Physiology, Pharmacology and Neuroscience study guide 2023/24

Physiology, Pharmacology and Neuroscience at Bristol

If you are keen to develop your knowledge in neuroscience, pharmacology or physiological science, our school can help you thrive.

Physiology is the study of animal (including human) function and can be investigated at the level of cells, tissues, organ systems and the whole body. The underlying goal is to explain the fundamental mechanisms that operate in a living organism and how they interact.

Pharmacology plays a key role in human health and society. It is described by the British Pharmacological Society as the science that underlies "advancing molecules into medicines". Pharmacology is the study of the action of drugs in the widest possible sense, encompassing many types of chemicals as well as a medicines that affect the functioning of the body.

Neuroscience is the study of the development, structure and function of the nervous system. It includes the ways in which the brain and spinal cord enable us to move, see, hear, smell and taste, and how we experience touch and pain. It also encompasses the study of learning, memory and emotions.

We use innovative teaching methods to enhance our teaching. Practicals are run in well-equipped modern labs and incorporate a newly developed online learning environment, eBiolabs, and state-of-the-art Human Patient Simulators.

Unit structure

The school offers many classes that are based in a single semester, and can therefore accept unit requests from Study Abroad students who want to join Bristol for just the autumn or spring semester.

Unit levels

The school offers units across all undergraduate levels of study: year 1 (level C/4), year 2 (level I/5), and year 3 (level H/6) units. Postgraduate units are not available.

Unit codes

Unit codes in the School of Physiology, Pharmacology and Neuroscience begin with 'PHPH'. This is followed by a number indicating the year (1, 2, 3). For example:

  • PHPH10000 = year 1 unit
  • PHPH20000 = year 2 unit
  • PHPH30000 = year 3 unit.

For more information about each unit, check the University's unit catalogue for 2023/24. Applicants on all study abroad programmes must review the unit details on the catalogue before listing unit choices on their application form. This includes checking the format of assessment for each unit. The unit catalogue for 2023/24 is updated by April 2023.

Your unit choices cannot be guaranteed. Some units may not have capacity to accommodate all of the unit requests we receive. Registration on a unit also depends on whether you meet the pre-requisite conditions through prior study at your home university.

Units available on the study abroad programme in 2023/24

The following units from the School of Physiology, Pharmacology and Neuroscience are open to inbound Study Abroad students.

Year 1 (level C/4)


  • Introduction to Neuroscience (TB1) - PHPH10012
  • Pharmacology 1A (TB1) - PHPH10003 
  • Physiology 1A (TB1) - PHPH10017


  • Functional Neuroanatomy (TB2) - PHPH10013
  • Pharmacology 1B (TB2) - PHPH10004
  • Physiology 1B (TB2) - PHPH10018

Year 2 (level I/5)


  • Neurophysiology (TB1) - PHPH20009
  • Pharmacology 2A (TB1) - PHPH20011


  • Cellular Physiology (TB2) - PHPH20013
  • Integrative Physiology (TB2) - PHPH20008
  • Pharmacology 2B (TB2) - PHPH20012

Year 3 (level H/6)

Some units cannot be taken collectively. Please read the followng information carefully when selecting Year 3 units:

You can choose one from:

  • Pharmacology of ion channels and synaptic transmission (TB4) - PHPH30002
  • Synaptic Plasticity (TB4) - PHPH30010
  • The Heart in Health and Disease (TB4) - PHPH30019
  • The Rhythms of Life (TB4) - PHPH30027

You can choose one from:

  • Neuroscience of Pain (TB4) - PHPH30017
  • New Horizons in Medicine (TB4) - PHPH30021
  • Receptor signalling and non-drug therapies (TB4) - PHPH30003
  • Synaptic Cell Biology (TB4) - PHPH30022

You can choose one from:

  • Brain and Behaviour (TB4) - PHPH30016
  • Neurological and Psychiatric disorders (Unit 4D) (TB4) - PHPH30013
  • Pharmacology of the Nervous System (TB4) - PHPH30004

Other units available (that can be taken with any of the above):

  • Concepts and Skills (TB4) - PHPH30007
  • Concepts and Skills (pharmacology) (TB4) - PHPH30005

Year 4 (level M/7)

None available

Application queries

Contact the Centre for Study Abroad inbound team if you have any queries about the application process for the study abroad programmes:

Phone: +44 117 39 40207


Students cannot audit units. Study abroad students are fully registered on units for credit purposes and must attend teaching only for classes that they are registered on.

Edit this page