The Human Body as a Machine

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Course Date: 11 August 2014 to 09 September 2014

Price: free

Course Summary

The human body is made up of many individual parts that work together in a highly interactive and coordinated way. This course introduces the building blocks that make up the body, and how these are structured and maintained at a cellular level. We highlight the cardiovascular, hormonal and nervous systems, as critical coordination and control parts of the body. We investigate the structure of the musculoskeletal system, and how it helps us move through, and manipulate, our environment. We conclude by reviewing how the body replaces itself to create a new human being.

Course Instructors

Colin Carati

Prof Colin Carati (PhD) is a lifelong learner, and a teacher in the School of Medicine at Flinders University, South Australia. Colin has a curiosity about how animals, including humans, work, with a particular interest in anything to do with fluids, like the circulation and lymphatic systems. He is also keen to explore how modern technologies, such as the internet, transform how we learn and live, and hopes that this course is of value to those who venture through cyberspace to take it.

Course Description

What's it about?

The human body is made up of many individual parts that work together in a highly interactive and coordinated way. This course introduces the building blocks that make up the body, and how these are structured and maintained at a cellular level. We highlight the cardiovascular, hormonal and nervous systems, as critical coordination and control parts of the body.

The human body is made up of many individual parts that work together in a highly interactive and coordinated way. This course introduces the building blocks that make up the body, and how these are structured and maintained at a cellular level. We highlight the cardiovascular, hormonal and nervous systems, as critical coordination and control parts of the body. We investigate the structure of the musculoskeletal system, and how it helps us move through, and manipulate, our environment. We conclude by reviewing how the body replaces itself to create a new human being.

What's involved?

Module 1Human Biology
10 videos, 9 quizzes, 1 assessment11 Aug - 17 Aug
Module 2Communication and Co-ordination Systems
9 videos, 8 quizzes, 1 assessment18 Aug - 24 Aug
Module 3Moving the Machine
8 videos, 7 quizzes, 1 assessment25 Aug - 31 Aug
Module 4Making the Machine
8 videos, 7 quizzes, 1 assessment1 Sep - 7 Sep

What will I learn?

  • The organisational structure of your body
  • Basic physiological principles that ensure normal body function
  • The nature of the basic functional unit of the body, the cell.
  • The biology of basic tissue types, such as those lining body surfaces (epithelia) and connecting other tissues (connective tissues)
  • The structure and function of the cardiovascular, hormonal and nervous systems, and how they interact to coordinate and control the other systems within your body
  • The structure of bone and muscle, and how they work together to allow you to  move through, and manipulate, your environment
  • How DNA helps cells maintain and replace themselves to ensure internal maintenance and renewal within your body
  • How your body produces reproductive cells, and how our genetic material is recombined to ensure that, through genetic diversity, we are genetically unique

This course requires approximately 2 - 4 hours of study per week, but can vary depending on the student. This includes watching videos, and taking quizzes and assessments. The total video time for this course is approximately 3 hours 29 minutes.

If you pass this course you'll receive a Certificate of Achievement. While this certificate isn't a formal qualification or credit, you can use it to demonstrate your interest in learning about this area to potential employers or educational institutions.

Where to from here?

If you love this course, why not take your studies further? Here are some accredited qualifications that could help you achieve your goals.

Where could this lead me?

If you're wondering what your future could look like in this area, here are some potential careers you could head towards.

  • Medicine
  • Nursing
  • Allied health Professions, such as Physiotherapy, OT, Speech Pathology, Audiology, Medical Imaging
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Medical or Laboratory Science

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