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Last modified: 22 May 2019 17:07

Course Overview

  • this course integrates advanced physiological knowledge using examples from four different organ systems to help explain how these systems interact in health and disease; 
  • use of real-life clinical examples, diagnostic test data and a literature-based research project facilitates an enquiry and interest-based learning experience; 
  • with an aging population and ever-increasing number of people with complex diseases, you will appreciate why understanding how organs interact is the key to improving the diagnosis and treatment of various disorders; 
  • state-of-the-art practical classes measuring physiological functions delivers hands-on science and clinically-related skills to develop professional preparation and knowledge-based practice

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 3
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Dr Derek Scott

Qualification Prerequisites

  • Either Programme Level 3 or Programme Level 4

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?


Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

This course takes the integrative function of major organ systems as its main theme. We begin by considering the scientific method in physiology and how the human body copes with the challenges of maintaining homeostasis. We then focus on four specific organ systems - the cardiovascular, respiratory, gastro-intestinal and renal systems. The student will learn how these systems function during health and disease, and how they interact with one another. Special emphasis is placed on the measurement of organ function and pathophysiology. Instruction is also provided in experimental design and measurement of cardiorespiratory variables. Lecture and case-study material is accompanied by the use of a microcomputer in data capture and analysis and a problem-solving project. The course consists of 4 lectures and 1 project/laboratory session per week, and is examined by continuous assessment of course work and a 3-hour written exam.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

1st Attempt: 1 three-hour essay examination (67%) and in-course assessment (33%). Continuous assessment comprises: 2 laboratory reports, 3 case study exercises, 1 literature-based project (comprised of an individual abstract, a group poster and a peer assessment mark). Resit: 1 three-hour essay examination (67%) and previous continuous assessment (33%).

Formative Assessment

- Case-study exercise with feedback in preparation for summative assessments. - Practice exam questions on MyAberdeen. - Problem-solving sessions.


- Practical reports and case studies will be marked with written comments. - Tutorial/practical sessions will provide feedback on course content. - Model answers of all assessments will be posted on MyAberdeen. - Students given informal feedback from wider school during poster presentation session. - Students also given peer feedback. - Students also given written feedback on group poster. - Students also given oral fedback if requested at each weekly practical/project session.

Course Learning Outcomes


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