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2020/21 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

BMSC2122 Cardio-Respiratory Neuroscience

10 creditsClass Size: 100

Module manager: Dr Ed White

Taught: Semester 1 View Timetable

Year running 2020/21


BMSC2121Cognitive Neuroscience

This module is mutually exclusive with

BMSC2117Cardio-respiratory Physiology and Pharmacology

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

The module will cover the activity of the heart and its function, and consider central and peripheral neural control mechanisms involved in the maintenance of blood pressure and blood flow through tissues. These mechanisms will be considered in relation to normal physiological circumstances as well as in challenging situations such as high altitude or haemorrhage and shock. The means by which oxygen is delivered to the tissues and carbon dioxide removed from them, will be described. Ventilation of the lungs and its control are studied together with diffusion of gases across the alveolar membrane and the matching blood flow.


Students should:
- be able to describe the structure and function of the circulatory system;
- understand how the cardiovascular system is controlled by neural influences;
- know how the cardio-respiratory system contributes to the optimal functioning of the body's other physiological systems;
- be able to describe the structure and function of the lungs and how gaseous exchange occurs;
- understand how the cardiovascular and respiratory systems adapt to a variety of physiological stresses, in order to maintain optimal performance.

Learning outcomes
On completion of the module, students will
- have acquired a detailed knowledge of the structure and function of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems in health and disease;
- understand the responses to physiological challenges such as adaptation to altitude;
- understand the control mechanisms that mediate cardio-respiratory responses.

Skills outcomes
An understanding of the cardio-respiratory systems and their control by central neuronal mechanisms.


The following areas are covered:
- gross and cellular structure of the heart;
- electrical activity of the heart and the ECG;
- cardiac excitation-contraction coupling, regulation and the cardiac cycle;
- the circulation and cardiovascular pressures;
- central neural control of the circulation;
- regulation of blood pressure and responses to exetcise;
- special circulations; skin, muscle cerebral;
- mechanisms of breathing and gaseous exchange;
- chemical and central neural control of the respiratory system.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Class tests, exams and assessment31.003.00
Independent online learning hours24.00
Private study hours57.00
Total Contact hours19.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

- 24 hours: online learning resources associated with lectures, including practice MCQs;
- 32 hours: reading associated with lectures (16 x 2hours);
- 6 hours: revision for in-course essay;
- 6 hours: revision for in-course MCQ;
- 13 hours: preparation for final module assessment.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

- On-line formative tests (MCQs) will ensure satisfactory progress throughout the module. Module manager and lecturers are able to monitor students’ performance for these assessments, and can provide additional support if necessary
- Results of the formative essay and formative in-course MCQ will inform staff of student progress.
- Summative MCQ and essay final exam.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
EssayIn-course open book formative essay (45 mins)0.00
In-course MCQIn-course formative MCQ0.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)0.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)1 hr 30 mins100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 30/07/2019


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