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Unit information: Cellular Physiology in 2021/22

Unit name Cellular Physiology
Unit code PHPH20013
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Davies
Open unit status Not open

PHPH10017 Physiology 1A or PHPH10014 Fundamentals of Body Function



School/department School of Physiology, Pharmacology & Neuroscience
Faculty Faculty of Life Sciences

Description including Unit Aims

This unit highlights aspects of cellular physiology, including case studies in specialised cells, for example, neuron, cardiac myocyte and airways epithelium. It will include information on aspects of cellular physiology that are unique to cell types, e.g signalling in the cardiac myocyte, and also those that are shared by a number of cell types, for example ion channels in neurones, sensory cells, epithelial cells etc.

The unit includes practical classes and a poster presentation project. These tasks are aimed at developing scientific and transferable skills with a particular focus on collaborative work, preparing students for the final year of the programme.

The aims are:

  • To gain knowledge and understanding of aspects of cellular physiology
  • To provide a link between the first and third year of the Physiology programme in content
  • To further develop transferable and scientific skills in preparation for the final year of the programme

These aims will be accomplished through lectures, practical classes, class tutorials, directed self-education and independent work.

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of this unit students should (Mapping to Physiological Science programme learning outcomes in brackets):

1. Be able to give accounts of how the cell biology of selected cells supports their ability to perform specialist functions (A6)

2. Be able to synthesise, understand, manage and summarise information from a number of sources (B1, C4)

3. Understand and interpret experimental procedures (B2)

4. Be able to interpret and manipulate scientific data (B3)

5. Read and understand scientific literature (B4)

6. Be able to communicate clearly in writing (C1)

7. Be able to communicate ideas orally (C1)

8. Work effectively as part of a team (C2)

9. Be able to use IT facilities for data handling and presentation of written work (C3)

10. Manage own time effectively (C5)

11. Plan projects and problem solve (C6)

Teaching Information

  • Lectures (30)
  • Practical classes (3)
  • Poster preparation and presentation (12hrs)
  • Class tutorials (4): Data Interpretation, Techniques in Imaging, Poster preparation, Neurosim
  • Poster preparation and presentation (12hrs)
  • e-learning (eBiolabs pre- and post-practical exercises)

Assessment Information

Coursework 30%

  1. eBiolabs (5%)
  2. Essay (10%)
  3. Poster preparation and presentation (15%: Presentation 10% Abstract 5%)

The summative coursework will be supported by class tutorials. A focus will be on researching, organising and producing a poster on a course-related topic within groups.

End of unit assessment (70%)

  1. Short answer/MCQ paper (20%)
  2. Essay paper (50%)


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. PHPH20013).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.