The University of Southampton
Courses

BIOL1011 Systems Physiology

Module Overview

This module introduces students to the basic principles and concepts of physiology and how these principles operate in mammalian systems.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The aim of the module is to introduce students to the basic principles and concepts of physiology and how these principles operate in mammalian systems.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Explain homeostatic processes with reference to cellular physiology
  • Describe how optimal blood flow distribution around the body is ensured by a combination of cardiac function and peripheral blood flow regulatory mechanisms.
  • Describe the principles of digestion and nutrient absorption
  • Describe the structure and function of the mammalian kidney.
  • Draw annotated diagrams of cells and organelles, neurones and synapses
  • Describe the structure of a typical biological membrane and explain the ways in which polar and non-polar substances cross this barrier.
  • Explain and describe evidence for the ionic bases of the resting potential, action potential and excitatory synaptic potential. Calculate equilibrium and membrane potentials using the Nernst and Goldman equations.
  • Describe the autonomic nervous system and its role in co-ordinating behaviours.
  • Describe the control, structure and function of skeletal muscle and smooth muscle.
  • Describe the structure and function of the mammalian cardiovascular system.
  • Describe the structure and function of the mammalian respiratory system
  • Explain how appropriate amounts of oxygen are delivered to the tissues using haemoglobin and how carbon dioxide is transported to the lungs to be excreted.

Syllabus

• Physiological Principles and Cellular Physiology • Neurophysiology/Electrophysiology - Nerve, Muscle, Synapse • Skeletal and Smooth Muscle • Cardiovascular • Respiratory • Digestion • Kidney

Special Features

Practical laboratory work forms an important component of physiology, and this course includes four sessions, in each of which you will complete an experiment related to the learning outcomes. There are four computer-based materials explaining each laboratory experiment to be performed and the students are encouraged to engage with the material prior to the laboratory session. The laboratory protocols are available on-line via Blackboard and all data can be saved to your personal file store. You will be required to submit a write-up of the experiment structured according to the information on Blackboard within one week of completing the experiment. These will be assessed and returned to you at the following session. The aggregated marks will provide the continuous assessment element of the module.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures, laboratory practicals and independent study

TypeHours
Independent Study114
Practical classes and workshops12
Lecture24
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Guyton & Hall. Textbook of Medical Physiology. 

Silverthorn, Dee Unglaub (2007). Human physiology : an integrated approach. 

Assessment

Assessment Strategy

Examination: comprising one 2-hour computer-based exam containing approximately 25 multiple choice or extended matching items questions. Students will submit a write-up after every Laboratory Practical session. The write-ups are marked and returned to the students with feedback. Three of the four submitted works will be counted as part of the continual assessment.

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Laboratory practicals 30%
Written exam  (2 hours) 70%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Laboratory practicals 30%
Written exam  (2 hours) 70%
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