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Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment

Introduction to Human Biology - Study by Distance Learning - Study with the support of our specialist tutors.

  • Study human anatomical structures.
  • Understand physiology in human systems.
  • Essential knowledge in industries such as  - education, science, health care, fitness and exercise, nutrition and weight loss, alternative medicine.
  • The 6 lessons in the course cover cells and tissues, the skeleton, the muscular system, the nervous system, digestion and excretion and physiological systems.

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Gain a foundation of knowledge in Human Biology.

  • Understanding your own body is the first step to caring for yourself and others.
  • A foundation for working in fitness, health care, human nutrition or medicine.
  • Flexible study - start at any time, study where and when best suits you.


To understand basic human anatomy and physiology which is essential for studying and working in health science or management. This course naturally progresses onto Anatomy II and Physiology II and is a pre-requisite for both. Prerequisites: None


Course Duration: 100 hours.

Start Date: Start at any time - study at a pace that suits you, and with full tutor support while you study.

Lessons: The course comprises 6 lessons as detailed, below.

Lesson 1. Cells and Tissues 
  • Explains the human body at a microscopic level, including the structure and function of cells, tissues and membranes.    
  • Includes: the cell; human tissues; cell division; cell process; nutrient and waste exchange in cells.
Lesson 2. The Skeleton 
  • Examines features of the human skeletal system. 
  • Includes: bone anatomy; bone types; number of bones in adult human body; joints of bone; bone movements; the skeleton; fractures and fracture healing; osteoporosis.
Lesson 3. The Muscular System
  • Describes the human muscular system, in terms of structure and basic function. 
  • Includes: tendons; movement; muscle fibre types; skeletal muscle types; summary.
Lesson 4. The Nervous System
  • Looks at the human nervous system, in terms of structure and basic functions. 
  • Includes: nerve cells; sensory neurons, motor neurons; nerve terminology; the nervous system; central and peripheral nervous system; main parts of the nervous system; the spinal cord; cranial nerves; the autonomic nervous system; reflex actions.
Lesson 5. Digestion And Excretion
  • Explains different physiological systems of digestion and excretion in the body. 
  • Includes: alimentary canal; mouth; oesophagus; stomach; small intestine; large intestine; accessory digestive organs; tongue, teeth, salivary glands; liver; pancreas, nutrient digestion disorders; selected digestive system disorders; vomiting; peptic ulcer, jaundice; haemorrhoids; cirrhosis; excretion; urinary system.
Lesson 6. Physiological Systems
  • Focusses on the different physiological systems of the body. 
  • Includes: endocrine system.  



  • To explain the human body at a microscopic level, including the structure and function of cells, tissues and membranes.
  • Explain features of the human skeletal system.
  • Describe the human muscular system, in terms of structure and basic function.
  • Explain the human nervous system, in terms of structure and basic functions.
  • Explain different physiological systems of digestion and excretion in the body.
  • Explain different physiological systems of the body.



  • Observe parts of the and identify parts of the human body.
  • Observe different types of animal tissues (obtained from a butcher).
  • Prepare a summary explaining the function of the main types of human body tissues.
  • Explain, in your own words, different problems that can occur with different human tissues.
  • Explain cellular division (mitosis and meiosis).
  • Explain problems that can occur with different bones.
  • Explain the purpose of different structural components of muscle tissue, in an human muscle of your choice.
  • Explain the function of a typical nerve cell, using words and illustrations.
  • Explain the function of the central nervous system, using words and illustrations
  • Describe different physiological process which occur in the digestive system.
  • Describe different physiological process which occur in a properly functioning excretory system.
  • Broadly classify the effects of hormones.
  • Describe the anatomy of the lung.
  • List the parts of the respiratory system.
  • Define inspiration and expiration.
  • Discuss the trachea.
  • Explain processes that occur in a properly functioning respiratory system.
  • Draw and label diagrams of the parts of respiratory system.



In this course, before we investigate the gross anatomical structures of the body, we learn about the individual units that make up all tissues; cells. Many vital processes occur in the cell. Different cells have different structures, numbers of organelles and so on, to enable them to perform their specific functions. These cells together form tissues which in turn group to form organs and organ systems that combine different cell types to enable systems to perform coordinated functions.

