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Unit information: Physiology for biomedical engineering MSc in 2015/16

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Physiology for biomedical engineering MSc
Unit code PHPH10008
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Professor. Frankie MacMillan
Open unit status Not open

Undergraduate degree in Engineering


Restricted to students on MSc in biomedical engineering

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

Description including Unit Aims

An introduction to physiology, with an emphasis on mammalian physiology. The following topics are covered: homeostasis, cell biology and physiology, nervous system and muscle, cardiovascular and respiratory systems. Practical classes are supported by an online dynamic laboratory manual, eBioLabs and complement the lecture topics. Practicals include investigating the physiology of cells and tissues, and the function of the human nervous, cardiovascular, and respiratory systems.


To promote understanding of the basic physiological mechanisms governing the function of mammalian body systems. To expose students to a range of activities thereby developing the attitudes and skills desirable for scientific study.

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of the unit you should be able to:

explain the concept of 'internal environment' and how homeostatic mechanisms maintain this within narrow limits; explain how the various systems of the body work together to maintain the constancy of the “internal environment”; describe cell biology, resting potentials, action potentials and transmission across synapses; describe the general organisation of the nervous system including the autonomic nervous system, the spinal cord and the brain; describe muscle activity (skeletal, cardiac and smooth) give an account of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems collect physiological data with due regard to ‘scientific method’; analyse and test physiological data using appropriate statistical techniques.

Teaching Information

Lectures, Practicals

Assessment Information

Assessment is via ebiolabs assessments on practical work (10%)and a 2 hour written end of unit exam (90%)

Reading and References

You will need to consult textbooks to consolidate the information you are given in lectures and practicals.

Many textbooks are suitable for the course; an alphabetical selection is given below.


Berne & Levy “Physiology” Bray, Cragg, MacKnight, Mills & Taylor “Lecture Notes on Human Physiology” Costanzo (2nd Edn) “Physiology” Davies, Blakeley & Kidd “Human Physiology” Ganong “Human Physiology” Guyton & Hall “Textbook of Medical Physiology” Vander, Sherman & Luciano “Review of Medical Physiology” You should be aware that the Medical Library stocks a good range of textbooks including those listed above.