BI1BH12-Human Physiology

Module Provider: School of Biological Sciences
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded: AP1A27 Introductory Physiology
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Dr Natasha Barrett


Summary module description:

To provide students with an introduction to the disciplines of human physiology and anatomy through studies on systems physiology in humans. To give examples of homeostatic mechanisms and fundamental principles of physiology as illustrated with appropriate clinical examples.

Assessable learning outcomes:
At the end of the course students should be able to:
•Explain and discuss the concept of homeostasis with appropriate examples
•Describe the distribution of fluids in the body and their composition
•Describe the general anatomy of the heart, arteries, veins and capillaries and explain the roles of the blood as a transport tissue
•Describe the structure and function of the ventilatory system, CO2/O2 gas exchange and the measurement of metabolic rates
•Describe the structure and function of bone
•Describe the gross anatomy and functions of the digestive system
•Demonstrate a knowledge of human nutritional requirements
•Explain the mechanisms of digestion and absorption in the digestive tract
•Explain the cellular basis and functions of the nerve resting and action potentials
•Describe the structure, function and mechanisms of the neuromuscular junction and other synapses
•Describe the contractile apparatus and mechanisms of skeletal muscle
•Describe simple spinal mechanisms and the reflex and voluntary control of skeletal muscle contractions
•Describe the functional anatomy of the kidneys and to explain their role in the control of the volume, composition and pH of body fluids
•Describe the structure and function of skin

Additional outcomes:
Develop practical laboratory skills in basic physiology and some simple laboratory techniques; arithmetical skills in calculations based on practical exercises (calculations of molarity, corrected gas volumes, metabolic rates, the effects of exercise etc) and ability to produce graphical data. Develop the ability to work in the laboratory as a member of a small team.

Outline content:
The lectures cover:
•Introduction to physiology (homeostasis)
•Body Fluids
•Blood and Haemostasis
•Cardiovascular physiology
•Respiratory physiology
•Digestion physiology
•The nervous system
•Muscle physiology
•Renal physiology

Practical sessions cover:
•Body fluids: Membrane transport in erythrocytes
•Cardiovascular physiology: ECG
•Cardiovascular physiology: Blood pressure
•Digestion physiology: Blood glucose
•The nervous system: Location of synapses by a histochemical test for acetylcholinesterase
•Respiratory physiology: Lung volumes and gases

Global context:
A systems-based approach to understand physiology in humans.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Theoretical knowledge will be gained through formal lectures and then be applied in 5 practical sessions.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20 20
Practicals classes and workshops 6 6
Guided independent study 74 74
Total hours by term 100.00 100.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 80
Report 20

Other information on summative assessment:
Online assignments based on each of the practical classes will contribute equally to the overall coursework assessment in physiology.
For practical classes, in order to obtain a mark, it is necessary to both attend the classes and to submit the written reports. No mark will be given to the written report unless the attendance register has been signed at the relevant class. The report will be marked and then moderated by the unit coordinator.
Relative percentage of coursework: 20%

Formative assessment methods:
Formative assessment and verbal feedback of practical laboratory skills will be given continuously during all practical sessions.
Practice examination questions (both MCQ), with answers for self-assessment, are made available on blackboard and/or in a revision session.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:
    One and a half hour examination

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Re-examination in August/September

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear: In compliance with the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) 1992 Act, while studying this module students will be expected to wear the following item/s: Lab coat/Safety glasses/Safety gloves. The Department/School can provide students with this/these at an approximate cost of £12 (for lab coats). Safety glasses and gloves are provided in the classes, though students may wish to purchase their own glasses at £3. Students who choose not to purchase from the University must ensure that their PPE meets the latest British/European Safety Standards.
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 21 December 2016

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