In order to investigate systemic and regional anatomy later in the course, it is
first important that we look at the microscopic anatomy of cells. We will start by
discussing common organelles and structures, before examining some of the specialised
structures found in some cell types.

There are a range of basic functions that are common to most cells in the body, along with a range of specialist functions performed by specific cells or cell types. This course will investigate a range of these common processes as well as studying the structures that make up the body.


The human body is such a complex thing; that it can be overwhelming when you first start learning about it's structure and function. The only way to really learn is to study it systematically, dealing with the different components of the body, one at a time.

Over time, as your knowledge of different components builds; you will then be able to start seeing how these different parts interact with each other.

Your knowledge and understanding will build progressively; and when you follow a well structured learning pathway such as this course; and have support from well qualified and experienced tutors; it is far easier to develop your knowledge without becoming confused and overwhelmed.

Consider just a few of the components:


Joints are sites where two or more bones meet. The function of joints is to join bones together, and to allow for movement. There are several different types of joints, and these can be categorised by their structure or their function. There are three different types of joint structure - fibrous joints are joined by fibrous connective tissue with no joint cavity, cartilagenous joints are connected by cartilage with no joint cavity, and synovial joints are when there is a joint cavity and the joint is surrounded by an articular capsule. There are three different functional types of joints – synarthrosis joints are immoveable, amphiarthrosis joints are slightly moveable, and diarthrosis joints are freely moveable.


Kidneys are part of the urinary system, the kidneys are a reddish bean shaped organ that comes in a pair. The kidneys are approximately 10cm long, 7.5cm wide, and 2.5cm thick. The kidneys are responsible for filtering the blood, eliminating wastes, and maintaining the volume and composition of the blood. They also play a role in regulating blood pressure and metabolism.

The Larynx

Otherwise known as the voice box, the larynx is a cartilaginous organ that connects the pharynx to the trachea. The larynx is a short passageway that runs down the middle of the neck, anterior to the vertebrae, from the fourth to the sixth vertebra. The framework of the larynx consists of nine pieces of cartilage, held together by membranes and ligaments. Its functions are to provide an open airway, and to route air and food to the appropriate channels. Its other function is in voice production, as it houses the vocal cords


Lungs are a pair of organs of the respiratory system that are located within the thoracic cavity. The lungs are surrounded by two layers of membrane called pleura. The outer layer is attached to the thoracic cavity, and the inner layer is attached to the lungs. Between each layer is a lubricating fluid which allows the lungs to expand and contract during respiration. Air is inhaled into the lungs through the trachea and bronchi into air sacs called alveoli. From the alveoli oxygen from the air is transported into the blood. Carbon dioxide is transferred from the blood to the alveoli, and then exhaled.

The Lymphatic System

This consists of lymph fluid flowing within lymphatic vessels, structures and organs containing lymphatic tissue, and bone marrow (the site of lymphocyte production). The lymphatic system functions to drain excess interstitial fluid, transporting dietary fats from the gastro-intestinal tract to the blood, and carrying out immune responses in protection against invasion.


There are several different types of bone. A typical bone is made up of a shaft and two ends (known as extremities). The outer shell of a typical bone is known as compact bone. This layer is hard and covers most of the surface of the bone. The two extremities consist of spongy bone. This is made up of plates that form a porous network.

The spaces within this network are usually filled with bone marrow which is a soft, fatty substance. Inside the shaft is the medullary cavity which is a hollow that is filled with bone marrow. Some bone ends are involved in joint movement. Where this occurs the extremity is covered with a thin layer of smooth cartilage. This cartilage is called the articular cartilage and its job is to provide a friction-free surface to aid movement.

Around the entire surface of the bone (except where there is articular cartilage) is a thin, fibrous membrane called the periosteum. Bone-forming cells are located here and are responsible for laying down bone to increase the width of long bones. It also lays down bone in response to healing at places where fractures have occurred.

Between the shaft and extremity is a disc of cartilage called the epiphysial cartilage.

Osteoblasts (bone forming cells) are located in this disc and lay down bone which makes the bone longer. This disc is only active in the human until mature size is reached. After this, the disc ossifies. In humans this happens in the late teens or early twenties.
About one third of the weight of bone consists of fibrous tissues and cells which make a framework. Two thirds consists of the inorganic salts which are deposited within the framework to make bone tissue hard. These salts are chiefly calcium and phosphorus (in fact, calcium phosphate accounts for some 80% of salts deposited in bone). Other salts include calcium carbonate and magnesium phosphate.


