The Human Body - In Sickness and in Health
“The body is wiser than its inhabitants.” ― Erica Jong
At a Glance
- Live online course
- 2 hours a week
- Tuesdays 18:00 - 20:00
- 20 weeks: October to March
- Tutor: Chris Palmer
- Fees from £230 to £420
- Imperial College attendance certificate (T&Cs apply)
- Book from 2 August
Have you ever wondered how our bodies work? The fact is that our bodies are an amazing product of billions of years of life on earth. The building blocks of our bodies are cells, small machine like units that are more complex than any man made object. Cells are grouped together to form tissues and organ systems with specialised functions such as absorption of nutrients, uptake of oxygen, excretion of waste, movement, defence, perception. The human body is made up of 11 systems which work with each other
Although we often take our bodies for granted, just like a machine if we do not look after them they can malfunction resulting in disease such as cancer or obesity. Or factors such as genetics, viruses or bacteria can cause our bodies to stop functioning correctly.
In the past half-century there has been a revolution in the understanding of how our bodies work, with the entire human genetic code being revealed we are set for a revolution in modern medicine. This course aims to reveal what makes our bodies tick and what happens when things go wrong.
Designed as a course for students of all ages and with different backgrounds and experiences, this course is meant as an introduction for non-specialists who have an interest in medicine and would like to understand better what appears in the press.
This course is not a series of lectures but based on an interactive approach. Films, activities and discussions help to explain the body and its workings.
Online Access to Course
This is a taught live online course which means you will be taught alongside other students on the course by a tutor at a specific time on a specific day of the week. To take part in the course you will need a suitably equipped and internet-enabled device. Please find full details and instructions below under 'Course Delivery'.
Those who attend at least 80% of the course sessions will receive an attendance certificate from Imperial College London upon completion of the course.
The following course plan is a guideline only and may well change to reflect the interests of the class.
- Week 1: What is life
- Week 2: The parts of the human body
- Week 3: Respiratory system
- Week 4: Cardiovascular system
- Week 5: Digestive system
- Week 6: Urinary system
- Week 7: Skeletal system
- Week 8: Lymphatic and immune system
- Week 9: Nervous system
*** Christmas break ***
- Week 10: Muscular system
- Week 11: Reproductive system
- Week 12: Integumentary system
- Week 13: Cancer
- Week 14: Viral infections
- Week 15: Bacterial infections
- Week 16: Obesity and diabetes
- Week 17: Alzheimer's and ageing
- Week 18: How to keep your body functioning properly
- Week 19: Modern medicine and its alternatives
- Week 20: Genome engineering of the human body
There is no compulsory reading required for this course, and there is no set course text.
Professor Chris Palmer has had a varied and interesting career working on the HIV-1 virus, yeast ion channels, the nervous system and cancer.
Chris has worked at Reading University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Columbia University, Imperial College London and currently London Metropolitan University.
His current research interests include advancing our understanding of cancer and pain. He also has interests in herbal and complementary medicine.
Course Delivery: Live Online Taught courses
All our online courses are taught live which means you will be taught alongside other students on the course by a tutor at a specific time. To take part in the course you must be able to attend the online session at the time stated for the course description.
All times stated are British Standard Time.
To take part you will need a computer, or laptop, or tablet computer, connected to the Internet. The device you use will also need to have a camera, microphone and speakers. Most devices now have these built in, but if not you might have to buy them from a computer shop and to connect them to your device.
This course will use Teams as its online delivery method. Teams is easy to use. You will need to log into your existing Teams account or, alternatively, please create a free account here. Near the date of your first online session you will be sent an email with a Teams web link that will allow you to access the course. All you need do is click on the course link in the email and you will be asked to enter your name. This is the name that will be seen by your tutor and other students in the class. Once you have entered your name you might be asked to enter a password to enter the class. The password will be included in the email sent to you. Once you enter the password you will either be taken directly into the class, or asked to wait in a virtual waiting room until the tutor is ready to let you into the class.
All courses lasting two hours have a 10-minute break in the middle. For one-hour courses there is no break.
