Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton

BIOL1013 Integrative Mammalian Physiology

Module Overview

This module gives an introduction to the underlying mechanisms of cell communication in animal systems. It shows how the integration of various physiological systems occurs and how these communication and signalling methods maybe modified pharmacologically.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The aim of this module is to introduce the principles and some of the mechanisms cell communication in animal systems. Endocrine, paracrine and cell-matrix interactions are described. It will then study how these maybe integrated into whole animal physiology for instance in functioning of the reproductive and immune systems. Finally these mechanisms will the viewed in a pharmacological setting. The lecture programme is supported by a series of 4 practicals.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • explain why cells need to communicate and to give examples of some of the processes involved in animals.
  • define and distinguish the roles of membrane bound, secreted and diffusible signalling molecules and relate this to their functions,
  • to describe the major components of the extracellular matrix and how cells adhere to it
  • to describe other forms of cell-cell contact such as cadherin junctions and gap junctions and to appreciate the functions which these serve
  • to understand the principles of immune recognition
  • to describe fertilisation and reproduction
  • to understand the principals of the mechanisms of action of drugs on tissues and some ways in which their effects might be tested in vitro and in vivo
  • to define the terms agonist and antagonist, competitive and non-competitive and partial agonist and antagonist


-Physiological Principles and Cellular Physiology -Cell and Tissue communication -Neurophysiology/Electrophysiology - Nerve, Muscle, Synapse -Introduction to Immune System -Reproductive physiology This is an introductory level unit extending the basic physiology of BIOL 1011 / BIOL 1012 and introducing the processes of cell communications and signal transduction. Topics to be covered include: the principles of endocrine communication, the extracellular matrix, reproduction and the immune system. The module provides a conceptual framework for second and third year modules in physiology, pharmacology, plant and animal cell biology and developmental biology.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The module will be taught via lectures, practicals and self-assessment. Feedback is provided through coursework returns, practical session and asking staff for advice.

Independent Study114
Practical classes and workshops12
Total study time150


Assessment Strategy

Examination: comprising one 2-hour paper requiring three questions to be answered. Two essays (from a choice of four) and a true/false paper containing approximately 50 sub-questions Wet practicals, with written assessed reports to be submitted.


MethodPercentage contribution
Practical 25%
Written exam  (2 hours) 75%


MethodPercentage contribution
Practical 25%
Written exam  (2 hours) 75%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Share this module Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.