You can start the course at any time.

It is studied by distance learning, so you can study in the comfort of your own home. But this doesn't mean you are all alone in your studies.  Our highly qualified and friendly tutors are there to help you every step of the way.  If you have any questions at all, they are always happy to help.

Each lesson includes set tasks, and is completed with an assignment which the student submits to their course tutor.  The tutor will mark the assignment and return this to the student with comments and suggestions for further reading.


"Very pleased with the work."
L. Lowery - Human Anatomy And Physiology (1A)

" [The course] ... is very informative and worthwhile. I am glad I started the course. Of the many available from different schools, this offers the best value for money."
Sonia - Human Biology 

"The information given was excellent, but the assignments also made you look further to find answers yourself and I find this a much better way of learning than just being handed all the answers. It has given me a grounding knowledge in human biology which is perfect as I am applying to study Chiropractics at university next year. I couldn't have asked for more from my tutor. She was very thorough and extremely helpful with any problems I encountered."
Kate, Anatomy


Study alone can never guarantee career success; but a good education is an important starting point.

Success in a career depends upon many things. A course like this is an excellent starting point because it provides a foundation for continued learning, and the means of understanding and dealing with issues you encounter in the workplace.

When you have completed an ACS course, you will have not only learnt about the subject, but you will have been prompted to start networking with experts in the discipline and shown how to approach problems that confront you in this field.

This and every other industry in today’s world is developing in unforeseen ways; and while that is unsettling for anyone who wants to be guaranteed a particular job at the end of a particular course; for others, this rapidly changing career environment is offering new and exciting opportunities almost every month.

If you want to do the best that you can in this industry, you need to recognise that the opportunities that confront you at the end of a course, are probably different to anything that has even been thought of when you commence a course.


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Meet some of our academics

Dr. Gareth PearceGraduated from the University of Nottingham in 1982 with a B.Sc.(Hons) in Animal Science. Between 82 and 85 worked as Research Assistant and Demonstator in Animal Science at the University of Leeds. Over more than 30 years he has furthered his studies, obtaining eight significant university qualifications including degrees in Veterinary Science, Wildlife Conservation and Animal Behaviour. Gareth has significant teaching experience around the world as a faculty member at eight different universities including Associate Professor at Murdoch University and Director of Studies in Veterinary Science at Cambridge University. He has over 100 prestigious research papers published, and enjoys an outstanding international reputation in the fields of animal and veterinary science.

Check out our eBooks

Aqua FitnessThere are many reasons to exercise in water: It is low impact (less chance of over doing it and causing damage to the body). Aquafitness exercises are often used by professional athletes and equally by people recovering from injury; because it allows optimum exercise with minimum risk of associated problems. This is a comprehensive reference that can be used by both amateur and professional. It is well illustrated, with many exercises explained and shown in easy to follow diagrams.
Aerobic FitnessAerobic exercise is critical for maintaining every aspect of a persons wellbeing. This book shows you the exercise you need to do to keep your lungs, heart and circulatory system fit. Originally published as a printed book by Simon and Schuster. This new edition is improved and available as an ebook. It explains what aerobic fitness is and the exercises you can do to maintain an peak level of aerobic fitness. It is a valuable reference both for fitness professionals, and also for anyone just wanting to improve their own personal fitness.
Human NutritionBoth a text for students, or an informative read for anyone who wants to eat better. While covering the basics, the book approaches nutrition a little differently here to some other books, with sections covering ”Modifying diet according to Genetic Disposition or Lifestyle”, “How to find Reliable Information on Nutrition” and “Understanding how Diet relates to Different Parts of the Body” (including Urinary, Digestive, Respiratory and Circulatory System, the Brain, etc). This ebook was written to complement the ACS Nutrition I course, and provides a solid foundation for anyone wanting to grasp a fundamental understanding of Human Nutrition.
Human BiologyFor any new student of human biology, being confronted with thousands of unfamiliar words can be overwhelming. It can also be difficult to identify which words you need to learn first. This book presents words that have been carefully selected as the most important for new biology students to learn and understand. It also provides more information about each word than is often found in traditional dictionaries, giving students a more in-depth understanding of the word's meaning. The book is intended as an aid to all new students of human biology.