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2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

FOBS1126 A Short Introduction to Systems Physiology

10 creditsClass Size: 200

Module manager: Dr Charlotte Haigh

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

Pre-requisite qualifications

Normally A level Biology and/or Chemistry

This module is mutually exclusive with

FOBS1125Introduction to Physiology

Module replaces

FOBS1201 Molecular Physiology BIOL1214 Multicellular Systems

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module introduces body systems, largely on a weekly basis, with an emphasis on how systems operate and interact. The idea that disease can disturb, or result from disturbances of, these systems will be introduced for some systems.


By the end of this module, students should have a basic understanding of the anatomy and physiology of some body systems, together with how pathology and pharmacology can alter them.

Learning outcomes
1. Students should understand and be able to describe the features and functions of certain body systems, specifically:
- Nerve conduction and transmission, and the basic plan of the central and peripheral nervous systems;
- How muscles work at the cellular and mechanical levels;
- The organisation of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems, and how they carry oxygen and carbon dioxide to and from the organs of the body;
- The gastrointestinal system, and how different regions work together to digest and absorb foodstuffs, and excrete waste materials;
2. Students will be introduced to a range of physiological concepts such as homeostasis, excitability, and vectorial transport.

Skills outcomes
One of the key aims of this module is to help students move to a university-style approach to learning, with personal responsibility for organising their learning, and using a number of resources to synthesise an understanding of the subject material.


Students will cover, at an introductory level:
- The nervous system, including central and peripheral elements;
- Muscle function;
- The cardiovascular and respiratory systems;
- The gastrointestinal system;
- Students will consider basic physiological principles such as homeostasis, excitability, and vectorial transport.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
In Course Assessment11.001.00
Student-led discussion21.002.00
Interactive Lecture21.002.00
Group learning25.0010.00
Independent online learning hours10.00
Private study hours57.00
Total Contact hours33.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

Independent online learning: Links to learning resources on the web, online quizzes, etc.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Weekly on-line formative tests, and programme-specific tutorials, will ensure satisfactory progress throughout the module, and allow students to monitor their own progress. Feedback on the in course test, including both factual aspects and exam technique, will be provided prior to the main exam.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
In-course MCQMCQ tests in Minerva80.00
In-course AssessmentParticipation mark20.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Further guidance on the assessment will be provided in Minerva.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 22/07/2022


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