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Human Blood and Blood Functions

Develop your knowledge of blood, its components, and its different functions to gain a better understanding of the human body.

Medical professional carrying a tray of bagged blood in a laboratory

Human Blood and Blood Functions

  • 3 weeks

  • 2 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Introductory level

Find out more about how to join this course

Discover the different components of blood with Universiti Malaya

The human blood is a crucial part of the body that helps regulate homeostatic functions, deliver nutrients for cell function, and remove waste from the body.

On this three-week course from Universiti Malaya, you’ll gain an introduction to human blood and the different functions it performs. With this knowledge, you’ll have a better understanding of how the human body works.

First, you’ll delve into the five components of blood; red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and plasma. Next, you’ll discover how each component has a specific purpose.

Understand the functions of blood

You’ll investigate the many functions of human blood, such as helping to fight infections, removing waste, and carrying nutrients.

This knowledge will help you further explore the components of blood as you gain an understanding of conditions such as anaemia and polycythaemia.

Explore the roles of erythrocytes, leucocytes, and platelets

With your knowledge of blood functions, you’ll delve into the role of specific blood components such as erythrocytes, leucocytes, and platelets.

Next, you’ll unpack the main events that happen in haemostasis – the body’s response to help stop bleeding.

Understand different blood types

During the final week of the course, you’ll explore different blood types to understand the compatibility of blood types during transfusion. Within this, you’ll also unpack what is meant by a universal donor and recipient.

Guided by the experts at Universiti Malaya, you’ll finish the course with a greater understanding of human blood and its functions to ensure you have a solid foundation of knowledge to build on in further studies.


  • Week 1

    The components of blood

    • Getting Started

      Welcome to the online course 'The Human Blood'. This course is brought to you by Dr. Maziah Mat Rosly from the Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Malaya via FutureLearn.

    • The properties of blood

      Before we get started, let's get to know each other here. Before we begin, we will test your general understanding of blood. Don't be afraid and try them out. You'll be surprised at how much you know!

    • The components of blood

      The blood may appear red, but it actually contains more than just the red colour. Let's find out what components make up the human blood, and why they actually may appear in many different colours.

    • Weekly wrap up

      Congratulations! You have neared the end of week 1. Let's wrap this week and revise through your understanding with this week's summary. Attempt the quiz and be amazed at how much you've learned this week!

  • Week 2

    The Blood Cells

    • Red blood cells

      The red blood cell is an important part of the blood responsible for carrying oxygen and carbon dioxide for your body's cells. But there is more to learn about these miraculous cells. Let's learn of its properties here.

    • White blood cells

      White blood cells are here for your protection and immunity. Did you know that there are five different white blood cells in the body? Let's learn more about them here.

    • Platelets

      Platelets are small and can only live for a few days, but they carry important functions for the body, especially when you're injured. Let's find out more about these platelets here!

    • Weekly wrap up

      Congratulations! You have neared the end of week 2. Let's wrap this week and revise through your understanding with this week's summary. Attempt the quiz and be amazed at how much you've learned this week!

  • Week 3

    The Blood Types

    • Blood types

      Did you know that there are various blood types among the human population? Not all of them are the same, and making the wrong decisions in blood transfusions can be fatal. Let's find out more here.

    • Blood cross-matching

      Now that you know what are the various blood types available, let's look into how blood cross-matching works. This will be your final leg for the course. Let's go!

    • Weekly wrap up

      Congratulations! You have neared the end of week 3. Let's wrap this week and revise through your understanding with this week's summary. Attempt the quiz and be amazed at how much you've learned this week!

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Justify the impacts of learning about blood and what it can bring for the future.
  • Describe the various functions of the blood components.
  • Explain issues that can arise from diseases related to the blood.
  • Classify the available blood groups in humans and the importance of each blood group.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for students who are studying human biology, medical science, biological science, physiotherapy, laboratory technology, and nursing.

It would also be useful for pre-university students aspiring to pursue clinical medicine.

Who will you learn with?

Dr. Maziah Mat Rosly is a Medical Lecturer from Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Malaya. She has extensive experience teaching Physiology to students in Universiti Malaya.

Who developed the course?

Universiti Malaya

Universiti Malaya is the premier research university in Malaysia, committed to advancing knowledge and learning through quality research and education for the nation and for humanity.

  • Established

  • Location

    Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • World ranking

    Top 60Source: QS World University Rankings 2021

Ways to learn

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Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Tests to boost your learning
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Buy this course

$79/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Tests to boost your learning
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Limited access


Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 26 Dec 2022

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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