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Last modified: 26 Feb 2018 18:06

Course Overview

Physiology is the study of the normal functions of living systems.  This course will introduce you to the basics of invertebrate and vertebrate physiology.

Lectures will guide you through the various body systems and their interactions that maintain homeostasis in animals.  Associated practicals allow you to explore particular systems in further detail and to develop relevant lab skills.

Through the study of examples from across different phyla, you will gain an appreciation of processes fundamental to all animals, and of differences across groups.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 2
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Mrs Cath Dennis

Qualification Prerequisites


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

  • Either Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied) or BI1009 Frontiers in Biological Sciences (Passed)
  • One of BI1004 Organismal Biology (Passed) or BI1005 Organismal Biology (Passed) or BI1006 Biology for Undergraduates (Bugs) (Passed) or BI1007 Organismal Biology (Passed) or BI1008 Introduction to Biological Sciences (Passed) or SM1001 Introduction to Medical Sciences (Passed) or SM1501 The Cell (Passed)
  • Either Programme Level 2 or Programme Level 3

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

The content reflects a broad overview of animal function and physiology.  It features examples related to both invertebrate and vertebrate physiological adaptions to the environment.  The content builds on, and integrates in a critical manner, knowledge about animals from BI1008 (Introduction to Biological Sciences) and SM1501 (The Cell).  Topics studied include nervous and endocrine systems, circulatory and respiratory systems, digestion, immune function, movement and reproduction.

Associated Costs

Although there are a number of lab coats available to borrow, you may wish to purchase your own for around £15.

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 two-hour written exam (50%); continuous assessment – 5 lab practical reports (50%).

Resit: Similar to 1st attempt, with continuous assessment mark(s) and /or exam mark carried forward with an opportunity to resit either or both, depending on what was failed in the first attempt.

Formative Assessment


There is no formal formative assessment but students will have opportunity to engage in discussions with other students, staff and demonstrators during practical classes which will allow them to assess their own understanding of the course content.


Students will receive regular written feedback on each practical report.

Course Learning Outcomes


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