MDSA20190 Renal Biology

Academic Year 2023/2024

This module forms part of the core curriculum for the MB, BCh, and BAO degrees in the School of Medicine and Medical Science. This module focuses on current knowledge of the structure (anatomy and histology) and functions of the human kidneys and urinary tract, and their importance to human health.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module students should be able to:
- Describe the structures and functions of the human kidneys and urinary tract.
- Demonstrate understanding of the homeostatic roles sustained by the kidneys.
- Use knowledge of the phenomena and mechanisms occurring in the kidneys and urinary tract to explain the performance of their homeostatic functions and to predict the principal consequences of renal diseases that alter these functions.

Formative online assessments will be provided for feedback on performance and understanding.

Indicative Module Content:

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours






Computer Aided Lab


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Lectures on renal anatomy and renal physiology
Computer aided learning (CAL) practicals which will teach urinary tract histology.
Anatomy practicals to identify the key structures and their relations in the male and female pelves.
Clinical Tutorials consisting of problem solving exercises involving the kidneys and urinary bladder.
All sessions will be delivered face-to-face, following current Covid-19 guidelines from the HSE.
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
PERS10120 - Sci of Human Perf I, PHTY10070 - Essentials of Human Performanc, PHTY10120 - Sci of Human Perf I, PHYS20030 - Organ and Systems Physiology, PHYS30090 - Digestion and Excretion, PHYS30240 - GI and Renal Physiology, VET10120 - Homeost & Intro to Physio Comm

Renal Biology Med (MDSA10110)

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Examination: MCQ component of end-of-semester examination 2 hour End of Trimester Exam No Standard conversion grade scale 40% No


Examination: Short Answer Question (SAQ) component of end-of-semester examination 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

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback will be available, at the request of student, following publication of final grades.


Either of the following two textbooks:
1. “Vander's Human Physiology. The Mechanisms of Body Function”. Widmaier, Raff & Strang, published by McGraw-Hill. The latest edition is #15. Students can purchase the book via the following link and can use the 20% off promo code MGH20UK7


2. “Human Physiology”. Pocock, Richards & Richards, published by Oxford University Press. At the time of writing the latest edition is #5.

Either of the following two texts:
1. “Basic Histology”. Junqueira and Carneiro, published by McGraw-Hill. At time of writing, the latest edition is #15.


2. “Wheater's Functional Histology”. Young, Lowe, Stevens and Heath, published by Churchill Livingstone. At time of writing, the latest edition is #6.

Any recent clinical human anatomy textbook and atlas is sufficient, for example:

Essential Clinical Anatomy: Edition: 6th or more recent
Authors: KL Moore, AM Agur, AF Dalley
Publisher: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

Clinically Orientated Anatomy
Edition: 4th or more recent
Authors: KL Moore, AF Dalley, AMR Agur
Publisher: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

McMinn and Abraham’s Clinical Atlas of Human Anatomy
Edition: 8th or more recent
Author: PH Abrahams, JD Spratt, M Loukas, AN Van Schoor
Publisher: Mosby Elsevier

Gray’s Atlas of Anatomy
Edition: 3rd or more recent
Authors: RL Drake, AW Vogl, AWM Mitchell, RM Tibbitts, PE Richardson
Publisher: Elsevier
Name Role
Assoc Professor Neil Gerard Docherty Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Professor Sabine Koelle Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Julie Freeman Tutor
Dr Lili Li Tutor