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
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Natasha Barrett


Type of module:

Summary module description:

Human Physiology is the study of how the human body works.  This module introduces the structure and function of each of the main systems of the body.  Theoretical knowledge is gained through lectures and then applied in practical classes.

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 skin • 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 bone

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, concentrations, gas volumes, averages, rates 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 • Cardiovascular physiology • Blood and Haemostasis • Respiratory physiology • Skin • Digestion physiology • The nervous system • Muscle physiology • Renal physiology • Bone

Practical sessions apply some of the theory covered in lectures.

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 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
Set exercise 20

Summative assessment- Examinations:
One and a half hour examination

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Coursework: Online assignments based on the practical classes will contribute to the overall coursework assessment in Human Physiology. For practical classes, in order to obtain a mark, it is necessary to both attend the classes and to submit the relevant assignment. No mark will be given to the assignment unless the attendance register has been signed at the relevant class. 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 calculations (molarity, concentrations etc.) are available on blackboard.

Practice examination questions, with answers for self-assessment, are made available on blackboard and/or in a revision session.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (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.

    Assessment 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: Recommended text books are available in the library, or to purchase if students prefer.  Wider reading of journal articles is also recommended and suitable ones can be accessed for free through the library.

    2) Specialist equipment or materials: Practical classes and associated online assignments may require use of a calculator, ruler, paper, pens and pencils.

    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 lab coats at an approximate cost of £15 (to purchase) or a small rental fee (per session). Safety glasses and gloves are provided in the classes, though students may wish to purchase their own glasses at £3.  Safety gloves will be provided.  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: None expected.

    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification: Online assignments will need to be completed on a standard computer over the internet.  Students can use their own or one of the university computers in computer rooms around campus.

    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:  None expected.

    Last updated: 20 April 2018


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