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2023/24 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

FOBS2122 Cardiorespiratory Physiology and Pharmacology

20 creditsClass Size: 300

Module manager: Dr Al Benson

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

Pre-requisite qualifications

Satisfactory completion of level 1 of a Biomedical Sciences or Sports Science programme, or equivalent.

This module is mutually exclusive with

FOBS2121Cardiorespiratory Physiology and Exercise Rehabilitation
FOBS2123Cardiorespiratory Physiology

Module replaces

BMSC2117 Cardio-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 and hormonal 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. Integrated within this module is a description of the detailed mechanisms of action, effects and adverse properties of the various major drugs that affect the heart, vasculature and respiratory system. These include anti-dysrhythmic agents, drugs used in the treatment of heart failure and hypertension, as well as drugs acting on blood to modulate clotting and correct abnormal levels of lipids.


Students should:
- Be able to describe the structure and function of the circulatory system;
- Understand how the cardiovascular system is controlled by neural and hormonal 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;
- Be able to describe the mechanisms of action, therapeutic uses and adverse effects of drugs acting on the cardiovascular and respiratory systems.

Learning outcomes
On completion of the module, students will:
1. have a detailed knowledge of the structure and function of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems in health and disease;
2. understand the responses to physiological challenges such as adaptation to altitude;
3. understand the control mechanisms that mediate cardiorespiratory responses;
4. have a detailed knowledge of the types, mechanisms and adverse effects of a number of drugs affecting cardiorespiratory function.

Skills outcomes
Students will learn to take lecture notes, gather information from different sources, manage their time more effectively and use online formative resources effectively to enhance their learning experience.

Analytical skills; Creative problem solving; Independent working; Planning & organisation; Time management.


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 exercise;
- Mechanisms of breathing and gaseous exchange;
- Chemical and central neural control of the respiratory system;
- Drugs used in the treatment of cardiorespiratory diseases

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Independent online learning hours48.00
Private study hours116.00
Total Contact hours36.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

56 hours: reading associated with lectures (30 x 2 hours)
30 hours: revision for in course MCQ
30 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
Summative MCQ in course
Summative group case study.
Summative essay final exam.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
In-course MCQ.25.00
Case StudyGroup Submission25.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)50.00

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

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Online Time-Limited assessment2 hr 00 mins50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)50.00

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: 28/04/2023 14:47:37


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