What should I know before I study this Unit?

  • The basic anatomy of systems of the body
  • The basic function of the heart
  • The basic function of the lungs

Chest X-Ray

What will I be studying in this Unit?

In a nutshell you will be studying the following areas:

  • The structure and function of the circulatory and respiratory systems
  • The type of measurements that can be taken relating to these systems
  • How these measurements can be used in the monitoring of health and the diagnosis of illness
  • The various methods used during monitoring and diagnosis, and also the health and safety aspects. Once you have understood these methods you will learn to follow the safety regulations relating to these.
  • The ethical issues that arise from the monitoring, diagnosis of human circulatory and respiratory systems

How long will this Unit take to study?

On average you’ll be looking at 60 hours of teaching and independent research time.

What topics will I be studying in this Unit?

Topic 1: Imaging methods

In this topic you will study:

  • Radioactive tracers
  • X-rays (including CAT scans)
  • MRI scans - magnetic resonance imaging
  • Ultrasound

MRI Scan

MRI Scanner

Topic 2: A healthy heart

MRI Scanner

In this topic you will study:

  • The Cardiac cycle
  • A healthy heart
  • Control of cardiac output
  • Cardiovascular system
  • Composition of blood
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Balancing blood

Topic 3: Healthy lungs

MRI Scanner

In this topic you will study:

  • The respiratory system
  • Ventilation
  • Measuring lung volume
  • Gaseous exchange

What can I do to get the best out of this Unit?

If you’re really serious about getting the best out this unit and are prepared to put some extra time in on your own, it would be great if you could do some of the following:


Get together and organise a visit to a local health centre for a demonstration of the technical equipment used to monitor the health of patients.


Organising a visit to a local hospital to observe the use of equipment such as ultrasound monitoring can really help too as you’ll get to see it first hand, in practice rather than in theory


Where can I find some more information on this Unit?

Past Papers

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