Skip to main content


PSC1002 : Physiology

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Alison Howard
  • Lecturer: Dr Colin Brown, Professor Jeffrey Pearson, Dr Michael Gray, Dr Michele Sweeney, Professor Adrian Rees
  • Owning School: Biomedical, Nutritional and Sports Scien
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 15
ECTS Credits: 8.0


The module aims to provide an introduction to mammalian physiology, covering the structure and function of the major systems of the body and the control mechanisms involved in their regulation (cardiovascular, respiratory, renal, blood, nervous and gastrointestinal systems). The integration of different systems in the maintenance of a constant internal environment within the body (homeostasis) will be emphasised.

Outline Of Syllabus

The lectures and seminars cover the following topics:

Homeostasis: maintenance of constant internal environment; autonomic nervous system.
Blood: constituents of blood; blood groups; blood clotting.
Cardiovascular system: organisation and function of cardiovascular system; electrical conduction in the heart; neural and hormonal influences on the cardiovascular system; blood pressure.
Respiratory system: process of respiration/ventilation; factors that influence the work of breathing; gas exchange in the lung; gas transport in blood; control of ventilation.
Nervous system: sensation of touch, pressure and vibration; motor control; structure of the ear; how sound is represented in the brain; how an image is formed in the eye; how visual information is processed.
Renal system: structure and function of the kidney and nephron; mechanisms of control of reabsorption; hormonal control of water and sodium content of the body.
Gastrointestinal system: saliva and gastric secretions; pancreatic secretions; the gall bladder; digestion of fats, carbohydrates and proteins.
Exercise and Environmental changes: how the cardiovascular and respiratory systems adapt to meet the demands of exercise and unusual environments.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture301:0030:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion11:001:00Formative class tests
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching41:004:00Seminars
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1115:00115:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

1. Lectures will define the scope of the course and communicate basic knowledge as a basis for further study.
2. Seminars will encourage students to develop their understanding of the subject and interpersonal communication skills. They provide an opportunity for students to ask questions and exchange ideas. Skills practiced include critical thinking, numeracy, communication & team working.
3. Private study is used for self-directed learning and includes: reading lecture notes and texts; preparation for seminars; using learning resources on the Web. Skills practiced include critical thinking, active learning, numeracy, planning and organisation and independence.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination902A100MCQ format: 120 questions
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Computer assessment2MA mid-semester MCQ format exam (formative) will be provided to students under exam conditions.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The end of semester examination assesses knowledge and understanding of the course material. The formative MCQ questions will help students assess their knowledge and understanding of course material as well as familiarise students with the format of an MCQ exam.

Reading Lists