MDSA20170 Vascular Biology

Academic Year 2023/2024

This module forms part of the core curriculum taken by students studying Medicine. It focuses on the structures and functions of the vasculature and the functions of the soluble components of the blood. Consideration is given to the processes involved during development of vascular disease and those consequent to haemorrhage.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of this module students should have achieved the following learning objectives:

Biomedical Knowledge
1. Compare and contrast the structure and function of the various forms of blood vessels.
2. Describe the functions of the soluble components of the blood, and their role in haemostasis and coagulation.
3. Describe the anatomical arrangement of selected vasculatures.
4. Describe the fetal circulation and circulatory changes at birth.
5. Discuss the mechanisms of regulation of the vascular system.
6. Demonstrate an understanding of some selected disease processes of the vascular system.

Clinical skills
Prosection/dissection of mediastinum, posterior mediastinum, abdominal aorta, inferior vena cava, gastrointestinal blood supply and carotid arteries.

Indicative Module Content:

The vasculature of the head and neck, the thorax, the abdomen and pelvis including blood supply to the gastrointestinal tract, as well as vascular development are presented.
The histology and functions of blood vessels are discussed, including filtration and permeability, control of resistance vessels, arterial and venous blood flow and blood pressures, and coronary blood flow. Consequences and compensatory mechanisms of haemorrhage are outlined.
Molecular mechanisms in the control of vascular functions are presented and the haemostatic system is described including platelets, the clotting cascade, and fibrinolysis.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours






Computer Aided Lab


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Student learning is supported by lectures that highlight key concepts of vascular biology.
Dissection classes provide an interactive environment supporting the learning and understanding of vascular anatomy.
A Computer Aided Learning practical enables visualisation and understanding of vascular histology.
A tutorial on flow mediated vasodilatation allows knowledge integration and application.
Formative online assessments provide feedback on performance and understanding. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
MDSA20150 - Cardiorespiratory Physiology, PERS10120 - Sci of Human Perf I, PHTY10070 - Essentials of Human Performanc, PHTY10120 - Sci of Human Perf I, PHYS20030 - Organ and Systems Physiology, PHYS20150 - Cardiorespiratory Physiology, PHYS30010 - Cardiovascular Physiology, PHYS30290 - CV Physiology for Engineers

Vascular Biology (MDSA10090)

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Examination: Short answer question exam 2 hour End of Trimester Exam No Standard conversion grade scale 40% No



Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Autumn Yes - 2 Hour
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Online automated feedback
• Self-assessment activities

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Not yet recorded.

Name Role
Dr Marie-Victoire Guillot-Sestier Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Arman Rahman Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Sergio Rey Lecturer / Co-Lecturer