Physiological Systems and Regulation

Module summary

Module code: BIOC0578
Level: 5
Credits: 15
School: Engineering and Science
Department: Science
Module Coordinator(s): Abigail Rickard



• To develop students' understanding of the roles and limitations of homeostatic control and regulation;
• To examine the factors which contribute to the integrated control of representative examples of different physiological systems

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:
1. Explain the inter-relationships existing between the anatomy and physiology of organ systems
2. Discuss how physiological and biochemical systems interact to maintain the stability of the internal environment
3. Explain how regulation of internal physiological parameters is related to changes in the external environment
4. Analyse, synthesise and summarise information and to present a critical review thereof
5. Design, plan, conduct and report on investigations, obtaining and analysing data using appropriate techniques (working individually or as a group).

Indicative content

Endocrine and neural systems: Transmission of information by electrical and chemical signals; synaptic events; transmitters; receptors and signal transduction; information processing; control of hormone action and secretion; neuro-endocrine co-ordination; pituitary-hypothalamic relationships. Cardiac and respiratory systems: the cardio-vascular system, baroreceptors and medullary control centres; cardiac and vascular contraction; ventilation of the lungs; chemoreceptors and the medullary inspiratory centre; transport of oxygen and carbon dioxide in blood. Fluid and solute regulation by the kidney: Renin, aldosterone and the control of sodium reabsorption; ADH/vasopressin and the control of water reabsorption; salt balance, water balance and blood pressure; extra-cellular hydrogen and bicarbonate ion regulation and the control of pH. Thermoregulation: The hypothalamic 'set-point'; avenues of heat loss and gain; shivering and non-shivering thermogenesis; acclimation and acclimatization of thermoregulation; pathological and adaptive hypothermia. Immunological Co-ordination: Types of immunity; innate and specific responses; antigen-antibody interactions; complement; phagocytosis; immunisation.

Teaching and learning activity

This module will consist of lectures and incorporated practicals. Lectures will be used to review a variety of complex regulatory processes which occur in physiological and biochemical systems. Online support is integrated into the module. Practicals will enable students to become familiar with a wide range of different techniques used in physiological investigation and will train them to present and interpret scientifically the results of their work.


Laboratory Report: 50% weighting, 40% pass mark.
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 4.
Word Length: 1500 words.
Outline Details: Experiments conducted in a group and answers to associated questions recorded online. The highest mark carries with the other 3 submissions being formative.

Report: 50% weighting, 40% pass mark.
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 5.
Word Length: 2000 words.
Outline Details: Scenario Based Assessment - Students must critically analyse the human physiology associated with an extreme physiology scenario.

Formative Assessment:
• Kuracloud questions in pre-laboratory reading
• Moodle quizzes on lecture content and beyond
• Socrative/Mentimeter quizzes in lectures
• Lt laboratory reports x 4