The University of Southampton
Courses

BIOL1012 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 • Cardiovascular • Respiratory • Digestion • Kidney

Special Features

An understanding of the experimental basis of the information is an important component of the course. Each student will complete four on-line computer practicals that relate to the learning outcomes of the course. The on-line computer practicals are available via Blackboard and all data can be saved to your personal file store. The write-ups will need to be submitted as a set by the deadline, which will be12:00 noon on the Thursday of week 10 of the autumn term. These will be marked and provide the continuous assessment element of the module.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures, laboratory practicals and independent study

TypeHours
Independent Study126
Lecture24
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

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

Guyton & Hall. Textbook of Medical Physiology. 

Assessment

Assessment Strategy

Examination: comprising one 2-hour paper requiring two questions to be answered. One will be an essay derived from three titles published at the start of term and the other will be a true/false paper containing approximately 60 sub-questions Laboratory Practicals

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Computer practicals 25%
Written exam  (2 hours) 75%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Computer practicals 25%
Written exam  (2 hours) 75%
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