tutorial, approximately 80 hours of reading and thinking about the content and 40-50 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

Attendance is required at scheduled activities including tutorials to complete components of the course.
Lectures will be available as recordings. Other learning activities including tutorials will be available as recordings.
The course will include live online events, including tutorials.
Attendance on campus is required for the exam.
The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.

Online

Attendance is required at scheduled online activities including tutorials to complete components of the course.
The course will include live online events including lectures and these will be recorded.
Attendance on campus is not required for the exam.
Where possible, study material will be available at course commencement throughout the course.
This course runs to the University semester/quarter timetable and all the associated completion dates and deadlines will apply.

Learning Resources

Refer to Canvas for different modules and additional references provided in lecture.

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.

Digital 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.

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.

Plagiarism:
Although students are encouraged to discuss their essays with lecturers and others, the essay finally submitted must be entirely the student’s own work.
Plagiarism, is a serious academic wrong. “Plagiarism means using the work of others in preparing an assignment and presenting it as your own without explicitly acknowledging – or referencing -- where it came from. Plagiarism can also mean not acknowledging the full extent of indebtedness to a source. Work can be plagiarised from many sources – including books, articles, the internet, and other students’assignments.

  •  Plagiarism can also occur unconsciously or inadvertently.
  •  Direct copying is definitely plagiarism.
  •  Paraphrasing of another work without attribution is also plagiarism.
  •  Submitting someone else’s work or ideas without acknowledgement or attribution is not evidence of your own grasp of  the material and cannot earn you marks.

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 http://disability.auckland.ac.nz

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 https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/academic-information/exams-and-final-results/during-exams/aegrotat-and-compassionate-consideration.html.

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 your assessment is fair, and not compromised. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the University Website for information about how to proceed.

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 https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/forms-policies-and-guidelines/student-policies-and-guidelines/student-charter.html.

Disclaimer

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 you may be asked to submit your 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. The final decision on the completion mode for a test or examination, and remote invigilation arrangements where applicable, will be advised to students at least 10 days prior to the scheduled date of the assessment, or in the case of an examination when the examination timetable is published.