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2021/22 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

LISS1030 Physiology and Microbiology in Action: Exploring Respiratory Health

10 creditsClass Size: 30

Module manager: Dr Christopher Randall

Taught: 1 Jul to 31 Aug View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

Pre-requisite qualifications

GPA of 2.8 (US) or equivalent and enrolled at a university

Module replaces


This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

Are you interested in microbiology and the causes of infectious disease? Do you want to explore human physiology and gain skills in biomedical sciences? This module will introduce you to how lungs work, how infectious disease disrupts lung function, and what can be done about it. Through a mixture of classes, practical work and field trips you will develop your understanding of lung function. You will examine the differences between viruses and bacteria and explore techniques for investigating respiratory function. For the practical laboratory sessions you will have access to state of the art facilities in the Faculty of Biological Sciences. You will gain practical scientific skills and have the opportunity measure your own lung function. You will also investigate how bacteria and their drug sensitivities are identified. The field trips for this module include visits to a hospital microbiology laboratory, the Faculty electron microscopy facility and the Thackray medical museum.


The objective of the module is to give students a taste of physiology and microbiology in action, in the context of lung function and infections.

Learning outcomes
By the end of the course, students should understand and be able to describe:
1) how the lungs allow gas exchange between the blood and the air
2) how the body controls that activity to maintain normal levels of oxygen and CO2
3) The differences between viruses and bacteria, and the diseases they cause; particularly respiratory infections
4) How selective culture media and sensitivity assays can be used to identify infectious bacteria and suitable treatments for them.

Skills outcomes
Laboratory skills in measurement of lung volumes, and basic microbiological techniques. Analysis of spirograms and results of antimicrobial susceptibility testing.


Structure and function of the lungs
Neural control of breathing
Techniques for investigating respiratory function
Basics of what viruses and bacteria are; antibiotic resistance
Influenza virus and how it affects respiratory function and the body
Causes, consequences, and treatment of bacterial pneumonia

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
On-line Learning115.0015.00
Private study hours43.00
Total Contact hours57.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

Students will be expected to complete pre-course preparatory work. This will include reading of academic literature and introductory material for working in the teaching laboratories. Videos on carrying out relevant microbiological techniques will also be provided. Online formative MRQs will be deployed to assess understanding and engagement of the cohort, and inform on material to include during taught sessions.
Private study will be used to reinforce learning in formal teaching sessions, and to prepare the practical report and oral presentation which form the summative assessment for the module.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Formative feedback will be provided during practical classes and seminars.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
ReportReport based on first practical. Max 5 pages60.00
PresentationGroup presentation relating to bacterial pneumonia and antibiotic resistance40.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

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

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 30/06/2021 16:24:23


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