Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences

MEDSCI 101G Environmental Threats to Human Health


Welcome to the MEDSCI 101G website.

MEDSCI 101G is a General Education course taught on City campus in Semester 2 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 12noon to 1pm. It is in Schedule D: Life Sciences.

Do I need a science background to take this course?

  • No, you don't. As a General Education course it doesn't assume that you have any scientific background. Many students who have taken it in the past have not done any science before and have got on very well. There are no formal laboratory components either but there is a session where the class get to visit the Medical Science Learning Centre and spend time exploring anatomical and pathological specimens of various parts of the human body. Students in the past have found this fascinating!

What is the purpose of this course?

  • To have a deepened awareness of their place within the ecosphere
  • To appreciate the continuous and subtle (although sometimes overt) effects of the environment on their well-being
  • To recognize how the body responds to harmful stimuli
  • To be enabled to live proactively so to minimize direct and long-term health risks
  • To engage in informed and rational dialogue about the (often controversial) impacts of environmental agents on their well-being

Teaching staff include

Dr Graeme Finlay, who takes the lion share of the teaching, but specialvisiting lectures are taken by:
Associate Professor Cynthia Jensen (particles and lung damage)
Dr Nuala Helsby (chemical damage to the body)
Associate Professor Cris Print (diseases of wealth and poverty)
Professor Ken Shortridge (emerging viral diseases)
Professor Lynn Ferguson (cancer)

What previous students have said about this course

  • "I learnt a lot in this course, and it was quite real-life stuff which was interesting to know."
  • "The course materials were helpful and related to our daily life."
  • "Lectures were interesting and educational."