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PSC1002 : Physiology

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Alison Howard
  • Lecturer: Dr Laura Young, Professor Jeffrey Pearson, Professor Andrew Jackson, Dr Michele Sweeney, Dr Michael Gray, Dr Owen Jeffries, Professor Jenny Read
  • Owning School: Biomedical, Nutritional and Sports Scien
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 2 Credit Value: 15
ECTS Credits: 8.0
European Credit Transfer System


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:

1. Homeostasis: maintenance of constant internal environment; autonomic nervous system.
Blood: constituents of blood; blood groups; blood clotting.

2. Cardiovascular system: organisation and function of cardiovascular system; electrical conduction in the heart; neural and hormonal influences on the cardiovascular system; blood pressure.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. Gastrointestinal system: saliva and gastric secretions; pancreatic secretions; the gall bladder; digestion of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins.

7. 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
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion11:001:00Invigilated formative assessment (mid semester). In person via Inspera.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture291:0029:00In person lectures
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching31:003:00In-person seminars
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1116:00116:00Writing up lecture notes, general reading and revision
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk11:001:00In-person end-of-module Q&A to review module content in preparation for exams.
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
Digital Examination902A100In-person Inspera Invigilated: Quiz Format questions, maximum 120 questions.
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Digital Examination2MIn-person Inspera Invigilated timed (45 minutes) Quiz Format questions (mid-semester), maximum 45 questions.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The end of module examination assesses knowledge and understanding of the course material.

The formative assessment will help students assess their knowledge and understanding of course material as well as familiarise students with the end of module examination.

FMS Schools offering Semester One modules available as ‘Study Abroad’ will, where required, provide an alternative assessment time for examinations that take place after the Christmas vacation. Coursework with submissions dates after the Christmas vacation will either be submitted at an earlier date or at the same time remotely.

Reading Lists