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Unit information: Physiology 1B in 2020/21

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 1B
Unit code PHPH10018
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Zoe Palmer
Open unit status Not open

Normally GCSE (grade C minimum) Double Science plus one biological or physical science A-level

Understanding Body Function A or Biology 1B



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

Description including Unit Aims

This unit will provide an introduction to physiology, with an emphasis on mammalian physiology. The following topics are covered: kidney, gastrointestinal tract, endocrinology and reproduction. Practical classes are supported by an online dynamic laboratory manual, eBioLabs and complement the lecture topics. Practicals include investigating the function of the human renal and reproduction systems. Students also undertake an extended practical project planning, data handling and presentation of results.


  • 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.
  • To develop the attributes necessary for lifelong learning.

Intended Learning Outcomes

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

  1. explain the concept of 'internal environment' and how homeostatic mechanisms maintain this within narrow limits;
  2. explain how the various systems of the body work together to maintain the constancy of the internal environment;
  3. give an account of the gastrointestinal and renal systems;
  4. explain how endocrine systems work within the body;
  5. explain the physiology of the reproductive system;
  6. Understand and interpret experimental procedures with due regard to scientific method;
  7. analyse and test physiological data using appropriate statistical techniques;
  8. design a simple practical project to test a physiological hypothesis;
  9. present and discuss physiological data.

Teaching Information



eBiolabs (supporting practicals)

Large group tutorials/workshops

Assessment Information


Coursework 30%

  • Extended practical presentation - 10% (1-9)
  • Extended practical written communication – 10% (9)
  • Practical assessments via eBioLabs - 10% (7-9)

Exam (end of unit) 70% (1-5)

Reading and References

There are many good Physiology textbooks and we would encourage you to pick one that suits you. In the list below textbooks 1, 2, 3 and 7 are comprehensive physiology textbooks and textbooks 4, 5 and 6 are more accessible and may be better for getting to grips with the basics.

  1. Berne & Levy - Physiology
  2. Guyton & Hall - Textbook of Medical Physiology
  3. Vander, Sherman & Luciano
  4. Costanzo (3nd Edn) - Physiology
  5. Davies, Blakeley & Kidd - Human Physiology
  6. Bray, Cragg, MacKnight, Mills &Taylor - Lecture Notes on Human Physiology
  7. Ganong - Human Physiology

You should be aware that the Medical Library stocks a good range of textbooks including those listed above.