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The University of Southampton

BIOL1025 Fundamentals of Cell Biology and Physiology

Module Overview

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Recognise and be able to describe the structure and function of key components of eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells.
  • Describe the structure and function of the mammalian kidney.
  • 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 respiratory system.
  • Describe the main neuroendocrine axes.
  • Describe the hormonal main controls on metabolism.
  • Describe the endocrine regulation of reproduction.
  • Describe the structure of a typical biological membrane and explain the ways in which polar and non-polar substances cross this barrier.
  • Identify each of the main steps involved in the cell cycle and consequences of the process going wrong.
  • Understand the structure and function of the cytoskeleton.
  • Understand the organisation and structure of the four basic tissue types and their association into organs and systems.
  • Explain and describe evidence for the ionic basis of the resting potential membrane and action potential in excitable cells. Calculate equilibrium and membrane potentials using the Nernst and Goldman equations.
  • 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.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Develop team-based skills in working in a laboratory in a small group.
  • Understand how to work safely in a laboratory and to put this into practise
  • Be able to analyse and present data.
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Know how to safely set up a compound microscope, prepare slides of biological samples and observe biological structures using and appropriate magnification.
  • Draw annotated diagrams of biological structures and features.


Organelles and components of the cell. Cell division. Organisation of cells into tissues. Homeostatic processes in cellular physiology. Blood flow and distribution. Digestion and nutrient absorption. Kidney function. Autonomic nervous system. Structure and function of skeletal and smooth muscle. Mammalia respiration. Endocrine system. Hormonal control of metabolism Endocrine regulation of reproduction.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The module will be taught using a combination of lectures and laboratory practical classes.

Independent Study232
Total study time300

Resources & Reading list

Dee, Unglaub, Silverthorn (2018). Human Physiology : an integrated approach. 

Alberts et al (2015). Molecular Biology of the Cell. 





MethodPercentage contribution
Practical 20%
Written assessment 80%


MethodPercentage contribution
Written assessment 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:


There are no additional costs associated with this module

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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