PSC2019 : Renal and Respiratory Physiology

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


This module aims to develop knowledge and understanding of the physiology of the renal and respiratory systems, involving a thorough grounding on the integrated and cellular aspects of system performance. This includes the mechanisms by which the two systems co-ordinate activity to maintain a constant internal environment (including control of acid-base balance) and respond to changes in internal and external stimuli. Consideration will be given to changes in structure and function in different physiological conditions, including ageing, exercise and altitude. Specific malfunctions will be described at appropriate points within the module and the resultant pathophysiological conditions discussed.

Outline Of Syllabus

This module is taught as two strands, and considers:

- The importance of structure and function of the kidney; control systems regulating renal function, filtration, urine concentration; central role of the kidney in homeostasis, water balance, whole body acid-base balance and their importance in maintaining health; effects of remodelling cardiovascular, respiratory and renal systems on control of whole body acid-base balance and how disturbances may lead to chronic imbalance and impact upon health.

- The importance of structure and function in the respiratory system; chemical control of ventilation, including chemoreceptor function; neural and reflex control of ventilation; control, adaptations and remodelling in exercise, altitude, ageing, pregnancy and disease states.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture221:0022:00Lectures
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion115:0015:00Practical reports
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical13:003:00Respiratory Practical Phase 2
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical13:003:00Respiratory Practical Phase 1: Design
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical13:003:00Renal Practical
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching31:003:00Three 1 hour seminar sessions for the Respiratory Strand
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching31:003:00Three 1 hour seminar sessions for the Renal Strand.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1148:00148:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures provide the core information and an indication of the scope of the course as a basis for guided independent study. The seminar sessions will encourage increased understanding of the material through discussion. The practical classes will provide experience in recording and analysing biological data to support the core knowledge, carrying out scientific calculations, computer-based presentation skills and working as part of a small group. Written exercises will encourage analysis and discrimination of the scientific literature at a deeper level than that presented in lectures, promoting individual creative work and also providing an opportunity to learn through collective study.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1202A7035% MCQ, 35% written - 1 essay question to be answered for each strand, from a choice of 2 within each strand.
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M9Timed Essay 30 minutes - Respiratory
Written exercise2M7Analysis of Scientific Paper on Renal topic.
Practical/lab report2M14Practical 1- 2% Practical 2- 5% Practical 3 - 7%
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The end of semester examination assess knowledge and understanding of the course material. The practical assessments will judge the students’ ability to design and perform experiments, analyse and present experimental data in a scientific manner (using computer-based programs), and to draw appropriate conclusions. These group tasks will also test their ability to work effectively as a team and to develop their scientific thinking using verbal and written communication skills. The analysis of a scientific paper tests skills in critically interpreting and evaluating scientific data. The coursework and examination essays will test the students’ understanding of the material learned in the module, examine their ability to integrate and explore the relationships between the various themes within the module, and test their ability to develop scientific arguments. The in-course timed essay will also provide experience of examination conditions and provide an opportunity to promote revision, consolidate knowledge and identify areas of weakness in knowledge and understanding.

Reading Lists