Course Fees and Rate Categories
|Hours||Weeks||Standard Rate||Internal Rate||Associate Rate|
|40||20|| £420 (Early Bird Rate: £380*)
||£250 (Early Bird Rate: £230*)||£330 (Early Bird Rate: £300*)|
|* The Early Bird rate is available for enrolments made before the end of 30 September for courses starting in October only | All fee rates quoted are for the whole 2-term course.|
Rate Categories and Discounts
- Applicable to all except those who fall under the Internal Rate or Associate Rate category, respectively.
- Current Imperial College students and staff (incl. Imperial NHS Trust, Imperial Innovations, ancillary & service staff employed on long-term contracts at Imperial College by third-party contractors)
- Individuals enrolling under our Friends & Family scheme
- Staff of the English Chamber Orchestra
- Current Centre for Languages, Culture and Communication (CLCC) staff, current CLCC PhD students, Science Communication (Sci Comm) postgraduate students, and students enrolled on an Imperial College 'Language for Science' degree programme should contact firstname.lastname@example.org before completing the online enrolment form
- Alumni of Imperial College and predecessor colleges and institutes
- Austrian Cultural Forum staff
- City & Guilds College Association members
- Francis Crick Institute staff, researchers and students
- Friends and Patrons of the English Chamber Orchestra
- Harrods staff
- Historic Royal Palaces staff
- Lycee Charles de Gaulle staff
- Members of the Friends of Imperial College
- Members of the Kennel Club
- Members of the London Zoological Society
- Members of the South London Botanical Institute (SLBI)
- Members of the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP)
- Natural History Museum staff
- National Health Service (NHS) employees
- Residents of postcodes SW3, SW5, SW7, SW10 and W8
- Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council staff
- Royal College of Art and Royal College of Music tutors and other staff
- Royal Geographical Society staff
- Science Museum staff
- Staff of Exhibition Road Cultural Group (Discover South Kensington) organisations
- Students (non-Imperial College)
- Teachers and other staff of UK schools
- Tutors and other staff of institution members of the Association of Colleges
- Tutors and other staff of other universities and higher education institutions
- Victoria and Albert Museum staff
It is possible to enrol on many CLCC Evening Class and Lunchtime Learning programmes after the course has started. For non-language courses this is subject entirely to agreement by the tutor. For language courses it is subject to agreement by the language Coordinator conducting level assessment. If you want to join a course late do bear in mind there might be work you will need to catch up on, particularly in language courses.
Applicable terms & conditions
Please read the Terms and Conditions [pdf] before enrolling on any course.
|Hours||Weeks||Autumn term||Spring term||Summer term||Summer School|
|40||20||18 Oct - 18 Dec 2021 (9 weeks)* PLUS||10 Jan - 26 Mar 2022 (11 weeks)||n/a||n/a|
|* Followed by the Christmas break|
Web enrolment starts 2nd August 2021
Enrolment and payment run through the Imperial College eStore. Please click on the blue booking link on the relevant course page noting below instructions:
- Our rate categories are explained on the course page and your applicable rate category must be selected on the eStore
- First-time eStore users please create an account by entering an email address and password. These credentials should also be used for future bookings. Imperial College users please note the eStore is not a single-signon College system
- The booking process involves entering payment details after your course choice and applicant details are collected via an in-built questionnnaire
- The following email notifications are sent:
|What is sent||When is it sent||What does it contain|
|1. Payment confirmation||Is sent instantaneously following submission of your online application||
|2. Enrolment confirmation||Is sent within 10 working days. Please treat your payment confirmation as confirmation that your applicant details and payment have been received||
|3. Programme information||Is usually sent on Friday late afternoon the week before term starts||
|If you need further help with the above information please ring 020 7594 8756
Questions regarding the content and teaching of the above course should be sent to the course tutor, Chris Palmer, email@example.com
If you have enjoyed this course, why not look at other arts and humanities evening class courses at Imperial College. This includes courses on the history of western art from ancient Greece to the nineteenth century, Understanding Modern and Design, the history of film and cinema and Greek and Roman mythology in art. We also run practical courses in art and photography and creative writing classes, and a growing programme of science based evening classes.