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PSC3013 : Physiology of the Gastrointestinal Tract 2

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Professor David Thwaites
  • Lecturer: Dr Christopher Stewart, Dr Christopher Nile, Dr Judith Hall, Professor Jeffrey Pearson
  • Owning School: Biomedical, Nutritional and Sports Scien
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 15
ECTS Credits: 8.0


This pair of modules (PSC3011 and PSC3013) on the Physiology of the Gastrointestinal Tract will give a broad grounding in many areas of gut function. The PSC3013 module (Physiology of the Gastrointestinal Tract 2) is designed to develop knowledge and advance understanding of the physiology and cellular physiology of:

•       neurohormonal control of gastric function
•       host-microbe interactions: microbiome; pathogenicity; defence
•       gastric mucosal protection

Outline Of Syllabus

The module provides an introduction to the physiological, pathophysiological and pharmacological control of gastric acid secretion. The three phases (cephalic, gastric, intestinal) of the physiological control of gastric acid secretion will be explored in detail by an in-depth investigation of past and current landmark observations. The impact of microbial communities (oral, intestinal) and host responses in health and disease will be discussed. The role of antimicrobial peptides in mucosal immunity and defence will be considered. The physiology of gastrointestinal mucosal protection will be described and the roles of aggressive and defensive factors in the physiological and pathophysiological control of gastrointestinal barrier function discussed.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion115:0015:00Practical/lab report preparation
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion11:001:00In-course MCQ exam (online, 60 mins)
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials11:001:00Non-synchronous online - Lecture
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion1108:00108:00Lecture review, extra reading and MCQ revision.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture171:0017:00PIP - lectures
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical17:007:00PIP - Practical
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching11:001:00PIP - Group Feedback Seminar (MCQ Exam)
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures and lecture materials are used to convey new information, core scientific material and key concepts in a concise manner (K1-K5,S1). Lectures and lecture materials are used to direct students towards important original sources of information in the study guides to provide a framework for guided independent study (K1-K5, S1-S2). Lectures and lecture materials are used to aid the development of an understanding of current research and the experimental basis of key concepts and core knowledge (K2-K5,S1-S2).

The practical provides laboratory experience and a practical demonstration to support the core material (K5,S2-S3).

The group feedback session provides critical feedback on the assessed in-course MCQ exam and provides an opportunity to increase understanding by reflection and discussion (K1-K2, S1-S2).

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination902A7036 hour open book exam (1 essay from choice of 2). 1200 words (online remote)
Exam Pairings
Module Code Module Title Semester Comment
PSC3011Physiology of the Gastrointestinal Tract 12N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Practical/lab report1M15Laboratory report on the mucosal protection practical includes data analysis and questions associated with the practical material
Prob solv exercises1M15In-course MCQ exam. Online Timed (remote) via Canvas ~40 questions (60 min duration)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The written examination tests core knowledge and understanding of the subject under time-constraint conditions (K1-K5, S1-S2). The in-course MCQ exam promotes revision and provides the opportunity to consolidate knowledge and identify areas of weakness in learning and understanding (K1-K5, S1-S2). The practical and written report test the capacity to perform laboratory work, problem solving and data interpretation (S1-S3). The practical report is prepared as a group report and thus encourages the development of team work and written scientific communication skills (S1-S3).

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